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Are you thinking of traveling to Fiji? Whether you plan to stay on one of the major Fijian islands or in a more secluded location, here are eight things you should know before you take off on your adventure.
1. Learn a few Fijian phrases
English is widely spoken in Fiji, but you'll probably hear a few Fijian words and phrases during your travels. Two words to add to your vocabulary are "bula," used to signal welcomeness and kindness, and "vinaka," which means "thank you."
2. Your journey might not be over when you land
If you're flying into Nadi International Airport, you might need a helicopter, seaplane flight or water taxi to your resort, including if you're staying somewhere secluded like our Castaway Island, Fiji resort. But as Fiji is home to numerous volcanic islands spread out over 7,000 square miles, be sure to take in the picturesque ocean views as you voyage to your island getaway.
3. No need to tip
In Fiji, tipping isn't necessary or expected. But if you decide to tip, it will be greatly appreciated – and most likely shared among the employees of whatever restaurant or business you're tipping. Some establishments will have a "staff Christmas fund" box near the entrance that is distributed to all staff at Christmas time, so that's another way that you can show your appreciation for the Fijian hospitality.
4. Bring cash when you explore Fiji
Speaking of money, make sure that you have Fijian dollars (FJD) with you while you explore Fiji; ATMs are hard to find. Our resorts in Fiji accept credit cards for your convenience, but local markets, restaurants and tour companies will likely be cash-only. If you need to exchange currency be sure to talk to the front desk before you head out for the day.
5. Plan for Sundays
Many Fijians are devout Christians, taking Sunday seriously as a day of rest. Many businesses are closed or operate on a restricted schedule on Sundays, so plan your souvenir shopping and other activities accordingly. But worry not – don't forget that the beaches never take a day off so you can always take a dip in the calm waters or watch the sunset from the sandy shores.
6. Don't miss a kava ceremony
Kava is a traditional Fijian drink with a specific ceremonial way to imbibe it. When you stay at an Outrigger resort in Fiji, you can experience a traditional kava ceremony where our hosts will walk you through the cultural etiquette before tasting this unique drink.
7. Be prepared to cover up
When you're at your resort, you can dress freely, but if you venture into smaller towns or villages be prepared to dress more conservatively. Consider packing a light jacket or shawl to cover your shoulders.
8. Pack insect repellent
Fiji has a warm tropical climate so you're bound to encounter mosquitos while traveling to the Fiji islands, especially in the evenings, so pack some bug repellent.
9. Prepare for "Fiji time"
Remember, you're on vacation! Plan to slow down and enjoy your time off because life moves more slowly in Fiji. You might be used to getting your meal or a coffee in minutes at home, but expect to wait a bit longer here. Be patient and enjoy the culture and your surroundings!
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