There are 1190 coral islands that make up the Maldives. The highest elevation in the entire span of the islands is just over 7 feet above sea level, making the Maldives the flattest country in the world. Over 20 islands were permanently erased from the map after the tsunami in 2004. If the Earth continues to experience the caliber of climate change that it is experiencing now, the Maldives will likely be submerged in as little as 30 years from now. In 2012 the Maldivian government announced their intent to purchase islands in Australia, Sri Lanka, or India to relocate natives if the Maldives becomes uninhabitable. Let that sink in (no pun intended).

Nevertheless the inhabitable islands of the Maldives are nothing short of incredible – jaw dropping diving & snorkeling, the World’s largest underwater restaurant, stunning beaches, and unforgettable hospitality. There’s a reason that the Maldives are on top of millions of bucket lists around the world.

Here is a recap of the video:

Money Saving Tip #1: Stay in North or South Male Atoll

After flying into the main airport in Male you will need either a boat or seaplane transfer to your resort. Seaplane’s are significantly more expensive and will add an extra expense to your trip. Resorts that are located in North Male Atoll and South Male Atoll are generally accessible by a boat transfer which can range anywhere from $100-$250 roundtrip (still a better deal than a seaplane).

Money Saving Tip #2: Ditch the Bungalow

Although a bungalow is the crux of luxury hospitality in the Maldives, there is actually a nice alternative to it: a beach villa. Most islands and hotels have the option of booking a beach villa instead of a bungalow and that can save you a load of money. The beach villas that I saw were spacious, had private pools and direct access to the beach (the same beach that everyone else, including the bungalow folks, swim in). If you are really eager to have the bungalow experience, book one night in a bungalow and the rest in the beach villa.

Money Saving Tip #3: Don’t Stay Too Long

I recognize that traveling for such a long period of time may not make sense to ultimately stay in the Maldives for just a few nights but hear me out. Most islands are small and the activities are limited. There is snorkeling and a handful of water activities – maybe you’ll get lucky with property exclusive things (which will likely be pricey anyway). There may be a few dining options (if you are lucky), but otherwise you may find yourself getting pretty bored of the same old. This brings me to my next point: combine this trip with another city.

Money Saving Tip #4: Use Hotellook

Hotellook is an awesome app/website that searches the internet for the cheapest prices that are available. Prices are absolutely dependent on the time of year; peak season in the Maldives is typically between December and April and the prices on accommodation are at all time highs (deals are available here and there). Off peak season is May through November and prices are significantly cheaper.

Money Saving Tip #5: Take Advantage of a Stopover

The Emirates has a cool opportunity for you to experience Dubai and neighboring cities for free or for a very cheap price. Once you are ticketed, you can call the Emirates office and have a stopover experience arranged for you for one or more nights. The Emirates is not the only airline that offers a stopover program; which is basically an airlines way of encouraging you to explore another city for an affordable price or even for free. No matter how you fly to Male, you will have a stopover so my suggestion is to take full advantage of it! Spend a day or more in another city before heading to the Maldives; it’ll save you money and you will experience more!