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Welcome to the Maldives, where crystal-clear waters, soft sandy beaches, and palm trees swaying in the breeze make you feel like you’re living in a postcard. But wait a minute, before you get lost in the paradise, we need to talk about something serious… green tax! Don’t worry, we’re not talking about taxing you for your love of nature, but rather a fee that supports the conservation of the Maldives’ incredible marine life. So, grab your snorkeling gear and let’s dive into the world of understanding the true costs of a Maldives vacation.

Why Understanding Expenses Matters

Before booking a Maldives vacation, it is important to understand the true costs associated with your stay. The cost of your resort stay is just the beginning. Additional expenses such as transfer fees, taxes, and service charges can quickly add up. Understanding these expenses can help you budget your trip more accurately and avoid any surprises when you arrive.

Transfer Costs: Speedboats and Seaplanes

Getting to the Maldives is a dream come true, but sometimes it can turn into a nightmare if you don’t plan your transportation properly. Before you book your resort, it’s essential to understand the different transfer options available to you and their associated costs. There are three primary transfer methods in the Maldives: speedboats, seaplanes, and domestic flights with speedboat transfers.

Speedboat Transfers

Speedboat transfers are the most affordable and commonly used method for getting to and from the resort islands. They are usually the default transfer option for resorts located closer to the airport, and the cost is calculated based on the distance from the airport to the resort. The transfer fees range between $100 to $250 per person for a round trip, depending on the resort’s location.

Seaplane Transfers

Seaplane transfers are one of the most iconic and romantic ways to reach your resort. They provide breathtaking views of the Maldives’ turquoise lagoons and vibrant coral reefs. However, they come with a higher price tag, and not all resorts have a seaplane transfer option. The seaplane transfer fees range between $350 to $600 per person for a round trip, depending on the resort’s location.

Domestic Flights and Speedboats

For resorts located in the far-flung corners of the Maldives, domestic flights with speedboat transfers are the only option. These transfers are a bit more complicated and require some extra planning, but they are worth the effort to reach some of the most secluded and stunning resorts in the Maldives. The domestic flight and speedboat transfer fees can vary widely based on the distance, the resort location, and the time of year.

The costs of Transfers in the Maldives


To summarize, here are the approximate costs of transfers in the Maldives:

  • Speedboat transfers: $100 to $250 per person for a round trip
  • Seaplane transfers: $350 to $600 per person for a round trip
  • Domestic flights with speedboat transfers: prices vary widely based on distance and resort location, but can range from $350 to $1,000+ per person for a round trip

Remember that these costs are not included in the resort room rates and should be factored into your travel budget. But don’t worry, with careful planning and research, you can find a transfer option that fits your budget and travel style.

Taxes and Fees: What to Expect

When planning your trip to the Maldives, it’s essential to consider the various taxes and fees that you’ll encounter during your stay. Here are some of the taxes and fees that you should expect:

🏷️ Goods and Services Tax (GST)

A 12% GST is charged on all goods and services, including hotel stays, food, and drinks.

🌿 Green Tax

  • Introduced in 2016, this tax is charged to all visitors to the Maldives and goes towards environmental protection and conservation efforts.
  • The Green Tax is $6 per person per night and is payable at the resort.

💼 Service Charges

  • Many resorts include a service charge in their prices.
  • This fee ranges from 5% to 10% and is applied to all purchases made at the resort, including meals and activities.

🌱 Resort Fees and Sustainability Fees

  • Some resorts have started implementing sustainability fees to help with environmental conservation and other initiatives.
  • The fee ranges from $2 to $10 per day, depending on the resort, and is typically charged per room, per night.

Maldives All-Inclusive Packages: Weighing the Pros and Cons

If you’re planning a trip to the Maldives, you may be considering an all-inclusive package to simplify your expenses and make budgeting easier. While all-inclusive packages can have their advantages, there are also some potential drawbacks to consider. Here are some pros and cons to help you decide if an all-inclusive package is right for you.

Is All Inclusive worth it?

We went to the Maldives and took the All Inclusive Package. Afterwards we did the math.

Advantages of All-Inclusive Packages

👍 One-stop-shop: With an all-inclusive package, you can avoid the hassle of searching for restaurants, booking activities, and worrying about how much money you’re spending. Everything is included in one convenient package, so you can relax and enjoy your vacation without any stress.

👍 Budget-friendly: All-inclusive packages can be a great way to save money on your trip, especially if you plan to indulge in food and drinks, spa treatments, and other activities. By paying upfront for everything, you can often get a better deal than if you paid for each item separately.

👍 Variety: All-inclusive packages typically offer a wide range of activities and dining options, so you can try new things and explore everything the resort has to offer without having to pay extra.

Disadvantages of All-Inclusive Packages

👎 Lack of flexibility: With an all-inclusive package, you may feel like you’re tied to the resort and its offerings, which can limit your opportunities to explore the surrounding area or try new restaurants.

👎 Hidden costs: Some all-inclusive packages may not include everything, such as premium alcoholic beverages or certain activities, so make sure you read the fine print before booking.

👎 Food quality: While some all-inclusive resorts offer high-quality dining options, others may prioritize quantity over quality, serving up mass-produced food that lacks variety and taste. It’s important to research the resort’s dining options before booking an all-inclusive package to make sure the food meets your standards.

What flying a Seaplane is really like

Read all about our experience as we flew a seaplane to our resort

10 (somewhat) affordable Resorts

Our overview of ten (somewhat) affordable Maldives resorts.

Planning Your Maldives Budget

The Maldives is a dream destination, but it’s no secret that it can be an expensive one too. Planning ahead and understanding the costs involved can help you enjoy your vacation without breaking the bank. Here are some tips to help you plan your Maldives budget.

Estimating Your Total Vacation Costs

To estimate your total vacation costs, it’s important to consider all the expenses you’ll incur during your trip, including:

  • Accommodation costs
  • Transfer costs
  • Taxes and fees
  • Food and drink expenses
  • Activity and excursion costs
  • Souvenir and shopping expenses
  • Miscellaneous expenses

Saving Money with Travel Tips and Tricks

Here are some travel tips and tricks to help you save money on your Maldives vacation:

  • Book in advance to take advantage of early bird savings
  • Consider traveling during low season to take advantage of lower rates
  • Look for package deals that bundle your accommodations and activities
  • Research and compare resorts to find the best value for your budget
  • Opt for a room-only package and dine at local restaurants to save on food costs
  • If you like to drink alcohol on your vacation, consider all-inclusive

Conclusion: Enjoying Your Maldives Getaway with Confidence

By understanding the costs involved in a Maldives vacation, planning ahead, and taking advantage of travel tips and tricks, you can enjoy your Maldives getaway with confidence. Whether you opt for an all-inclusive package or a more budget-friendly option, the Maldives offers a one-of-a-kind experience that is worth the investment.

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