Travel Guides & Tips

Traveling the Maldives on a budget, plus how you can go there for free with Traveloka!

There’s no dispute that Maldives could be heaven on earth. Pristine turquoise waters, pure white sand, and overwater bungalows are the perfect ways to describe these islands over the Indian Ocean. But for budget travelers, there’s only one way to describe this dream destination: Expensive.

Paired with those picture-perfect beaches are extreme price tags. A night’s stay in one of the overwater bungalows could reach thousands of Ringgit and it’s no surprise that the islands are best known as a luxury tourism destination. But, we’re here to debunk the myths that you can only visit the Maldives if your last name is Kardashian or Jenner. It doesn’t have to cost thousands and thousands of Ringgit to visit the Maldives; in fact, even budget travelers can do it!

Wanna know how? We’ve compiled some tips for you to travel to the Maldives while on a budget down below. Even better? Join our Singapore Airlines “Book & Fly” contest and stand a chance to win an all-expenses paid trip to the Maldives! More information at the end of the article 😉.


How to find cheap accommodation

Let’s be honest. If you’re traveling on a budget to the Maldives, those overwater resorts are out of the question. One of the ways to travel cheaply and still enjoy the pristine water is to stay on a local island. Guesthouses are your key to a Maldives dream vacation on a budget and no worries, there are hundreds of affordable and locally-owned guesthouses that you can stay in on the local islands. This way, you’ll be able to experience the real Maldives, get to know the locals and save money at the same time!

Depending on the island, you might find yourself to be one of just a handful of tourists staying there. Guesthouse vacations can begin for as little as RM170 when you book on Traveloka and some guesthouses are more simple (think: a basic bed and breakfast), while others offer four-star facilities with rooftop pools and ocean views.

Each local island in the Maldives is very different, so it’s important to do your research to find the island that best suits your needs. If you want to go back to basics and enjoy the simple island life, Fulidhoo is your answer. If you’re the adventurous type, Thulusdhoo is perfect for you.

Do take note that the low season is from May to October and you can often find cheaper deals then – though it’s also the monsoon/wet season. So, if you want to stretch your Ringgit even further, consider visiting during the low season. The best weather runs from November to April, with peak prices around the holidays.


How to go on excursions on a budget

Staying in a local island means you can really explore all that the Maldives has to offer without going into bankruptcy, and the best part is, you often give back directly to the community! The best way to ensure that you can save while enjoying the marine life and sandbanks is to book excursions like snorkeling, diving, surfing and fishing trips through your local guesthouse. These excursions are usually half the price of the very same excursions sold at resorts.

Most guesthouses will also arrange fishing trips (around RM210 per person), or day trips to the resorts (around RM210 per person plus a RM120 per person entrance fee). You can also take trips to sandbanks (around RM110 per person) and go island hopping around the atoll (around RM210 per person).


How to get around the Maldives on a budget

Remember, Maldives is an archipelago of islands. Usually, you’ll fly into the airport in Male and then you’ll need to fly or take a boat to wherever you’re staying. For budget travelers, seaplanes are definitely out of the question as they can cost around US$500 (around RM2100) for a 30-minute trip and it’s usually used to transfer guests to private island resorts. A longer ferry journey is your best alternative to save a lot of coin.

Local ferries depart from Male and cost US$2 (around RM9) per trip. Each ferry has a set arrival and departure time, and typically runs every other day to the main island of each atoll. Do note that the ferries don’t run on Fridays. Your selected guesthouse may be able to assist you on the ferry’s schedule, so just ask!

While the ferries are cheap, they don’t run regularly and a one-way journey could take up to three hours. If you can’t wait to start your island vacation, have your guesthouse arrange for a speedboat. A one-way journey costs US$40 (around RM170) and saves you time.


How to save money on food

When you’re not booking for an all-inclusive package, you can save on food while vacationing in the Maldives. If you’re staying at a guesthouse on a local island, the guesthouse usually offers affordable lunches and dinners around US$10 to US$15 (around RM42 to RM63). There are also local cafes and restaurants that you can go to and they mostly serve traditional Maldivian cuisine consisting of fish, curry, coconut and rice. Do note that pork and alcohol are a no-no on the islands!

