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Can you backpack the Maldives on budget?



Backpacking by Steven

After our week in Abu Dhabi we decided that on arrival in Colombo we would do something backpackers very rarely do, attempt to backpack the Maldives. We had checked out where we could fly off to from Sri Lanka, amazingly we found that we could fly one way to Male for just under £50. This was such a bargain that after a bit of research on whether or not it could be done on a backpackers budget we decided to go for it.

We had heard that some of the islands had recently started opening guest houses and small family run hotels from as little as £15 a night, so it isn’t all 5* resorts after all . We will be sharing all of our money saving tips here and hope that people don’t shy away from this beautiful part of the world because of its expensive honeymoon status and hope to show that you can do it on a budget. G and I stole some luxury sun beds from the nice hotel next door earlier, thats tip number one! 😉

So from the top…



We got our cheap flights through china eastern airways. You fly direct to Male Airport which is on an island of its own. When you come out of the airport you grab the local ferry for $1 to the capital city of Male. Do not expect paradise here. It is a busy place and it doesn’t have any beaches. If you have a night flight you will normally need to do one night here as we did and therefore need to stay in a guesthouse preferably close to the port so you can get out fast the next day. We stayed at Off Day Inn which was a five minute walk from the dock.

Not the greatest guesthouse as there was a cockroach scurrying across our bed as we entered the room and I swear they had forgotten to put a mattress on our bed base it was that hard. Also what was annoying was that this place cost us more than what we eventually paid on the islands to come.

The next morning we grabbed the 10am ferry to Maafushi Island for 53 Rufiyaa, which was a pretty smooth 90 minute journey passing some beautiful islands with the little water beach huts you see in expensive holiday brochures.


Maafushi Island was a lot smaller than I expected which wasn’t a bad thing. It kind of reminded us of Holbox in Mexico; sandy streets and people riding round on push bikes and mopeds. The beaches are quite small but still absolutely stunning and the water is just next level blue, the island is lined with palm trees and is all together pretty green, you can walk from one end of the island to the other in around 10 minutes, there are a few resort islands close by that you can visit if you’re feeling in need of a bit of luxury.


The water actually gets clearer as you get further out, G swam out today for about 200 metres to check out the corals and fish and could still stand up. For obvious reasons I didn’t take my eyes off him the whole time. Will I ever forget that bloody drowning incident in Colombia?



The beach on Maafushi is small but pretty nonetheless. The sand is the purest white and so soft under your feet. There are sun loungers and hammocks available to use free of charge. The beach is lined with palm trees and there are lots of small hermit crabs scurrying around. There are some restaurants on the beach front you can buy food and drink from, you are also allowed to wear bikinis on the beach on Maafushi so no need to worry about covering up!



When we arrived we had a walk around the island to check the prices of some hotels, most of the bigger hotels on the beach front were £50 ($70) per night but as its off season you can haggle them down a little bit. After walking around for 10 minutes we found a hotel called Picnic Inn which was only £20 ($30) a night for a double room. It was fully booked on the day we arrived so we stayed around the corner at a new hotel called Horizon View for the same price.


Both Hotels are pretty basic but are kept clean and all rooms have wifi, air conditioning, a fridge and new towels and bedding are provided every day although their pillows are pretty shocking and this morning i actually woke up feeling like i’d been punched in the ear by Mike Tyson.


Picnic Inn and most other hotels let you use their snorkelling equipment free of charge so there’s no need to buy any or bring your own to the island, you can also book day trips and excursions through some of the hotels, we booked a trip through White Shell Hotel  for £30 ($45) that took us snorkelling on the banana reef, around the big reef and for lunch on an uninhabited sand bank in the middle of the sea, they also took us for a ‘dolphin cruise’, sadly there were no dolphins but to our surprise we did see quite a lot of flying fish!


This was our amazing lunch spot.

The snorkelling trip was a great day out and we got to see lots beautiful coral, some colourful fish and even got up close and personal with a few sea turtles. It lasted from 10am until around 4pm and all drinks and food were included in the price.


Along the beach front there are plenty of places you can rent surfboards and paddle boards but if you’re feeling a bit more adventurous you can try your hand at wind surfing, waterskiing or jetskiing for as little as £15 ($20)



The food on Maafushi is a little boring to say the least. Breakfast was a complete washout and lunch and dinner had little to no difference whatsoever. It lacked a lot of variety once you had subtracted the inedible out of the equation. I have compiled a list of the places we found and quite liked but I will say this, try to stick to Maldivian food like curries and fried rice dishes as they really have not got a clue when it comes to western food. DO NOT order pizza or pasta for example they just haven’t grasped it. I didn’t like the taste of the chicken here so I stuck to fish, G however didn’t mind it so each to their own. All meals are around $7 so you won’t be spending a lot on food  whilst here too which is good for the old bank balance.

We ate at stingray mostly which is a guest house and restaurant. Order the chicken fried rice or the dish curry. I had a fruit platter most evenings for dessert which was good. G had a strawberry milkshake which wasn’t fresh strawberries but did the trick for him.

