Fiji is a great place to travel to. With its tropical weather and the various things to see, Fiji seems like a different world overall. It’s the place that everyone who wishes to disconnect wants to go to. But like any country you visit as a visitor, it helps if you know what to expect and do a little preparation for the travel formalities. Here is what you need to know to make your arrival in Fiji as smooth as possible.
Visa and Documents
Depending on how long you want to stay in Fiji and under which passport you are traveling to Fiji, you do not need a visa. Upon arrival in Fiji, the immigration authorities will issue a tourist visa that is valid for 4 months. This applies to all citizens from countries that are exempt from advanced visitor visa applications.
Those not on the list must apply for a visitor’s visa prior to traveling to Fiji. Any work, education, study, or business activity is prohibited while in Fiji on a visitor visa, if this applies to you, you must apply for an appropriate visa before your arrival.
Even if you do not need a visa, you still need a passport that is valid at least 6 months after you exit the country. It should also have one blank stamp page. You need to hold the documents with you at all times, for proof, when asked for them.
Depending on the reason for your visit, you may also need to gather proof of your travel purposes. You may need conference registrations, business support or cover letter, or any other supporting documents.
If you want to rent a car, an international overseas license will not work in Fiji. You will have to go to the Fiji Land transport authority and have your license converted.
Whether you are traveling in or out of Fiji, you have to go to the borders and declare your items to the Customs officials. If you are carrying valuables, bearer negotiable instruments, or currencies worth $10,000 or more, then you will have to declare them.
When entering Fiji you will need to fill out a customs declaration card. Everything that needs to be declared is listed here. Read this carefully and check everything that applies. Generally, no meat and no food, and no farm products may be imported. If you have any of this, it must be declared.
If in doubt it is always better to declare the item so check the appropriate box on the customs declaration card. A customs agent will then interview you and either release the item or confiscate it without further issues.
If you try to get something past customs that is prohibited and you are caught doing so, you can face severe penalties.
Health and Medical Recommendations
Fiji is a safe country and free from malaria and many other tropical diseases. In the urban areas, there are hospitals, general practitioners, and specialists. In the rural areas, there is a network of nursing stations that take care of many common minor issues. In case of emergency, evacuation will be arranged.
Fiji has certain health and medical recommendations that you will have to consider. If you have any pre-existing conditions, you might want to arrange for your medication to be delivered beforehand. Medical facilities in Fiji may not be as well-equipped as in your home country, so there is a chance you may not find your prescription medicine.
Check with your health insurance company whether any costs incurred during your holiday in Fiji are covered. Also, water sports activities or diving are often not included in regular insurance. Be sure to take out comprehensive international health insurance.
Packing Your Luggage For Fiji
When going to Fiji, check with your airline which baggage allowances are allowed. With some carriers, you will be allowed two luggage pieces no heavier than 23 kg piece, and one 8 kg (at most) carry-on. If you carry any more than that, you will have to pay extra fees for storage and delivery (which is usually done at or from the hotel) or suffer overage charges. For water sports enthusiasts and scuba divers, some airlines offer special baggage allowances.
When packing for a trip to Fiji, you have to bring two things: a good mood and appropriate gear. Fiji is a rather warm country, so you should bring lightweight summer clothing with you. Sunscreen and beachwear are also essential since you’ll definitely want to go to the beach.
With that in mind, considering the changing weather, you might also want to bring long-sleeved clothing to layer on yourself, and perhaps a rain jacket as well. If you go to Fiji in the winter months, that is July-August, you should consider that it can get quite chilly in the evenings, and then you will be happy about a warm fleece sweater.
Purchases in Fiji
Fiji uses the Fiji dollar (FJD), other currencies cannot usually be used in Fiji, so you will have to convert your local money into FJD. On the main island and in the populated areas there is a dense network of ATMs that accept most international credit cards and bank cards.
If you go to the islands remember that there are no banks or ATMs so you should bring enough cash point the hotel & resort facilities on the islands do accept credit cards but usually
Make sure that you have a reasonable allowance to support you during your stay in Fiji. On average, a traveler in Fiji spends around FJD 360 a day, if you are on an average budget. If you are aiming to splurge in Fiji or make the most out of your time, then you should aim to have at least FJD 800 per day.
Fiji is quite an expensive place to travel to, so from the moment you arrive, you should expect to pay more than your average fees. Ideally, you should have more than the minimum on you, even if you are a budget-savvy traveler. This is because you might have to make quite some hefty payments here and there.
Itinerary – Chill and Relax
When you arrive in Fiji, you may expect that your itinerary might go through some changes. Fiji people have a concept called “Fiji Time,” which has less to do with the time zone and more to do with their lifestyle. Fiji people believe that everything should be resolved at their own pace and that things should never be rushed.
For this reason, you might expect delays – not necessarily at the airport, but within the country at least. Fiji people are generally relaxed, so when someone sets a time for a meeting, you might expect delays from 10 minutes to one hour. Even taxis at the airport can turn up late.
Thus, as a traveler to Fiji, you might not want to create a schedule that is too tight.
Visit The Fiji Islands
Fiji is a great country to travel to, the scenery is beautiful and the people are incredibly friendly. Traveling to Fiji is easy, as long as you know what to do and what to expect. If you have your standard travel paperwork, your medical records in order and you respect all luggage and declaration regulations, then you should have no problem upon arrival. Other than that, simply take advantage of Fiji culture and enjoy your stay!