A Budgeting Guide For Dubai

Having heard the rumours and panicking about last minute currency exchanges my trip to Dubai was finally here!

Having tried to research the trip and a spending guide I noticed how lacking the internet was of one, So below I've helped list a compilation of things you may need to budget for on your trip!

Dinning Out

Breakfast at a hotel if not included – 16-25aed

Lunch or dinner at a hotel – ranging from special offers of 39 – to 150aed

McDonalds meal – 23-30aed

Meal with soft drinks in a mid range restaurant- 100aed

Coffee at coffee house – 20aed

 

Out and about

Metro from the airport to the city centre – 10.50aed

Unlimited day ticket for metro (all zones) -20aed

5 Mile journey in a taxi – 26aed

Day entry to a water-park – 310aed

Soft drink from a supermarket – 9-13aed

Bottle of water from a supermarket – 1aed

Can of beer from a supermarket – 9aed

Crisps – 10aed

Cigarettes –  10aed

 

Hope this helps some towards your budgeting plans for a trip to Dubai, I averaged £100 spending a day while I was there and that covered eating out for lunch and dinner mid-range, visiting a water-park and travelling using a mixture of taxis and metro.

Has anyone else been to Dubai, Did you manage to spend less than me a day? Was there anything I may need to add onto the list?

 

At the time of travel the exchange rate was 4.41 Dirham to the Great British Pound, please check the current exchange rates before travel.

Places To Vist From Ubud, Bali

Located in the uplands of Bali only 2 hours from the popular coastal resort, Ubud sits pretty amongst Bali’s most famous landscapes.

Most may recognise Ubud from Elizabeth Gilbert’s memoir ‘Eat, Pray, Love’ the picture however is a little different from that you will find when you arrive. Having built on the back of the tourism with the books popularity there now is much more than perceived in the movie, Not that this doesn’t better benefit the local communities it does mean you won’t fall off the beaten track as she does in the movie.

Having recently visited I wanted to share my top not to miss tips to show how you can get off the beaten track!

 

Tegenungan Village Waterfall

Located only a short drive from Ubud plan a day to visit the beautiful falls, As it is only a short drive and a small entry fee (10,000) plan a full day here to give you time to climb down and spend some time in the waters. Although a steep climb is is not as far as it appears! As we were on a day trip we only got long enough to visit for a photo stop however we’d of liked to spend a long morning there, Taking a slow walk back to the restaurants and stalls along the entrance and car park before we headed home.

 

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Tirta Empul (Holy Spring Temple)

With so many great places to visit in Ubud a couple of days in the town will not go a miss! Tirta Empul or for the tourists known as the holy spring temple is a place where the local Hindus are able to self cleanse the mind and soul using the holy waters in the natural springs within the temple. It was super interesting to obverse each person ‘cleansing’ themselves and there was nowhere I felt as calm while I travelled in Bali.

Entrance was approx 15,000 per person and it does included a sarong hire (bring your own if you wish to use the cleansing pools)

Plan to spend a hour or two to enjoy all on offer, and to capture photos. There is some of the most beautiful architecture I’ve seen and I spent ages trying to capture the intricate details.

On a side note if you were looking to get some shopping done and knick-knack shopping done the market maze on your exit is the place to go! You can enter the markets without having entered the temples so if temples aren’t your thing check out the stores. They have the same produce as the markets in Ubud market but the ladies here see a lot less visitors in the same space of time so get less trade. I brought so much while I shopped I spent my daily budget within 15 mins.

 

 

Tegallalang

Often seen blazoned across the front of the Bali guide books the rice terraces in Bali are unmissable. Only a very short drive from Ubud you enter into the small village set around the planting fields.

As one of the more recognised this unbelievably is located on the side of the main through road, Surrounded by shops and restaurants, It feels so out of place. When we travelled the fields had just been recently cut back so it wasn’t as spectacular as I’d seen in previous photos and it turns out had we arrived only a day before this wouldn’t be the case (ask your hotel and local drivers as they’ll be able to advise locally the last time it was cropped)

You must pay an entry fee when arriving in the village, and is a per car/motorcycle and less than £2. You then are free to scramble in the fields and capture as many photos as you would like.

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Goa Gajah (Elephant Temple)

Located only 6kms from Ubud this beautiful carved cave is not to miss if you are looking to include some culture in your trip to Bali.

