How I found a more affordable Fiji family holiday – guest post

Affordable-Fiji-family-holidays

So yesterday I had a post with top tips for finding cheaper family holidays in Fiji.

Today’s post is case study, written by a friend of mine. Julie and I had been chatting about Fiji and she told me how she’d gone about planning a family holiday for herself, her husband and their two girls.

I was really impressed by how much research she had done. Thanks so much for sharing your findings with us, Julie.

 

Outrigger Fiji watersports

Photos on this post are from my recent trip to the Outrigger and Castaway Island, but you get the idea!

Julie writes:

I had been to Fiji once before three years ago, we stayed at Treasure island. We had a marvellous time with our two kids who were aged four  and fine and we have wanted to go back ever since.

However, a (crazy?!) decision to return to uni as a a mature student has taken its toll on the family finances so the only way we could go back was to go on a budget.

I started off at Flight Centre but the same all-inclusive deal at Treasure Island OUT of school holidays was coming in at MORE than it had done during school holidays three years ago.

During the course of the research, Flight Centre did come out more expensive for all resorts.

I researched online and it quickly became apparent that the islands weren’t really an option if we wanted to keep the whole holiday (8 nights) below $5k including meals.

It possibly could have been done at Plantation Island but we had a day trip there when at Treasure Island and hadn’t liked it as much as Treasure (others definitely disagree).

We were worried about trying to recreate the island experience too closely but not being as satisfied.

It soon became clear that the Coral Coast offered the most affordable deals for family-orientated, all-inclusive packages.

I looked at Travel Online, Holidays with Kids, myfiji.com, Hoot Holidays and the Sun-Herald supplement on a Sunday.

We saw some good deals for big resorts such as Shangri-l La and Outrigger but as Treasure Island had been small and casual, we didn’t want to go for the big five star luxury resorts (really??!! – Seana). We wanted smaller, friendlier family focused (oh all right then – Seana).

Plus, those deals didn’t include meals or drinks and I’d been warned it could cost an extra $1000 or so once meals were added in.

I preferred the idea of having a fixed price for meals just so that we would know in advance what we were up for.

It soon became apparent that Naviti Resort and Hideaway were the more affordable, family orientated destinations.

I was worried about going too down market after being on the island but both resorts receive excellent reviews on TripAdvisor so fingers crossed!!

In the end it really came down the toss of a coin but we chose to go with Naviti as, now that the girls are a bit older, we liked that it seemed to offer a broader range of activities.

We did like that Hideaway offered bures rather than hotel rooms and it certainly sounds very friendly.

Both resorts include local wine and beer and reduced cocktails as part of their all-inclusive deals!

It certainly seemed that booking online can save almost $1000 compared to the travel agencies.

Flying Fiji Airways rather than Virgin would have saved us a further $161 but the Virgin times suited us better so we opted to pay more for them. We will arrive at the resort late afternoon rather than late in the evening.

I found the deals offered through the agencies (ie HOOT) were better value than doing it myself through Travel Online, plus if you do it yourself you have to keep a close eye on things such as transfer times.

So the whole holiday with flights, drinks, meals, kids club, 8 nights, a cruise, activities such as snorkelling etc comes in at $4600.

Maybe someone could get it cheaper but as my aim was to keep it under $5k, so I was happy with that.

We booked through HOOT and found our consultant very helpful.

Outrigger Fiji staff_1

Outrigger Fiji lizard

Job well done, Julie.  we all know there’s no such thing as a really cheap Fiji family holiday.

You’ve put a lot of effort into finding a complete holiday within your budget.

 Here’s hoping you have a fab holiday and please tell us about it when you get home.

Have you had a lovely holiday and felt you’d got a bargain?

In Fiji or elsewhere?

Outrigger Fiji staff_3

PS I do recommend buying the Lonely Planet Guide to Fiji, you can check it out here at the Lonely Planet Shop

fiji_travel_guide_-_9th_edition_large

You’ll love these posts

Castaway Island full family review here

Castaway Island – Our Family Photos

More Fiji Posts here

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Posted on: July 24, 2015

8 Comments

  • Julie did a fabulous job, absolutely as I would have suggested…a few Christmas’s ago I felt a longing to spend over a fortnight in Fiji. We tend to stay at the InterContinental at Natadola and honestly for us it would not feel like a complete holiday without it…that said I also wanted somewhere more ‘old style’ for 5 nights at the beginning of the trip. So I completed the same research as Julie and ended up settling on the Hideaway (because of the Bure accommodation). The result was a fabulous, relaxing time, the kids had a ball roaming around the beach and resort – the food was fine – the activities were fun (I even jumped in to water aerobics..) – the rooms were huge and perfect for a family break – and it served to keep the costs down. Would do it again in a heartbeat. x

    • Reply July 30, 2015

      Seana Smith

      We must talk!! Good thing we have a date. I need your travel industry expertise.

  • Reply July 31, 2015

    Bronwyn

    What about the transfer from the airport to the hotel? Did you go by bus or taxi? Was that included in the hotel booking? How long did it take? I have to say the idea of a long (longer than 30minutes) trip over not-first-world-roads after a plane journey doesn’t thrill me.

    • Reply August 2, 2015

      Seana Smith

      Well the transfers have always been part of the hotel deal. It’s one hour and fifteen minutes to the Coral Coast. That’s fine for us now but we did once do it when our twins were 20 months old. They’re super active and the flight was a nightmare and so was the bus trip. Horrors. But now we’re all good for flight and transfers. The Denarau hotels are only 20-30 mins from Nadi airport and transfers usually arranged by them.

  • I have actually been thinking about a holiday to Fiji because everyone says it is cheap. Good to get a rundown of exactly how much it is going to cost me to go. Thanks!
    Thanks for joining in #wednesdaywanderlust

    • Reply August 3, 2015

      Seana Smith

      Yes, this is handy isn’t it? You could easily spend double that… well, we have in the past but then we’ve had two rooms always with our family of six. I think Julie did really well and there’s great advice in here.

  • Reply August 2, 2015

    Matt

    Thanks for a great run down on how to get a reasonably priced holiday in Fiji. We are considering the idea of going next year so these points are really useful.

    • Reply August 3, 2015

      Seana Smith

      My pleasure! If you go, I’ll enjoy hearing about your holiday.

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