I am a full-time traveling registered nurse, fitness enthusiast, and nutrition expert. Every morning I wake up intending to bring awareness of the importance of health and spiritual wellness, especially to the traveling community. At Messy Bun Traveler, we promote travel that allows the traveler to either kick-start, maintain, or enhance a healthy lifestyle. So whether you're someone who travels for business, travels for pleasure, or new to travel and looking for health advice while on the road, this blog is for you!
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What could be more enticing than lying on a hammock, coconut drink in hand, and watching the waves crash onto the shoreline? If you’re looking for an unforgettable tropical destination to escape to, look no further than the Fiji Islands!
With any foreign country, there are some things you should know before you go. I spent two weeks in Fiji as part of a study abroad program during college. My experience was incredible, but there were definitely some things I wish I had known beforehand!
If you’re planning a trip to Fiji, one of the first things you should know is that life on the island runs at a different pace than what you’re probably used to.
It’s not that people are lazy or unproductive; it’s just that they’ve learned to enjoy life and not stress about the little things. This laid-back lifestyle is often called “Fiji Time” or “Island Time.”
One of the best things about Fiji Time is that it allows you to slow down and appreciate the simple things in life.
Instead of rushing through your day, you can take the time to stop and smell the flowers, chat with a friend, or watch the sunset. It’s a great way to de-stress and just relax. The Fijian people’s mentality is that life is meant to be enjoyed, not rushed.
Of course, some things can certainly be frustrating about “Fiji Time” if you don’t plan accordingly.
For example, don’t be surprised if your meals take a bit longer or your taxi driver stops for a chat with someone on the side of the road. If you plan on island-hopping, be mindful that many flights are delayed or take longer than initially intended.
While I was in Fiji, many of our journeys took longer than expected for many different reasons. One day, our van driver pulled off on the side of the road to help another stranded truck driver. While the sentiment was lovely, this delayed our travel day by several hours. This can undoubtedly be a minor inconvenience if you’re trying to get somewhere in a timely manner.
My advice: Don’t fret over something you can’t control. Fiji Time is engrained in the Fijian culture and isn’t going away anytime soon- so just go with the flow and learn to enjoy it!
When planning a trip to Fiji, knowing a few key phrases in the local language is helpful. Fijian is the official language of Fiji, along with English. While English is widely spoken throughout the country, learning a few Fijian words will help you connect with the locals and make your trip more enjoyable.
The word “bula” is used as both a greeting and a goodbye, similarly to the Hawaiian word “aloha.” When you say bula to someone, you actually wish them life and good fortune.
“Vinaka” means “thank you,” and “vinaka vaka levu” is an extra grateful thank you. The latter is used more often in formal settings like restaurants and shops.
Fiji is a tropical climate known for its stunning beaches and crystal-clear water. For your trip, it’s important to pack accordingly.
The weather in Fiji is very hot and humid, so pack light clothing that’s comfortable to wear in the heat.
Keep in mind that Fiji is a conservative country. While you’ll be fine wearing sun dresses and bikinis at the resorts, you’ll need modest clothing if you visit a village or head into town.
Finally, don’t forget to pack essential items such as hand sanitizer, wipes, bug repellent, and LOTS of sunscreen!
For more information on what to wear in Fiji, check out my guide, which includes a packing list and style guide.
Fiji is a place that can be both a budget-friendly trip or a costly trip, depending on what you want to see and experience. If you plan on island hopping, just know that this can get very expensive. The inter-island transfer rates are quite high, and there are few budget options for accommodation and food.
However, there are ways to save on your trip if you do your research. For example, many resorts offer package deals that include meals and activities.
If you are willing to spend a bit more, Fiji has some of the most stunning and luxurious all-inclusive resorts in the world. The food is also incredible, with fresh seafood being a particular specialty.
In short, budget your trip to Fiji depending on what you want to experience. You can check out the latest resort prices on Agoda, here.
Fiji is an archipelago of over 300 islands in the South Pacific. It is a popular destination for travelers looking to experience a unique culture. One of the best ways to do this is by visiting a Fiji village. During a village visit, travelers can participate in a traditional kava ceremony, learn about Fiji’s customs and beliefs, and see firsthand how Fijian families live.
You’ll also get to enjoy the village’s natural beauty, including its pristine beaches and clear turquoise waters. It’s customary to bring a small gift for the village chief when you visit, especially if you’re planning on using any of the village’s natural resources, such as its freshwater pool or waterfall.
The gift will allow you to participate in sevusevu, aka the gift-giving ceremony that officially welcomes you into the village. Fiji is a fantastic place full of friendly people and beautiful scenery, and gaining an understanding of what the Fijian culture is all about was the highlight of my trip!
It is necessary to be mindful that Fiji is a conservative country. This means you should dress modestly when visiting a village or shopping in town. The best and most appropriate way to do this is by wearing a traditional sulu (sarong) or bringing a long skirt.