Somewhat misleading the Elephant temples name comes from the intricate carvings on the entrance into the medication cave. You can easily spend an hour or two and hire a local guide on arrival to talk you through the history of the temple and it’s historical purpose for the locals of Indonesia.

Entry is approx. 10,000 per person

If you are after shopping the markets surrounding the temple are a great place to grab a bargain. The stall holders get less trade here due to the lack of visitors so make the most of an afternoon and give your money into the local communities and grab your self a treat or two.

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Please remember as when visiting any local religious sites and small communities to dress appropriately. This will mean ladies covering their arms and legs while in the vicinity. As the weather can get humid I recommend wearing a t-shirt with a pair of shorts and purchasing a sarong from the local traders to use as a wrap up and cover your legs.

 

All prices are quoted in local currency and based on an exchange rate correct at the time of posting. £1 is equal to 17,000 IDR

The Best Backpacker Islands In Fiji

After spending a month in Fiji and visiting 12 of the Yasawa and Manacuna island chain I wanted to share my knowledge to help you get the most of your trip and ensure you have the best time possible while keeping to what can be a strict budget!

I’ve chosen the islands based on the likeliness of meeting fellow travellers and with enough free activities to keep your days filled with fun!

 

 

South Sea Island

I loved my time on South Sea so much I wrote it’s own post, Check it out here!

With communal dining tables and one large dorm room of 32 beds it’s pretty hard not to get talking to people here! Be sure to take advantage of the free water sports on offer with your new friends.

Beachcomber Island

Another Island I spent some time on and ended up writing a whole post about my stay, Check it out here!

Known as the party island of Fiji it is pretty hard to not meet people, With a huge dorm room of 198 beds and communal style dinning the folk at Beachcomber try hard to get groups of people together ready to enjoy some time together in the evening once the fun really begins! If you are staying on Beachcomber for a couple of days and do make some new friends, why not arrange a day trip from the island over to Cloud Nine? A floating bar in the middle of the Paficic Ocean…. What dreams are made of! Check it out online here!

 

Wayolailai Ecohaven Resort

One of my favourites which I spend many a day lounging in the hammocks on the beach enjoying lazy sunny days. I’ve wrote a whole post about it here.

Sitting on the hillside with the most dramatic sunsets I’ve seen, the tradition keepers at Wayolailai are keeping things real. With traditional Bures (a wood or straw hut some what similar to a cabin) room upgrades sitting pretty within the gardens of the property.

This resort has plenty going on to meet others staying on the islands and for those into keeping active you will find lots of like minded backpackers. With kayaking, summit hiking, shark diving there is something for everyone.

For those more like myself be excited with jewellery making classes, basket weaving and star gazing.

 

Barefoot Manta Resort

With the resort located smack in the middle of three beautiful beaches it is easy to see why this is a firm favourite with the backpackers! With one for Sunrise, Sunset and Manta Ray Beach sitting right on the well know Manta-Ray channel its easy to wile the days away.

As the resort sits on the channel for the passing Mantas come summer (May-Oct) floods of backpackers arrive hoping to arrive their dreams of seeing these majestic creatures in the wild. With viewings almost daily in the season you won’t need to wait long until you are doing the snorkel fins and mask and heading into the water, and then what a story for your dinner companions.

Having lots of activities on the books it is a real crowd pleaser, From abseiling down the rocky cliffsides to Weaving lessons they are also home to the Vinaka Fiji volunteer program (check out there website here) meaning you can pay back to the beautiful country as a thanks for hosting you!

 

White Sandy Beach

Located on the largest island in the Yasawa group, Naviti there is two resorts next door to each other meaning you have twice the chance meet up with new travellers.

Not everyone wants a party resort to meet others and lets face it although great for a couple of nights your liver and wallet will be glad you’ve moved on which is where White Sandy Beach comes in. It is a quiet resort so if you were wanting the party life I suggest this may not fit the bill, but for those looking for something more traditional to share with their fellow peers than White Sandy Beach is the place to be.

Sitting beachfront this small property has a house reef steps from your dorm and a hammock with the best view of the bay.

With a large communal dinning table and activities planned by the staff you will never get bored. With Fijian singing and dancing its hard not to get involved. Personally my favourite part of the none flashy resort is the staff, They work incredibly hard to ensure everyone who visits will not be alone and are great at helping those who may be a little shy meeting the other travellers at the resort.

 

Boathouse Nanuya

Mega modern Nanuya is for the flash packers amongst us. Lets face it after a couple of weeks/months without the home comforts there is nothing nicer than having a these on hand and this is where the Boathouse comes in.

