Ways to Save Money in the Mamanuca Islands
At first glance, the Mamanuca Islands are not an ideal pick for a budget holiday in Fiji. But thanks to its small selection of budget resorts and a few handy tips that we’re about to share, staying in the Mamanuca Islands is completely doable on a budget! Whether you’re a backpacker, family or a honeymooning couple on a budget, you’ll find tips that apply to you in this list of ways to stay in the Mamanucas on a budget!
1. Get Supplies Before Going to the Islands
If you’re lucky enough to be staying on an island with a convenience store in the resort or on the island, supplies are going to be much more expensive than what’s available on the mainland. Stock up on things like sunscreen, insect repellent, snacks (check if your accommodation has a fridge) and anything else you might think you’ll need.
2. Take Some Bottled Water or a Lifestraw Bottle
Only the higher-end resorts will offer their guests complimentary bottled water. Even if the tap water is “safe” to drink, it won’t agree with everyone. Bring a few bottles of water to drink with you. Better yet, pack a Lifestraw Bottle to filter the water so it is safe to drink. Otherwise, you’ll end up paying way too much for bottled water. Check out Can You Drink the Water in Fiji? for more tips.
3. Start Your Stay Mid-Week
Play around with your dates when booking your resort. The more flexible you can be with your nights of stay, the more you’ll save. Often, we find that it’s cheaper to start your stay mid-week, for instance, Tuesday or Wednesday, compared to Friday, Saturday or Sunday.
4. Plan Your Trip in the Low Season
Summer never ends in Fiji, so there is never really a bad time to visit! Sure, there’s the wet season, but the Mamanuca Islands experience a drier climate than what’s experienced on the mainland. Anyhow, try to travel in the low season to see cheaper rates on flights and rooms. The low season in Fiji is October-November and January-May. Check out 10 Reasons to Travel in the Low Season in Fiji.
5. Take Advantage of the Cheap Accommodation
Stay in the cheapest type of accommodation the resorts offer, like a bure (bungalow), backpacker dorm or a tent site. The resorts that we list in 5 Best Budget Accommodation on the Mamanuca Islands all offer cheaper alternatives compared to what else is available around the Mamanucas.
6. Load Up on Free Activities
With the number of free activities available in the Mamanuca Island resorts, you don’t even need to spend a dime on activities to have a good time. Most resorts offer free access to non-motorised watersports equipment like kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, snorkelling gear, Hobiecat sailboats and more! On land, there’s bound to be beach volleyball, a tennis court, beach cricket, coconut husking… And much more! Not to mention the time you will spend lazying by the pool. Check out the 12 Free & Cheap Things to Do in the Mamanuca Islands for more inspiration.
7. Eat Strategically
There’s often not many options to prepare your own meals on the Mamanuca Islands so you’re going to need to eat strategically in order to save money on meals. First, the food portions in Fiji resorts are pretty darn huge, so sharing a main or ordering an entree each is usually a good way to go. Second, order off the lunch menu! Lunch menus usually last until around 4pm, so if that means having an early dinner, that could save you almost half the price of the meals on the dinner menu. Third, check if your resort does meal packages. They are often quite good value for money.
8. Use “Kids Stay and Play for Free” Resorts
If travelling with kids, consider family-friendly resorts like Plantation Island Resort and Treasure Island Resort that often do “kids eat free” or “kids stay and play for free” deals. The deal often is that children under 12 years can stay for free if the existing bedding in a room is used, as well as having free access to the kids’ clubs. Learn more about the kids’ clubs in our 7 Best Kids’ Clubs in the Mamanuca Islands.
9. Take a Resort Boat Transfer
Getting to your desired island is quite a big expense. Usually one of your cheapest options is to use the boat transfers offered by your resort. Some of the budget resorts, in particular, organise their own boat transfer to their island. For instance, there’s the Mana Flyer from Wailoaloa Beach, Nadi, taking guests to Mana, Beachcomber, Treasure and Bounty islands. Ratu Kini Cruises also transfers to their resort on Mana Island. Beachcomber Cruises connects Port Denarau and the Anchorage Beach Resort at Vuda Point to Beachcomber Island. Take a look at 5 Ways to Get to the Mamanuca Islands.
10. Be Prepared; Read Fiji Pocket Guide
Did you know it is customary to bring yaqona root during a village visit (and super expensive to buy once you are at the village compared to picking some up from the mainland)? Did you know that locals list their homes on Airbnb and Booking.com as accommodation for less than FJ$50 a night?! There are many more ways to save money when travelling in Fiji that we share with you throughout our online travel guide to Fiji! Keep on browsing Fiji Pocket Guide for more tips that will save you money in Fiji!