There are few island countries in the middle of the Indian Ocean that is the ultimate definition of an exotic holiday – Maldives, Seychelles, Mauritius, and Reunion. We will travel hack the Maldives today to show you how to potentially save some money. In recent years, Maldives is on a lot of people’s list of exotic destinations. With great diving, snorkeling, surfing, over the water villas and the remoteness from the rest of the world — we all can see why.
Due to their location in the world, it is very expensive to get to even in coach. Since we like to travel hack around holidays, let’s pick the Christmas/New Years holiday. Leaving from New York in December and returning in January. Here’s the the cheapest airfare that we found using our favorite airfare search engine – http://matrix.itasoftware.com.
Exotic destinations usually means expensive. Following our previous advice of using Wikipedia to see who flies into the Maldives, we looked up the airport at Male, Maldives. We noticed most carriers from Europe are charters — meaning they do not fly everyday and are booked as part of a package. That eliminated Europe as a transit point for alternative carriers to get to the Maldives. From Asia — we see the carrier choices were Air India, a few Chinese carriers, Bangkok Airlines from Bangkok, Malaysian Airlines from Kuala Lumpur, Emirates and SriLankan from Colombo. Let’s see what the prices from New York for the dates above to some of the options:
- Bangalore, India – $1,930 on Emirates
- Thiruvanathapuram, India – $1,941 on Qatar Airways
- Kunming, China – $1,987 on China Eastern
- Chengdu, China – $1,987 on China Eastern
- Shanghai, China – $1,743 on Lufthansa
- Bangkok, Thailand – $1,942 on Air China
- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia – $1,766 on Turkish Airways
- Colombo, Sri Lanka – $1,830 on Etihad Airways
We eliminated all the options above $1,900. We then checked the prices from Shanghai, Kuala Lumpur, and Colombo to Male, Maldives.
- Shanghai – $690 on China Eastern
- Kuala Lumpur – $774 on SriLankan
- Colombo – $294 on Emirates
The all in price going via Colombo is $2,124, a saving of $542. For a destination like the Maldives where most of the food is imported and a Coca-Cola can set you back $8, saving $542 will help you save a little on your vacation.
Tip for Mileage Redemption:
- Redeeming miles to Male, Maldives can be very hard due to the limited number of flights. However, Colombo is relatively easy. If you are planning to redeeming miles (especially miles with oneworld carriers — Cathay Pacific has a great 1 connection from Hong Kong to Colombo and availability is very good)
- Fly into nearby cities and then use alternative carriers to destination
- Visa: US Citizens – not required
- Currency: Maldivian Rufiyaa. $1USD = 15 MVR. There is almost no need to change money since almost everything at resorts is priced in US Dollars.
- Visa: US Citizens – not required
- Currency: Sri Lankan Rupee. $1USD = 110 LKR
Recent Monday Travel Hacks:
- Bali for Thanksgiving – Save over $350
- Buenos Aires for Christmas & New Years – Save $500
- Mt. Kilimanjaro & Zanzibar for New Years – Save up to $1,500
- Sydney, Australia for Christmas & New Years – Save up to $500
- Langkawi, Malaysia – Save over $200
If you have a destination in mind and find the airfare to be expensive, maybe we can help. Send us a message on our Facebook Page with the destination and maybe you will be our feature for a Monday Travel Hack!