Decked out with ultra modern features like hot water (can be a rarity in Fiji) air conditioning, a western menu, WIFI and now with SKY  it attracts all those who’ve missed creature comforts.

Not like this is a bad thing, for myself I know I was desperate for a hot shower and a great burger after a month of fish and curry it was all I was dreaming about! As this is a great resort for everyone you get an opportunity to meet lots of different people, Most of which you will find have visited the other islands also.

With so many activities and facilities on offer it can be easy to spend 4/5 days at the resort so keep this in mind when hopping through the islands! Sign up for the sunset cruises, Glass bottom boat tours, fishing trips but be sure to check out the close by Sawa-I-Lau Caves for a great afternoon out!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Great Ocean Roading

Who doesn’t love a road trip? Imagine 243 kilometres of coastal road with the big blue on one side and the other dramatic cliff-side and green rain-forests while you drive one of the most popular drives in the world.

Stretching from Torquay in the East, Only 97 kms from Melbourne to Warrnambool in the West this drive is made of so famous thanks to the passing of the surfside resorts, and scenic landscapes along its stretch and the important history it plays for the Australians.

Built in memorial of those who fought and dies within the first world war, the servicemen who returned were given reemployment in building this roadway to help the coastal towns in their struggle with their isolation from the larger ports and cities.

Here’s my low down on the Great Ocean Road and my tips on where to stay and see along the way!

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*Torquay

Heading only few hours drive from Melbourne this coastal town is one of the most famous along the route as it is home to the surfing mecca of Bells Beach. Home to the Rip Curl competitions every Easter this is the longest running surfing competition and means you are sure to be able to spend some time watching the pros do there best practising even outside of the summer season! We ended up spending three hours in the rain mesmerised by the swells of the water and the elegance of those riding.

There are tons of discount stores in Torquay should the surfer chic take hold and you are desperate for some new gear. For those looking for professional gear these outlet stores will offer better discounts than you can get in the larger cities.

If you are new to surfing personally I prefer Torquay to have your first experience rather than in Byron as everyone is keen to. The beaches in the area have taught Kelly Slater and that’s a good enough excuse as any, Lessons for beginners, intermediate and advance can be picked up locally and keep your eye in the store windows for local instructors rather than the larger group sessions!

If you are the sporty type or are pushed for time have wander at the Australian National Surfing Museum to learn more, or try your hand at some sunbathing and surf watching from the shore!

Looking for somewhere to stay? Try the Bells Beach Backpackers for an affordable and comfortable stop.

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*Lorne

Heading further west Lorne is another cute seaside town, Although for us we used this as the gateway into the the Great Otway National Park. With hundreds of walks, hikes and sights we wanted to spend a couple of days away from the beaches discovering the more interesting in land area. With lush tropical plants and ferns its hard to remember you haven’t just entered Jurassic Park. Take in an evening tour with your torches looking for the elusive glow worms that live within the tropical fauna

For those wanting to learn more history surrounding the great ocean road head to the heritage centre in the visitor centre in town.

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*Apollo Bay

Heading further south Apollo Bay is a popular stop way on the route, and a nice place to rest for a night or two. With a lovely long beach right on the roadside it is easy to spend a day or two soaking up the sun in the summer months and enjoy the small town charm.

We also used Apollo Bay for the Otway national park as we were again closer to some of the hikes in the area and took in a couple of waterfall hikes the hostel reception staff recommended.

We also headed out to the Otway National Park from here to Lake Elizabeth for canoeing at dusk to see if we could spot the magical platypus. Only a 50 min drive each way this was an amazing experience and can be booked before you arrive here. Advance booking is highly recommended and if you don’t spot a platypus then you will receive a 20% discount on your next trip. If you chose the dusk rather than the dawn you may also spot those glow worms I told you about!

Looking for somewhere to stay? Try the surfside Backpackers located just opposite the beach, this popular hostel has lots of common areas and chances to meet new people.

 

*Twelve Apostles 

Heading north again towards our final stop now, over 227 kms from Melbourne is the twelve apostles off the coast of port cambell national park. Formed from the erroision of the harsh southern sea there are now fewer than 10 remaining so no better excuse than to pull over before they completely disappear.

dsc00716As you can see from my picture even a day in the middle of summer doesn’t mean the weather will play nice!

These limestone stacks are the most famous structure along your trip and one of the busiest spots you will come to along your journey with day trippers desperate to get a selfie with the Apostles in the background.

