Travelling to Fiji with kids

Seeing as it’s November, and I had the fire on last night, I thought that I would cast my mind back a few months when we travelled to Fiji with the kids for my Birthday. It was a last-minute (ish) kind of trip, just 5 nights away with Rob and the girls so we could completely drop out, do nothing, and spend some great family time together. For me the trip was about disconnecting from ALL devices – no phone, no internet, no messages, no email, no Facebook or Instagram or blog…nothing! And yes, even on my Birthday. Not one call. It was perfect. We spent our time watching the girls in the pool, or the beach, swimming together, eating together, sleeping together…it was a whole lot of together time I must say!

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Accommodation

We stayed at the Intercontinental Fiji Golf Resort & Spa and so did every other family from Australia or New Zealand it would appear! We were recommended this place from one of the School Mum’s (who also happens to be a travel agent) and had been with her own family a few months before. They often have great deals – kids club free, a certain amount of $credit towards your room etc and we got a great price for the 5 nights. Doing the trip on the (relative) cheap we decided to all share a room together – with twin double beds – and it actually worked out fine. The rooms were spacious (we had a ground floor room with direct side access to the beach, close to the kids pool). The kids were so exhausted at night that they took no time to get to sleep, and each room has a spacious balcony space with lounge, bath and other chairs so we spent our nights out there reading and chatting which meant we had our own space at night.

There was a kids pool and an adult pool (that no one aged under 16 could go in). A few times we made use of the Kids Club and Nanny (Harps was under 4 and so had to have a nanny accompany her to the kids club) so Rob and I could spend some time by the adult pool, pretending to read our books while we people watched. The girls had a good time at Kids Club – but I did have the dreaded long term day care vibe when I dropped them off – I was happier using a Nanny (that cost NOTHING) to hang with the girls down by the beach or the pool, going on adventures rather than being stuck inside kids club. They did get meals at kids club though – so you could cross off having to feed them for lunch or dinner depending on what session you put them in for.

The resort is located about 45 minutes from Nadi airport on the beautiful Natadola Beach. We grabbed a taxi from the airport, rather than the airport transfers that the hotel runs as they are about double the price and a taxi is reliable, friendly and CHEAP. The beach itself was beautiful – you could snorkel or surf or swim and if you could bags one of the cabanas down by the beach early enough (most kids were in the pool in the morning) you are SET. We spend some of the best mornings laying in those, reading while the kids played in the water, making sand castles and only coming up to show you their latest piece of coral or shell. Having a pristine beach on your doorstep was a huge drawcard for us choosing this place rather than the lagoon of some of the other resorts on Denarau Island (where we stayed before). Don’t forget with these resorts though – the eating and drinking can add up – and you don’t realise how much you can eat and drink in a day when you have to pay for EVERYTHING. Stop at a supermarket on the way to the resort, or grab a taxi to one when you are there and get some cheap snacks for the kids and some cheaper booze for you. Duty Free Vodka is a must – that way you just need to grab some soft drink from the room.

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Food & Entertainment

The highlight for the girls each night (and for us) was watching the sunset over the ocean. The girls were entertained by singers, drummers, fire shows, dancers while Rob and I had a chance to have a chat, have a cocktail or two and enjoy the view. Fijians ADORE children and are perfect hosts – always making a fuss of kids and making them feel very special and important. I have always found the food in Fiji a little ho-hum. You’d expect amazing seafood fresh food but it’s just never translated for me. Kids are inevitably given a choice of chips with fish or chicken, chips, chips or um, chips. We were better off giving the girls an adult meal shared – that way they had better choices and something much healthier. Daisy discovered the pure JOY that comes with a buffet when we were away. She felt so grown up able to choose her own stuff (as random as that was) and kids ate for free in this restaurant. It wouldn’t normally be my choice, but the kids were happy and we got to eat some pretty good seafood and food, have a chat and a glass of wine and be back in the room ready for bed by 8.30pm. You can always save fine dining for time away from the kids right? You need to embrace all the cheesy resort things: crab racing, dancing to dodgy cabaret singers – kidds love it and just quietly, so did I.

If you’ve been to Fiji, you’d know all about ‘Fiji time’. If are someone who likes good, fast service, then Fiji probably isn’t for you. You can wait and wait and WAIT to be served, then wait some more time for it to come. Being on holidays means that you are a little more relaxed, but whether you are staying in a 5 star place or not, service can be slow. FRIENDLY but sloooow.

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What to take with you

Books, books and books. Some kids DVD’s for the room, and even some colouring in books and textas but that’s IT. Our girls watched us read and read and when they wanted some down time I wish I had some more books for them (but you have to carry that right?). I did get the girls a crappy magazine each at the airport and that became their entertainment for the 5 days. I would also take your own headphones if you had them for the plane trip over. We flew Jetstar and while they had iPads that you could hire, they had those little headphone buds and the girls could just NOT use them – they fell out a gazillion times.

