January 25th, 2018
The cost of travel has changed over the years. No longer do you need a 2nd mortgage or a lottery win to visit some amazing places around the world. With the growing competition of airlines, flying has become a lot more affordable even with some of the most popular airlines.
About three years ago I was approached by one of my great friends who I met when working in the Maldives at the luxury resort One and Only Reethi Rah. He explained that in 2009 the government had changed the laws to allow tourists to visit the local islands in the Maldives. With this came beautiful luxury guest houses built and owned by local families along with quaint boutique hotels. Many of these places were offering bed and breakfast rate for under $100USD for 2 people. I can’t even stay in a hotel in Cork, Ireland for that price. So I was excited at the prospect of being able to visit one of my favourite countries and be able to afford it with the whole family. Flight prices were not crazy when I kept an eye on sky scanner and managed to get 3 return flights for 2 adults and 1 child for about €2,000.
Once we arrived in the Maldives just like the luxury resorts we were greeted by an airport host who assist us with the transfer from the airport to the local island where we were staying.
If you go at low season which is from April to October you can enjoy accommodation in some local guest houses for as little as $50 a night. Now many people would be sceptical at staying somewhere so cheap but you have to understand it’s all relative – the over heads on a local island are not like in the western countries or on the fancy resorts in the Maldives; therefore they can offer wonderfully presented accommodation at a fraction of the price.
The islands are beautiful with specially facilitated beaches called ‘bikini beach’ where western guests can wear their swimsuits, sun bathe, swim and even enjoy water sports and snorkelling. At many guest houses you can hire a push bike to see the island in its full beauty. You also have a full list of excursions from sand bank trips, snorkelling, boat trips, dolphin cruises, island hopping, fishing and even diving.
Many guest houses offer a full board option with delicious local Maldivian cuisine offered. If you like to venture out, you can enjoy the local cafes for a bite to eat or organise a BBQ or a romantic dinner on the beach.
Alcohol is not permitted on the islands and with the soaring temperatures you really don’t miss it. But if you do want a glass of wine or beer, your guest house host can organise a trip to one of the resorts or safari boats where alcohol is served.
Why is it so important to get the word out about visiting the local guest houses in the Maldives?
Well 15 years ago when I worked there it cost around $10,000 per night to visit the Maldives on the island where I worked; and there are many still at that price. But visiting the local islands is not only an amazing experience with the white sandy beaches, local culture and crystal clear waters but you are also investing into eco tourism! Eco tourism ensures that local communities are benefiting from the 1.4 million tourists visiting the Maldives in 2016 and that some of the revenue is put back into the local communities either by using local businesses, local employment.
So visit www.gotothemaldives.com and start searching for your affordable dream vacation in the Maldives.
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