We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Independent Travel Accomodations

Peterborough, Canada
Level Contributor
3 posts
71 reviews
Save Topic
Independent Travel Accomodations

Is it possible to just "show up" in July and find places to stay? I'd be happy enough to take my chances or huddle under a big tree, but I'm bringing my children...

I'm thinking of some time on Santo, Tanna.... maybe Ambrym... a few day son Efate... a month in total.

I know it's not Disneyland (or Ubud) and don't want it to be... but I am just curious... if I show up somewhere, will there be... room at the "inn" ?

Many thanks. Any other tips on ethical, interesting travel there would be appreciated too. My wife and I are teachers. We'd love to connect with schools there, but of course, the irony is that we are attracted to Vanuatu because they are still, largely, a non-monetized culture that is intact and vibrant. What we offer as teachers (and perhaps tourists) is kind of a road to if not ruin well... elsewhere.

There ya go. Some two-bit philosophical editorializing on top of my simple query: can we just show up and find places to stay?

A thousand thanks... tanku tumas

Edited: 02 February 2013, 23:37
Level Contributor
133 posts
20 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Independent Travel Accomodations

Good morning Recovering Hungarian, it is great that you have a month to explore in Vanuatu, there is so much to experience.

I can understand that you don't want to get locked into a rigid program, perhaps preferring the flexibility of following up chance encounters and opportunities as they present themselves. I think that you probably could turn up and find places to stay, but if you are getting off the beaten track and thinking of village stays and local bungalows, your ni-Van hosts may prefer a bit of notice tp prepare a hut, and ensure food supplies. But I may be wrong on this.

Would it be worth considering booking a night or two when you first arrive on Efate, to orient yourselves and make some loose plans? Once you have decided on locations and flights to other islands, perhaps again book a night or two at bungalows, leaving yourseves the possibility of extending the stay or moving on?

Not sure if you have seen these sites:



can recommend Towoc Bungalows and Little Paradise Bungalows on Santo, Tanna Island Dream & Rocky Ridge Bungalows on Tanna (Margaret at Rocky Ridge is a fellow teacher), Tranquillity Island off Efate (great if your children are interested in turtle conservation), and Naowi Sea Bunglaows on Malekula. But I'm sure that there are many other great options.

My wishlist for future trips include the Maskelynes in southern Malekula, the Torres & Banks group, and Ambrym. You are probably aware that there is a Yam & Magic festival at North Ambrym July 18th - 19th


Hope that this helps. Best wishes for a great trip, Annette

Edited: 03 February 2013, 02:09
Destination Expert
for Port Vila, Vanuatu
Level Contributor
2,320 posts
135 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Independent Travel Accomodations

There will be plenty of room at the inn in July but yes its a good idea to have the first few nights booked as you will need to give an address on your immigration/customs declaration. There are budget hotels in town (walk to everything - PV is small) such as the City Lodge and The Olympic.

Other options such as B&B with local families would also suit you so have a look here tripadvisor.com/Hotels-g294144-c2-Port_Vila_…

Same for the other islands...do some research on the different islands, the locations you wish to visit and then come back to the forum with specific questions. There are also small islands off Efate such as Pele, Nguna, Emau. Moso (turtle sanctuary) so have a look at these on Google. Positive Earth website will give you some ideas but much of the info is out of date there now. Have a look here for a more extensive list of bungalows and then use google to find some reviews on them vanuatu.travel/places-to-stay/bungalows-and-…

You will make heaps of friends in a month and have some great adventures, the people are so welcoming! You will be spoilt for choice and not want to come home :)

Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
5 posts
18 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Independent Travel Accomodations

The airport has an accommodation desk that finds a room for people who arrive without booked accommodation. This is usually at a reduced rate. If you want to play accommodation roulette you could end up in a great hotel at a cheap price. It may add to the experience but with kids it may be a little stressful.

Visit the Ernas Women's Centre on half road Erakor any afternoon if you want to contribute to the community in a direct way. They are a self run self funded women's business co op that helps mothers get work and children get to school. You can look them on face book or on the natural building blog. Mary and Rachel would love any contact with teachers as they have just started a preschool.

Education is the only way for this nation to avoid exploitation so don't feel like you are interfering. Many western landowners did their land deals with people with a 6th grade education.....guess who profits the most in deals like that?

4. Re: Independent Travel Accomodations

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This topic has been closed to new posts due to inactivity. We hope you'll join the conversation by posting to an open topic or starting a new one.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

We remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason.

Removed on: 07 February 2014, 06:17