Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Tips for first-time travellers to Mauritius

Each time I plan a new trip, I look for some basic information that will make it easier for me to navigate through the new destination. So here I have compile a few tips for those who are headed to Mauritius. Please feel free to add your questions and suggestions in the ‘Comments’ box below. I will do my best to answer any queries.
  1. Exchanging currency: The official currency here is the Mauritian Rupee. On occasion, Indian Rupees work too; as do Dollars. It is best to just find an ATM and withdraw the amount you need. ATMs generate cash in Mauritian Rupees only, so it eliminates the need for getting your currency exchanged when you visit.
  2. Buying a SIM card: One of the best ways to prevent spending money on international roaming is to buy a SIM card at the destination itself. Plus, most people today prefer using data services during their trips so that they can keep updating their social media channels. I personally had a difficult time acquiring a SIM card in Mauritius, but I met two travellers from Hong Kong who bought theirs at La Gaulette supermarket. However, they had to go to the Orange store to get their data plan activated. I am told many hotels also have SIM cards available for sale at their in-house stores; so do check if your chosen hotel offers one.
  3. Car rental: Mauritius is a tiny island spread over a mere 2,040 sq km. The best way to move around is to rent a car. My friends rented theirs from Active Waves and got a pretty good deal. The good thing is that if you have a valid driver’s license issued from your country of origin, you can use it to drive around in Mauritius during your stay. Please note that Mauritians drive on the left-hand side of the road. A day's rental will cost you approximately MUR 1,000-2,000.
  4. Buses: For those on a tight budget, buses are a good option. They are reasonably priced and the frequency is quite decent. I used the buses there and was glad to save a lot of money travelling long distances.
  5. Taxis: When it comes to tourists, taxis are rather expensive. However, I found a way to cheat the system a little. I met a local—owner of a coconut water stall—who told me to tell the taxi driver to charge me the local price to avoid the huge amount I would have to pay as a tourist. The difference was huge; almost MR 200 for tourists as opposed to MR 20 for locals. I would suggest you talk to some of the locals you meet and ask them the cost to wherever you are headed. Chances are they will tell you what they usually pay and help you save some money.
  6. Rain wear: While the weather is mostly pleasant during summer and winter time, rain showers come unannounced on occasion. So do carry some rain gear along.


Viswa said...

you are Collecting useful points here, I’m truly enjoying the design and layout of your website.thanks for writing us.

Chaitanya Bijoy said...

First things first! Nice website with an appealing title and layout. I really loved it. Unlike other storied that come from sitting on a desk under the study lights with loads of cold coffee mugs around, Traveler Stories I feel, is where the author is already in the next place exploring while you’re reading this. The first- time guidelines for Mauritius is really helpful! Thank you

Cherryl's Blog said...

Thanks for sharing this, I'd love to go there one day

Ruchika Vyas said...

Thank you all so much for your kind words. I hope to continue urging you to travel :)

Unknown said...

I was looking around on the internet and some people recommended using traveler's cheques or using sterling. You have mentioned that INR works in some places. So for an Indian traveler what would you recommend? How much cash if any, should I take with me and in what currency?

Bedouin said...

Hi Anshaj, I personally took a small amount in rupees and then widthrew cash from ATMs then as and when required. I found that very convenient as the ATM dispenses the local currency. The amount really depends on your travel plans.