In an attempt to make my blog more useful, I am going to post some travel tips & recommendations every once in a while as I learn more and more. Here is edition #1!
To carry with you:
- Water – I carry around my 1L bottle with me every day (even just going to class). You can pick up a 1.5L bottle here pretty easily and I’d recommend picking up one per person! When I travel on the weekends I usually bring ~2.5L for just myself because sometimes I don’t want to have to worry about whether you can drink the water or not.
- Pepto-Bismol – I haven’t run into any really bad travel sickness yet, but I had an upset stomach for about a month. It’s nice to have on hand if you’re about to take a long boat or bus ride. The pills are more portable.
- Toilet paper – Expect no toilet paper anywhere.
- Cash – Pretty much everyone pays for everything in cash. It seems like traveller’s cheques are not accepted. Most resorts will tack on a surcharge for credit card use and I’ve heard that some resorts don’t even take credit.
To bring from home:
- Snacks – Things like granola bars and nuts are hard to get/expensive yet. I’m not sure on customs, but I would bring a bunch.
- At least one long skirt, dress or pair of shorts – You’ll stand out less in the town. It will also be helpful if you go into a village.
- Bug spray + one set of light long clothes – Lots of mosquitos
- Outdoor gear – Bring everything that you need with you (tent, scuba gear, clothing, footwear, etc). These type of things are either hard to get, hard to get good quality or impossible to get.
- Wet suit – If you have a thin shorty wet suit and have the room I would bring it so you don’t have to come in early if you get cold snorkeling.
- BYOS (Bring your own surfboard)
- Sleeping liner – If you are going to be sleeping in dorms, you might want to bring one of those silk or cotton liners in case the sheets are dodgy. Also helps if it gets chilly at night. Helps keep away the mosquitos.
- Do your research! I use the Fiji Moon Book and it has been pretty accurate so far. I have run into so many people that didn’t realize that it gets colder the farther East you go, that it really rains in Suva and that you have to be choosey of your beaches on the West coast.
- If you are doing Fiji on the cheap, it’s possible to get around everywhere affordably, but it will take time. Be prepared for tight and late busses.
- People keep saying it’s a bad idea to take mini busses.. up to you! I haven’t done it yet.
- Getting scuba certified in Fiji is probably cheaper than back in Canada/US.
- Be careful of your bags in busy areas
- Say Bula/Good Morning/Hello to everyone you see.. you’ll never know who might chat you up and where you’ll get invited/what you might learn
- Be aware that you might experience gender inequality. If you are a women and try to help lift your bags or carry boats in, someone will probably (politely) do it for you. It’s possible that locals will be more friendly and inviting to a man than a woman.