Now here’s the best part of the article — how to win an all-expenses paid trip to the Maldives! Because why pay when you can win, right? Join our #TVLKxSIA contest because the turquoise waters of Maldives is waiting!


How to win an all-expenses paid trip to the Maldives with Traveloka

Here’s how you can stand a chance to win a trip to the Maldives for free. Follow these simple steps to participate:

  1. Step 1: Book and fly a Singapore Airlines flight via Traveloka App/mobile web/Web to any destination from Singapore from now to 31 January 2020.
  2. Travel within the time frame and you’ll be automatically eligible for the contest sweepstakes.
  3. Step 2: Like our Traveloka Singapore’s Facebook page.
  4. Step 3: Stay up to date with us as the lucky winner will be announced on our Facebook page.
  5. Contestants must be an individual who resides in Singapore and above 18 years old and must possess a valid passport.

*Grand Prize

  • An all-expenses paid return trip to Maldives for two people with Singapore Airlines!
  • Plus a SGD1,200 coupon code with no minimum purchase in one booking ID.

ONE winner will be chosen on 5 February 2020


If you’re a blogger, here’s how you can win an additional SGD100 Traveloka Voucher:

Book a Singapore Airlines flight via Traveloka App/Web to any destination from Singapore.

  1. Write an article about what excites you about Maldives.
  2. Include a section mentioning this contest and include these in your article for your friends and readers to check out:…/flig…/airline/singapore-airlines

  1. Submit the blog post link to us via email.
  2. Make sure to fill up the registration form:
  3. The first EIGHT bloggers monthly (from the start of the contest period) to submit their links to us will win SGD100 Traveloka Vouchers! The winners will be announced on our Facebook page.
  4. The article should be an original work of the blogger and not a plagiarized content from other sites. The authenticity of the article will be analysed by the organizer and should the piece be deemed as plagiarized, the entry will be automatically disqualified.


1) The participant has participated in the Book & Fly Social Media Contest.

2) The participant is a resident in Singapore throughout the period of the contest.

3) The participant has an existing blog site operating for the past one year.

How to participate?

1) The participant books their travel ticket with Singapore Airlines with a travel period of up to January 2020.

2) The participant writes a blog post on their blog site, publishes it and shares it with their friends and family in their social media platforms.

3) The participant will fill up the required registration form where they will submit their live link to the published post.

4) The first 8 participants to submit their admission form will be contacted via email from the organizer together with the winning prize of SGD100 Traveloka travel voucher each month.

Blog post requirements:

1) The subject of the article can be about what you’re excited about if you get to go to Maldives with Traveloka and Singapore Airlines. It can be a wishlist article or what you want to look forward to if you are the winner.

3) Do include Traveloka Malaysia website ( & contest page url ( so that your readers and friends can checkout the contest details too!

Each winner is entitled to one coupon.

This coupon code should be able to cover the cost for 2 person.

The reward is locked to only Maldives destination using SQ airlines.

The reward is tied to the user’s email address.


T&C of Reward for the Contest:

  1. 1 x all-expenses paid Singapore Airlines return trip to Maldives – SGD1,200 coupon code with no minimum purchase in one booking ID.
  2. Valid for reservations through Traveloka App minimum version 2.15.0 (Android/iOS).
  3. Only valid for a one-time use during the promo period.
  4. Valid only for Maldives destination.
  5. Discount coupon is only valid for Singapore Airlines flight.
  6. Valid for all payment methods.
  7. Booking period: 01 February 2020 to 30 June 2020
  8. Travel period: Anytime
  9. This promo cannot be combined with other promo.
  10. Traveloka reserves the right to change the terms and conditions without prior notice.


For more information, visit Traveloka Singapore Facebook page.


Ready for your tropical island vacation? Map out your adventure with Traveloka and save even more. Check out our Flights, Hotels and Xperience deals to inspire your Maldivian holiday!


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