Some things to keep in mind when traveling to Fiji...
A departure tax of F$150 in Fijian currency is payable on all international flights, but transit passengers connecting within 12 hours and children under the age of 12 are exempt (no airport tax on domestic flights). If Springboard Vacations issued your international airfare, the departure tax was included in your airfare.
Volcanic in origin, Fiji is a group of islands located in the South Pacific approximately 2,775 miles southwest of Honolulu and 1,100 miles north of New Zealand. Flight time to Fiji is 10 hours from Los Angeles; four hours from Sydney; slightly over two hours from Auckland and about six hours from Honolulu.
One of the reasons for Fiji's popularity as a holiday destination is the beautiful climate of this region. Temperatures are always between 78°F to 87°F degrees with the favored time of year for travel from around April to October, those being the cooler months. There is always a cool tropical breeze and the water temperatures are always perfect. The wet season occurs from December to March and can bring heavy rain. Tropical cyclones have also been common in recent years around this time.
A valid passport for at least 6 months beyond the intended period of stay and a ticket for return or onward travel to another country, which he/she is authorized to enter, is required. Entry visas are granted on arrival for a stay of 4 months or less for nationals of the United States.
No vaccinations are needed except for Yellow Fever and Cholera if originating from an infected area designated by W.H.O.
Currency & Exchange, Credit Cards, and Banking
US and Canadian money is worth more in Fiji since the 2009 Fijian dollar devaluation. Visitors can change traveler’s checks and foreign currency at banks and larger hotels/resorts. Credit cards are widely accepted. Banking hours in Fiji are from 9:30am to 3:00pm Mondays to Thursdays and until 4pm on Fridays, and 09:30am to 12noon on Saturdays at selected areas. There is an ANZ currency exchange service at the arrivals concourse at Nadi Airport, which is open 24 hours. ATM machines are located around the country and larger resorts and hotels for convenience.
The current bank-to-bank USD/FJD exchange rate is USD100 = FJD Keep in mind this is a bank-to-bank/mercantile rate and is subject to commission and/or exchange rate fees, typically between 1 to 3 percent depending on your bank, credit card company or financial institution. Information and rates here are provided as an indication and guide only and provided without warranty.
Currency data courtesy coinmill.com
Tipping isnot encouraged in Fiji. But many hotels and resorts will have a staff Christmas fund you can contribute to and proceeds are shared with all staff.
Fiji's culture is a rich mosaic of indigenous, Indian, Chinese and European traditions, comprising social policy, language, food (based mainly from the sea, casava, dalo & other vegetables), costume, belief systems, architecture, arts, craft, music, dance and sports. Fijians are fairly easy going people, but there are still a few customs you should remember to avoid being rude:
Leave shoes at the door before entering someone’s home.
It is an insult to touch someone’s head, including children.
Take off your hat when invited to a village.
If you are offered Kava, accept it and enjoy, don’t ask questions. Kava is a muddy looking drink with a mild numbing, sedating effect. It is consumed during rituals as well as simply for socializing and relaxing.
Westbound flights appear to be the worst for jet lag but many people report feelings of jet lag with any long haul flights. To prevent feeling the worse for wear when you arrive at your destination try the following tips: Be well rested before boarding your flight, drink plenty of fluids and cut back on the alcoholic and caffeinated beverages, try to exercise by stretching in your seat or strolling the isle. One of the best tips is to try to set your body clock to your destination’s time while in flight. Waiting until you land can leave you literally in the wrong time zone.
What to Pack
Casual, informal dress with golf and t-shirts, shorts and slacks for men; lightweight summer dresses, skirts, slacks and blouses for women. Do not wear hats or touch anyone's head. They are interpreted as a sign of disrespect.
A good camera