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Remember that just because you are away on holidays, your kids won’t necessarily change into holiday mode straight away. We finally got into a good routine by the last day – everyone finally relaxed and chilled out. Before that? Well the girls still had fights, still complained about SO MUCH and rolled their eyes. This doesn’t do great things for a Mother who has to put out said fights and just really wants to have a holiday themselves. Remember that nanny service? UTILISE.

Fiji can be such a great escape for families. It’s just 4 hours away – feels like a world away, friendly people, beautiful surrounds and resorts that do all you’d expect them to do all at a pretty good price too.

Have you been to Fiji?
Got any hotel recommendations or tips for travelling with kids?
Why is it so cold in November?

Comments

  1. Lisa Mckenzie says:

    No I am planning a holiday atm I can’d decide between Fiji or Bali and it will be just US this time no kids cause they are adults and can look after the house and make a mess for me to clean up I suppose.I want to relax have no FB IG or net or MSGS on my phone just massages ,shopping fine dining and reading ,lots of reading and Baths in a big tub and sunning myself and swimming and a cocktail or 10!
    I can recommend a cruise with children they have a holiday club with heaps of things to do their own dinner time ,people to mind them when you want to go out and movies and heaps of food and drinks to consume.
    Love these Pics Beth they are beautiful can’t wait to go on a great holiday it has been too long!

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says:

      Go Bali! With just the two of you the travel doesn’t matter and you get more bang for your buck…so many great places always opening up to. Did you read Nikki’s post about her recent trip? Looked amazing! Love planning trips!

      • Lisa Mckenzie says:

        Yes I did read Nikki’s Post about Bali that’s what made me want to go ,thanks Beth for the comment and Yes I love planning too,your next one will be amazing!

  2. I have friends who have been several times and it is definitely on our list of places to visit with the kids.

  3. Alli @ ducks on the dam says:

    Only 4 hours? We had 5 nights away recently and went to the Gold Coast (no theme parks, spitting distance from the beach) and had a great time. We looked at Fiji having never been there before but dissed it because of the flight times when we only had such a short time. We also have to add on the 3 hours drive to the airport (which sucks when you arrive back home). Gorgeous pics

  4. I’ve been to Vanuatu which is Like Fiji but different ;) We got married there in 2011 and stayed on a 16 acre island that had one resort on it, a water front hut with a king bed and spa bath. Was AMAZING. Now that O is 13 months I’ve been getting excited about going back there with her one day to show her where her Mumma and Dad got married and where I saw the glimmer of her in her fathers eye ;)

  5. We went to Fiji on Boxing Day last year with our two (then 3 and 5), and had a grand old time. We spent 6 nights on Denarau at the Sheraton, split with a week on Tavenui at a resort called Paradise. Paradise is aptly named – a very small resort, organic food, nannies, massages, and a pool! I think that there were about 30 other guests, the kids had a ball hanging around with the other urchins. I would go back there in a flash, just a flash. The year before we had Christmas in Bali, a week in Seminyak and a week on Nusa Lembongan – also fantastic. We’d go back there too. But there are so many other places to visit!!

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says:

      Paradise sounds perfect! We stayed at the Sheraton at Denarau too when Harps was just 4 months old. I totally agree with you though – so many places to visit in the world it’s best to keep looking rather than going back I reckon…

  6. I lived in Fiji for a year when I was five in 1977. School uniform was a light green tunic. That’s it – no shoes.

    Bula, Beth. Glad you had a great time, want to take my kids and Dave one day. xxx

  7. I reluctantly got home on from Fiji on Monday night. Although I went – flying solo. Which was awesome because I could island hop, chat away to people, change my transport plans last minute (boat vs seaplane) or do sweet bugger all.

    I’ve discovered the problem with flying solo and the south pacific sun is the difficulty to sunscreen your own back sufficiently, especially when you are a pasty girl with English skin. I don’t recommend heat stroke for plane rides home.

    My hot tip: a rashie. Or I’ve just got to get better at sweet talking people in to rubbing sunscreen on my back.

  8. Bula! Just got back from our first family holiday to Fiji last weekend. My daughter cut her first tooth so although relaxing not a whole lot of sleep! Agree duty free booze is a must to take! Look for a package that includes meals (this saved us a lot of money!) and aim to get a “child friendly” timed flights – our flight landing at 11.30pm in Australia was a nightmare trying to get our baby to sleep and stay asleep with the other screaming babies/kids. We stayed at the Sheraton and had a great time and would recommend :)

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