I broke down the value of $100, so you can have an idea of what you can get with it, and how long it can last for.
What can $100 do for you in Mauritius? A lot! Here's a breakdown.
1. Heads Up
Before we proceed, I need to emphasize the importance of converting your USD or GBP to Mauritian Rupees (MUR/RS) before leaving the Mauritian airport (Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport). Shops don't accept foreign currencies, although you can pay for stuff with your card, I still strongly recommend that you deal in cash, especially if you are on a budget. A bureau de change may not be accessible.
2. How Much Is A $100?
Anyone visiting Mauritius has four basic needs to meet - Accommodation, Transportation, Feeding, and Sightseeing. At the time this article was written, a $100 is equals to RS 4,000 approximately (check recent conversion here: TransferWise). Being a resident of Mauritius, I broke down the costs on each basic item, and how long you can spend in Mauritius with $100.
Airbnb is my go-to for accommodation, I like their user interface and galore of beautiful and safe apartments/hotels. You may use TripAdvisor, but for the purpose of this blog we will stick with Airbnb. When on a budget, a rule I abide is that accommodation must not exceed 25% of my budget, and in this case 25% of 4000 RS ($100) amounts to 1000 RS ($25) per night. On the Airbnb website or mobile app, adjust the maximum value slider to $30 (as shown in the video below) so you don't get carried away with apartments you can't afford. The search will provide results that match your budget. For the purpose of carrying you along, I picked a beautiful apartment in La Dagotiere, simply because it has a modern feel, with white interior (great for photos). As a tourist you don't know much about the area you'll be staying, it's advisable to message the host of the apartment before you pay. But if I'm being honest, you really don't need to worry about that, because everyone is friendly, the road networks are straightforward, and the country is very safe. Now that we have accommodation sorted, we need to talk transportation.
To rent a tiny car (the size of a Kia Picanto) costs 800 RS ($20) per day (depending on the time of the year you visit). Most times the vehicle comes filled with fuel, otherwise you will need to top up. To the best of my knowledge, to fill up two bars of fuel costs about 500 RS ($13) which can last you for two days with AC on. In total you are spending 1300 RS ($33). You can use a bus in Mauritius, but moving from the airport to your destination will require a taxi, and I promise you that you will spend much more on a taxi fare, than the amount you would spend to rent a car. Just rent a car, not a scooter, a car. Believe it or not, as friendly as Mauritians are, they drive like NASCAR racers.
5. Balance Check
Let's take a look at our balance, we've spent 2300 RS ($58) on Accommodation and Transportation, and are left with 1700 RS ($42) for Feeding and Sightseeing.
I recommend you eat local meals to get a fuller experience of Mauritius, like Roti, Dhall Puri (you can check out the blog on Dhall Puri), etc, they are cheaper than other sources, and tasty too, oh my goodness! A combination of these meals will cost you about 60 RS ($2) for breakfast and lunch together. This also enables you to have extra cash for a lovely dinner, plus drinks at a lovely restaurant, which can set you back about 700 RS ($18). Use Airbnb, Google, or TripAdvisor to find restaurants near you, just look out for the ratings and customer reviews. Tourists review restaurants more on TripAdvisor, however, your location might not be captured correctly there. I suggest you use google, simply search for restaurants in your location and you won't be disappointed.
7. Last Balance Check
We had a balance of 1700 RS ($42), and have now spent 760 RS ($19) on feeding, leaving us with 940 RS ($24) for the last basic need - Sightseeing.
The great thing is that many places to sight-see are free, especially the lovely beaches Mauritius is known for. Once you hit the beach to soak in the sun, take pictures, and meet other people, you can drive your rented car down to Caudan Waterfront, in Port Louis, which is only 10 km away from the Airbnb we selected, or you may visit Grand Baie, only 25km away from the Airbnb (remember to use Google map, it works like a charm here). You will be blown away by the beauty of Mauritius you'll see when driving, feel free to stop whenever to admire the scenery or take a photo to relive the moment. Ouuu, guess what? We didn't spend a dime on sightseeing, and we have enough cash left to get souvenirs for loved ones and for ourselves.
9. The Verdict
From the cost breakdown in this blog, we see that it is possible to have a blast in Mauritius for $100. The sad part is that it can only stretch you for one day. Although, it may seem like a bad decision to spend all that money on a plane ticket, just to spend one day here, but I think we see some benefits: you've added a new destination to your conquered list, if you are a blogger/vlogger you can write/record your experience about the entire trip and get views, and lastly, it motivates you to take more trips on a budget. Just ensure you plan ahead.
In the meantime, stay safe, wash your hands regularly, and God will see us through COVID-19.
Secure your accommodation (Airbnb or TripAdvisor) and transportation before visiting Mauritius. Try to avoid airport Taxis, they are quite pricey.
Convert you currency to Mauritian Rupees before you step out of the airport
Experience a lovely dinner in a wonderful restaurant.
Visit the lovely beaches at least!
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