There are tons of spots to pull over on your way to Warrnambool, including any of the beaches along the shipwrek coastline, the Loch Ard Gorge or the London Arch.

 

 

*Warrnambool

Saving the best for last (If travelling from Melbourne) Warrnambool was my favourite town on my journey along the great ocean road and my starting point as we drove from Adelaide.

As we were out of season it was unfortunate we couldn’t take advantage of the local whale watching tours, although we did head to the look out point over the waters to see if there was anything else we could spot!

Be sure to head back to the Tower Hill area for Kangaroo, Emu and Koala spotting as they are both native to the area, take in some of the short nature trails or complete some of the longer hikes. Be sure to enquire about the tours surrounding the local Aboriginal culture!

Dining at Cactus Jam was a highlight and having some flavoured margaritas to toast our journey was brilliant. The food was incredibly tasty and good value, a great find and I highly recommend it to anyone who makes it this far!

 

Now I know there are some who are visiting with a short window to explore the area and with day trips from Melbourne on offer you have no excuse not to see the wonders along the route, However if you have the opportunity to spend longer make sure you do! Hire a camper/car and spend at least 3 nights travelling along the GOR, I’m positive you wont regret it… Hopefully after reading my post you’ll know there is so much more to see than the Twelve Apostles. 

 

Travel agent top tip, be very mindful of the ever changing speed limits if you are hiring a car… Thanks to this i received my first ever driving offence. Although there are no cameras in place there are plenty of speed traps and police waiting, drive with extreme caution around and during public holidays.  

Tsitsikamma National Park, South Africa

Looking for some more adventure on your South African trip? Look no further than Tsitsikamma. Located along the Garden route this popular area is famous for its adrenaline sports and many a visitor can not resist the extensive list of heart pulsing activities.

Approximately 615km from Cape Town, Tsitikamma is a easy point to stop along your way from Cape Town to Port Elizabeth along the south coast.

Here are my top tips while you are in the area!

 

Bungy Jumping Off Bloukrans Bridge.

If you fancy throwing yourself off the 216 meter high bridge then be my guest! Located within the National Park, most will pass over this bridge without evening noticing anything different about it. Because the bridge is still for road use you must walk in the metal cage attached to the underneath to get to the jump platform… Pretty scary already if you ask me!

With a turn off for parking and viewpoint even if you didn’t fancy a jump it’s worth pulling over and watching those daring enough!

Jumps can be purchased on the day, or pre booked online for a saving here.

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Zip Lining

Unfortunately the one thing I couldn’t fit in on my trip to Tsitsikamma due to not having done enough research before hand (and not being able to find a post like this before) we had to give this a miss this time!

We stayed right next door to the centre at the Tsitsikamma Village Inn (Which I highly recommend, I’ll soon enough have my blog post up)

Plan ahead and book online, or risk booking on the day if spaces are still available, Due to safety restrictions numbers are limited throughout the day.

Ps. Travelling over your birthday? You get a free Zipline tour if joining a tour on the same day, Great excuse for a day trip if you ask me!

 

 Lilo Rafting

Yep you read that right… If you are the first to blow up yours and jump in the pool on holiday then this trip is for you! Untouched Adventures take you out on a day you wont forget in a hurry! Starting as soon as you arrive a hike through the forest to get to the mouth of the river to start your rafting adventure, Starting in a kayak in the stronger waters you need to make your way down Storms river to arrive at the more narrow sections to get your lilo out and continue on your journey. If that does not sound strenuous enough for you, the guides will then take you on your own cliff jumping experience, or for those of you like me maybe you’ll just enjoy a refreshing swim and some relaxing time.

Trips can be booked online here before your arrival.

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Horse Back Safari At Hoggs Hollow

A beautiful rustic setting owned locally and managed by the family this small and friendly property offer daily horse back riding for private or group tours. Chose the setting for your day with a short farm visit or stay for longer and be taken out into the local area of the Tsitsikamma national park and visit destinations like the Craggs.

Tours can be booked online in advance here, And if you fancy continuing the experience check out the room rates to stay overnight, Book online here.

 

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Also be sure to check out the coastal region especially around Natures Valley, Where the beach meets the headlands!

 

Constantia Wine Route, Cape Town

Dating back to 1685, Constantia is home to the oldest producing vineyard in South Africa. Often overshadowed by the neighbouring regions of Stellenbosh and Franschhoek, Constantia is actually also the closest region to Cape Town; Only 15km (20 mins) from the city centre, Nestled below in the green of Table Mountain.

