Visit Fiji on a budget!
Have you ever thought about planning a vacation to Fiji? Been a little intimidated by the prices? It’s not a surprise that visiting Fiji can be pricey; and airfare can be especially expensive depending on where your travelling from.
I am here to tell you that your dream vacation to Fiji is possible even with a low budget! After countless hours of research, I was able to make my trip budget friendly, but at the same time, realized ways I could have saved more. I have some tips and recommendations that you can consider when planning your trip.
Now I won’t go into airfare as prices will be so different for everyone, but I will say the earlier you can to book the better! Of course, if your dates are flexible, you can consider flying on a weekday. Search on multiple different websites to compare prices to find the best deal. The best advice I can give for any flight, is to search on a PRIVATE internet browser. This way, the sites you use won’t have access to using cookies to track your searches. This can prevent frequent price fluctuations, but is not 100% foolproof. It does help though.
So, where to stay? When I first googled “Where to stay in Fiji”, I was really overwhelmed. I spent hours reading up on a lot of areas and compared prices. First of all, you can either stay on the mainland or an outer island. If you are considering staying on an outer island, be prepared to be spending a decent amount of money. Staying on an outer island is not cheap by any means. But, if you stay on a single island, verses island hopping, it can be possible with a moderate budget. There are some important things to keep in mind when travelling to an outer island. Most importantly, is that your incoming/outgoing flight to/from Fiji will need to coordinate with your transfer ferry or sea plane to/from the outer island you will be staying. Taking a ferry is the most affordable option but can have delays and the travel time on a ferry can be long, up to 5 hours. It’s recommended to consider staying close to the port, Port Denarau, or near the airport in Nadi the night before your flight leaving Fiji to ensure there is no stress in possibly missing your flight. Be prepared to spend over $100 per person for a round trip ferry ticket.
There are amazing islands to choose from for any sort of traveller. From budget to luxurious. Since this post is primarily based upon visiting Fiji on a budget, I won’t go into detail on the luxury. Travelling on a super low budget, I chose to stay on the mainland. Although I don’t have my own personal experience on staying on an outer island on a budget, I met other solo travellers who stayed in various islands. Many spoke about the good and bad of the food served. All resorts outside of the mainland require you to pay for a meal plan since, of course, there wouldn’t be any other places to go for food. Most travellers enjoyed the food overall, mentioning that big portions were always served. Some issues commonly experienced was heat, electricity, water and wifi. Being solo travellers, they had all stayed in dorm rooms and complained of the lack of air conditioning as budget rooms only had ceiling fans, making it difficult to sleep. Next, electricity had at least cut off at one point during their stay, as the resorts used generators which can be inconsistent. Showers were mostly cold with barely any hot water, as rain supplied the main water source. Lastly, wifi service was basically non existent or very expensive. But, from the pictures I saw, and the glow on their faces when they spoke about the beauty of the islands, fish and coral they say while snorkelling, none of that mattered. For me, I would still love to visit Fiji once again in the future, just to stay on another island and experience the beauty it offers.
The burning questions still stands. What is the cheapest way to experience Fiji? Unquestionably, the most budget friendly resort to stay at, is a backpackers resort called the Beachouse. Located in Coral Coast, the Beachouse is approximately a two and a half hour drive from Nadi airport. The best way to book with the Beachouse is actually not on third party booking sites as we’re all used to. Their direct websites offers wicked deals for solo, couples and families. As a solo traveller, like me, I booked their Bula Budget deal which was a bed in a 6 bed dorm room, breakfast included WITH either a free 1hr full body massage or a free guided snorkelling trip… for only $135 AUD! Amazing deal! Let me tell you, the full body message alone was worth that price.
Staying in Coral Coast does have a disadvantage as it is away from the main port, which can be an issue if you are hoping to visit islands or do other tours. Luckily, the Beachouse offers so many tours (for really decent prices!) that you wouldn’t even need to look at booking excursions… they even offer free activities. Some of their activities include free yoga every morning (right on the beach), free kayaking and stand up paddle boarding. They also offer snorkelling with shark feeding, jungle hikes, surfing lessons and island trips to name a few. What I loved about the Beachouse is that they partnered with locals to be able to host these excursions. The island trip was guided by a local raised on Yanuca island, where he brings you into his home for lunch. The jungle hike was an adventurous hike to a hidden waterfall, guided by a local from the nearby village. There was also beach side horse rides available organized through another local. Being able to interact with locals made my trip at the Beachouse so enjoyable. Your able to experience Fiji more intimately verses booking your stay with larger resorts that do not offer tours with locals. Everyone in Fiji is so kind, you will feel so welcomed and so much warmth from anyone you meet!
Food is another factor to take into account. You will most likely only be eating at the resort your staying at, unless you had booked an excursion for the day. All resorts will offer either meal plans or restaurants with payment for meals to be charged to your room for payment at checkout. Luckily, meals are generally inexpensive. With breakfast included options, you can be looking at spending, maybe, $20 a day max on food!
Last but not least, one last tip to saving $100; take the local bus from the airport to your resort! This is actually something that I had read up on and I considered heavily. But, last minute I chose to book a shuttle from the airport to the Beachouse, something that I regret doing (because I could have saved so much money!). But, I am here to tell you, that it is super safe and to not be scared to do it! Everyone in Fiji speaks English, you simply can ask the information desk at the airport to direct you to the bus stop which is a short walk from the airport. Be sure to exchange some money, as you will have to pay on board the bus. The best part is, it’s only about $10 to travel to the Beachouse! There is a bus stop directly outside the resort and the bus will stop directly in front; making it easy for you to take the bus back to the airport. There is a timetable available online to view the bus times. I do know that the airport bus runs frequently, making this option ideal for the budget traveller.
If you ever need to travel short distances, you can always take the local bus. Unlike the airport bus, the local bus doesn’t run all day, only during the daytime. The difference between the local and airport bus, is that the airport bus is a very modern greyhound looking bus, with an LED screen at the front. In general, the locals always told me to wave cars down for either a taxi or a random car! Seems scary? Maybe. But I did it, and I didn’t feel uneasy at all. Hitch hiking is common in Fiji, as locals rely on that and busses to get around if they don’t have a car themselves. Everyone will stop for you, unless their car is full, which they will indicate by flashing their headlights. Although I didn’t even need to tip, I did give whoever stopped for me $10 FJD as a way to thank them.
For my 5 night stay in Fiji, apart from airfare, I spent less than $350 for my accommodation, food, tours and airport shuttle. Save more than me and take the local bus. It is possible to visit on a budget!
I hope my tips help you plan your next budget trip to Fiji. Bookmark this post and let me know in the comments if you book a vacation to Fiji and if my tips helped you!
Check out the Beachouse: http://www.fijibeachouse.com/