Hot bites did a lovely fish and chicken curry. We ordered them both spicy and they didn’t disappoint. Always ask for your rice steaming hot it’s so much nicer and no getting sick. They also do the best fresh orange juice on the island. White Shell hotel on the beach also does a great tuna fried rice & Dhonveli Palm Beach View sells a huge bag of popcorn for 80p which is perfect to get before having a night in watching a film!

Breakfast was included at picnic inn but was pretty poor, i just stocked up on toast with butter and jam, we also bought lots of bananas and apples from the local shop to keep it healthy and cheap. Don’t come here expecting michelin star restaurants but if you check out the places above you’ll be sure to find at least a few tasty dishes.


Its the beginning of June so its rainy season in the Maldives. It doesn’t really get affected too badly by the monsoons that hit most of Asia this time of year, so far it has been 30+ degrees with about 6 hours of solid sunshine every day. It usually rains hard for roughly one hour a day, which leaves big puddles all over the island which will all be gone by the next day! Please don’t be put off because of the rainy season, you get better deals on hotels and day trips and the rain usually commences in the morning or evening so it doesn’t ever dampen your day.


So after our week in the Maldives we feel happy to recommend this to all types of travellers on any budget. Go and explore this beautiful paradise.

If you have any other questions feel free to ask and we will get back to you.

Happy travels

Steven & Jay

Check out Maldives Photo Album to see all the pictures from the trip!

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Tips & Advice

Protecting your Maldives vacation: How to avoid ticket and holiday scams during the holiday season



Maldives with its pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters, is a dream destination for many tourists seeking a tropical paradise. However, with the rise of cyber threats targeting travelers, it’s crucial for tourists to be vigilant and protect themselves from ticket scammers. Cybersecurity experts have warned that fake ticket and holiday package sellers are becoming more active during the holiday season, preying on unsuspecting travelers. Here we will look into the tactics scammers use and offers tips on how tourists can avoid falling victim to these scams.

The Ticket Scam Threat:

As the holiday season approaches, hackers capitalize on the increased demand for plane tickets and holiday packages. They use stolen or hacked credit card details to purchase plane tickets or holiday packages and then offer these tickets at seemingly irresistible prices through phishing websites that may appear legitimate. Adrianus Warmenhoven, a cybersecurity expert at NordVPN, emphasizes that scammers take advantage of individuals who let their guard down due to the perceived high cost of secure options.

The Consequences of Falling Victim:

Once a traveler falls for the scam and purchases a fake ticket or holiday package, they receive a booking confirmation and often remain unaware of the deception until the day of travel. At this point, they may discover that their booking has been canceled by the real ticket owner or the credit card company, leaving them stranded at the airport with no recourse for a return flight.

Protecting Yourself from Ticket Scams:

Adrianus Warmenhoven provides valuable tips for tourists to protect themselves from ticket scams and ensure a secure and stress-free holiday in the Maldives:

  1. Beware of Too-Good-To-Be-True Prices:
    • If a ticket price seems too good to be true, it probably is. Scammers lure victims with unrealistically low prices obtained by stealing money from other people.
  2. Exercise Caution with Last-Minute Deals:
    • Hackers aim to sell tickets quickly before the legitimate cardholder cancels the transaction. Be skeptical of last-minute deals and thoroughly verify their authenticity.
  3. Identify Phishing Websites:
    • Scrutinize websites for grammar mistakes, flashy ads, or poor design. Hackers often cut corners on these details. Consider using cybersecurity tools like NordVPN’s Threat Protection to help identify phishing websites.
  4. Buy from Trusted Distributors:
    • Whether purchasing tickets directly from an airline or through a distributor, choose well-known platforms with positive user reviews. Avoid unfamiliar or dubious sellers to minimize the risk of falling victim to scams.
  5. Contact Service Providers for Verification:
    • If you suspect you may have purchased a fake ticket, promptly contact the service provider using the email or phone number listed on their official website. Verify the legitimacy of your booking to avoid any travel disruptions.

As you plan your dream vacation to the Maldives, staying vigilant against ticket scams is crucial. By following these tips and being cautious online, tourists can protect themselves from falling victim to scammers and ensure a safe and enjoyable holiday experience in this tropical paradise. Remember, a little extra caution can go a long way in safeguarding your vacation memories.

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Benefits of hiring a revenue management company in the hospitality industry



In the fiercely competitive hospitality industry, maximizing revenue and optimizing profitability are paramount for long-term success. With ever-evolving market dynamics and changing consumer behavior, effective revenue management has become a complex task. To navigate this landscape successfully, many hospitality businesses are turning to revenue management companies for their expertise. In this article, we will explore the benefits of hiring a revenue management company specifically tailored to the hospitality industry and how it can drive growth and profitability for your business.

1. Strategic Pricing and Revenue Optimization

One of the primary advantages of partnering with a revenue management company in the hospitality industry is their ability to optimize pricing strategies. These companies have a deep understanding of market dynamics, consumer preferences, and competitive forces. Leveraging advanced analytics and tools, they can analyze historical data, market trends, and demand patterns to identify optimal pricing opportunities. By implementing dynamic pricing models, they ensure that your hotel or resort is charging the right prices at the right time, maximizing revenue and profitability.

