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Tips for Travelling Fiji on a Budget

Fiji can be an expensive country to travel, but if you’re careful, it can be done cheaply! This blog includes tips to help you travel Fiji on a budget. 

Tips for travelling Fiji On a budget

Fiji is not a cheap destination to travel. In fact, it is surprisingly expensive with lots of things costing similar to New Zealand or Australia prices! However, there are a few tips which I discovered in my recent trip to Fiji that will help you save some money while in Fiji. If you are smart and careful, you can still see and do all of the best things to do in Fiji without breaking the bank!

These are my top tips for travelling Fiji on a budget!

rooftop bar in fiji
The best view – and only for the price of a drink at the Ramada in Nadi!
Related Read:   Fiji Culture Village

Stay on the main island

Although staying a few nights on one of the many small islands around the Fiji main island is tempting, if you are travelling Fiji on a budget then this might be something you need to give a miss.

First of all, the ferries to get to the islands are very expensive and cost from $100-200 FJN and take a couple of hours.

The hotels on the islands are also more expensive than the ones on the main island and because of the isolated location, food and drink prices are also inflated.

Many of the hotels on the islands make you purchase their food package as there is nowhere else to buy food nearby. Be sure to look into if a food package is mandatory before booking accommodation as they can cost around $135 USD per person per day on top of the hotel cost!

If you stay on the main island in Fiji you will have access to local restaurants and grocery stores. You can also do a day trip out to an island for as little as $100 FJN including activities and transport!

save money travelling in fiji
You don’t need to go to a remote island to see beautiful beaches in Fiji. This photo is on the Pacific Coast of the main island.

 

Pay with cash

In Fiji, cash speaks! Credit card and EFTPOS machines are frequent but they often incur a 3-5% charge.

When at local shops it is also easier to negotiate prices with cash as the locals prefer to take cash.

Take local transport

Taxis are pricey in Fiji! Yellow taxis start at $5 FJN and the meter goes up very quickly.
The less official taxis are a little bit cheaper and fares are negotiated as a set price. However, they are still expensive in comparison to local transport.

The local buses cost only a couple dollars and go all around the island! I got all the way from the airport to Pacific Harbour (a 3.5-hour ride) for only $12 FJN!

Do be aware though the local buses can be slow and often run late. They do have a schedule but they don’t follow it very well.

Other than that, the local buses are safe and the best option for travelling around Fiji on a budget.

take local transport to travel fiji on a budget
On a local bus!

Take advantage of grocery stores

Buying snacks, water, and alcohol the local grocery stores will save you a ton! Hotels and small grocery stores in touristic areas overcharge for these items.

Also, if your hotel has a kettle and a refrigerator then you can buy some fruit and other food items that are easy to make. I often ate instant oatmeal in my hotel room for breakfast using just the kettle. I also brought fresh fruit from the markets that made a perfect snack! Instant noodle cups are also a good idea.

Bring alcohol and food with you

If you are coming for a short holiday and have room in your suitcase then it is worth stocking up at home before coming to Fiji.

For example, I bought a 1-litre bottle of vodka in the Auckland airport for $32 NZD. In Fiji, the same bottle cost $189 FJN (about $130 NZD)! Other items I brought with me included chocolate, chips, and crackers such as Shapes, which are all ridiculously priced in Fiji even in the grocery stores.

alcohol is expensive in fiji
Alcohol prices are CRAZY in Fiji!

Take Advantage of free events

Many bars, restaurants, and hotels have free entertainment in the evenings. You could watch traditional dancers, singers, or even try “Kava” (traditional Fijian drink) for free! IF you are really lucky, you might even be able to catch a fire dance performance for free!

free kava ceremony in fiji
Me, trying “Kava” for free at a hotel bar/restaurant!

Travel with friends

Traveling us a group will also help you travel Fiji on a budget. You will be able to share hotel rooms, taxis, and negotiate better tour deals! When booking tours or buying items at souvenir shops always ask for a discount if you buy multiple!

Drink minimally

Alcohol is very expensive in Fiji. It is almost all imported and there is a high tax in it.
At the grocery store expect to pay $3 FJN for a beer or local cooler. Expect to pay around $20 FJN for wine or $100 FJN or more for spirits!

In bars and restaurants, drinks can easily cost upwards of $10 FJN with cocktails costing $20 FJN or more! The cheapest drink I found at a bar was $6 FJN for a Fiji Gold beer.

Bring your alcohol with you or just keep the drinking to a minimum to save your wallet!

cocktails in fiji
This cocktail is worth $25 FJN, but, I won a Limbo contest at our hotel and got it for free!

 

Use the website “Book Me”

The website “Book Me” is popular in New Zealand, but it is also getting to be popular in Fiji! I bought a day trip to an island with transport for 50% off on Book Me. There are tons of tour deals and even some restaurants. It is definitely worth checking out if you want to book any excursions.

cheap island excursion fiji
On an island excursion that I paid only half-price for!

Yes, Fiji is expensive. But what you need to understand is that their economy relies on tourism and the prices really help them out. Many of the prices are geared towards wealthy tourists, not budget travelers so you must be smart to travel cheaply in Fiji!

While the prices in Fiji can be frustrating, if you prepare properly and make the right choices you will be able to travel Fiji on a budget and still have a fantastic time!
-Bailey

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