I thought long and hard about writing this piece because I realize some aspects of travel can be TMI. But if I could do a price breakdown for going to Cropover in Barbados, why shouldn’t I explain the costs associated with going to the Maldives?
The reason I wanted to post this is because I feel like the Maldives is a dream location for many that seems exceptionally pricey and almost impossible to travel to on a budget.
Unlike Barbados, I won’t post the costs of activities, because what I will be doing is definitely not what everyone else would be doing. (Unlike Carnivals, where usually going to fetes is kind of the standard of attendance.) Also, my trip is not ONLY to the Maldives – I will be spending 3 nights in Abu Dhabi, 2 nights in Dubai and then 6 nights in the Maldives.
Also, I should add, myself and my travel partner for this journey (@sherrydacosta) decided to have some luxury in our lives. This trip could have been much cheaper in regards to accommodations but once we saw how discounted these 4* and 5* hotels in Abu Dhabi and Dubai were, it was a unanimous vote to enjoy some of them. Let me tell you, I can’t even get a 4* hotel in Toronto for these prices so being fortunate enough to book them in warm locations was a bonus.
Let us begin with the flight.
When we were initially looking for flights to the Maldives it was about $2500 per person roundtrip.
I realized we were going during an expensive time of year, but still, no way that was an acceptable flight price. So I did the same thing I did for Barbados, I began looking at alternative airports for departure and working out what route would be cheaper.
We got lucky.
Air Canada + Etihad flight to Abu Dhabi roundtrip with only a 3hr layover each way in Frankfurt popped up. $1389.00 per person. Perfect.
Following that, we found a flight to the Maldives from Dubai with Sri Lankan Air. $771.00 per person. Also, perfect.
With choosing to readjust our route, it lowered our flight cost from a possible $2500 per person to $2160 per person. What is even MORE crazy is that exact flight to Abu Dhabi we booked back in September that we paid $1389 for is now $2700!! Yikes. Lower price and we get to see Abu Dhabi and Dubai? Win. Big big win.
Moving on to accommodations.
Now that we knew our dates for Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Maldives it was just a matter of finding cheap places to rest our heads. However, once we began looking and seen the cheap prices for some very nice hotels, we decided to splurge a little. (still, well-priced though)
For Abu Dhabi we found this beautiful hotel ‘Traders Hotel Qaryat Al Beri, by Shangri-la‘. It is a 4* hotel on a beach, the Tripadvisor reviews were great and it even has a gondola that will taxi you via their own canals throughout the hotel. Incredible.
Cost: $182.50 per person, for three nights!
We wanted something glitzy for Dubai, but I think both of us NEVER pictured we would find a gem like the ‘Five Palm Jumeirah‘. This is a 5* hotel in the Palm Jumeirah area of Dubai. It is grandiose in its structure, has three outdoor swimming pools and a private beach. The second we saw this hotel we knew it was the one. Although this one is a bit more costly, I feel for it being a 5* and how gorgeous it is, well worth the money.
Cost: $288.00 per person, for two nights!
Finally, for the longest stay during this vacation we had to pick somewhere good for the Maldives. Here was the dilemma; 1) The resorts that are on private islands are INSANELY expensive 2) The hotels on islands with local occupants were not as ‘open’ because you couldn’t just walk around in a bathing suit.
So what to do?
Boom. We found the incredible ‘Arena Beach Hotel‘ on the island of Maafushi. This is a 4* hotel on a local island (not private) that has a bikini beach at its front doors. Therefore, we can frolic freely in our bathing suits without being offensive to the local population. This hotel is not only beautiful, well priced and well located – it also includes a buffet breakfast. I love food-inclusive pricing. Furthermore, it is also perfect for any scuba diving, fishing or island hopping excursions. Great find for us.
Cost: $495.50 per person, for six nights!
Could this trip have been cheaper? Absolutely. I think Sherry and I could have easily done this for under $2700 even. But, when you want to be fake bougee for a period of time, this is what happens. Also, I imagine when it isn’t Christmas/NYE it may also be much cheaper to travel to these destinations.
Total cost of flights and accommodations for Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Maldives is: $3126.00 per person.
I think we did well with the nice places we are staying and going to. I really hope this price breakdown enlightens and perhaps even inspires people to travel to these luxurious places on a non-six-figure-a-year-earning-salary.