ONboard: Six Travel Hacks for your Fiji Family Holiday

Family fun in the sun. PHOTO: Tourism Fiji.

Family fun in the sun. PHOTO: Tourism Fiji.

As Australia and New Zealand are hit with a wintery blast, many travellers point the compass for sunnier climes in neighbouring Pacific Islands. May – October is the dry season in family-friendly Fiji, and the ideal time to visit. ONMAG shares six travel hacks to help you make the most of a Fijian vacation with children.

  1. If you stay on the mainland, make sure you visit the outer islands. To minimise travel time for the kids, Denarau is handy to the airport. While it doesn’t have the white sand beaches of the outlying islands, the resorts make up for this with amazing pools. Sailing to the outer islands is a real treat – book in a day trip or private charter around the magnificent Mamanuka Islands and reefs with Coral Cats. Bring the team or leave the littlies with a nanny while you relax, fish, snorkel, beachcomb, swim and enjoying a special blend of luxury and Fijian hospitality.
Dive in, the water's perfect. PHOTO: Coral Cats Fiji

Dive in, the water’s perfect. PHOTO: Coral Cats Fiji

2. Self-cater. Broaden your options and dine in on occasion. Book a villa with a kitchen and stock up on gorgeous locally sourced and grown fruit, vegetables, fish, shellfish, herbs and spices at the produce markets. Try the Nadi Town Market (Hospital Road) or Namaka (near the airport) for a must-do family outing and a real Fijian experience. Arrive early to make the most of the fishmongers. A large red snapper is around $30 and for an extra $5 they’ll fillet your fish too. Nab a plate of chilis or clams for around $2, an armload of pineapples for $5 or a kilo of high quality kava will set you back around $10 FJD.

Pineapple and peanuts for.. . peanuts. PHOTO: YouTube.

Pineapple and peanuts for.. . peanuts. PHOTO: YouTube.

3. Bring a spare chilly bin loaded with your favourite treats. Gourmet snacks like good cheese, crackers and nibbles are expensive in Fiji. As are wine and spirits – be sure to purchase these in Duty Free. You’re allowed to bring in 2.25 litres of spirits or 4.5 litres of wine or beer. Just don’t pack fruit, nuts or honey – a biohazard if you bring these into the country. Specialised children’s food can be loaded in here too.

Treasure Island kids. PHOTO: flightcentre.com.au

Treasure Island kids. PHOTO: flightcentre.com.au

4. Embrace Kids’ Club. Most resorts have complimentary programmes designed especially for little ones, offering supervised daily activities and outings which draw on Fiji’s culture and environment. Jewellery workshops, wilderness walks, sarong painting, storytelling, dance lessons, school visits, language lessons, water sports, fish feeding, mangrove planting… each destination tailors their Kids’ Club differently. Children love the mixture of fun, educational and locally-inspired activities and parents love having a little time to themselves!

Poolside, dreamy Denarau. PHOTO: ONmag.

Poolside, dreamy Denarau. PHOTO: ONmag.

5. Check facilities & services before you pack. Before you lock and load the buggy – check with the hotel as they have most baby hardware for hire. Often concierge can organise you a nanny for those times you’d like to escape for a few hours on your own. You might also like to ensure the hotel has blankets in the rooms as with the air conditioning on, sometimes just a sheet is too cold but the sheet + duvet combo is too hot! This is where throwing in a spare merino blanket and some multi-purpose cotton saris in your luggage comes in handy.

6. Stay at resorts with sunshades over the pool/s. Family time at the pool can last for hours so if you don’t want to keep re-applying sunscreen or donning a sunhat in the water, ensure you book into a resort with a shade sail or similar over the pool. Our picks of places with shade sails are the Radisson Blue, The Hilton and Shangri-La Fijian.

The Radisson's main pool with Blu Brasserie backdrop during sunset PHOTO: travel.virginaustralia.com

The Radisson’s main pool with Blu Brasserie backdrop during sunset PHOTO: travel.virginaustralia.com

  • ANNABEL WILSON.

For ON-the-ball previews, promotion, advertising, interviews, reviews and photography for your cool happenings and concepts, get in touch with annabel@onmag.co.nz.

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