Traveling the Maldives is an excellent experience that everyone would enjoy. Unless you and a significant other are traveling for a honeymoon with a large budget, the Maldives can be a difficult place to visit.
Although this country of islands isn’t typically considered a budget travel destination, it is possible to travel here without spending a lot of money. It is important to be aware of customs and rules as a budget trip in the Maldives will take you to more local areas and away from the five-star resorts.
The Maldives is ruled under Sharia Law
Many travelers don’t realize that the Maldives is a strict Muslim country that is ruled under Sharia Law. This code of conduct has a significant impact on everyday life for locals and visitors alike. For example, alcohol is banned in a majority of locations in the Maldives. Only a few resorts are exempt from this rule. Women will also be required to dress more modest than typical beachwear. Ramadan is also an important religious time period where restaurants and street vendors will be closed to respect the fasting period. Planning around this time period will be an important part of traveling on a budget.
Respecting the local dress code
There is a dress code in the Maldives that is especially important in areas away from the expensive resorts. Women are required to cover their shoulders and knees. These rules even extend to the beach and ocean. Wearing a sorang is a great way to stay cool in the warm weather while also respecting these rules. Men should also wear a t-shirt most of the time.
Are there any tourist beaches?
Fortunately, there are some designated tourist beaches where visitors have some wiggle room in regards to the local dress code. It is okay for women to wear a bikini here when swimming in the water. This shouldn’t be overdone, however, unless visitors don’t mind getting occasional stares from locals. Tourist beaches are typically well-kept and even designated with fences.
The best time of year to visit
The Maldives experiences a wet and dry season. Even though the weather is fairly moderate throughout the year, the islands are most popular during the dry season. The sun is stronger during these months and rain is less likely. However, those travelers on a budget may want to avoid the most popular travel times. From December to February, the islands will be bustling with tourists and prices will be higher as a result. Visiting in the off-season is a great way to find cheaper accommodations and ticket prices.
What to take on a trip to the Maldives
Budget travelers will be happy to know that it is possible to pack light for a trip to the Maldives. Because of the warm weather, visitors only need a few outfits. There are a few extra items that should be packed because of the higher prices on the islands.
- Mosquito Spray
- Beach Towel
- Light Rain Jacket
- Snorkeling Goggles
- Loose Clothing
Maldivian cuisine is super healthy, but it doesn’t have much variety. Travelers will be eating a lot of seafood, rice, and vegetables. Vegans, vegetarians and people with food allergies may need to request special meals ahead of time. Although the meal prices are higher on the islands, the cuisine is still in the affordable range because of the basic ingredients.
The Maldives is one of the easiest countries to enter for nationals from across the world. A vast majority of countries are eligible to receive a free visa upon arrival. Visitors simply need to show proof of onward travel such as a return flight or ferry off of the islands.
Cell Phone Reception
Many travelers wrongly assume that the connection in the Maldives is poor or non-existent. In reality, there is great coverage throughout the islands. The cost of a local SIM card is also great for travelers on a budget. Of course, those visitors who want to disconnect for a while can easily forgo this purchase.
The Maldives doesn’t have to be an expensive destination. Although the average price for food and accommodation may be higher than in other countries, there are some ways in which to make the trip more affordable. These tips can help get you started in the right direction.