How to Pick the Best Budget Accommodation in Tonga for You©
How to Pick the Best Budget Accommodation in Tonga for You

How to Find Cheap Accommodation in Tonga


Advice on Finding and Choosing Cheap Accommodation in Tonga

Cruising the South Pacific Islands isn’t just a holiday reserved for the wealthy. You can essentially backpack around Tonga by staying in local guesthouses or even get the Robinson Crusoe experience by staying in a simple fale on the beach! However, there needs to be some thought into choosing the right budget accommodation for you, so we’ll guide you through how to find cheap accommodation in Tonga.

5 Things You Need to Know About Cheap Accommodation in Tonga

  1. Accommodations in Tonga are known to change their services without updating listings on websites, brochures, etc., especially budget accommodations. It’s a good idea to double-check listings and even contact the host to confirm essential amenities you may need are available
  2. When budget accommodation says it has “free WiFi”, it’s usually only in the communal areas
  3. Most budget accommodations in Tonga only accept cash as a payment method
  4. Dorm rooms are only available in Nuku’alofa. You will usually get a private room elsewhere
  5. Accommodation standards are a little lower than what you might be used to, as Tonga is a developing country.

How to Pick the Best Budget Accommodation in Tonga for You(c)

Types (and Cost) of Budget Accommodation in Tonga

Tonga has a variety of accommodations when it comes to budget stays, with backpacker-style accommodations in the larger towns like Nuku’alofa on Tongatapu, budget fales in the holiday destinations like ‘Eua, Ha’apai and Vava’u, and guesthouses are almost everywhere.

Backpacker Accommodations

There are a few backpacker hostels and guesthouses with dorm rooms, especially in Nuku’alofa. These typically have 2-3-bed dorm rooms and private rooms with shared bathroom facilities and a kitchen with the exception of the Village Backpackers which has 4-8-bed dorms and no kitchen.

The cost of a night in a dorm bed is TOP$40-$70, a private room is around TOP$80-$150 and a family room is around TOP$160-$200.

Check out this style of accommodation in the 10 Best Backpacker Hostels in Tonga and see what to expect in How to Choose the Best Backpacker Accommodations in Tonga.


A guesthouse is typically a large former family home with separate private guest rooms, some with ensuites and some with shared bathrooms. They have communal kitchens and lounges. Guesthouses typically have private double rooms and triple rooms and the occasional single and family room.

Guesthouse costs start around TOP$70-$90 for a private double room with a shared bathroom, approximately TOP$100-$120 for a private double room with an ensuite, and TOP$120-$180 for a family/triple room with a shared or private bathroom.

Check out the 20 Best Guesthouses in Tonga for examples of this style of accommodation, as well as How to Choose the Best Guesthouse in Tonga for You to learn more about what to expect.

Budget Fales/Resorts

You can still get the island holiday experience without the expensive resort accommodation that comes with it. There are budget resorts or beach fales where accommodation is usually a simple beach hut with limited facilities, i.e. cold water in a shared bathroom block, a mattress on the floor in a traditional fale, etc.

Prices for this type of accommodation range from TOP$60-$120. Check out this style of accommodation in the 5 Best Budget Resorts in Tonga.

Other Cheap Accommodations in Tonga

For a complete listing of Tonga’s budget accommodation types all in one place, check out the 20 Best Budget Accommodations in Tonga.

How to Pick the Best Budget Accommodation in Tonga for You(c)

Location, How to Get There and What is Nearby?

A major consideration for travellers on a budget is the location. Being within walking distance of shops, services and attractions is a surefire way to save money throughout your trip, while staying at one of the remote budget fales/resorts has associated flight and boat transfer costs, as well as more expensive food costs.

Where is the Budget Accommodation Located and How Do You Get There?

Although backpacker and guesthouse accommodations are located in the main towns of Tonga, you will still need to choose an island group. Tongatapu and ‘Eua have the least expensive travel costs while Ha’apai and Vava’u are more expensive to get to. Compare the prices of interisland flights and ferries in our guide, Tonga Travel Budget: How Much Does a Trip to Tonga Cost?

You might want to choose a destination based on what there is to do there. For that, the following guides should be helpful:

On top of the cost of getting to the right island group, there may be additional costs to consider, such as food and airport/wharf transfers. More remote accommodations such as the beach fales in Ha’apai or the budget accommodations in ‘Eua may only have the option to accept paid meals with your hosts. Beach fales in Ha’apai and Vava’u also have the added cost of boat transfers to their remote islands. Choosing a backpacker hostel or guesthouse in the town will eliminate these extra costs.

What is There Nearby?

You came to Tonga to experience the place you are in, not to simply stay at your accommodation, so consider what attractions you can get to from your accommodation. From a town like Nuku’alofa, it might be the historical and natural sights around the island (which you can take a tour or hire a car to discover). From a beach fale on Uoleva Island in Ha’apai, however, your main attractions are the beach, snorkelling and relaxing.

Check out the links below on where are accommodations are located and what’s nearby, as well as a compilation of cheap accommodations based on location:

And if that’s too specific, start from scratch using Where to Stay in Tonga and the 20 Best Budget Accommodations in Tonga.

How to Pick the Best Budget Accommodation in Tonga for You©

What’s Included in Your Stay?

Any savvy budget traveller knows that choosing good budget accommodation isn’t just about finding the cheapest. Good value is often in the facilities and services included in your stay. Of course, everyone’s needs are different so take a look at the lists below to get an idea of what is typically included and what extra facilities to look out for or enquire about.

Typical Budget Accommodation Inclusions

  • Kitchen facilities with stovetop, microwave, fridge, cooking pots, crockery and utensils, toaster and kettle
  • Shared bathroom with a shower, sink and toilet
  • Insect-screened windows or a mosquito net
  • Garden or beach.

Additional Services and Inclusions

  • Additional kitchen facilities, such as an oven, tea and coffee, toastie grill, rice cooker, etc.
  • Ensuite shower and toilet
  • Hot water
  • In-room electricity
  • WiFi (for a fee)
  • Car rental (for a fee)
  • Airport transfers (for a fee)
  • Watersports hire (usually included if available)
  • Meals (for a fee)
  • Air conditioning
  • Fans
  • Outside deck or verandah
  • Towels
  • Washing machine
  • Car park
  • In-house tours or cultural activities for guests.

More on How to Find Cheap Accommodation in Tonga

That’s it for how to find cheap accommodation in Tonga. If you need more advice, how about tips from our other accommodation selection guides?

Now with a bit of research behind you, you can start selecting the perfect cheap accommodation for you with Where to Stay in Tonga: The Best Accommodations in Tonga.


Robin (Lopini) C.

This article was reviewed and published by Robin, the co-founder of Tonga Pocket Guide. He has lived, worked and travelled across 16 different countries before settling in the South Pacific, so he knows a thing or two about planning the perfect trip in this corner of the world. Robin works and consults regularly with the Ministry of Tourism of Tonga. Robin is also the co-founder of several other South Pacific travel guides and is a regular host of webinars with the South Pacific Tourism Organisation.

Was this article useful?