Fiji is packed with family friendly fun and is the perfect amount of time for an international flight with the kids. Felicity Frankish shares her tips on Fiji with kids with us.
I used to travel a lot before I settled down to have kids. In fact, I lived in London for two years, working as a Nanny and taking the time to see the sites of Europe. From Paris to Italy, Iceland and more, I made the most of living within an arm’s reach and getting out and seeing the world. With a three-month stint in South America on the way home, I knew once I got home, settled down and had kids, things would be very different. And they are.
I now have two gorgeous girls – Cassie (2.5 years) and Vivi (10 months) – and travelling to Europe is the furthest thing from my mind. After all, who wants to sit for 24 hours on a plane with two young kids? No thanks! Since Cassie was first born, we have done two road trips, one holiday to Brisbane and two separate trips to Fiji – and we are headed back to Fiji again next year. Why? Because we love it. It is everything a parent could want from a holiday. You get to sit back and relax by the pool, cocktails in hand and enjoy dinners by the water with babysitting and kids club on hand to give you that much needed break. Plus, I could bring out all our favourite headbands and summer outfits and enjoy the sunshine while the rest of Sydney was in the middle of winter. Winning! Here are my tips for anyone wanting to enjoy a trip to Fiji.
- Pick the right flight
It all starts with the flight. Travelling with kids is no easy task, but when they are overtired and cranky, it’s just the worst. On our first trip to Fiji with kids took the afternoon flight. We figured it gave us plenty of time to get organised in the morning and saved us the rush. Problem was, by the time we got to the hotel at the other end it was 9pm. The kids (we were travelling with friends) were cranky, hungry and needed to run around! They had been stuck in confined places all day, and us adults just wanted to get them into bed, but that was the last thing they wanted.
The next trip we took the morning flight. Sure, it meant getting up at 4am and was a long day, but it worked out so much better for the kids who all napped at various stages of the trip and were able to run around in daylight when we arrived.
- Organise transfers
Nadi airport is a busy place full of people trying to give you a lift. The best idea is to organise your transfers ahead of time. This means someone will be waiting with a sign to take you where you want to go, and the car will be decked out with carseats for the kids.
- Find Kid-friendly accommodation
If it’s your first trip to Fiji with kids, I can’t recommend Denarau enough. It has a number of great hotels to choose from, and is essentially a gated community. You can catch the ‘Bula Bus’ (the kids’ favourite) down to the port for a dinner out, you can hop between hotels, enjoy the water park, have a game of golf, or lay by the pool. It’s everything you need and more, plus it’s only 15 minutes from Nadi airport where the Coral Coast is another couple of hours added to your travel.
- Choose your nanny
What is a holiday without a little break from the kids? Most hotels will assign you a nanny, but if you aren’t happy with them – just ask for another! Cassie wasn’t comfortable with the first nanny we got, so we did just that and found one she loved for the rest of the trip. If the kids are under 4, they aren’t allowed into kids’ club alone, so we had the nanny take Cassie there each day so she could play with older kids. It was fantastic.
- Bring EVERYTHING
Things aren’t cheap in Fiji – especially not when it comes to nappies, wipes and formula. You are better off packing a bag full of these essentials and bringing it over. It will save you the hassle once you get there of having to find a shop and stock up. There are also sites you can find things to rent, such as this place. This means you can hire (or buy nappies) you need for the trip, like car seats! Very handy and frees up that luggage space again. Make sure you also bring comforts from home, such as their sleeping bag, as this will help keep their routine the same and familiar while they are away.
- Early flight home
Like the first point, make sure you also take the early flight home. It can be tempting to make the most of the day and stay those extra few hours, but it will hurt you in the long run. Travel days are long – even longer with kids. An early flight gives you time to unpack at the other end, and once again allows kids to run around and kill some energy before bed.
GUEST TRIBE ~ Felicity Frankish of Baby Vine