9000 EUR enough for 3-6 months in Fiji + Tuvalu + Tokelau + Tonga + Cooks
Replies: 20 - Last Post: Jun 18, 2009 7:27 PM Last Post By: drgreenthumb
Jun 8, 2009 12:46 AM
Vegetarian couple going super super cheap food style.
No tours or anything, all activities would be such that we can do without spending money. And camp whenever and wherever possible (not the cooks at least)
Route: Fly to Fiji, transport by boat there for the most part (maybe buying the airpass), time spent - month, month and a half or two months max..
----> Boat to Tuvalu, where we would spend undefined amount of time, as I figure there wouldn't be much to see in one atoll only and the outer islands are out of limits (as we don't have months and months to spend there waiting for a boat to pick us up again) so maybe a month would be good...
----> Boat back to Fiji, where we would catch a boat to Samoa, where we would catch a boat to Tokelau and spend 3 weeks there.
----> Boat back to Samoa, MAYBE visit American Samoa for a few days, but main objective would be to board a ship going to Niue. Visit Niue, and come back with the boat to Samoa
----> Catch a boat from Samoa to Tonga. Spend preferably a month or two there. Go down the island chains in North to South manner.
----> Fly from Tongatapu to the Cooks. Spend whatever money we have left there, and head back home.
Does it sound that it could work (ALL INPUT IS GREATLY APPRECIATED), or should we just forget a few islands? Esp. Tuvalu is a mystery! Same goes for Tokelau! Don't know about eastern Fiji islands either!
If it sounds that it DOESN'T WORK - How long time you think that money will get us there? All suggestions will be considered!
Jun 8, 2009 10:21 AM
1First of all, I have to say that it sounds at this point you have a fantasy about the South Pacific islands as many people do.... It will be totally different than you will expect... It sure was for me, as I also had a fantasy image of remote islands and paradise when I went to some of the Pacific islands... There were incredible disappoints and wonderful surprises that I never even expected or dreamt of.
I know this reply is coming across as bold, frank and perhaps rude, but in order to prevent total disappointment for your dreams, you need to make some wise decisions and do much, much more extensive research as this is one of the most significant South Pacific adventures that I have seen on here to date even well beyond your financial concerns.
I hope more posters will come to your aid as well.
*You need to much, much for research (which you can do yourself by using our friend Google... Find out shipping routes, schedules and costs... same with flights, which, incidently, you will end up using alot more of than you thought you would especially after a few hair-raising ferry rides on the high seas, trust me...). THERE ARE ALMOST NO INTERCOUNTRY BOAT SERVICES... You can get from Samoa to Tokelau by boat, Fiji to Tuvalu (extremely limited), Samoa to American Samoa by boat.
There are NO inter island boats between Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, the Cook Islands that I am aware of... You will be flying.
Quote: "No tours or anything, all activities would be such that we can do without spending money..."
*Realistically, you will be spending MUCH more money that you thought... You had better consider this.
Are you planning on walking everywhere? It's going to be a long walk anywhere when you want supplies. You will be paying for transportation on the islands at some point and there will be no ways of getting around that. Most islands have NO public transportation at all.
*Vegetarians have a hard time in the South Pacific... It is duable, but you are going to be spending alot of time searching out suitable protein substitutes (or eating LOTS of tinned Wattie's Beans...)
*Actually, besides the Cook Islands, the camping option is extremely limited on any of the island groups you mention... You can't just show up in places like Samoa, Tonga, Tuvalu and Tokelau and say to the villagers "Can you take me out to the most remote motu or beach in the atoll/island so I can set up camp?"
*Don't even entertain the thought that you will be camping for free... Anywhere.
*Almost ALL property (even the tiniest motu) is privately held.
*Most owners would be very suspicious for you to camp on their property and probably would not grant you permission to camp.
*I know in Samoa you can camp in the small national park on the south side of Upolu island... There are absolutely no services here. You still have to inform park officials and probably get some permit of some sort.
*I know in Tonga you CANNOT camp in any of the Ha'apai islands. I doubt if you could do it anywhere else there.
*You CAN camp on Niue... There is a forest reserve on the eastern part of the island where there are VERY rudimentary facilities and you are far from shops and services.
*In many Polynesian cultures it would be considered an insult for you to even ask to camp on their land. There's the whole issue of losing face with this one... Locals in ALL of the Polynesian countries are going to think you are very, very strange for even wanting to consider to "be alone" on some remote beach. They may feel quite insulted that you would have 'snubbed' their hospitality... Please keep this in mind.
Your voyage sounds intriguing... I hope you can make it work... Please do more research.
Edited by: islandboi321
Jun 8, 2009 4:27 PM
2islandboi said it all. Not that there aren't ways to keep costs down, but camping and boating aren't going to do it. And I very much support the issue of being a vegetarian in the islands. You don't eat fish? that is the staple- along with spam and corned beef (or this is true in the north pacific). The rats get many of the fruits, and the soil supports little in the way of veggies. Taro and fish, breadfruit- these are the basics. In Micronesia you get a lot of japanese food- don't know about south of the equator. Noodles are big. Lots of research to do, but that is half the fun of travel.
