Comprehensive Family Fiji Travel Guide: Get Ready for 2022

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Our family loves Fiji and its people. We stay in Fiji to escape New Zealand’s winter. It has become our home away from home. While we are still in the midst of a pandemic, it’s looking hopeful that Fiji will open its doors to tourism again by 2022. So…

In this family-friendly Fiji travel guide, you will find the essential information, including the best time to visit Fiji, visa requirements, currency information, what to pack, getting around Fiji islands, top things to do, travel tips and more.

You can also find our detailed family Accommodation Guide in Fiji here.

Fiji, the happiest place on Earth. This is our 5th time here, and it’s like coming home. The tropical air of the Pacific wash over us from the moment we land, and the sweet dainty sounds of the ukelele bring us the warmest welcomes.

Instantly, we leave all our worries on the plane home, and switch to island time.

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About Fiji

Fiji is an archipelago of over 300 islands, where only about 200 are habitable. Fiji’s capital is Suva, but most tourists choose Nadi and the outer islands as their holiday destination.

Fiji is a multi-cultural country that is safe and friendly to visit for families, solo travellers, couples and friends. Fijian lifestyle is very slow and relaxed, so relaxed that it’s rather rude to bring our urban-rush to the island.

People are very positive, happy and respectful. Most locals are religious, and Sunday is church day. It’s ok to wear bikinis and revealing clothes inside your resorts. However, do bring at least one set of conservative clothing covering your shoulders and knees if you need to go to town.

Fiji Information Family Travel Guide Essential Must-know Pacific Island with Kids
Pacific Paradise

© Photos by Kida

Flights to Fiji

From New Zealand to Fiji, direct flights are only about 3 hours.
Australia takes a little longer. From Australia to Fiji, flights are usually under 4 hours with Fiji Airways and 5 hours coming back.

Many airlines fly to Fiji, most of our experiences are with Fiji Airways, Air New Zealand and Virgin Australia. All of these airlines offer tourist-friendly arrival and departure times. Flights are short and comfortable, noting food and snacks are not included in the basic economic package, so prepare some snacks.

© Photos by Kida

When is the best time to visit Fiji?

Like many other pacific islands, Fiji is a tropical island with warm weather all year round.

Late June – September is usually the peak tourism season. The weather is dry, hot and sunny most of the time. Accommodation and expenses are at their highest. A flood of tourists, mainly from New Zealand and Australia, crowd over popular resorts. If you want to experience the most vibrant time of Nadi and meet other tourists on the islands, June to September is the best time to go.

October is the shoulder season, where accommodation is slightly cheaper. The weather is still fairly hot and dry, with fewer tourists. It’s also the best season to go for tropical fruits. There will be an abundance of ripened local-grown fruits, like coconut, watermelon, pineapple, papaya, mango and banana. Seriously, they’re so sweet and affordable. Fruits in Fiji are like nowhere else! It was a real treat for us to have fruit bowls for breakfast and lunch during our time in Fiji.

Late November – Early May are the ‘wet’ seasons, where you may experience tropical storms. However, towards the end of the wet season (April), there are less rain and tourists, which make up for the occasional cloudy days. We had a chat with a local taxi driver just recently about the ‘cyclone’ season. He said many people come to Fiji during Christmas and New Years holidays, and they haven’t had rain over Christmas for many years.

© Photos by Kida

Visa Requirement

Most countries are exempt from obtaining a visa when visiting. The only requirement is to hold a passport that’s valid for at least 6 months, and your stay is no longer than 4 months. You can find a list of exempted countries and other visa information from their official website here.

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Photo © Pixabay

Packing Essentials

Depending on the type of holiday you have in mind, packing can be quite simple. Our family always advises packing light, especially travelling to a tropical island. You don’t really need a lot to enjoy a holiday in Fiji.

What should I pack for Fiji?

Below is a list of our recommended packing essentials for a family trip to Nadi and the surrounding islands.

