How to travel to Fiji when you’re broke

With its white sands, crystal clear waters and incredible coral reefs, Fiji is the perfect place for an island getaway. However when it comes to tropical islands, budget travel is the last thing that comes to mind. Contrary to popular belief, travelling to Fiji can be very very cheap.

Located in the South-Pacific, Fiji is made up of 333 individual islands, not all of which are inhabited. There are two main islands in Fiji, Viti Levu and Vanua Levu. Suva, Fiji’s capital, is located on the island of Vitu Levu and is a great location to immerse yourself in the Fijian culture and explore the British colonial buildings.

fiji map

However if relaxing in a hammock whilst drinking from a coconut is more your thing, then I recommend visiting the Mamanuca Islands. Not only are they affordable, but the islands are a short boat ride from the Nadi International Airport, and are absolutely gorgeous.

So how do I travel to Fiji without breaking the bank? Read on to learn how.

Accommodation

As I mentioned in my post on 10 tips for travelling on a budget, staying in a hostel will save you so much money. Accommodation in Fiji can be as little as $15-20 per night, with most hostels offering free breakfast, free wifi and free entertainment as well.

However, if dormitory style accommodation isn’t your thing, most hostels offer private rooms with an ensuite. These rooms do cost extra to book, but are generally much cheaper than hotels or resorts.

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Ratu Kini Backpackers and Dive Resort, Mana Island – yes, this super cute beach bungalow is actually a hostel

Food

During my stay in Fiji, I was lucky enough to find accommodation with meals included. Ratu Kini Backpackers and Dive Resort offers free breakfast every day with lunch and dinner included in the cost of your accommodation. In order to get this deal, you do have to book your accommodation through Ratu Kini’s website, however, in doing so, you will save so much money on meals.

Most islands will have a convenience store at the hostel or resort that sell snacks, water and personal items. But this can be very expensive and your options for food are limited. I recommend visiting a supermarket on the main land and buying snacks and a few bottles of water before heading out to the islands. The tap water on the islands is not safe to drink so bottled water is a must.

Water, in particular, is very pricey to buy on the islands and this is something you’ll need a lot of in a tropical location like Fiji!

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Mana Island, Fiji

Transportation

Most of the islands of Fiji are quite small, so travelling by foot is the only option. However on the main islands of Vitu Levu and Vanua Levu, public transport is the best way to get around. Taxi’s are plentiful but can be expensive if you wish to travel a long distance.

Some of the best advice I received when I was travelling in Fiji was “do as the locals do”. Rather than using taxi’s, I travelled using buses and it saved me so. much. money. Instead of paying $10 for a taxi into Nadi, I paid 50 cents for a bus that took me to the exact same place.

Travelling out to the islands is either by boat or sea plane (but let’s be real, you need to have a lot of money to fly there in a sea plane). If you’re lucky, some hostels offer free transport by boat from the mainland. However, if your place of accommodation does not offer this, South Sea Cruises is a relatively cheap way to travel. You pick your time, board the boat at Port Denurau, and sit back and relax in the air-conditioned cabin.

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Have fun for free

Swimming and hiking are activities that you can do on virtually every island in Fiji (and they won’t cost you a thing). I opted to take my own snorkelling gear to the islands but most places will offer snorkel hire for free as well as free kayak and stand up paddle board hire.

Many hostels also run cultural activities throughout the day such as coconut cutting demonstrations, local language classes and fire twirling shows.

Other top tips for travelling to Fiji!

  • Make sure you have cash when travelling to the smaller Fijian islands as many of them do not have ATMs
  • Use a site such as hostelworld to book accommodation. This will show you the cheapest places to stay as well as reviews and recommendations from previous guests
  • Do your research: some islands are more expensive than others based on the type of accommodation and the activities the island offers. Make sure to do your research to ensure you’re getting the best deal!

 

Have you been to Fiji before? I would love to hear about your travels! If you have any tips for holidaying in Fiji on a budget, let me know in the comments below. 

Until next time,
Jetsetter Soph

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