PACKING GUIDE: FIJI EDITION
We're on our way to Fiji in a week, and I thought I'd give you a little checklist of things to bring that you might not think of a tropical setting. I've done a bit of homework for Fiji specifically, but this should help out with your future travels in any tropical location. Ready? Set? Let's get packing!
So we're off to Fiji for eight whole days, and we're packing as lightly as possible. We are checking luggage for the sole purpose of getting our snorkelling gear. That being said, we like to pack light and have as much with us in our carry-ons. I forget things frequently, so I like to start packing days ahead and throw in things I remember them. Maybe it'll be hepful to you as well!
1. (Appropriate) Clothing
Unlike other parts of the South Pacific, Fiji is very conservative in their dress codes and prefer the women to have their bare shoulders covered and for both women and men to wear long pants and dresses to cover their legs. As a general rule of thumb, you should carry a sulu (Fijian sarong) so you can cover up at any time outside of the resorts. Hats aren't worn in Fiji, so be sure to be conscientious wherever you go and if you go to someone's home, take your shoes off before you enter.
2. Bathing Suits
This probably seems pretty obvious, but outside of Nadi, the beaches are ready for swimming. When it comes to bathing suits, I usually bring more than one so that they can dry off in-between uses.
3. Mosquito Repellant
Fiji has a higher case of dengue fever and cases of zika, unfortunately. Bring some repellant and stay bug-free. Anti-itch cream would be good to have around too.
4. Cash Moneys
The resorts allow the use of credit cards, but when you're out and about in the markets you'll be happy that you brought along cash with you. Tipping is not customary in Fiji, but check the local customs in your area just in case.
Specific to Fiji, we've read that it's customary to bring gifts into the villages you're invited to. We've heard that school supplies (except for books since the spellings are different and often confuse them) and sports gear (such as balls) are great things to bring for the kids. Check with the customs of wherever you're going and see if they have any dietary restrictions and whatnot; we read that Fiji has a high rate of diabetes and don't do well with candy as gifts.
I get hangry, and that's not attractive. I try and carry some snacks around to avoid my inner Hyde. Purchases at the airport are also notoriously expensive as you probably know, so I like to buy any snacks, over-the-counter medications, gum, and magazines ahead of time.
Alan and I like to have a good read on the beach and we've got plenty of books and podcasts to keep us going for a while.
8. Adventure Gear
As I said before, we're bringing our own snorkelling gear, because we love our gear and we don't want to be charged for renting at the resorts. We're also bringing our camera for our underwater adventures and a waterproof case for our phones.
The tap water there isn't seen as safe, so be prepared to buy bottled water and avoid ice cubes just to be safe especially when you're off the mainland. I usually take a reusable water bottle on trips, but we'll have to make sure to boil the tap water before we drink it.
10. Extra Power & Memory
I'm not supporting that you're on your phone 100% of the time, but it's always sad having a dead phone when you just want to snap a nice photo. We have our extra power banks, charger cables (I've forgotten these before), and extra SD cards for our GoPro. Always be prepared!
Other than comfy shoes, a tiny first aid kit, and sunscreen, bring what you want. Bring all your clothes if you're a heavy packer, or, if you're like me, pack lightly. Remember to call your credit card companies to tell you that you're going to be out of the country; you never want to have a mishap with your banks while you're trying to relax. Don't forget your sunnies and have fun! We'll let you know about all the things we did while we were there.