2. Improved Demand Forecasting and Inventory Management

Accurate demand forecasting and effective inventory management are crucial for the success of any hospitality business. Revenue management companies specialize in analyzing historical data, market trends, and external factors to accurately forecast demand. This allows them to make informed decisions about room rates, promotions, and availability. By optimizing inventory allocation and pricing strategies based on demand fluctuations, they can minimize revenue loss from underselling or overbooking, ensuring maximum occupancy and revenue generation.

3. Increased Operational Efficiency

Running a successful hotel or resort involves managing multiple operational aspects, including revenue management. By outsourcing this critical function to a revenue management company, you can free up your internal resources and focus on core operations. These companies have dedicated teams of revenue management professionals who continually monitor and adjust pricing and inventory strategies based on market conditions. Their expertise and automation tools can streamline processes, reduce manual errors, and improve overall operational efficiency.

4. Access to Advanced Technology and Expertise

Revenue management companies in the hospitality industry leverage cutting-edge technology and tools specifically designed for revenue optimization. By partnering with them, you gain access to these advanced systems without the need for significant upfront investment. These tools enable comprehensive data analysis, price optimization, and real-time reporting. Additionally, revenue management companies have a team of experienced professionals who are well-versed in industry best practices. Their knowledge and expertise can be invaluable in making data-driven decisions and implementing effective revenue strategies.

5. Competitive Advantage and Adaptability

In a competitive market, staying ahead of the competition is crucial. Revenue management companies can provide you with a competitive edge by constantly monitoring the market, identifying emerging trends, and adapting pricing and revenue strategies accordingly. Their ability to react swiftly to changes in demand, competition, and market conditions allows your business to stay nimble and responsive. By keeping a finger on the pulse of the industry, revenue management companies can help you anticipate challenges and seize opportunities, ultimately increasing your market share and revenue.

6. Cost-Effective Solution

While it may seem counterintuitive, hiring a revenue management company can actually be a cost-effective solution for your hospitality business. These companies operate on a performance-based model, where their compensation is often tied to the revenue growth they generate. This aligns their incentives with your business objectives and ensures that you get a solid return on investment. Moreover, by optimizing revenue streams, avoiding revenue leakage, and minimizing operational inefficiencies, they help improve your bottom line, offsetting the cost of their services.

In today’s fiercely competitive hospitality industry, revenue management plays a crucial role in driving growth and profitability. By partnering with a revenue management company, you can harness their expertise, technology, and industry knowledge to optimize pricing strategies, improve demand forecasting, and increase operational efficiency. 

Editors Note: The article above is based on a publication by OARS Consultancy, a hospitality consultancy firm located in Dubai. OARS, which stands for OCCUPANCY.ADR.REVPAR.SOLUTION, is dedicated to the hospitality sector with a strong emphasis on revenue management consultation and hotel and resort-related projects. The company comprises a team of professionals from around the world who bring their expertise together with the common goal of providing solutions to optimize revenue growth for hotels and resorts. For more information about OARS visit

Link to the original publication.

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Experience thrills and relaxation at surfer’s paradise Cinnamon Dhonveli Maldives



Surrounded by crystal-clear waters and located in the heart of a surfer’s paradise, Cinnamon Dhonveli Maldives offers guests an exclusive and thrilling experience. The resort offers a range of accommodation options, from bungalow rooms to luxurious suites, all boasting stunning ocean views. With a variety of dining options, a spa, outdoor pool, and fitness centre, this tropical island resort is the perfect destination for those seeking both activity and lavish relaxation.

For adrenaline junkies, there are plenty of activities to keep you occupied. Jet ski across the water, glide over the waves while water skiing or windsurfing, or embark on a catamaran ride. If you prefer to dip below the surface, sign up for a diving course at the resort’s dive centre, or simply enjoy some leisurely snorkelling. And for those looking to unwind, indulge in a soothing foot massage followed by a pedicure, or venture into the open sea for some calm fishing or dolphin watching.

After a day filled with adventure, retire to your well-appointed room and soak up the tranquility of this beautiful island. With stunning over-water suites, couples’ spa treatments, sunset cruises, and private dinners on the white sand beach, Cinnamon Dhonveli Maldives has everything you need for a romantic and memorable vacation.

But that’s not all. The resort is also home to the world-famous surf spot, Pasta Point. Named after an Italian bistro that was once located in the same area, this surf spot is a dream destination for surf enthusiasts across the globe. Known for its consistent wave production, typically 4-6 feet in height, it’s no wonder that this spot is described as the “wave-machine” of the North Malé Atoll.

When you’re ready to refuel, the resort’s dining options will not disappoint. From all-you-can-eat buffets to a la carte menus, there is something for everyone. And with the anticipation of an exhilarating 25-minute speedboat ride to an island 13 km away from Malé, Cinnamon Dhonveli Maldives promises a delightful holiday, packed with a tropical punch.

Cinnamon Dhonveli Maldives is a beautiful island resort that offers something for everyone. Whether you’re seeking thrilling adventures, luxurious relaxation, or both, this resort promises to deliver a memorable and unforgettable vacation experience.

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