Perfect for those looking to sample the local wine without having to sacrifice time travelling, there are 9 estates to discover each with their own samples and specialities. I wanted to give you the low down on my favourite properties in the region and more about the cellar tours and wine tasting on offer so you can plan your day out in Constantia.

 

 

 

Klein Constantia

Dating back to the original Constantia formed in 1685, The property was established by the first governor of the cape, Simon Van Der Stel. Although rumoured to have been chosen for its beautiful location in the valley of the Table Mountain National Park it also benefits from the soils from the slopes and the ocean breeze brought in from the Atlantic Ocean.

Know your in good taste when Klein favoured by many a royal and celebrity including authors and poets from the 18th & 19th century, Jane Austin and Charles Dickens.

Good value wine tasting is on offer at Klein with prices from 50 Rand per person which includes a try of all estate wines.

*No need to pre book here, Just arrive on the day and join onto a tasting tour. Although please check online for opening hours before planning your visit.

 

Constantia Glen

Relativity new to the game, Constantia Glen only planting it’s first grapes in 1999, and producing their first Sauvignon Blanc in 2005, still are an award winning producer in the area. Ranked as a boutique wine estate I would suggest visiting the Glen over lunch time and ordering a cheese platter to accompany your wine tasting, Trust me when I say it is one of the nicest I’ve enjoyed. Wine tastings can be pre booked online starting from 55 Rand per person and you can have a choice of 3 different seating areas all with their own setting and views.

Book your packages online here.

 

Groot Constantia

Officially the oldest wine producer in the region, Groot offer something different with their cape dutch architecture and desert wines. Located right on the City Sightseeing bus route this stop off within the Constantia means you wont need to worry about who is driving and arranging a taxi, the bus will take you from the city to the estate.

‘Groot’ in dutch translates to Great, Meaning then basically named themselves ‘Great Wine.’ Arrive with high expectations and you will not be disappointed, With cellar tours (60 Rand each) and wine tastings (45 Rand each, or combine them both for 70 Rand each) you can also expect an expert to talk you through the selection of wines and to tell you a little more history of the estate and owners.

*No pre-booking needed at Groot for the wine tasting or cellar tours, However the tours only run on the hour from 10:00 and the last tour departing at 16:00.

 

Eagles Nest

Located high in the slopes of Constantia, Eagles nest is another relativity newcomer to the game. This family owned boutique vineyard has a huge following thanks to its reasonably priced picnic baskets you are able to enjoy in the grounds of the property (£25 for 2 people, plus the purchase cost of a bottle of wine) Sat so high up in the route it gives a beautiful lookout over the valley and vineyards.

Wine tastings start from 50 Rand per person, and should you like to have a wine tasting before purchasing your bottle to accompany your picnic you will need to pre book before your arrival.

Book your visit online here.

 

* At the time of posting 50 South African Rand = £2.50 or $3.50 Us Dollars *

 

 

The Best Islands To Snorkel Or Dive In Fiji

Albeit known as one of the best places in the world to snorkel and dive, Knowing the islands and destinations to visit in Fiji to get the most out of your trip are key. I wanted to share my knowledge on where to visit for the best diving and snorkelling you can get while travelling in Fiji.

The main island in Fiji, Viti Levu does have diving opportunities however the Yasawas is a underwater haven of tropical fish and coral to you to explore.

 

 

 

Barefoot Kuata Resort

Located only 2 hours away from the Port on an island of the same name; Kuata. Located within a protected marine park you know the offerings at Barefoot Kuata are going to be good. With offering footsteps from the beach for snorkelling you can be transported into a world of diverse ecosystems, Including visiting the local family of white tipped reef sharks whom live within the islands closest reef.

For those interested you can take part in the Shark snorkelling trip to visit the local white tip reef sharks, However if you already own a dive liencse then taking part in the world famous shark dives ($299 per person) in the most popular activity on the island. With opportunities to dive with Bull Sharks (within season, Feb-Nov outside of mating season) but more often than not you can spot Hammerhead Sharks, Tiger Sharks and many more.

First time divers and more advance divers are catered for at the wonderfully run Crystal Blue Reef Safaris, With learn to dive packages and advance diving packages which you can purchase along side your stay on the resort. With promotions running to learn to dive starting from $873 FD per person, it isn’t as cheap as those South East Asian destinations but the reefs here are full of colour and life it would be an achievement to say you completed this somewhere like Fiji!

