Fiji is justifiably renowned for its tranquil turquoise lagoons, spectacular white sand beaches, beautiful landscapes and abundant wildlife. It’s also generally thought to be an expensive holiday option when compared to more traditional getaway destinations like Indonesia and Southeast Asia. In truth, Fiji has much to offer travellers on any type of budget, and its unique setting and culture guarantees an unforgettable vacation. Here’s Captain Cook’s guide to what you need to budget for your trip to stunning Fiji. Please note that all exchange rates are correct as of September 2017.
Daily budget and miscellaneous costs
As a general guide, you’ll need around FJD$360 (AUD$226) per person per day in Fiji if you’re on a budget. For a midrange trip, you could be looking at FJD$360-800 (AUD$226-$501). For a luxury-style trip, aim for at least FJD$800 (AUD$501) per day.
Currency and carrying money around
All of Fiji’s 332 islands use the Fijian Dollar, which has 100 cents in each dollar. Fijian banknotes come in $5 to $100 denominations, while coins are valued from five cents to $2. At the time of writing, one Aussie dollar will buy you $1.61 in Fijian dollars.
As with any destination, make sure you have a few ways of accessing your spending money. Combine cash with a credit card and debit card to avoid carrying too much cash and to keep your options open. Australian, New Zealand and US currency are easy to exchange. ATMs are widely available in Fiji, but watch out for exchange rates, conversion fees, and withdrawal fees. If you’re going to remote areas of the island nation, make sure you have cash on hand.
The Fijian Dollar has been steadily gaining value against the Australian Dollar since 2012. In addition, Fiji experiences much higher inflation compared to Australia, so holidaymakers can benefit from booking in advance. Booking early for accommodation and tours helps you to lock in lower prices and avoid price jumps.
How much should I budget for accommodation in Fiji?
Fiji offers visitors an enormous range of accommodation options. From luxury international resort hostels to shared dorms for the budget conscious, holidaymakers are spoilt for choice, especially on the main islands like Viti Levu and Vanua Levu.
If you’re a budget-conscious traveller, you can find a variety of options on the biggest islands like Viti Levu. A bed in a dorm room can start at around FJD$48 in Viti Levu’s Coral Coast, while in Nadi you can bunk down in a dorm room for just FJD$42 a night.
Private ensuite rooms
If you’re after a private ensuite room, you’ll be paying a little bit more. A private room for one might set you back FJD$140(AUD$88) and FJD$194(AUD$122) for two in Nadi. On Vanua Levu, you could get a private room for as little as FJD$86(AUD$54) to FJD $109(AUD$68).
If you enjoy all the amenities and something extra on your holiday trips, you can book a two-bedroom villa for around FJD$850 (AUD$533), or enjoy a luxurious room for around FJD$400 (AUD$451) on Viti Levu. A room in a resort on the Yasawa Islands might set you back FJD$300 (AUD$188).
For some of the best ‘value for money’ holidays, you could try a Lazy Lunch Cruise aboard the Ra Marama with Captain Cook Cruises. FJD$129 (AUD$81) covers a tropical buffet lunch, afternoon tea, beer and wine, and Captain’s Kids Club. Other great activities to work into your schedule include the Sunset Dinner Cruise and a Tivua Island Day Cruise, or try a three to 11 day totally accommodated cruise to enjoy more of the sights Fiji has to offer. Cruising is a fantastic way to take the stress out of holiday planning and to simplify your budgeting efforts, as cruise prices take care of meals for the family, activities and accommodation – all in one!
How much should I budget for food?
Food and drinks, including alcohol, are much cheaper on the main island of Viti Levu, so if you’re heading out to one of the more remote locations, stock up on necessities before you set off. Keep in mind that many resort hotels offer all-inclusive meal packages, which are often worth taking advantage of. Or, if cruising the Fiji Islands with Captain Cook, all your food is conveniently included in the overall cruise price.
Fiji’s hotels are usually located away from supermarkets and local stores, so if you don’t have access to transport, you’ll probably be planning to eat in your hotel or nearby.
Food is cheap in Fiji, with meals for a day costing around AUD$55 per person. Breakfast in Fiji will cost around AUD$6-12, and lunch at FJD$16-20 and dinner FJD$25-30. Special buffet deals are a great way to sample the fresh local seafood and local cuisine if you’re on a budget.
Fijian water is inexpensive and widely available, offering a great way to stay hydrated. Alcohol costs more, with drinks for one day averaging around FJD$13 (AUD$8), FJD$20 (AUD$12.50) for a bottle of house Australian wine, FJD$4-6 (AUD$2.50) for a beer and FJD$15-30 (AUD$9.40) for cocktails.
Street food from roadside snack stands is a cheap way to snack in Fiji, and you get to sample local dishes like traditional Fijian stews and curries for FJD$2-4 (AUD$1.25).
Lying on the beach, surfing and paddle boarding, hiking in the hills of the amazing Bouma National Heritage Park – there are a huge number of free or cheap things to do in Fiji but, if you fancy splashing out on a couple of excursions, there are some wonderful activities on offer, including:
- Spa days – Rejuvenate and relax while on your holiday by indulging in an amazing spa package at one of Fiji’s top spas.
- Diving – A day diving with Captain Cook Cruises among the fish and sharks is an experience you’ll never forget. You can do it on our Tivua Island Day Cruise starting from FJD$179 (AUD$116) or our Reef Endeavour cruise from FJD$245 (AUD$157).
- Snorkelling – You can join a snorkelling tour from FJD$210, however snorkelling on Captain Cook Cruises in Fiji is included for free.
- Cruising – Cruising is probably the best way to see more of Fiji and have everything – from transport to entertainment and meals – taken care of. There’s a wide range of boat trips, including day, night, and longer excursions, starting from FJD$110. Some tour prices also include meals and drinks, and you can get to see popular destinations such as the Yasawa, Mamanuca, Lau, and Kadavu Islands. Find out more about Captain Cook Fiji’s cruise selection here.
Tipping is not expected in Fiji, but if you feel like the service is worth it, feel free to tip the staff member.
Budgeting well for your Fijian getaway
With a little careful planning, Fiji has great travel options for all budgets. The islands have exceptional beauty and charm which are guaranteed to provide an experience that stays with you for a lifetime. Captain Cook Cruises scenic cruises off you the best of what Fiji has to offer. Whether you’re looking to take a day trip or multi-day journey through the islands, our tours are the ideal way to see more of Fiji.