Is budget travel better than spending a fortune?

When booking your holiday you have a very important choice to make. How much am I going to spend on accommodation?

Are we going to keep things simple and travel on a budget or indulge a little? I have had this discussion many times on very opposite ends of the spectrum. My boyfriend likes to indulge in travel and be very organised. My friends love to find ways to save money and tend to just wing it. This had lead to some very interesting and very different adventures…

I recently went away with my boyfriend to Fiji, I let him choose the accommodation and where did we wind up? Staying at the Hilton in Denerau spending a fortune on food and cocktails. To be fair it was a special occasion (my 21st birthday) but good thing we stocked up on duty-free on the way over! We had a lovely holiday. Enjoyed massages by the beach, jetted out to Cloud 9, spent a day on Castaway island and lounged by the pool most days.

My trip to Samoa, about 6 months earlier, with my best friend Tessa, was extremely different. At the time we were both poor students with part time jobs who wanted a tropical getaway after exams. We didn’t have a lot of money so we decided we would live like the locals and stay in a beach fale. We didn’t book any transfers or ferry passes through the travel agent and stole food from the buffet breakfast so we could snack on it later.

Each trip was a very different experience and they were both a lot of fun.

Travelling on a budget leaves more room for things to go not quite as planned… However this does make good travelling stories later and I do have quite a few from this Samoa trip:

  • Trying to find the famous sliding rocks without booking a tour and ended up getting a rental car stuck in the middle of nowhere…
  • Nearly getting bitten alive in a beach fale because one corner of your mosquito net might not be fully tucked under the mattress
  • Drinking warm alcohol because the resort cocktails are too expensive and not all duty-free would fit into the mini fridge
  • Having to charge my iPhone in a risky location due to the lack of power-points. Then have it completely break on the 3rd day

The list goes on…

Fiji was expensive, beautiful and romantic where as Samoa was cheap, fun and adventurous.

I loved both holidays. Yes staying somewhere expensive may get you some nice photos of a flashy resort… But the memories I have from my budget trip to Samoa are priceless. And I managed to get some beautiful photos!

Savaii Samoa budget travel

Savaii Samoa budget travel