Before arriving in Vanuatu we weren’t sure what the daily budget would be for Port Vila and Tanna Island or how much backpacking Vanuatu would cost. Information found online was not always accurate or up to date, which doesn’t help when you are travelling on a budget.
Always counting on Airbnb for more affordable accommodation, once again we were saved from disappointment.
With regards to food, we always ate local or cooked our own meals. Only in Tanna, our meals were cooked by Jeff’s wife at a very reasonable price.
Vanuatu Travel Budget
We didn’t really have a set budget; we always tried and compromised on things like activities or eating out. What “killed” our budget was the flight to Tanna Island, but we couldn’t have had it any other way. Vanuatu isn’t the cheapest destination you will find in the South Pacific, but also it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity, so it was worth every penny.
How much did we spend in Vanuatu?
Accommodation in Vanuatu
While in Vanuatu we stayed in three different types of accommodation. It wasn’t planed, it just happened that way. In Port Vila we stayed at two different houses, before and after our trip to Tanna Island. Both locations were fairly central, which meant we could easily walk to town and go to the local markets and supermarkets.
In Tanna Island we stayed at Imaio Village, which we highly recommend for people who are looking to experience the real village life.
All three accommodations were booked through Airbnb.
7 nights in Port Vila – 24,400vt/USD$230/GBP£175
3 nights in Tanna – 7,220vt/USD$70/GBP£55
Total spent 31,620vt/USD$300/GBP£225
Per day: 3,162vt/USD$30/GBP£25 – two people
Transport in Vanuatu
This category is painful because of the overpriced flights to Tanna! For people looking to stay for over a week and wanting to visit several islands we have to recommend Air Vanuatu Pass. It costs AUD$665/USD$500/GBP£380 per person and you are ONLY entitled to fly four times.
It is worth it when you see how much we paid just to fly to one island. Prepare yourself…we got over pretty much after booking it. We had to move on!
We spent AUD$550/USD$415/GBP£310 – return ticket for two people (not including luggage, as we left our backpacks in Port Vila).
Apart from the flights, we caught buses, paid someone to drive us around Efate, paid a truck to take us to the volcano with our friend Jean Claude and paid our host for a pick-up & drop off at Tanna Airport.
Total spent 56,200vt/USD$530/GBP£400
Per day: 5,620vt/USD$53/GBP£40 – two people
Entertainment in Vanuatu
We had to be very choosy with the activities. Not only because there are quite a lot of things to do BUT it’s very expensive and joining a tour is just not worth it. Solely relying on TripAdvisor for reviews, we chose the following:
Mele Cascades – 3000vt/USD$30/GBP£35
Blue Lagoon – 500vt/USD$4/GBP£3
Mt Yasur – 15,000vt/USD$140/GBP£110
Costume Village – 2,000vt/ USD$20/GBP£15
Total spent 20,500vt/USD$190/GBP£140
Per day: 2050vt/USD$19/GBP£14 – two people
SIM Card & Data – 2,700vt/USD$25/GBP£20
Departure Tax – 800vt/USD$7/GBP£5 (each way/per person 200vt)
Donation at Imaio Village 2000vt/USD$20/GBP£15 (optional)
Post Card + Stamps – 1,600vt/USD$14/GBP£11
Total spent 7,100vt/USD$65/GBP£50
Per day: 710vt/USD$6.5/GBP£5 – two people
Food in Vanuatu
Our food was from the local markets and supermarkets, a few meals out and all the meals in Tanna were cooked by the host at a very reasonable price.
Total spent 31,900vt/USD$300/GBP£250
Per day: 3190vt/USD$30/GBP£25 – for two people
The total for 10 days is Port Vila was 147,320vt/USD$1400/GBP£1050
Per day 14,732vt/USD$140/GBP£105 – For two people
Further reading: Lonely Planet Vanuatu & New Caledonia (Travel Guide) is a complete and all-inclusive guide for those wanting to experience and explore Vanuatu. We strongly recommend reading this guide as it helped us planning our own trip. Happy Travels!
What do you think of our budget?
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We are Thomas and Telma – the writers, photographers, videographers and founders of Blank Canvas Voyage.
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