Maldives on a budget- Everything you need to know

sandbank in the Maldives

Maldives on a budget

Maldives is on many bucket lists but people are often put off by the price tag. You don’t have to stay in a fancy resort to experience the Maldives. There any many local islands with lovely accommodation for a pinch of the cost. In this guide I will break down the cost of EVERYTHING and prove that Maldives is definitely affordable.

palm trees at Thulusdhoo, the Maldives


Flights from the UK to Maldives can cost anything from £800 to £1500. That cost alone could be someones total holiday budget. To keep the flight cost low book a flight to a neighbouring country and then onwards to Maldives it is SO much cheaper. I booked a one way flight to Sri Lanka and then I looked on Sky Scanner to see which country would be the cheapest country to fly to next. I was shocked to see it was the maldives. It wasnt planned but I had to book it for how good the price was.

Return flights to Sri Lanka can start from £400 per person so already that dream holiday to the Maldives seems more achievable, right?

Flight cost:

One way flight to Sri Lanka- £491

One way flight to Maldives- £75

Total spent per person- £566

chilling in a hammock on thulusdhoo island, Maldives


This is where you can save the most money- your hotel. By staying on a local island you get to experience the Maldives culture and still chill on some stunning white sand beaches with crystal clear water. You can even take a day trip to one of the resorts for roughly £100 if you fancied a little luxury.

Here are some luxury resort prices just to compare:

* prices based on a 1 week stay in January 2019

Soneva Jani water villa with slide- £52,000

Four seasons ocean bungalow villa with pool- £24,000

Furaveri beach villa with private pool- £5,000

It would be amazing to stay in a luxury resort for 1 week but not everyone can afford those prices. You may be lucky to find cheaper resorts with water villas but the cheapest I came across when looking was £250 a night for a standard one. Not something a backpacker on a budget can afford.

Hotel costs:

3 nights in Thulusdhoo at Batuta Sea View with breakfast included- £105 per person.

4 nights in Maafushi at Kaani Beach Hotel with breakfast included- £150per person.

Total spent per person- £255

view spotting on thulusdhoo island, Maldives


Though the cost of food and activities can be quite pricey you can definitely keep the cost down by budgeting. In our week in the maldives we went on 3 snorkelling trips, used the speed boat for our island transfers and ate at a range of restaurants for food.

Here are the costs:

Snorkelling including sandback from Thulusdhoo- $20 (£15.71) per person.

Kaani excursions snorkelling with nurse sharks, shipwreck and sandbank inc lunch- $60 (£47.20) per person.

Kaani excursions snorkel with turtles inc lunch- $25 (£19.60) per person.

Total spent per person- £82.47

sitting on a shipwreck in the Maldives


Getting from island to island is fairly easy. There is a choice of transport which are public ferry, speed boat or if you want amazing views, there’s the sea plane. Public ferry is the cheapest option under $10 each. We would have chose the ferry but motion sickness got the better of us in Sri Lanka so that was a no no. We opted for the quickest option which was by speed boat. I really wanted to experience the sea plane but the price was $150 plus.

Speedboat costs-

Male to Thulusdhoo- $30 (£23) per person.

Male to Maafushi- $20 (£15.70) per person.

Total spent on transfers per person- £78.50

palm tree vibes on thulusdhoo island, Maldives

Eating out

On the local islands there are only a few restaurants. Thulusdhoo only had two that we could find and our hotel was over priced when it came to food. Maafushi had a lot more choice and a range of budget to upper class restaurants.

Average meal costs- $9

1 week of eating out- £129.50 per person

Daily average – £18.50 per person

Sunset on Maafushi island, Maldives

Can Maldives be done on a budget?

Absolutely! At first I thought we were spending too much money by comparing it to three weeks in Sri Lanka where we spent under £1000 between us. On a backpackers budget, £500 each for one week is a lot of money but there are more affordable accommodations available as well as food budgets. We decided to stay at nicer hotels for a little extra and we still managed to keep the cost of the entire trip down.

So, how much does a 1 week trip to The Maldives cost?

A 1 week trip to the incredible Maldives cost us a total of £1,111 each.  That’s including EVERYTHING! The flights, all our transport, activities, hotels and food.


For the latest Maldives prices click here

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If you have any questions about this post please leave a comment or DM me on my Instagram @thatwanderlustboho


4 Replies to “Maldives on a budget- Everything you need to know”

  1. says: Reply

    Great info Hannah and stunning pictures ?

    1. thatwanderlustboho says: Reply

      Thank you so much ☺️

  2. This is great!! You are giving us some ideas haha thanks

    1. thatwanderlustboho says: Reply

      Thanks so much. Glad to hear that. Any questions please ask 🙂


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