by Ben Barry and Samual Wightwick

A traveller has shared how she holidayed in the Maldives on a budget – spending less than £500 for a six-day trip.

Kara Wilbur, 23, and her friend, Natasha Whitley, 28, bagged a £950 return flight from London Heathrow on April 1 for their jaunt to Thususdhoo and Dhiffushi in the Maldives.

The island nation is known for its sandy beaches and turquoise water and stays at the famous water hut resorts can cost up to £1,300 per night.

But instead of staying in the resort islands, Kara decided to book a hotel in the local islands – Thususdhoo and Dhiffushi – and was able to nab a room overlooking the ocean for £25-a-night.

Kara said she spend around £50-a-day food, activities and travel – she caught a ferry for £1.70, spent £7 on meals out and enjoyed the beaches for free.

She said that a disadvantage of the island is that it doesn’t allow drinking and most places are closed by 8:30pm but said it means you wake up feeling fresh every day you’re there.

Kara, a travel content creator, from Denbighshire, Wales, said: “It was an insane adventure, as soon as we left we wanted to go back.

“When we arrived we were so surprised, it is one thing being told it is a cheap place to travel and then experiencing it yourself.

“When we realised that we could actually do this for £500 it was a nice experience.

“I will definitely be going back.”

Kara and her friend, Natasha, set off on their travels on April 1 and spent six days in the Maldives before heading to Sri Lanka – where they both are now.

They split their time between the islands of Thulusdhoo and Dhiffushi staying in two beautiful beach front rooms at the Beach House by Sii Hotels and the Batutu Surf View Hotel.

Natasha, a pharmacist and content creator, from Bournemouth, Dorset, said: “Rooms on Thulusdhoo and Dhiffushi islands were around £30-a-night for a room per person.

“Ferries and transport were also cheap so it was much more affordable than it looked.”

The pair also took full advantage of the island – going swimming with sharks for £88 each and taking a trip to a deserted island for £28 each, which both included jet ski rides.

They also paid a modest £12 each to take a trip to a floating bar, which is common in the local islands as they don’t serve alcohol on land.

Kara said: “Thulusdhoo is really well know for its surfing and we made the most out of the beaches.

“It is illegal to drink on the islands themselves but legal to drink on the water so we took a boat out to have a drink and watch the sunset.”

Food was also very affordable with a meal costing an average of £7-a-day per person with breakfast included with their rooms.

The most expensive part of their trip were the flights – from London to Male and then Male to Colombo – came up to £905.

Kara said: “The food there was unreal, on average we would spend £6-a-head on food which is really good.

“The advantage of the Maldives is that you can walk straight out of your hotel and you will be on the beach.

“The views were insane and the locals on the islands are lovely.”

Breakdown of costs –

Flights – £950
Transport – £32 (four ferries and one speedboat)
Food – £95 (average £7 per meal)
Swimming with sharks – £88
Deserted island trip – £28
Floating bar – £12
Miscellaneous – £28 (ATM fees, souvenirs, airport storage)
Accommodation – £133

Total (without flights) = £416 per person over six days so around £70 per day

Kara post travel content to her TikTok page: @okay.kara.travels

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