There are so many options these days when it comes to booking your holiday. There are an abundance of online platforms to choose from, as well as travel agents and tour operators, but how do you know when you are getting the best value?
Resort holidays in the Maldives have always been a popular choice and now there is also the option of staying in guesthouses and hotels on local islands at a fraction of the price.
The Maldives is a perfect destination for all year round travel because of the amazing weather and consistent temperatures. For European’s it can cost the same to travel to the Maldives in the European summer months than a package holiday somewhere close by like Spain or Italy for example. For those in Asia there are a large number of budget airlines offering flights at an affordable price.
When people search online for local island holidays it looks like a very cheap and affordable option, maybe from around $50 for bed and breakfast per night with food options around an additional $10 per person – sounds like the cheapest option right? Maybe it is and you have located a great deal, but it may also not always be the case.
Like many countries the Maldives has additional taxes and charges for purchases including accommodation, excursions and food. Usually when prices are quoted they do not include these fees. So we would always advise you to check the small print and ensure all applicable tax is included – 10% service charge, 12% GST and $3 Green Tax per person per night ($6 if you are staying on a resort or boat).
Next are the transfers from the airport island to whatever local island you are visiting, this can be via a local ferry maybe costing as little as $2 each way, but options for islands further away can cost from $30 per person upwards for a speedboat transfer and from $150 per person one way for a domestic flight, with seaplane flights being a lot more. Again the price of your ‘cheap Maldives holiday’ starts to creep up.
Close your eyes and imagine – you are now in the Maldives surrounded by the beautiful turquoise waters, crystal clear lagoons and don’t get us started on the breath-taking sunrise and sunsets……..and you decide to add some excursions into your trip. Maybe a little snorkelling, a day visit to a resort, a discover scuba dive, a sunset cruise to see the dolphins playing in the water or maybe a trip to encounter Whale sharks, nurse sharks and Manta rays. This so called ‘cheap getaway’ is no longer quite the budget holiday you had bargained for. All these additions can soon add up and if you are not careful your dream holiday takes you over your initial budget expectations.
Image Credit @movingtomaldives
At this point you may be asking – why then do so many people manage to take local island holidays to the Maldives and enjoy a budget trip, what is their secret? Well we think there are two answers to that.
Firstly, they have taken time to do their research. Researching and planning a trip can be quite fun, but it can also be overwhelming. A good starting point is to chat with family or friends who may have visited. Search Maldives blogs online and check out the advice of other travelers, there is a wealth of first hand information from bloggers and travelers. Blogs are a great way to get insider knowledge about logistics, costs and things to be aware of in a destination. As well as Google, check out Pinterest and Instagram to get an idea of what sights you may want to see and capture yourself. There are plenty of Instagramable opportunities in this island paradise! It’s also worthwhile checking sites like Viator to understand what tours, activities and unusual experiences are worth considering and finally be sure to read reviews especially when booking accommodation.
Secondly, they may have booked with a tour company such as Secret Paradise who have provided a tour package inclusive of accommodation, meals, activities and experiences, as well as advice on additional expenses that may be incurred. This will then allow you to budget for your entire trip, know exactly what is covered before you even board your flight to the Maldives and how much ‘pocket money’ to bring along with you.
According to Google search the 7 most popular local island activities are:
– Island hopping
– Surfing the waves
– Snorkeling with sea stars
– Dolphin spotting on a sunset boat tour
– Sunset fishing
– Visiting a deserted island or sandbank
Secret Paradise have you covered with all of these activities and much more. You can pick and mix day tours if you are staying in Male or Hulhumale or choose from one of our popular multi day tours and explore further afield.
So when you are booking your dream vacation to the Maldives and are looking for the best experiences at an affordable price, drop us a line and #letusguideyou on the most amazing Maldivian tours of the local islands.