Traveling to Momi Bay and Savusavu Fiji on a Budget
This post was written in partnership with Moon Travel Guides.
Traveling to Momi Bay + Savusavu Fiji
On A Budget
Everyone has that one destination on their bucket list. It is the place that you dream of going to, but never think you’ll ever get to see in person. For me, that place was Fiji. I am fortunate enough to have been able to visit Nadi and Momi Bay on the island of Vitu Levu and the paradise that is Savusavu on Vanua Levu. And I’m thrilled to be able to share some of my planning tips for this once in a lifetime trip so that you too can make Fiji a reality for you.
To me, Fiji was a place where the white sand beaches and the deep blue ocean are something I’d only see in photos or in nature programs narrated by Sir David Attenborough. Fiji was a place that only supermodels would visit to shoot exotic swimsuit spreads for the next big swimwear issue of “Unreasonably Beautiful People” Magazine. But most of all, Fiji seemed too expensive to even consider. So needless to say, when the opportunity to head to these islands presented itself, I jumped. Once I began actually planning and looking into the details of the travel, I found how incredibly affordable and approachable Fiji could be.
FINDING AFFORDABLE AIRFARE
My friends stumbled upon an insane deal through Fiji Airways that got us a round trip, direct flight from San Francisco to Nadi, Fiji for $348. You read that right. $348 US dollars. So don’t think it’s all expensive all the time. Great fares are out there! By setting up travel alerts, or using things like Scotts Cheap Flights, you can locate some incredibly affordable airfare! You can also leverage points from your credit card if you have travel friendly cards like Chase, Capital One, or Amex.
PLANNING YOUR VISIT
Within the last year I stumbled upon a travel planning must have; Moon Guides. These books have become my go-to resource for planning the ultimate getaway. When Moon Guides came out with their Fiji book just a couple of months before my departure I knew it was meant to be! What I love about the Moon Guides Fiji book is that it's written by a local who really knows the islands, the details of the places to visit based on your budget, finding incredible hidden gems that are less crowded, and of course, the can’t-miss joints to get food on the islands. And the best part? A book requires no wifi. So I was able to use the book all through our travels from town to town, island to island.
During my stay, I visited two locations; Momi Bay on the island Vitu Levu, and Savusavu on the island Vanua Levu. In Momi Bay, we had 3 nights at the new Marriott Resort in Momi Bay (thanks for the recommendation Moon Guides!). Staying on an overwater bure is the Fijian equivalent of the penthouse suite at a 5-star hotel. At a cool $1000 a night, it was too rich for our blood. We did a little digging and found that we could get very similar bure at the same resort for a fraction of the price if we posted up on a beach or the shore of the lagoon instead. Our total was $800 for the three nights! Quite the departure from the $3000+ we would have paid for an identical view.
When planning for Savusavu, our group located the most incredible villa. The cost to rent the villa was 3x more than our budget. But one email to our host with our actual budget was all it took for us snag an incredible house on a hill with sweeping views of the bay and open ocean. Most private rentals would rather take guests in for less than have no guests at all, so the lesson here is that it never hurts to ask!
If you aren't in need of a luxurious stay, there were countless resorts, hotels, and small villas/bures that cost anywhere between $45-$80 a night (many including a local breakfast with stay).
LIVING LIKE A LOCAL FIJIAN
Almost everything in Fiji is imported which is a big reason why things are so expensive. However, most of the items imported are done so to cater and support the large volume of western tourists. By living like a local, you are able to cut your costs down and truly experience your destination like a local. And since the Fijian locals don’t rely on the hoards of imported goods, you can find some great food and restaurants for an incredible price. One of the best finds from my Moon Guides book was Surf and Turf. The most amazing, little, hole-in-the-wall restaurant in Savusavu that featured a menu of fresh caught, local fish, delightful curries, and local lobsters. Be sure to get the Kokoda if you go. It will change your life!
All in all, Fiji doesn’t have to break the bank. With a little planning you can live out your supermodel dreams on a white sand beach for no more than it would cost to go on any other vacation. In the end,
Have you been to Fiji? Did you love it? Share your experience in the comments!
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