For those looking to do something different night diving is on offer at Barefoot with the local team to head out, or try your hand at sphere fishing to catch dinner for the island!

If you are looking for something a little different then Barefoot Kuata fits the bill, with accommodation ranging from dorms to private bures it can fit within anyone’s budget.

You can book online directly here, or book through Awesome Adventures here.

 

Mantaray Island Resort

Having stayed on Mantaray for some time I have already wrote it’s own separate blog post which you can check out here! My favourite thing about the resort is no matter how long your stay you pay only once for the rental of your snorkel equipment and is a fixed fee of $10 FD, with over 40 dive sights to visit they really are geared up to those water babies!

You can book directly online here, or through Awesome Adventures here.

 

Barefoot Manta Resort

Yep that’s right, there are two Barefoot resorts within the Yasawa chain, And the third property to make it onto the list is located further north towards the famous blue lagoon diving sight and still within easy access to the Mantaray channel that passes through the Yasawa’s.

For certified divers you will be in your element with more than 20 dive sights to chose from within easy access. If you fancied taking your diving further you are able to work towards you advance dive packages and beyond with the dive masters here. If you are new to diving you can take introductory lessons or complete your dive license here.

Snorkelling and diving with the Manta-rays in the local area can be arranged during the months of May-Aug and to ensure sightings they will head out early morning and wait for the first to be spotted before taking guests,. Meaning if the chances are low you can prepare for a day of sunbathing or another sight rather than wasting time in the channel with no reef and strong currants waiting for something not coming!

The island is rather large and has 3 beaches for guests to chose from, Sunrise, Sunset and Manta Ray giving everyone a little more privacy although you can guess which is busy when!

You can book directly with Barefoot online here or through Awesome Adventures here.

 

South Sea Island

Having stayed at the South Sea Island before I can vouch for the amazing snorkelling in the area, However I did not dive! You can read all about South Sea Island on my seperate review here!

You can book online through Awesome Adventures here but you are not able to book directly with the resort.

 

Botaira Beach Resort

This little exclusive resort only hosts 11 rooms keeping things more personal, and is only 3 hours away from Nadi on the largest island in the Yasawa’s, Naviti Island. With a western setting you can be assured you are going to be spoilt when it comes to sunset views!

Sitting firmly in the centre of the chain of islands means it gives Boraira easy access to a handful of reefs for snorkelling and diving, One of the most famous is the Manta-ray channel that passes close by which house guests are taken over to during the dry season May-Aug.

Reef Safaris are responsible for the diving and snorkelling activities that happen on the island and can cater to any sized group and any ability. If you are new to diving you can take part in introductory dives or complete your dive licence, However if snorkelling is more your bag the team at Reef Safaris operate snorkelling trips out on to the many reefs in the area, or you can hire the equipment and spend the day off the house reef footsteps off the beach! If you already dive and have a licence the team will take you to to visit all the glory spots in the area, that prove the claim of diving is the best in Fiji.

You can book directly online here, or through Awesome Adventures here.

 

Coral View Resort

Another island I’ve spent more than some time on, I have wrote a whole post on my experience on Coral View Resort. Check out the post here!

Book direct online here or book through Awesome Adventures here.

 

Nanuya Island Resort

For those looking to spoil themselves on land and below then Nanuya is perfect for those not looking for something a little more lux.

For those looking for some claim to fame this is where the movie ‘Blue Lagoon’ was actually filmed! The beaches are beaut and being in the blue reef from the movie ensures you’ll be able to spot some awesome sights on your trip.

Possibly better suited to a couple than groups or families things are set up for twos, From the dining setting to the message tables those without a partner might feel a little left out! With some of the most vibrant and dramatic sunsets I have witness Nanuya is a little gem.

With diving packages to the blue lagoon and beyond again the dive team are able to arrange an array of activities to suit all requirements dependant on the level of skill.

You are able to book online directly with the resort here or book online through Awesome Adventures here.

 

 

If booking through Awesome Adventure check out the pre packaged island stays if you are planning on spending longer in Fiji and fancy seeing more than one island! The packages offer accommodation on a varity of the islands and include all your transportation between on the Yasawa flyer.

 

 

The Best Islands In Fiji For Families

When you think of Fiji tropical islands, crystal clear waters and white beaches come to mind… The next thought? How expensive it must be. As Fiji becomes more available to every budget I wanted to share my top tips for families looking to head over.

