Maldives on a Budget

I have a confession to make (since most of my timeline feed shows friends on vacation in different parts of the world and I’m sitting here working {or at least partially working lol kidding boss}): I am still not over our trip to Maldives. We traveled to Maldives in 2013. Yes, 2013. Di maka-move on teh? It’s 2015 now and I’ve been to Sri Lanka and Turkey and yet, I still find myself reminisching Maldives. Not that I didn’t like Sri Lanka and Turkey. I LOVE THEM TOO. But Maldives is really a different paradise in its own. It’s a dream of a place. No other beach in the world is like it. No other place in the world will make you forget the reality of work than Maldives. It’s truly an escape. I wish to go to Maldives again but I’m broke. “I’m broke.” The excuse which most acquaintances say is the reason why they can’t go to Maldives. They want to but can’t because it’s too expensive. I looked back in out trip and yeah, 8,000 SAR is expensive for regular hardworking (eherm) employees like us. An amount like that would push back other would-be Maldives traveler. But then I figured, “hey, it’s not always expensive to travel to Maldives!”

My friends Aileen and Aileen (yes, they have the same awesome name and awesome personalities too) were on a pickle on where to go during their one week vacation last August. They were really bent on going to Turkey or Greece but they lacked the time to go to the embassies and apply for a tourist visa. Their leave days are looming ahead. That’s when I blurted out, ‘Go to Maldives!’ They don’t need to to any embassy, they don’t need to pack that much, and it’s just a few hours away! It’s the best, logical country to go for a quick vacation. But they worried about the expenses. My OC traveler self volunteered to check out flights and resorts for them. (Ako pa yata ang mas excited haha!)

A little over 4,000 SAR per person. That’s what the overall cost of their trip was. Mind blown! Minus all the other items like resort activities and wifi, it just amounted to half of what we originally spent in 2013. Here’s what went on their trip:

Traveling has its perks.

Traveling has its perks.

FLIGHT: Fly Dubai has the most affordable flight to Maldives. They offer different timings and if you’re lucky to make sense of it, you’ll get a short stop-over in the Dubai Airport. The Riyadh to Dubai flight is around 2 hours. In our trip before, our stopover was 6 hours. Because we were a group, waiting wasn’t a big deal. But if you’re weary of too much waiting, then you can get schedules that only have 2-3 hours waiting period at the most.

The flight of Riyadh-Dubai-Male was SR 957 while the return flight is SR 1,001. My friends opted not to have check-in luggage so they saved around SR 500 from that. The Economy Pay To Change fare lets them hand carry a luggage of 7 kilos each. That’s enough luggage for swimsuits and coverups right? I suggest you do the same especially since you’re going to an island resort anyway. Travel light!

The islands of Maldives <3

The islands of Maldives <3

The islands of Maldives <3

The Maldives Airport, I finally see it in daylight (even if it's just in a photo). Haha!

The Maldives Airport, I finally see it in daylight (even if it’s just in a photo). Haha!

RESORT: Before, we used a travel agency that gave us a resort that will address our needs and wants at a certain budget. This time, we checked out Booking.com for my friends’ trip. It didn’t disappoint because we found an all-inclusive resort that is within budget. At SR 3,000 for 2 persons for four days and three nights, it’s worth it.

The home away from our second home

The home away from our second home

Adaaran Club Rannalhi is part of the Adaaran Hotels and Resorts that sits exclusively at the tip of the South Male Atoll. It has a fair share of good reviews. Like most of the resorts in Maldives, it boasts of spectacular views and crystal clear waters. They offer a wide range of activities and special accommodations. SR 3,000 will give you a standard room for two that has unhindered views of the verdant gardens or the tranquil ocean. Their standard rooms are in a duplex style building which has 4 rooms: 2 upstairs and 2 downstairs which has their own separate entrances. Why am I even typing when I can just show you the pictures of the place:

Welcome to the Adaraan Rannalhi Resort!

Welcome to the Adaraan Rannalhi Resort!

What an escape from the work life yes?

What an escape from the work life yes?

Just looking at this photo relaxes me.

Just looking at this photo relaxes me.

The club huts of the resort

The club huts of the resort

The speed boat transfer costs USD 145 (approx. SR 543.75). Remember when I wrote about our Planning for Maldives entry I mentioned that one of the expensive items in our list was the sea plane transfer to our resort before, Medhufushi. If you’re on a budget then a speed boat transfer is not all that bad. You won’t see the sea from above but you saved bucks which you can use for booze in the bar or snorkeling in the resort or souvenirs for families and friends.

Inside the speed boat that picked them up from the airport.

