Backpacking trips to the Maldives are no longer a matter of a tight budget. Since AirAsia started to operate from Kuala Lumpur to Male many guest houses offering affordable accommodation to budget travellers and backpackers.
The Maldives are comprised of 26 atolls and 1,200 islands in the middle of the Indian Ocean. To explore one of the atolls you can take an intersection ferry for less than 5 US Dollars to get from one island to another within the same atoll.
Taking the Beach Cruiser ferry from Male would be one of the best and cheapest ways to explore other atolls. Take into consideration, that the ferries might not operate every day, especially on Fridays.