The Maldives is associated with luxurious and very expensive vacations by many, but that’s not entirely true. You can have a holiday in the Maldives even cheaper than in Turkey or Thailand. I will tell you everything about the Maldives travel cost for couple. I will provide prices for tour packages and for independent travelers and break down all expenses to give you the most complete picture.

It will be difficult for you to plan your dream trip to Maldives without these websites

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Flight tickets

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eSIM internet

maldives top hotels

Maldives travel cost: general information

Let me start with some general information for those who are just starting to learn about trip to the Maldives and know little about vacationing on these paradise islands.

  • The Maldives is a country consisting of 1200 islands.
  • One of the largest islands in the country, where the capital city Male is located, is only 2 by 3km in size. However, Male is not a tourist resort. The vast majority of tourist islands are much smaller.
  • Of these 1200 islands, only a little over 300 are inhabited.
  • Half of the 300 islands are called local islands: the local population lives there, there are schools, hospitals, shops, hotels, and guesthouses for tourists.
  • The other half are private, exclusive resort islands where locals do not live, but only work at the hotel. Typically, one resort island equals one hotel. You can only get to such an island by purchasing a package tour. Public transportation does not go to these islands; you need to order only private transfers.
  • For more details on local islands and resort islands, please see the article linked below.
Maldives travel cost
This is what almost any island resort looks like.

Without getting into nuances and subtleties, there are two diametrically opposed types of vacations in terms of price on the Maldives:

  • A package tour to a resort on its own island. This is the type of vacation you’ve always heard about. And this created the stereotype that the Maldives is an expensive and luxurious destination.
  • Independent travel to local islands. You buy tickets, find guesthouse and book it, arrange transfer between islands, and meal in cafes on the local island is also your responsibility, there are no all-inclusive packages here :). And believe me, this option is possible, as it is many times cheaper, and I’m not kidding when I say many times.

It’s important to know:

Paradise beaches, warm turquoise ocean, palm trees, manta rays, and turtles at the shore – all of this can be found on both local islands and resorts. There is no difference in the scenery or the diversity of the underwater world.

Travel cost to the Maldives for couple: price of tour package

There are a lot of nuances involved in choosing and buying a package tour, especially for those who want to save money. Let me explain:

  • The standard cost of a tour package for couple to a good all-inclusive island resort for 8-10 days starts at from $4000 and up to infinity).

If you’re willing to pay that kind of money, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from. And you won’t have to worry about the details – for that price, you’ll have your own villa, excellent food, unlimited alcohol, and a good and fast transfer from Male airport to the hotel. Here are two useful articles:

how much does a vacation to the maldives cost
Travel cost to the Maldives for couple at such resorts on the islands is over $5,000 for 10 days.

However, difficulties arise if you want to find a cheap package tours to the Maldives. There are many pitfalls and it’s easy to spoil your vacation, or at least tarnish it. You can find more details about this in the article: “Tours to the Maldives: What you need to know when looking for a package


Tour operators also offer package tours to local islands with 1-2-3 star hotels. Such tours to Maldives cost around $2000-$3000 for two, including only breakfast for 7-10 days.

Always check what kind of hotel you’re getting and where it’s located. Here are a few tips to help you:

  • If the hotel name includes the word “Resort,” then it’s a private island, which is what you’re looking for.
  • Hotels on resort islands are 4 and 5 stars, and occasionally 3 stars. Anything less than that is definitely not a resort.
  • Food and drinks are included only in tours to resort islands, and alcohol is prohibited on local islands by law.

Here are two useful articles on this topic:

travel to maldives cost
And how much does it cost to stay on a local island in a 2-star hotel? The answer is in the article, but it’s 2-3-4 times cheaper than resorts.

Main advice:

I recommend tour packages only to tourists who plan to fly to a resort island with all-inclusive amenities in a good 4-star hotel or higher. If you’re looking for a budget vacation on a local island, it’s cheaper to organize it yourself rather than buying a tour. And the budget for a vacation for two will be under $3,000.

How much money do independent tourists need for a turnkey trip to the Maldives?

And now we come to the most interesting part of the article: the cost for a ten-day turnkey vacation for couple on a local island.

All prices will be the most standard on the market, which means there is room for saving and it is possible to relax even more affordably. However, those who want to spend more will find plenty of options to do so.

An breakdown of costs for budget travel or how much a trip to the Maldives costs.