As the Yasawa’s are the heart of Fiji and is the most recommended place to visit, I wanted to help those avoid the party islands for the backpackers and find something suitable to families of all ages.

 

Paradise Cove

Winning the 2016 Trip advisor traveller’s choice award Paradise cove is located 3 hours from Port Denarau back on Fiji’s main island. This  little beauty of an island is the perfect location for those with young children who may become bored quickly on the ‘big yellow boat’. With rooms right on the beach they have room sizes that can suit even a large family as a 2 bedroom villa can accommodate up to 6 people.

Meal plans are compulsory and are an additional cost of £65 per adult and £35 per child, Which will include full board meals, Lunch when you arrive to the island, your evening meal and full cooked breakfast. With a changing menu you need not worry about getting bored and as they are able to cater for even the most difficult children or allergy you can be rest assured you will desperate for the next meal!

Paradise cove offer full kids club facilities from ages 3 and upwards. With programmes including indoor and outdoor activities, including things like face painting and crab hunting and for the older children and those which can swim will include things like cooking lessons and snorkelling tours.

Baby sitting services can also be arranged while staying in Paradise cove for an additional fee for those looking to be able to enjoy a dinner alone.

Book online here or through Awesome Adventures here.

 

Blue Lagoon Beach Resort

Suituated within it’s name sake (1980’s movie) the Blue Lagoon Beahc Resort is located 4.5 hours from Port Denarau back on Fiji’s main island. The resort is reasonably new to the game and is suitiable to all guests as they do offer rooms from dorm style to luxury suites. The rooms are still as large, with types to fit up to 2 adults and 4 children or 5 adults sharing.

Meal plans are again an additional compulsory payment on arrival at the resort, at a costing of £45 per adult and £30 per child (5-12yrs) which will include lunch, dinner and breakfast daily while staying at the resort. Mixing things up slightly if staying during the summer season you are treated to a Fijian BBQ or keeping things traditional every Friday evening you are treated to a Lovo meal…. I’ll leave what that is until you arrive. Catering almost all dietary and dietary requirements please just ensure you mention at the time of booking.

The activities and entertainment on offer at the Blue Lagoon Resort made the island as special as it is to me. With choices of movies under the stars, Fijian culture shows, crab racing and band boys made the evenings something special every night (minus Sunday) With plenty happening during the day I felt I never stopped…. Although when I wasn’t running around on various activities you tend to find me in the hammock!

Blue Lagoon offer full kids club for children aged 3 upwards, although those younger are invited to join in on activities when accompanied by a guardian. With similar programmes to that of Paradise Cove (well the are owned by the same company) you are assure the children are well looked after while you top up your tan or enjoy some of the free activities on offer on the island.

With the added offer of children under 5 stay and dine free of charge this little gem works out very well for a budget conscious family.

Book online here or though Awesome Adventures here.

 

Octopus Resort

On the lush green island of Waya the Octopus resort is located only 2.5 hours from Port Denarau back on Fiji’s main island, making this a firm favourite for families with younger children. With some of the largest room types in the Yasawa’s you can sleep up to 8 in one two bedroom family villa.

With lots of activities on offer, Including the popular movies under the stars Octopus Resort have something for everyone. Trying to keep to it’s traditional roots the island has locals living alongside the resort and often host village and school visits , and the woman of the villages coming to the resort to teach basket weaving and jewellery making. The resort hosts it’s own children’s club and runs daily all year round free of charge for children over the age of 3yrs.

Daily activities are in place and run the same days of the week, with the Octopus Olympics, Kava nights, and discos under the stars parents are able to hire the services of the onsite babysitters and enjoy a childless evening.

Meal plans are payable locally in addition to the room costing, £40 per adult and £25 per child (5-12yrs)

Book online here, Or with Awesome Adventures here.

Nabaua Lodge

Located 4.5 hours from Port Denarau back on Fiji’s main island the Nabua Lodge is located within the Blue Lagoon close the to the Blue Lagoon Resort.

This no frills, Family run accommodation is a favourite for those looking for something a little more remote and traditional Fijian. Without the full facilities like the other resorts on this list, the Nabua lodge is more suited to those with older children unsuitable for the children’s clubs who are happier with adult company. With activities on offer like Kayaking, snorkelling and trekking this suits families who are more active and are happy to provide their own entertainment in the evening.

Although basic the staff are anything but, You can still expect the Fiji sparkle and the can do attitude. As meals are included within the room rate you can ensure a strict budget can be stuck to and still be able to enjoy the tropical Fijian islands.

