As lovely as the Maldives was, it burned holes in my yearly travel budget. I incurred some unnecessary expenses due to my impromptu decisions and the Maldives is an expensive place to make travel mistakes. As a first timer in this gorgeous archipelago, there are many pricey surprises which come your way and this is one destination which needs a lot of research and study before travelling.
Call ahead to avoid this unpleasant Maldives travel mistake
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Somehow the Maldivians I met never reachable by phone and neither did they answer the emails on time. In Male, this created a last-minute panic situation and it was worse because by that time I was desperate to leave the capital city. It was on the second day of my Male stay and there were just a few hours left before my transfer to Alif Dhaalu, the airport island of my Maldivian homestay in Fenfushi. However, in the last moment, I received an email from Fenfushi Inn stating that they would not be able to offer the requested speedboat transfer and wanted to confirm if I still wanted to stay with them.
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One Maldives travel mistake can set you back by 100’s of dollars
It was a huge shock since my stay with them started from the next morning and finally, having left with no other choice, I bought an expensive one-way way ticket to the nearby Mamigili airport. The flight ticket cost me a 167 USD, which had been way more than 15 USD budgeted speedboat transfer. Once again, I felt lighter by more cash than I could afford and this Maldives travel mistake nearly made think of abandoning the trip altogether. The Flyme flight to Mamigili was awfully delayed too and it was not the best possible start of a Maldives vacation. However, the small Flyme prop plane was super comfortable and it transported us to our destination in quick 15 minutes.
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Once in the lap of the Indian Ocean, Maldives travel mistakes seem trivial
Small, idyllic and empty, Mamigili was a quintessential tropical island airport and it was easy to locate, Moosa, my guesthouse representative from among the small bundle of locals crowding near the beach. Moosa was a quiet, taciturn man who also doubled up as a boatman and soon, we were on our way zipping across the Indian Ocean towards Fenfushi. The ocean looked like one endless sheet of blue and green and the open speedboat ride felt liberating. The sun blazed merrily in mid sky and salt spray splattered on my face, drenching me completely. Somewhere on the horizon, faint silhouettes marked the islands and Male seemed like another planet.
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The dream to experience the local life in the Maldives finally came true
My long awaited desire to experience the Maldives on a budget was finally over and there I was a speck on the turquoise Indian Ocean, with the famous Maldivian islands spread around me like egg yolks. The recent introduction of guesthouses and inns into the jaded Maldives tourism scene had made my dream come true and I was looking forward to experiencing an unmade fresh face of Maldives, beyond the glamour of the established, overdone resorts.
RESPONSIBLE TRAVELING-BECAUSE I CARE