This will be a short one! We embraced “island time” for a couple weeks there in Fiji and spent many a day laying out on the beach or by the pool, slathering on sunblock, and sipping Fiji Beer. It was a very budget approach to an island group that offers a wide array of tempting (but expensive) water sports. Fiji might not be the most affordable island getaway, but for a few dollars more you’ll be greeted with warm island songs before sliding into a swinging hammock and enjoying legendary hospitality on one of country’s 333 isle gems.
Just want the numbers? Skip to the bottom.
Predictably, lodging costs will make up the lion’s share of a visit there. We stayed in “affordable” places ($50-$70 USD per night) and just the sleeping part added up to 44% of our daily costs. There are certainly cheaper places on the main island, but why would you travel that far and not go a little further for cleaner, quieter beaches? (Read about our accommodation choices here).
[ptcPhoto filename=”FijiBamboo.jpg” title=”Beach” caption=”The beaches on the mainland don’t have the white sand you see in the brochures.” position=”center”]
Hopping from island to island is relatively easy (hotels can arrange transportation for you), but remember to factor transfer costs in to your budget (we paid around $40 each to reach the Mamanuca Island group). If you’re arranging your own transfers, make sure the boat operator is licensed – saving a few dollars is definitely not worth the risk involved in going out with an unprofessional or inexperienced skipper.
Food might be limited to the menu (and costs) of whichever resort you choose, so it’s worth checking the hotel’s restaurant reviews and proximity to other options when booking. We loaded up on supplies and had some picnics to save money. If you enjoy beach cocktails, don’t forget to stop by the duty free shop before exiting the secure area in the airport – alcohol prices are much better there.
[ptcPhoto filename=”FijiEspresso.jpg” title=”Coffee” caption=”Entertainment: Learning how to make cappuccino in our room at the Hilton.” position=”center”]
One other random thing: Most places will charge an additional 2% fee if you use a credit card, so if you’re comfortable carrying a lot of banknotes (or making frequent trips to the ATM), it’s better to pay in cash.
The daily average cost for our visit was $133 (or $66.50 per person per day).
Here’s a breakdown of all our costs during our stay. This table does not reflect costs to enter the country (we used miles to fly in from New Zealand).
|Type of Expense||Total Cost
(for 11 days)
|Lodging||$637.26||$57.93||Our lodging choices ranged in price from $52 USD at the Hilton Fiji (we used points and only paid for an upgrade) to $70 USD for dorm beds at a backpackers resort on Mana Island.|
|Food||$386.76||$35.16||We made our own meals as often as possible (it’s easier if you find a place with a kitchen).|
|Transportation (within country)||$151.20||$13.75||Boats to the Mamanuca Islands average around $40 USD per person.|
|Entertainment||$75.60||$6.87||Our only entertainment cost was the Cast Away tour.|
|Alcohol||$172.17||$15.65||Large bottles of beer cost about $3 USD at the store (more, of course, at the resorts).|
|Incidentals||$39.85||$3.62||Includes the costs for items like sunblock, internet, clothes and donations.|
|Grand Total*||$1,462.84||$132.99||*Total reflects expenses for two people in USD. It does not reflect costs to enter the country (i.e., visas or airfare).|
[ptcPhoto filename=”FijiPie.jpg” title=”Pie chart” caption=”” position=”center”]
Average cost of brunch for two – $15 FJD ($8)
A bottle of sparkling wine to go with your brunch – $26 FJD ($14)
A 4GB data-only SIM card for your phone – $70 FJD ($38)