Fiji on budget
--- the ultimate backpacking travel guide ---
This post is written by our host blogger nomadiciv@.
Fiji is not a bacpackers destination. The accommodation in resorts is quite expensive, so your budget needs to get higher than for example Southeast Asia. We tried to get the costs down by sleeping in our tent some days, for example in Nacula island. Otherwise we chose the cheaper accommodation, but with a certain standard (private bath).
The local currency is Fijian Dollar (FJD). The exchange rate in 2017 is 1 USD = 2.07 FJD. ATMs are at every corner, but not in small islands and cheaper resorts.
Average cost per person: 55 USD per day
including accommodation, food, transport, entrance fees, souvenirs
excluding visa and flight tickets
Check also top things to see in Fiji in our photo journey.
The main thing you can save money on are the flight tickets. Read our tips how to find cheap flights.
Transport in Fiji is not cheap. In Nadi we used taxi for the short journeys around the city. There are regular coach buses for longer trips around the main island Viti Levu, or to the capital Suva. The drawback is that they stop in the larger cities and your desired destination may be few km away (e.g. Sigatoka sand dunes). To get to the inland cannibal villages is quite difficult. It is probably easier to pay for an organized trip. You also need to bring a gift to the village.
We were considering renting a car, but it showed up to be too expensive two people. Our final choice was BULA pass. A pass that allows you to do the island hopping among islands in Mamanuca and Yasawa - the most visited and frequented islands nearby the Viti Levu.
There is a wide range of accomoodation. There are hostels, guesthouses and luxurious hotels. We stayed in double rooms with private bath or our own tent. The price for a person in Nadi was 15-20 USD per night and the accommodation in Yasawas including the food was around 70 USD per night
The Indo-Fijian population serves Indian food. it is great and cheap, so you could easily eat it your whole stay in Fiji. But you shouldn't definitely miss the local food. If you stay in hostels, they offer usually everything from burgers to kokoda. Kokoda is a raw fish marinated in lime and served in fresh coconut milk. The coconut milk is enhanced with raw cucumbers, onions and a dash of chillies. Even though I am not a fish enthusiast this meal was delicious (and not cheap). Fiji beer is actually very cosmopolitan in its taste and satisfies the majority of drinkers.
The best way how to discover Fiji is BULA PASS . Usually you buy the BULA pass for several days in a resort in one of the islands and then you can do the island hopping from resort to resort as long as your BULA pass is valid. You decide if you are gonna stay in a resort for just one day or the whole week. The BULA Pass includes food and afternoon tea. This is a Brittish tradition, but alcohol and other extra drinks are more expensive. Prices example per person
- BULA pass for 5 days - 250 USD
- Garden of the Sleeping Giant - 18 FJD (8.6 USD)
- Sri Siva Subramaniya Temple - 5 FJD (2.4 USD)
- Snorkelling with sharks at Waya LaiLai resort - 50 FJD (24 USD)
- Kava Ceremony is said to be an important aspect of Fiji culture. So far I cannot really consider if it was just a tourist show or if there is a real etiquette in local´s homes when they drink kava. As a chief of resort remarked – it is the chief who drink the first and the youngest one who drinks the most (to hug a pillow and not a woman :-D). The rule is to clap with your hands once before drinking and others will clap three times as you finish it.
- Tea oddity when you order a tea in Fiji you will get a black tea with milk. Yes it is a remain of British Empire. Actually there is a lemon grass growing all around which may be used to make tea infusion which also most of the locals do. You just pour few leaves with hot water and let steep for few minutes. Since the local guide told me, I have made a lemon grass tea at home.
More tips for traveling cheap here .