Sunscreen, Sunglasses & Hat – UV here is fierce, slap on sunscreen or expect to be toasted within half an hour!
Mosquito Repellent – Bring a roll-on or cream-based insect repellent, or buy one in the local shop.
Camera, GoPro & Drone – Fiji islands are postcardesque, so bring your camera gear.
Sarongs & 3 sets of Swimwear – There are many local markets and souvenir shops to get Fijian sarongs & swimwear, but if you prefer your own, bring them from home.
Snorkel & Scuba Diving Gear – Although you can hire these gear from most resorts, you may want to bring your own for comfort and convenience.
Flip Flop – One pair of flip flops is all you need here, really. We didn’t even need shoes for most of the days on the islands.
Clothing – Light, summer clothing would do. If you plan to visit the village or wander in town, bring a set of clothes covering your shoulders and knees.

Interactive Packing List for Every Vacation

If you need a packing list for things like travel essentials, baby bag, beach vacations, camping, clothing and toiletries, be sure to use The Ultimate Interactive Packing List we’ve compiled for families just like yours.

This packing list is interactive, meaning you can tick them off after you pack to make sure nothing is left behind!

Ultimate-Packing-List-for-Every-Vacation-Family-Holiday-Essentials-Kida-Blog-Banner

Currency

The official currency in Fiji is the Fijian dollar. While most hotels and resorts accept credit cards, there is a surcharge. Exchange some Fijian dollars before your trip as small local shops only accept cash.

Should I tip in Fiji?

Tipping is not required nor expected here. However, we always encounter genuine, kind locals who go above and beyond to help us.

If you get a chance to meet some of the locals and learn about their stories, you may feel obliged to help them out as we did. Our hourly wage in Australia is often equivalent to a Fijian’s week worth of labour work. Locals will greatly appreciate your generosity.

Fiji Information Family Travel Guide Essential Must-know Pacific Island with Kids
We left half a luggage worth of clothes back on this island to the locals. They were ecstatic and really appreciated our generosity.

© Photos by Kida

Common Phrases in Fiji

As foreign visitors, we found the 2 words we use most frequently during our trips were Bula and Vinaka. You will hear them many times a day, so these 2 words will naturally become a part of your vocabulary. The rest are good to know.

Bula – Hello
Vinaka – Thank You
Tagane – Men
Marama – Woman
Niu – Coconut
Levu – Big
Lailai – Small

Fiji Time

Fiji runs in Fiji Time, meaning everything slows down from the usual hustle and bustle. No one is in a hurry to go anywhere or do anything, so put away your phone and live in the moment.

If you are making appointments with local services, don’t expect them to turn up on the dot. You can, however, expect a happy face when they do eventually turn up. Set your expectations right, and you will have a great time here.

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DND – on Fiji time! Nothing more I want to do.

© Photos by Kida

Getting Around Nadi

Airport transfers

Most resorts offer airport pickups, where staff will hold up signs with the resort name and your name near the exit. If you didn’t book an airport transfer prior, don’t fret! You are almost guaranteed to be approached by an eager taxi driver to earn your business. All taxis should charge around the same, so get a few quotes before jumping in if you don’t know how much it should cost to get to your destination.

Taxi

The easiest way to get around the main island is by Taxi. Most drivers work for a company, meaning they have set pricing that is transparent and pretty much the same across the network.

You can view a list of the best-rated taxis & shuttles on Tripadvisor here.

Hot Tips

If you happen to come across an honest and reliable taxi driver who is punctual, be sure to get their contact details to make your future arrangements easier and smoother.

Our experience: The taxi driver who picked us up at the airport refused a ‘bribery’ to be our private chauffeur. He said he must report to his boss and therefore cannot accept our jobs privately. He was reliable, honest, and an excellent local guide. We ended up booking him in for all of our trips in Nadi!

If you’re looking for a reliable driver in Nadi, we can definitely recommend Roni. He’s happy for us to pass on his contact number. Simply drop us a message here.

Car Rental

If you plan to drive around Nadi and explore the main island, consider hiring a car for a couple of days.

Bus

Buses here in Nadi are affordable and robust. However, in our honest opinion, they are not very comfortable nor on time. If you don’t mind waiting in the heat for a bumpy bus ride, it may be a good local experience.

Bula Bus: Operates around Denarau Island and Marina, you can purchase passes from your resort at Denarau Island.

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Denarau Island Bula Bus

© Photos by Kida

Boats & Ferry

Usually, boat transfers are included in your island accommodation. Make sure to confirm with your resort and check whether boat transfers are at an additional cost.

We had a pleasant surprise finding out we had to pay quite a bit extra to cover our short boat transfers to our bures.

