Happy Memorial Day Weekend! I’m using this time of rest to honor and thank those who serve our country and keep us safe.
Today I’d like to share things to do in Fiji on a budget. You could easily travel to Fiji and have a blast by spending loads of money (those interisland transfers aren’t cheap!), but on our recently DEM Flyers trip to Oceania, we just wanted to chill in Fiji after a whirlwind trip through Sydney and New Zealand.
As usual, suggestions are welcome, especially since we didn’t end up going to the other islands, which I’m sure are gorgeous. Fiji is interesting because it can be both a very expensive and a very affordable destination, and for this trip we definitely stuck to the “very affordable” side of things. 🙂
- Check out the daily schedule at your resort and see if any of the activities or shows strike your interests. Naviti Resort had free activities like boat tours, stand-up paddleboard, snorkeling, basketweaving, and archery, while the Intercontinental required fees for any sports but had free shows and live music every night.
- We paid to watch fire walking at Naviti Resort, and to be perfectly honest, it was not that interesting because it happened really slowly and I was being consumed by mosquitoes in the meantime. We enjoyed the fire dancing show at the Intercontinental much more, which was very entertaining and also free.
Michael and I have T-Mobile, but Fiji is not covered on their list of supported countries with free/unlimited 2G data. I needed data for my job, but we also just wanted to have the data for maps, etc.
At the airport, as soon as you exit baggage claim, you will see 2 telecom stores: Vodafone on the left, and Digicel on the right. I inquired with both companies, and found Digicel to have better prepaid packages and better value. I used my Chase Ink Plus to pay and yes, I did indeed get 5X! Not a huge deal given how cheap it was though. I believe I paid something like USD $13 for 2 GB of data, but I don’t remember exactly. Since these things change frequently, check out the SIM Card wikia and also Digicel’s website. Coverage was very good on Suva and we were glad we purchased SIM cards for half our group.
- Buses are very cheap, but are fairly infrequent (compared to American/Asian/European standards :P)
- Taxis are cheap, but can be very slow. However, the first thing you’ll learn about Fiji is “Fiji Time” – nothing is done quickly, because nothing is ever urgent. Don’t be in a hurry to anything and just chillax. With that said, make sure you give yourself twice as long as you usually do to get to the airport…
- Boat Transfers Via “Awesome Adventures” to and from the Mamanucas & Yasawas: This cost is completely dependent on how many islands you want to check out and how long you want to be island hopping for. We paid approximately $100 USD per person for a seven-day, three island round trip ticket to the Yasawas.
From Martina in Motion, my primary goals in Fiji were to eat roti parcels (Fijian-Indian fusion) and fresh coconuts. I managed to do both, but not really how I expected! We were mostly “resort captive” during our 4 nights there — we stayed at 2 different resorts and didn’t really leave them.
At the first resort (Naviti), we noticed there was a small group of huts set up next to the resort. We didn’t go to explore them. We had breakfast included in our stay, so we would make sandwiches for lunch at breakfast and keep them in our rooms. For dinner, we took a taxi to nearby sister hotel The Warwick. We definitely paid American fine dining prices, but it was a great seafood dinner and we got to try kava.
However, we noticed the similar huts set up next to our second resort (Intercontinental), and the villagers who had set up shop there were more proactive in soliciting customers from the resort. Daniel and I were solicited by some of these villagers, but all I cared about was food at that point, so I kept pressing them to tell us if they had food. They didn’t have food that night, but they sold me a coconut and promised to bring us enough roti and meat for 4 people the next day for $10 USD total. Score! Daniel told this story already, but it was good enough to tell again, given that the cheapest food at the resort otherwise was pizza for some $25 USD. We did the same thing with the villagers for our second lunch there, and for dinners we ate ramen inside the hotel room that Michael had picked up at a local supermarket.