However many people even us made mistakes unknowingly during travel planning thus causing over budget spending, leaving a scar in the whole experiences.
But you are not to be blame, as Maldives is unique compared to other countries, therefore those mistakes are totally out of your expectations.
1. Avoid staying too many days in Maldives.
Unless you are into a specific activities that requires time such as diving & deep sea fishing, Maldives is perfect for a short stay instead a long one. Anything more than 1 week will be too much for our opinion.
4 to 5 days is usually sufficient if staying in one hotel and perhaps 7 days if 2 hotels. Opt for quality vacation rather than quantity when in Maldives.
Note : DO NOT stay in few hotels for a short trip, it is not as easy as hailing a taxi to get to another hotel. Transfer is very tedious & expensive in Maldives.
2. Splurge in a luxury vacation
Mentioning Maldives, people associate with luxurious & romantic getaway. Though you can travel Maldives budgetly which we did for RM1950 per pax, it seems we missed out the most important component of Maldives akin to not visiting Eiffel Tower when in Paris.
So asking everyone in our group about their feedback, the answer was quite similar “We will be back for a luxurious stay, not a budget one”
3. Airport Transfer might be MORE Expensive than your flight ticket to Maldives
This is a very important criteria people often overlook when planning their Maldives holiday. Most visitors will arrive at Male the capital of Maldives.
Airport transfer is Very Expensive in Maldives. Therefore you MUST CHECK how much is the transfer cost to your hotel as most hotel rates does not include transfer which can be very expensive.
There are 2 common ways to reach your hotel : speedboat or seaplane.
Hotels located nearer to Male you are able to arrange speed boat transfer which cost from USD5o to USD200 per pax return. Some hotels even make it compulsory to take their transfer so do double check.
Hotels which are located far from Male, Sea Plane transfer is required. Sea Plane transfer easily cost USD350 to USD450 for a return trip per person.
So not only you have to compare hotel rates, you will also need to check transfer fees as we have a friend who paid USD70 per night but found out the hotel is only reachable by seaplane thus forking out extra USD350.
Note : If arriving late evening or flying out early morning, you might require to overnight at Male, do check with your hotel.
4. You are most likely to stay in an island with just your hotel
Most hotels are located on their own private island thus it is the only hotel on the island. One reason we recommend a short stay as you get bored easily after 4 or 5 days.
5. Food are expensive & limited choice, your 3 meals are mostly eaten at your hotel.
Since the island has only one hotel which is the one you are staying, all your daily meals will be eaten at the same hotel. When choice are limited, dining can be expensive. Always budget USD50 per meal per pax.
If possible book a full board price which includes meal & drinks during your stay, at least there is less pain than ordering expensive meals.
6. Budget for extra activities.
Not all hotels have lagoon near to them, therefore you might need to spend some money for snorkeling trip or nearby island hopping.
7. Always know the details of your activities, especially how long is the transfer.
Certain activities are located at specific location for example whale shark watching, though your hotel might offer this excursion, do find out how long to reach there. The locals are used to sea transportation but as foreigners, we might not accustomed to 5 hours boat ride per way especially people who are prone to sea sickness.