Recently, the Maldives, by governmental initiative, have ceased to be just a luxury destination, dominated by resorts. It is possible at this time to visit the Maldives in lowcost mode, in guesthouses, enjoying this paradise on earth. You just have to strictly organize your trip.
If this is your dream, follow my advice:
1-Save on transportation
Set a destination where the public ferry can reach. If your destination is not visited by the public ferry, the next most economical alternative is a Speedboat. However this alternative is rather more expensive than the Public Ferry. You must strictly check the days and times for the public ferry to and from the destination.
2- Save on the stay
Set a destination with guesthouses. On some islands, there are only resorts. Search for the islands where there are the most economical accommodations and make the reservation.
3- Save on intermediate stays
If you have to stay overnight in intermediate places, before arriving at your destination, check for cheap transport and guesthouses for these places. For example, on my trip around the world, before moving to Rashdoo, I had to stay one night in Malé City.
4- Save on Activities
You must negotiate the price of the activities (snorkling, scuba diving, boat trips, etc.) with the guesthouse or do some activities by your own. Take your own snorkeling material in the suitcase because sometimes the underwater wonders of Maldives are at your doorstep.
5 – Enjoy a day at a luxury resort
The price of spending a day in a luxury resort is significantly lower than sleeping there. Check in advance the possibility of spending a day in a luxury resort without an overnight stay, and enjoy the “other side” of the Maldives.