Jun 8, 2009 6:48 PM
3Thanks for the replies!
Well I think I've researched a fair bit - I've been planning this trip for over 4 years now!
I know, for example, that a return boat ride with meals for two people from Fiji to Tuvalu is about 1000 EUR (2000 AUD), and the flights were double that price last time I checked. So I think going by boat is a big, big saving - and I figure this price difference can be applied to a lot of the trips...
The food part; I know it will be really, REALLY, REALLY HARD, and I'm expecting to be badly underfed and malnutrioned by the end of this trip.
If I'd scrap the idea of going to Tonga and Am. Samoa, could this work? Or what should be done to make this possible?
And what do you think will be the most commonly missed hidden cost that I'm not seeing here, as Islandboi said; You will be spending A LOT more than you think.. On what?
Jun 9, 2009 10:53 AM
4"I know, for example, that a return boat ride with meals for two people from Fiji to Tuvalu is about 1000 EUR (2000 AUD), and the flights were double that price last time I checked "
Are you sure ? Where and when did you find this fare ?
Well, am looking at the moment for connections etc. in this area as well and according to the
Air Pacific web site the return ticket Nadi/ Fiji to Funafuti/ Tuvalu is about 950,-- FJD incl. tax, which shouldnt be more than 340,-- Euro right now
http://www.airpacific.com/ and you are able to book online with VISA
Jun 9, 2009 12:33 PM
5I am beginning to find all of this quite odd...
jvainio, you said you have been researching this trip for 4 years... Yet, you ask the most elementary questions that anyone could find out about with a minute or two of Googling and internet research.
First example is transportation... 1 hour with the Lonely Planet, Moon or Frommer's guide to the South Pacific and you would have found out about the options (or lack thereof) of taking ships from island group to island group. I just did this and found out in a few short minutes...
Same can be said for airfares... A few minutes of research and I can bring up CURRENT air prices to ANY of the island groups. How come you cannot seem to find this information or have vastly incorrect information as aconchego1 has made clear?
You say that Tokelau and Tuvalu are a mystery to you, yet I Google Tokelau or Tuvalu, and voila, I come up with HEAPS of information on these island groups. I go to the library and again, voila, I sign out 4 or 5 guide books to the islands of the South Pacific and find HEAPS of relevant, current information about transportation, accommodation, communication, customs, food etc.
Can you not access a search engine on your computor where you live? Perhaps you have no access to a library? I find this odd coming from Europe.
You should be an expert by now with 4 years of researching your vacation... Not asking us if you need to be making the decision of whether to go to Tonga and American Samoa. How is it that we are supposed to make this decision for you? I do not understand.
And your question of me regarding "extra" costs... Have you never travelled before? There are ALWAYS extra and unexpected costs that come up... Always... And some of them have the possiblity of being substantial... (eg medical costs if you get sick or hurt... Unexpected boat or plane trips... What if a relative dies whilst you're away and you have to get home RIGHT NOW? Your insurance sure is not going to pay for your ticket back up front... YOU will have to pay for it and THEN possibly be reimbursed when you put in a claim. Come on now, you never thought of these things? The list goes on and on of unexpected costs that WILL come up... You don't have to be a rocket scientist to acknowledge this.
Asking us if the amount of money you are starting out with is enough? How do we know? That is up to you to decide... No one is going to be able to make up a day to day budget for you... Unless you pay them.
I give this 3 out of 10.
Edited by: islandboi321
Edited by: islandboi321
Jun 10, 2009 4:58 AM
6jvainio, if I was you I would heed Islandboi's advice - he knows what he is talking about.
Incidentally, what kind of boat travels between Fiji and Tuvalu, and on what kind of schedule?
If it is the usual boat frequented by islanders, it is likely to be both unreliable (you could be waiting for it for months) and uncomfortable (you sleep on a mat on a crowded deck).
Jun 10, 2009 6:25 AM
Jun 10, 2009 11:22 AM
8Boats go from Fiji to Tuvalu about 4 times a year indeed - checked myself in Suva, too.
Waiting around to catch one may easily cost more than flying.
BTW Greg, are you sure about camping on Niue?
When I was there, years ago, that campsite was no longer functioning.
Fiji has places that allow camping, but it only costs a little less than staying in a bure.
Jun 11, 2009 5:42 AM
Jun 11, 2009 8:49 AM
Jun 11, 2009 2:48 PM
11And the Indonesian ferries mostly weren't new when they got to Indonesia. In Micronesia they are small cargo ships- a few small cabins, a few toilets which tend to fill and overflow within a day or two into the trip. Some cabin space, some pigs, a tuna or two being cut up, some large crates of something, But loved it anyway.
Jun 12, 2009 3:32 AM
12It's fun, but not exactly a Pacific cruise. Travelling through the Sandfly passage on Gela by moonlight at Christmas, when there wasn't even enough room on deck to lie down.....arriving in the Lau Lagoon at dawn.....
It still makes my heart sing.
Jun 12, 2009 7:29 AM
(4 star Hotel)
From US$226.47 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$208.14 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$92.72 per night