 

You are more than welcome to take your own snacks to the islands and are not obilgied to purchase addtional snacks or drinks outside of your full board plan. I purchased snacks and bottled water from the supermarket at the port before I boarded the flyer boat.

Which Gili Island Is For Me? A Guide To The Gili Islands, Bali

Heading over to Bali and hoping to check out the Gili’s? Have a read of my guides below and find your best suited island to get the most from your trip!

 

Gili Trawangan 

The largest of the three islands and often referred to as Gili T or simply the party island you’ve been pre-warned! As it is the most developed of the three islands there is a mixture of budget hostel rooms, mid-range and luxury accommodation so would suit any budget.

With an abundance of bars along the east coast there is something for everyone, with the beach shacks with laid back vibes, to the nightclubs which will keep the drinks and music flowing until the early morning. Personally I think if travelling as a family avoid the main throng on the east coast and head for some of the hotels along the north and west of the island to avoid the party lifestyle that is normal any night of the week.

With plenty happening on the island everyday there will be something for everyone, and you can read my list of recommendations here

 

Gili Memo

Nestled between T & Air this is the smallest of the chain in the Northern Gilis. Arguably it has the best beaches of the Gili’s and I truly believe this is due to the lack of tourism on the island. With less choice of accommodation than it’s sister islands Gili Memo it still compares with pricing and has rooms starting from £14 per night.

Without bike hire you are left to wander the island on foot, but don’t let this put you off! A loop round the island will cost you an hour and most likely a full memory card. With the only salt water lake on the Island chain there is wildlife spotting to be done and sun soaking. After rumours of the island having large numbers of mosquitoes due to its lake the island has been quiet since, however I am happy to report I had no new bites after my visit, but if like me you suffer with bites check out my post here on how to avoid bites and prevent itching!

With the laid back locals it is hard not to fall in to island time, not that you have any reason not to!

 

Gili Air

The closest of the three to Lombok this has the shortest journey time from Bali or Lombok islands. With plenty of choices to dine and drink this comes up as the second most popular of the Gilis as the ‘Goldilocks choice’ Not as much partying as Gili T and not at quiet as Gili Meno this one is right right for those in-between.

With everything located in the east of the island it means the west of the islands host the best beaches not unlike Gili T, but as the waters are quiet there are snorkelling reefs all around the islands which haven’t yet been destroyed.

With a range of accommodation from hostel to 5* boutiques there is something to suit everyone, there is also more chance of larger rooms to host families.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Budgeting For Bali

Having just returned from Bali I thought a helpful guide to the country costs might come in useful for those looking to or are about to travel to this beautiful country. The rumors are true and spending your money wisely means it can be a backpackers paradise.
Store Prices 

Bottle of large water – 4000-10,000 

Packet of Malboro Red – 20-25,000

Ice-cream (Magnum) – 10-12,000

Coke/Diet Coke – 5-7,000

Restaurant Prices 

 Indonesiaian meal in small restaurant – 45-65,000

Western Meal in small restaurant – 65-85,000

Meal within an expensive restaurant – 80-150,000

Bottle of Bintang – 25-35,000

Bottle of water – 8-13,000

Cocktails – 80-100,000

Deserts – 45-80,000
Prices in the marketplace 

Kaftans – 40-60,000

T-shirts – 40-60,000

Wooden crafts – 50-100,000

Poncho kaftans – 40-50,000

Jewellery (silver rings) 30-80,000

Fake Dvd’s – 10,000
Day Trips and Ferrys 

Fast boat from Bali to Lombok, one way – 300,00 (including a pick up transfer to the boat)

Fast boat from Gili T to Bali, one way – 300,000 (including a drop off transfer from the boat to town centre of your choice)

Fast boat between Lombok and Gili – 200,000 (pick up in Lombok included)

Snorkeling trips from Gili and Lombok – 250-300,000 per person 

Driver Hire – 100-300,000 (will depend on the length of journey and how many hours)

Private Driver from Ubud to Kuta (via versa) – 200,000

Blue Bird Driver from Kuta to Seminyak – 30-50,000. Ensure when entering the taxi the meter is switched on.

Blue bird driver to the airport (from Kuta area) 75,000… this is the minimum fare requirement.

All prices are listed in Indonesiaian Rupiah, and at the time of posting the exchange rate was £1 = 17,ooo IR and $1 Usd = 13,000 IR