Low budget maldives with kids: mini travel guide!
The Maldives is known worldwide for its tremendously beautiful beaches and beautiful cottages on stilts, where the rich of the world vacation. Yet a vacation to the Maldives with your kids doesn’t have to be expensive at all. Indeed, you can easily enjoy the world’s most beautiful beaches with your family for a few dollars a day. Here is a little mini guide to this country, following our own trip with our four-year-old daughter.
Table of contents
low budget maldives with kids: the flight
For less than 600 euros you can book a ticket from Amsterdam to the Maldives, but you have to make a stopover. Most families with kids combine the Maldives with a trip to Sri Lanka.
We also traveled through Sri Lanka first and then flew on to the Maldives for a week’s beach vacation. For 200 euros, you have a return flight from Colombo to the capital of the Maldives Malé.
low budget maldives with kids: Arrival airport Malé
From the airport, you will have to take a ferry from the airport (which is on a separate island) to the island of Malé. This ferry leaves every 20 minutes and you can buy tickets for it at the airport exit.
From Malé Island, boats leave for the other islands. You may arrive late with your family at Malé airport and have to spend the night on this island the first night. It is difficult to find a budget hotel on this island, though, so if you can factor in your flight times, make sure you land in the Maldives in the morning.
We spent the first night at the
Jen Malé hotel,
where we were even picked up from the airport by a private motorboat like real VIPS and where everything was arranged to perfection. The next day they dropped us off exactly at the point where the motorboats left for our next island, Maafushi, which did have many budget hotels. For more information about these motorboats click
low budget maldives with kids: Transportation to the island of Maafushi
Maafushi is the island where most budget travelers/backpackers go when they visit the Maldives. You have two options to reach this island. You have two different options:
- By ferry. This is the cheapest option. You have to take a cab in Malé to the Villingili Ferry Terminal on the other side of the island, and from there a ferry leaves once or twice a day for the island of Maafushi. The price is about 2 euros per person. The ferry departs 2x daily on Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday at 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Saturdays, the ferry only goes once a day at 3 p.m. There are no ferries from Malé on Fridays.
- By motorboat. The easiest but more expensive option is by motorboat. We went for this option. The company providing the crossing is iCom. This speedboat is almost three times faster than the ferry and it takes you from Malé port to Maafushi in about 40 minutes. The cost is about 20 euros per person, where we did not have to pay for our 4-year-old daughter.
low budget maldives with kids: where to stay on Maafushi?
On Maafushi, make sure you have booked a hotel with your family in advance so that the people at the port will come and pick you up with a special cart for your suitcases, so you don’t have to drag these suitcases all over the island to your accommodation.
Hotel prices here for a family with a kid start as low as 44 euros per night (
) and the average price for a hotel room here is around 70 to 80 euros per night. The four star hotel
Kaani Grand Seaview
is on Bikini Beach and there you pay 93 euros per night for a four-bed room with balcony and full breakfast. If you like booking a hotel with a pool then the
Kaani Village & Spa
is an option, where you pay 84 euros for a night’s stay including breakfast.
low budget maldives with kids: maafushi island
The island of Maafushi is 1.2 kilometers long and 250 meters wide, so you can walk around the island in an hour (keep in mind that some parts are not well maintained and there is a huge amount of trash in these places). On the island you have plenty of restaurants and agencies where you can book tours to other bounty islands, making this island a great base to explore the rest of the Maldives.
Keep in mind that the Maldives is an Islamic country, so alcohol is not served on this island (when you go on an excursion, you can get alcoholic drinks).
Tip: You can withdraw at a bank on Maafushi, but make sure you withdraw some money in advance on the island of Malé so you don’t have to depend on the one bank there is on Maafushi. We saw several people here who still could not withdraw money with the bank card they carried.
low budget maldives with kids: Maafushi beach
There are two small beaches (called Bikini beach) with super white sand and clear water, where you can walk dozens of meters into the sea and still only be up to your knees in the water. In addition, the water temperature is great (we were there in April), making the beach ideal for kids.
There are virtually no waves, so you can spend hours bathing in the water with your kids. In addition, there are different fish swimming around, so you can snorkel in the sea with your kids. There is also a swing on a tree on the beach by the sea, which the kids (as well as adults) find it immensely fun to swing on and it gives beautiful pictures of your kids with the blue, clear sea in the background.
low budget maldives with kids: Where to eat on Maafushi
Furthermore, there are plenty of stores where you can buy fruit, food and sweets on the island, allowing you to have a fairly low budget lunch on the beach with the family. For dinner, you have some fine restaurants on the shore where the boat from Malé also arrives on the beach.
The restaurant (we forgot the name, if they even had one) close to the iCom office, where a number of parrots sit on a stick on the terrace (you can’t miss the restaurant), is a restaurant where you can eat for not too much money. For example, we paid 5 euros for a pizza and 4 euros for a club sandwich. Thus, in the evening we could eat outside overlooking the sea and our daughter found it very interesting to watch the parrots present on the terrace after her dinner.
low budget maldives with kids: Island Excursions
From Maafushi, you can book various excursions to other parts of the Maldives. If you want, you can visit a different bounty island of the Maldives every day and that will ensure that you see multiple islands of the Maldives instead of staying in the same location for a week. They also have the most beautiful underwater world in all of Asia, so be sure to explore the tropical fish and beautiful coral with a tour.
So all in all, you can really have a bounty island experience without paying top dollar. We ended up not spending much more than the rest of our trip through Sri Lanka. So if you want to go to a super white tropical beach with your kids, we can definitely recommend the Maldives.
low budget maldives with kids: Still staying in luxury?
Of course, you can also choose to have everything taken off your hands and do go to a resort in the Maldives instead of going to the island of Maafushi on your own, but then the cost will be a lot higher.
At most of these resorts, a seaplane takes you directly from the airport to your private island. Relatively inexpensive options on private islands may then include the
Fun Island Resort & Spa
, where from 128 euros you can have a room with your family including breakfast and dinner.
The five star hotel
Furaveri Island Resort & Spa
starts from 160 euros per night for a garden villa including breakfast, and here you can also book the famous villas on stilts in the water.
And if you really want to spend like a VIP with your family in the Maldives you can check out the water villas at
Emerald Maldives Resort & Spa
, where you can book a water villa for 1160 euros per night with your family, with food and drinks included in the price.
In short, there are plenty of options for every budget to have an unforgettable vacation with your family.