Over the summer the Michael W Travels family spent 5 weeks in the Pacific.
While we used lots of airline miles and some hotel points to greatly bring down the cost of this adventure, when you’re away for over a month, things still add up.
To get around the Pacific, we needed to transit through Fiji giving us a couple of two nights stays and one 5 night stay in Nadi. We wanted to visit an outer island or two and figured it was best to take day trips from Nadi to islands close by in the Mamanuca Islands chain.
While wandering around Port Denarau (an area filled with restaurants, shops as well as the starting point to visiting many Fijian islands), Kim and I figured it would be best to figure out a day trip for a future stop in Fiji.
Prices for day trips can vary in price, with many brochures listing prices at $199+ for full day tours.
Before taking a chance to really figure out a tour and then negotiate the price we were offered a deal.
At one of the larger tourist offices, friendly reps were outside with pamphlets offering free trips! The only catch was that you had to go to a one hour presentation.
I’ve been to a bunch of timeshare presentations in the past and they can be very annoying. When I show up, I have no interest in the timeshare, I’m focused on the free perks which come along with showing up.
Usually the timeshare presentations can be at inconvenient times but our schedule was perfect. We had a 1:30pm flight to Honiara, Solomon Islands the following morning. The rep said that we could get picked up at our hotel early in the morning and then dropped off at the airport once the presentation was finished. Perfect!
The van showed up at the agreed upon time and we were off to check out the Wyndham Resort Denarau Island.
While we got the whole sales pitch, Lucas got to play at the Kids Club.
From the moment we arrived, I hated the feel of being in a timeshare property. I’ve always felt like they had a cult-like feel. Staff seem to be overly happy- maybe only to potential buyers? I have no clue…
The grounds were nice with a decent pool and from what I recall, all of the rooms were more like apartments with kitchens. The rep tried to really impress us by showing one apartment which was more like a two-story home. Yes, it was really nice but why would we ever need this during a trip?
The answer to that questions is that many guests are extended families traveling to Fiji from Australia. All they do is stay at the resort and I’m not sure if they make it much further than those walls.
Pretty early on in the discussion, Kim and I explained the way we travel, the kind of accommodations we typically stay at and other things along those lines. After a soft-sell, the rep agreed that a membership wasn’t for us. This may’ve been the least pressure we’ve ever experienced in one of these presentations which was nice.
The rep then came back with our vouchers for a full day visit to South Sea Island, just a 30 minute or so boat ride from Port Denarau. We scheduled our trip from the tour office at the Wyndham property for 2 weeks later.
I’ll post a review of our visit to this tiny island in the future.
As for how much we really saved for this trip- I really don’t know! The brochure has a list price of $199 for adults, $99 for children. The presentation gave us two free tickets and when booking said that Lucas should be 4 years-old so we don’t have to pay for him. No problem at all!
I priced this trip for a random date in December on the website for South Sea Cruises and the cost for two adults and one child came to $264.71 so I guess we saved somewhere in that range. Not bad for an hour of our time!
Have you ever taken a timeshare presentation to get a free trip? If so, how did it go?