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The Maldives is no longer an exclusive vacation playground reserved only for the rich and famous. There has never been a better time than now to plan your own dream vacation to the beautiful Maldives.

The Maldives is a quick destination to add to many travelers' vacation wish lists, it is also a tropical nation in the Indian Ocean southwest of India and Sri Lanka. It is made up of more than 26 coral reef atolls, some of which are islands where the local population lives and others (around 100) are private islands, many of them with 4 and 5 stars that cost a penny and others much more affordable.

The Maldives is made up of over 1000 islands - sandbars, private resorts and local islands inhabited by local people. In addition to all the luxury resorts, there are also over 400 villas spread across the Maldives, designed to suit budget travelers.

The government recently relaxed its rules restricting tourism to only resorts on uninhabited islands, meaning there are now guest houses popping up on local islands that cost much less than private island resorts. Think bed-and-breakfast style accommodation and facilities or mini-hotels, located on locally inhabited islands. If you want to experience the real, authentic Maldives, consider traveling this route.

The way we found to get to know the Maldives was through a R$300 flight from Colombo in Sri Lanka to the capital Malé in the Maldives, getting there we took a $30 boat (whereas the boat from our hotel was $150), and at the hotel we the daily rate was R$3600.00, we waited for Black Friday in Nov, we searched for an incredible R$2000.00 and as the bungalow had 2 bedrooms, 1 living room, a balcony, we found someone to share the second bedroom, that is, it was for we R$1000.00 per day with full meals.

Before you travel: you didn't forget about travel insurance, right?

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The hotel chosen was Cinnamon Dhonveli Maldives , which has cheaper bungalow options and also rooms on the sandbank, but as we didn't know if we would have the opportunity to return to this paradise, we decided to have the maximum experience, as was the case in Iceland and in others around the world.

We raised the drone several times to ensure sensational photos and videos of this paradise on earth. The hotel itself is the best we've ever stayed at in our entire lives, it has cuisine from different countries and has a SPA for massages and treatments, as well as several sports options for rental.

Each local island in the Maldives is very different. Do a little research to find the island and guest house that best suits your Maldives holiday needs, some like the beach with their coconuts in hand whilst others like to be a little more adventurous and try the likes of JetSki, surfing or diving .

When to visit?

Low season is May to October, and you can often find cheaper deals - although it is also the monsoon/rainy season. If you're looking to do the Maldives on the cheap, consider visiting outside of high season for much better deals.

We were there in the first half of March and it was a surreal experience.

Also remember that not all private resorts on the island cost a fortune per night; there are plenty of more local, cheaper or even family-friendly resorts that don't cost much. Resorts have cheaper rooms, for example. garden view rooms that are an affordable alternative to the iconic overwater villas, our top tip is to combine the two - it's something I make sure all my friends do when they visit me in the Maldives.

How to get around the Maldives?

Super obvious, but remember that the Maldives is made up of islands. This means that to get from the airport in Male to wherever you are, you need to fly or take a boat, always try to choose the boat option with the locals, which will cost you $10 to $30, instead of the $100 charged by hotels .

Before arriving in the Maldives, be sure to organize a speedboat transfer via your guesthouse to the island where you are vacationing. Remember, all speedboats must be pre-arranged as there are no public speedboat services from the airport. Each lodge will have its own private speedboat or transfer guests via a public speedboat on the island. The public speedboats are much cheaper and only leave the guest islands at certain times each day, but we organized ourselves to prospect with the public speedboats. Local ferries depart from Malé and cost US$2 for a slower journey. Each public ferry has set arrival and departure times, and typically only makes one return trip each day. Unfortunately this is not something that can be easily Googled. Your selected guesthouse may be able to advise you on this, just ask.

Seaplanes are generally out of the question for travelers on a budget. Trips can cost around $500 for a thirty-minute trip and mostly transfer guests to private resort islands. A longer speedboat trip is your best alternative to seaplane transfers and could save you a little (or a lot!) of coin.

One of the things I love most about a guesthouse stay is that it comes with the added bonus of an authentic, culture-rich vacation that would be quite difficult to experience on a private island.

Connect with local people and explore what life is like in the Maldives. Try traditional Maldivian dishes like mas huni and mas roshi , and learn some of the local language, Dhivehi.

It is also very important to note that the Maldives is a Sunni Muslim country. Travelers must respect the Maldivian people and their culture. This means no alcohol or bikinis on the local islands (unless there is a designated tourist beach).

There is a total alcohol restriction on all local islands, so take a day trip to a nearby resort or hop on a safari boat to enjoy your favorite holiday cocktail.

Have you ever been to the Maldives? Did you know that you can easily travel there on a budget and it's not just for luxury honeymoons? Is it on your list now? Share!

Are you planning to travel? Organize your trip with us and see our discounts and tips

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