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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Savusavu, Fiji is Very Affordable - except the first week

Because Savusavu has so much to offer (aka BUY), it can be a little rough on the cruising pocketbook. Our first week hurt – but only a little - and we loved every minute of it.
It was so worth it!
(All our spending is recorded in US dollars.)

The first expense was our welcome tax - or clearance costs. 
Certainly not the way we like to spend money, but expected whenever you check into a new country.
Total = $172

Restaurants can be affordable or expensive – depending on where you eat. Surf n Turf is a favorite in Savusavu with prices for burgers at $7 and smoothies around $4. Our particular favorites, though, are the small “hole in the wall” type establishments that are frequented by the locals, like Mum's Country Kitchen and Ili's, both serve fresh curries and roti. The cost per person is about $3 and the food is very good. We were so excited about all the cheap food that we ate out at least once everyday our first week. And it added up!
Caters mostly to tourists and retirees. The menu is huge.
Mum's is yum! 
Ili's is very small, but very tasty!
Our first week eating out we spent: $113 eating at restaurants and $28 at the bar
Total = $141

So far, we have found no coin laundry facilities. There are 2 laundry businesses; each one is connected to a marina. The cost is $6 a kilo at one and $5 a kilo at the other.
Total on laundry our 1st week= $10

Fijian women making crafts.
There are lots of little touristy businesses selling kava bowls and skull smashers and brain pickers. Fiji, afterall, was a cannibalistic society like so many other Pacific islands. And although I would really, really like to have one of those fine kava bowls to serve my salads I am debating how I would ever get it off the boat when we sell 'Hotspur'. Talking to other cruisers who have been here for multiple seasons, Savusavu is THE place to buy your souvenirs, trinkets and can't-take-it-with-you's. We did buy a bamboo keychain from a paraplegic man, but that was in the name of charity since I don't have any keys. For myself, I settled on a very cute dress I found. But for the sake of my marriage, I am filing that under “Clothing”... not “Souvenirs” or “Keepsakes” or “Things My Husband Hates & Thinks Are Stupid”.
Total our first week we spent ZERO on trinkets, but clothing costs ran $29.
Hand carved brain pickers.
Or relish tray forks.

We arrived with plenty of groceries since stocking up in Pago Pago. Customs removed nothing from the boat, but asked us if we had frozen and canned meat, which we did. We were instructed to eat the frozen beef as soon as possible. Not sure why. The only items we lacked were garden variety and we quickly ran to the market to buy a few things. We were joyfully surprised to find all the gloriously fragrant and ripe fruits and vegetables bursting with color from the stalls. And very affordable!
Total our first week= $17

No, this is not the Nimbus 2015... this is kava root.

Internet and phone service works well on the big islands in Fiji. We were urged by locals to use Vodaphone and not “Dodgie-cell”, a favorite nickname for Digicell service. We bought a $2 SIM card and took it home to see if our Mobile WIFI doodle we bought in Pago Pago was really unlocked. Hooray! It was indeed unlocked. Internet costs $12 for 8 gigs. Another HOORAY! So we went back and bought SIM cards and time for our 3 unlocked cell phones we purchased in Pago Pago.
Total our first week = $43

Wine and beer is taxed very high if you import it on your boat when you check into the country. But it is not terribly expensive locally, especially if it's on sale. We found Fiji Gold and Fiji Bitter to be a good value for your money at about $2.50 a quart. Broken Shackle and Vina Maria red wines run for $5-$6 a bottle on sale. So, we stocked up.
Total 1st week = $80
Just bragging, just bragging, just bragging!
There are lots of boat supplies in Savusavu. I bought some truck tarp to try and remedy the leaky bimini and dodger. And we picked up a few other minor things.
Total spent = $52

Grand total for our first week in Savusavu was: $544
(looks like we'll be eating on board for a bit!)


  1. Hotspur is in Fiji ! Hi guys, we are just around the corner of Viti Levu at Musket Cove. Hope to catch up.

    SV Fluenta.

    1. Hey Fluenta!! Don't think we didn't stalk your blog and know exactly where you are - Exodus, too. Can't wait to see you guys!

  2. Hey Hotspurs! We haven't met yet, but we have our teenaged daughter on board with us, looking for other teen boats. Currently were on Naviti Island in the Yasawas.

    I don't see a "Contact Us" page on here, but there is one at that will get an e-mail to us.

    1. Can't wait to catch up! I'l send you an email.

  3. Thanks for running the numbers as well as all the most excellent photos in Fiji. Wow... beautious tomatoes!

    Hmmm good to know there's good enough wifi somewhere down the road for those video clips to watch and make.