Fiji is the real life embodiment of all your remote tropical
island fantasies: clean, clear water, endless sandy beaches and palm trees
swaying in the breeze. You won't find anywhere more idyllic, which is why Fiji
is also home to many resorts so expensive that most of use can only dream of
Don't give up the dream yet. Despite the luxury vibe, Fiji
is a surprisingly budget-friendly destination if you know where to go. Here are
some tips to help make your dream vacation a reality.
Time Your Visit
Fiji is a seasonal destination and the price of flights,
resorts and activities varies greatly. The most expensive time to visit is May
through September, winter in the southern hemisphere. You are more likely to
find a good deal near the end of the high season in September or October. The
cheapest time to visit is November through April, however this is rainy season
and you run the risk of having your plans decimated by a cyclone.
Use Fiji at a Layover
Flying to Fiji from most places in the world is quite
expensive, however if you are already flying to New Zealand or Australia, Fiji
is a great layover destination. Many airlines offer packages where you can
extend your layover for free.
Head to the Yasawas
This strip of remote tropical islands is Fiji's backpacker
heaven. The crowd here skews young, but anyone can participate by buying a
“Bula Pass,” a boat pass that allows you to hop among the dozen or so inhabited
islands. Many resorts in this area offer both private bungalows and cheap dorm
style accommodations. Guests in the dorms typically have access to all the same
amenities as those in the regular accommodations including meals and
Or Stick to the Main Island
In contrast, there are many great deals to be had by staying
on Fiji's largest island, Viti Levu. The international airport is located here,
which means no pricey transfers to another island, while it is easy to get
around the island via public bus. Many of the resorts on the Coral Coast along
the southern part of Viti Levu also offer dorms or lower cost accommodation
Prices for food on the main island (a major expense in Fiji)
are lower than on the smaller islands. The only cities in Fiji are also on the
main island, where there is the opportunity to eat more locally and cheaper.
Food is one of the biggest, most difficult-to-avoid expenses
in Fiji. Many ingredients must be imported from off the islands, which makes
food nearly universally expensive. There aren't many supermarkets for self-catering,
only a few local markets and fruit stands. If you can find where the locals are
eating, the food will be significantly cheaper than at a tourist restaurant or
resort. Otherwise the best deal is probably an all-inclusive resort that
Bring Your Own Supplies
Aside from food, certain other high demand supplies are sold
at a premium on the islands. You can save quite a bit of money by planning
ahead and bringing your own supply of sunscreen, bug spray and even alcohol.
What other tips would you add to this list?