  • Tickets from any European city to Maldives: let’s say – $750 round-trip. If you can wait, have a wide range of departure dates, and always have money on your card, you can snag a juicy deal for $500. But the standard price today is $750 per person for a flight with one layover since direct flight costs over $1000.
  • Visa on arrival in Male is free. Everything about entry rules, insurance, customs, passport requirements.
  • Cheap public ferries run between local islands. If you choose the right island for your vacation, you’ll spend $10-15 for two people round-trip between Male and your island. But if you don’t plan your trip around the ferry schedule, you’ll end up paying $100-200 for a speedboat round-trip for two.
breakdown of costs for budget travel to maldives
We saw this beautiful manta ray just 100 meters from the beach on Thoddoo Island.
  • Accommodation. The main type of lodging for tourists on local islands are guesthouses. In short, you will have a comfortable hotel-style room with air conditioning and a private bathroom. The standard price range is $50-100 per night. We sometimes find good options for as low as $30, but usually stay in places for $50-60.
    • Where and how to search for accommodation in the Maldives and everything about the room inventory.
    • Total: $600 for 10 days for lodging without any major issues. You won’t have a private villa or a pool, but you also won’t pay $400-500-600 per night like on a resort island.
  • Food and meals. Almost always, all guesthouses include a free breakfast in the price of the stay, which is great. Lunch, dinner, and snacks are your problem. I’ll say this: today, there are many restaurants and cafes on local islands. Prices vary widely, but they are definitely not high and are five times cheaper than at a resort restaurant. A typical dinner with a large grilled fish for two of us costs $20-25.
    • Total: snacks on the beach during the day, juices and fruits, ice cream throughout the day, a full dinner at a restaurant for about $40 for two people per day or $400 for 10 days. And there’s room for saving here too.
    • A comprehensive article about national cuisine and restaurants in the Maldives: everything about menus, tipping, and what to taste.
package to maldives cost
A dinner for one person costs around $10-15 on a local island. The weight of the fish is about 700 grams, which is enough for two people.
  • Excursions such as shark feeding, swimming with manta rays, and snorkeling with turtles have varying prices that depend on the island and how far the reef is located. Some islands have manta rays and sharks that swim freely, while others require purchasing an excursion. The best islands for these activities are Dhigurah, Thoddoo, and Rasdhoo.
maldives tour price for two
If you choose the right island, most of the marine life can be seen for free at the house reef, without having to purchase an excursion. The photo shows Rasdhoo Island, where nurse sharks swim into the port every evening.
  • Souvenirs such as a couple of magnets, Bondi sweets, and a manta wooden figures will cost an additional $50. You can also bring home other gifts, depending on your preference and budget.
  • We’ll add an extra $100 for miscellaneous expenses.

Important to know:

What makes the Maldives unique is that there aren’t many places to spend a lot of money. If you go on vacation to Dubai, for example, you can spend $1000, $10,000, or even $100,000 in one night. On a local island in the Maldives, you won’t find luxurious restaurants, nightclubs, or any nightlife scene where you can order a bucket of Cristal champagne. You won’t be able to ride around the island in a luxurious car either.

The only things you can spend money on the islands are accommodation, food, and diving excursions, and even spending more than $100 on dinner requires some searching. Beaches and snorkeling are free, and there are no shopping malls with global brands.

A turnkey trip to the Maldives cost:

A package vacation for two people in the Maldives would cost approximately $2900, including airfare, for a 10-day trip on a local island without any major cost-cutting.

Travel tips

I personally know of tourists who have spend for a vacation less than $2500 without any special effort, as there are always ways to save on expenses. And this brings us back to the beginning of the article: where I said that a resort vacation on an island is more expensive than an independent vacation on a local island. I wasn’t lying 🙂 The cost for a two-person vacation on the Maldives at a resort is $7000 compared to $2500 on a local island.

Important to know:

The scenery, sea, and palm trees will be the same for everyone. It’s clear that for $7000, you can get a luxurious stay in your own bungalow or villa with a pool and all-inclusive meals, with champagne for breakfast. And for $2500, you’ll have to solve all the issues yourself and there won’t be any alcohol.
maldives travel cost for two
There is a colony of turtles living near the reef 50 meters from the beach on the local island of Dhigurah. You can swim with them every day. And an excursion from the neighboring resort island to here costs at least $50 per person.

But those who have independently traveled for vacations to Asian countries like Bali, Thailand, and Vietnam can easily organize a similar vacation for themselves on the Maldives. There are no fundamental differences in organization: buy tickets, plan transportation, book a hotel. Only transportation between islands can be more complicated.

In conclusion, I am often asked: how much do the Maldives cost or what is the cost for a two-person vacation on the Maldives? I understand that not everyone is willing to pay $6,000-$10,000 for a 10-day vacation at a resort hotel. But today, you can have a Maldives vacation for as little as $3,000, and even less, without limiting yourself in any way.

Wishing you reasonable spending! Remember, the Maldives are now accessible not only to wealthy tourists!

If you enjoyed the article and the content in this guide, you can buy me a coffee ^_^

Resources to help you plan your dream trip to the Maldives

  • Flight tickets and the best deals
  • Tour packages (from budget to luxury): Expedia
  • Hotels and guesthouses on any island:
    • Hotellook compares prices among a dozen other services and platforms and offers to choose the best one.
    • Booking – the most popular service for booking accommodation.
    • Agoda – the main competitor of Booking.
  • 12go is the largest Asian transfer service. It gathers all Maldivian carriers, even the small ones that operate between local islands.
  • Tours and excursions: Viator – a limited selection of excursions, but convenient and reliable.
  • Comprehensive insurance: EKTA
  • eSIM at the same price as in telecom office in Male.