The Maldives, cheaper than you think…

We’ve gotten a few detailed questions about our trip to the Maldives and how much it actually costs so I thought I’d lay out a few specifics here.  We are committed to taking 3 great trips a year to counterbalance other areas of our lives, namely our busy businesses and like many of you, we pay careful attention to making sure our dollars go as far as possible.

First, the flight.  We primarily use American Express and United Chase cards to accumulate points so that we can fly business class international.  It takes some research to get good at playing the point game, but once you do, it can really add up.  I can’t remember the last time we paid cash for a ticket overseas.  In this particular case I used 235,000 AMEX points and transferred them to Emirates frequent flyer program to book two round-trip business class tickets from DC to Male in the Maldives through Dubai.  Business class on Emirates A380 from DC to Dubai is amazing! The bar in the back is something special and every item of food they served was A+!  This was worth every point.  The flight from Dubai to Male was not in an A380, but it was very nice as well.  The ticket also includes chauffeur service to and from the airport and the hotel in Dubai.

If you pay cash and book in economy class, the flight will run you about $1,500 from DC and NYC through to Male most of the year.  Business class in cash is almost $9,000.  First class is an eye-popping $14,000 per person round trip.  But you get an onboard shower for that!

Our resort in the Maldives was the Centara Grand.  It’s considered a mid-range resort.  We paid $580 per night which is more than we normally pay, though in this case it included the transfers to and from Male the capital which receives the international flights. Our transport on the way back was by seaplane which was a huge treat.  The price was also inclusive of all meals and drinks (except room service) and excursions.  To us, that was a great value.

If that doesn’t quite fit your budget you can also stay in local guest houses for under $100 per night.  Here is a guest house called Ariston Dhangethi Inn we walked by that looks nice.  And this one, Banyan Villa, a bit more rustic, but doable.

Bottom line, while yes the Maldives is one of the most expensive places in the world, it doesn’t have to be.  It’s worth the trip on any budget.