You should also be aware that Sunday is a rest day in Fiji. This means that many restaurants and stores will be closed for church service. I recommend getting all your essential shopping done before Sunday rolls around.
One of the most important things to remember is to pack sunscreen and mosquito repellent. The sun in Fiji is incredibly strong, mainly due to its close proximity to the earth’s equator. So, it’s important to wear sunscreen throughout the day, even if it’s cloudy or raining.
Mosquitoes are also a big problem in Fiji, so use high-quality repellent to avoid getting bitten.
The Fijian locals are some of the friendliest people you’ll ever meet. They always have a smile on their face and are happy to help with anything you need.
Fiji is also considered one of the happiest countries in the world. A big part of this is due to the locals’ positive outlook on life and the value of harmonious living.
One of the most important things about Fiji is that the internet connection and wifi are limited. While most hotels and resorts offer wifi, it is often slow and unreliable. Additionally, cell phone service can be spotty, especially in some of the more remote islands, or no service at all.
While Fiji may not be the most tech-savvy country, it more than makes up for it with its natural beauty. So, my advice: ditch the digital world and reconnect with nature.
If you must stay connected, the two prominent phone networks in Fiji are Vodafone and Digicel. These networks offer free tourist SIM cards where you can purchase data bundles. Locations for purchase can be found right at the airport or in the major towns.
Fiji is a beautiful country. However, there are also some things that visitors should be aware of before they go. For instance, Fiji is home to some pretty giant bugs and spiders. While this may not be a problem for everyone, it’s definitely something to keep in mind if you’re staying in a remote village like we did.
Our group of girls had to live with two giant spiders living in our outhouse bathroom. They were about the size of a dinner plate. They made quite a few appearances during our stay, including hanging out on one of the girl’s mosquito nets over her bed one morning.
Luckily, we got used to them after a while, and they didn’t bother us too much. However, if you’re easily bugged by bugs, it’s something to keep in mind if you’re planning a trip to Fiji.
Fiji is an authentic slice of heaven. However, one of the most important things about Fiji is that coconuts regularly fall from palm trees. While this may not seem like a big deal, falling coconuts can actually be quite dangerous.
Each year, approximately 150 people are injured or even killed by coconuts that have fallen from great heights. As a result, it’s not uncommon to see signs warning visitors to be careful of sitting under or walking under palm trees. My advice, if possible, try to stay clear of these trees altogether.
The people of Fiji are very welcoming and friendly; however, women should be aware that the men can be very forward, and they will often hit on you.
This flirtation is usually quite harmless, but it can sometimes get to the point where it’s overbearing or even offensive.
If you’re a single woman planning a trip to Fiji, it’s important to be aware of this cultural difference, and be assertive and set boundaries as needed.
Overall, Fiji is a great country to visit. Still, women should be prepared for the possibility of unwanted attention from men.
One thing about Fijians is that they love their machetes. While visiting Fiji, I noticed people carrying machetes everywhere I went. I saw people carrying them on their hips, strapped to their backs, or simply in their hands. At first, I was a bit intimidated.
But I soon learned that there’s nothing to be afraid of. Machetes are simply a part of everyday life in Fiji. Fijians use machetes for all sorts of tasks – from cutting through the brush to opening coconuts for drinking delicious coconut water.
Fiji is home to various landscapes, from rainforests and waterfalls to white sand beaches and coral reefs. Fiji is a popular tourist destination for these many sites, as well as its warm weather and sunlight.
However, it’s important to understand that Fiji has two distinct seasons – the wet season and dry season. The wet season typically runs from November to April, and during this time, Fiji experiences heavy rains and tropical cyclones. As a result, many tourist attractions are closed or have limited hours during the wet season.
If you’re planning a trip to Fiji, it’s best to visit during the dry season, from May to October, when the weather is sunny and dry. However, if you don’t mind a little rain and are looking for a bargain, plan your trip for the wet season.
I visited Fiji in January and was luckily met with minimal rains and still experienced sunny weather. I will say, though, the few times that it did rain – it POURED! Like, roads flooded and mudslides poured! On New Year’s Eve, my group and I were stranded in a bar while we waited for the roads to clear. We still had a blast, though!
Fiji is a place where minor cuts and scrapes can quickly become infected due to the tropical climate and poor sanitation. For this reason, it’s essential to pack a travel first aid kit before embarking on your Fiji vacation. Band-Aids, antibiotic ointment and antiseptic wipes are all must-haves.
On one of the last days of my Fiji trip, I scraped my big toe on a rock while cliff diving into the ocean. Even though I washed it thoroughly, this scrape quickly became infected and painful.
My first stop at home was at the urgent care, where I was given heavy-duty antibiotics and a steroid injection. My friends called it my “funk toe” for weeks until it finally healed.
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