Inside the speed boat that picked them up from the airport.

The round trip transfer care of the Club's speed boat. Arrived at the resort.

The round trip transfer care of the Club’s speed boat. Arrived at the resort.

My friends stayed at the resort’s Standard Double room. It has the amenities of the usual resort room including a mini bar, cable tv (which you won’t probably using anyway), safety deposit box, bathroom, toiletries, balcony, AC, and a beach and garden view. This is cheaper than the room we had at Medhufushi because it’s not a water villa, meaning it’s not standing on the water, but it has the same access to the beach anyway. A few steps and you’re in your own spot for swimming. Meals and selected beverages are included. Yup, ALL MEALS. At the rate of SR 2,719 at the time of booking, the 12% VAT is excluded. All in all, they paid USD 811.94 (approx. SR 3,044.77) for two persons. (All budget computations below.)

The Beach Villas

The Beach Villas

The door to the duplex's room

The door to the duplex’s room

View from the bedroom

View from the bedroom

The beach in front of the duplex, their own spot of bliss

The beach in front of the duplex, their own spot of bliss

The water villas of Adaraan Rannalhi

The water villas of Adaraan Rannalhi

Like most island resorts in Maldives, Adaaran Club Rannalhi has its offerings of various services and amenities.

Breakfast time!

Breakfast time!

The restaurant's dinign area

The restaurant’s dining area

So many eating spots to choose from. Breakfast is best enjoyed outdoors!

So many eating spots to choose from. Breakfast is best enjoyed outdoors!

Can you picture yourself chillaxing here?

Can you picture yourself chillaxing here?

Going on a snorkeling expedition

Going on a snorkeling expedition

Island hopping in these boats? YES!!!

Island hopping in these boats? YES!!!

A night of lights in the shore

A night of lights in the shore

You’ll have to pay for add-on activities like a half-day excursion to a local village ($56 per person), Male city tour ($115 per person), snorkeling ($68), or spa treatments ($45 up). But you know, since you’ll be in a budget then there’s no need to sign up for these as you won’t be missing a lot anyways. Except for the snorkeling probably which will let you see the underwater marine life of Maldives. There are just so many things and scenes to admire in Maldives without having to pay extra! Lounging in the beach, chillaxing in the pool, daydreaming, taking photos (LOTS of them), and moongazing…

Gazing at the sunset in this spot? PLEASE!

Gazing at the sunset in this spot? PLEASE!

The Maldives sun is beginning to set lending a glorious glow to these bungalows.

The Maldives sun is beginning to set lending a glorious glow to these bungalows.

Walk in the sand and leave footprints!

Walk in the sand and leave footprints!

Maldives in truly the sunny side of life.

Maldives in truly the sunny side of life.

Enjoy the sunset in this very peaceful place

Enjoy the sunset in this very peaceful place

My friends truly enjoyed their stay here! Maldives is really a paradise and it’s worth the effort, time, and money. You don’t have to splurge on a Maldives holiday just to enjoy what it offers. As you saw and read in this post, you don’t have to shell more than SR 5000 to go and enjoy Maldives. There are more ways to cut back on expenditures like staying in hostels near the airport or in Male but I think that since you’re going to Maldives anyway, it’s just right to go to a proper resort that will take you out of the busy city life. There are so many affordable resorts to choose from and you don’t even have to go through a travel agency to make a trip to the Maldives happen. The island life has its perks!

So to recap, here are the expenses:

Flight to Maldives via Fly Dubai: SR 2,016.00 per person
Resort Stay (4 days/ 3 nights; all inclusive package): SR 1,522.40 per person
Transfer Fee via Speedboat: SR 543.75 per person
TOTAL: SR 4,082.15

A little over SR 4,000! I say that’s a good deal! Add around SR 1,000 for pocket money (just in case you want to sign up for water activities and excursions and buy souvenirs). I say, not bad! Considering before that we paid SR 4,000 just for our water villas in Medhufushi! Haha! But that was a great experience too! So it’s just up to you, your preference and your budget and you can get the holiday that you want.

Live life on the sunny side! 😉

P.S. I would like to thank my friends Aileen Jessica Fernandez and Aileen Caisip for lending me their photos and experience. I’m happy that you took this trip! Love you, girls! <3

Thank you to the AIleens of my life. <3

Thank you to the AIleens of my life. <3

Featured Maldives Outside KSA Travel

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Janelle
Janelle

The Editor-in-Chief speaks 7 languages: Filipino, English, Wit, Sarcasm, Truth, Creativity, and The Pink Tarha.

1 Comment

  1. Wow! Thanks for all the info. Maldives is on my bucket list 😍

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