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Getting Around the Islands

© Photos by Kida

If you’re planning to island-hop the Yasawas and Mamanucas (Mamanuca resort connection to Denarau), purchase a Bula Pass or Bula Combo Pass ranging from 5 – 21 days from a licensed tour operator.

Attractions & Activities in Fiji

Whatever it is that attracts you to Fiji, the islands offer such a diverse range of activities that everyone can find their own little piece of paradise here. You can browse through a list of the highlights of Fiji here on Viator.

Below are some of our family’s favourite top things to do in Fiji with kids.

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My favourite thing to do: snorkelling all day long

© Photos by Kida

Top 10 Things To Do in Fiji for Families with Kids

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1. Experience Fijian culture: fire dance, kava ceremony etc
2. Explore Denarau island & Marina
3. Go on a day trip cruise
4. Snorkelling
5. Island-hopping
6. Sunbathing on a white sandy beach
7. Daydreaming on a hammock
8. Local food: fresh seafood, seasonal fruits etc
9. Laze in the resort pool
10. Take a cooking class

Where To Stay in Fiji

Most of the accommodations in Fiji are resorts. There are Nadi hotels and budget lodges close to the airport or town centre for convenience. There is a string of luxurious 5-star resorts on Denarau Island for those seeking a little pampering.

Fiji Information Family Travel Guide Essential Must-know Accommodation Where to Stay Denarau Sofitel Hilton Sheraton Luxurious Hotel Resorts
Denarau Island Resorts and Beach

© Photos by Kida

Most island resorts in Fiji provide non-motorised water sports free of charge, whether they’re backpacker bures, bungalows or high-end luxury resorts. So no matter what type of accommodation you’re looking for, there is something for everyone.

After being in Fiji 5 times, we have experienced quite a few types of accommodation. In our post on where to stay in Fiji, we will share our stays and reviews on some of the Fiji accommodation in detail.

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Denarau Island Sofitel Resort Pool

© Photos by Kida

Accommodation Booking Sites & Apps

Below is a list of hotel booking sites I personally use myself. You can find a range of family accommodation on these websites, from holiday parks to holiday homes, hotels to resorts.

*Some of these links are affiliate links. (full disclosure)
It doesn’t affect you in any way, but we may receive a small commission for bookings through our site.

Hot Tips

If you only travel occasionally, consider booking with the hotel directly. You might get a discount & better service.

However, if you’re a frequent traveller that stays at hotels often, we recommend sticking with one hotel booking site/app to reap the benefits of its loyalty program.

Hotel Booking Sites

hotels.com hotel booking
I use Hotels.com app to book hotels after browsing through hotel comparison sites. The loyalty program is my favourite and customer service has been excellent so far.
Trip.com hotel booking
Sometimes I find the best prices on Trip.com, so I use Trip as an alternative hotel booking app.
Agoda hotel booking
Agoda also offers some of the best prices around, and its rewards system is simple to use and is one of my go-to hotel booking apps.
Booking hotel booking
Occasionally, the hotel I’d like to book is only available on Booking.com. This site has the most complete list of accommodations.

Hotel Comparison Sites

trivago hotel comparison
Trivago is the first hotel comparison site I’ve used and still love today.
How to use Trivago & tips
google hotels comparison
Google Hotels is the most convenient to use for me as I use Google maps to bookmark the places I want to go.
How to plan a trip in 30 minutes

Holiday Homes

Vrbo holiday home hotel booking
Vrbo is a holiday home booking site. If you live in the Southern Hemisphere, you may be more familiar with the name Homeaway, which is now acquired by Vrbo.

New Zealand travels: use Bookabach.co.nz
Australia travels: use stayz.com.au
Airbnb holiday home hotel booking
I personally find Airbnb is getting more and more expensive with fees, so I don’t use it often anymore. However, Airbnb still remains one of the largest holiday home booking sites.

Don’t Be A Stranger!

Like, share and comment below if you find this post useful, or tag us on Instagram @kida_co!
In the meantime…

Are you planning to visit Fiji when the border opens?

2 thoughts on “Comprehensive Family Fiji Travel Guide: Get Ready for 2022”

    1. You’re most welcome! We’re hoping to go back next July, fingers crossed covid will be over by then! Wishing you an amazing trip!

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