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The Ultimate Packing Guide for Moving to Fiji

Packing guide for Fiji

As promised, I’m back with another packing guide for Fiji! Too soon? Nah, trust me when I say there’s not a whole lot of resource out there, especially those that pertain to moving to Fiji for future/potential expats. I remember struggling to find relevant information back in February when I’d decided to take up on a job offer inΒ Suva, the capital city. So I had no choice but to learn everything about my new home – literally anything and everything from its exact location in the world map to whether I should pack my rain boots – fromΒ Lonely Planet. Although what I read on LP was helpful, I was hoping to get tips from Fiji-based expats because, let’s be honest, advice from the locals is usually the best.

Maybe I was inputting the wrong keywords in Google from the excitement and anxiety of moving to a continent I’d never been, but the scarcity of information was a total surprise to me. Fiji is known as the hub of the Pacific and it’s super famous for picture-perfect beaches and cultural richness that attract many visitors to its piece of paradise, so I’d thought it’d be a piece of cake to get insight on what I should and shouldn’t bring. Unfortunately, it took me weeks to figure out what to pack and what to leave behind. A quick side note – the baggage allowance for Fiji Airways isn’t so generous – 23kg x 1 piece for check-in and 7kg x 1 piece for carry-on, and yes, they will make you put your carry-on suitcase in that metal thing they have at the check-in counters.

In order to provide some insight for future expats, I’ve prepared this packing guide that include what I wish I had or hadn’t brought to Fiji. I hope you find it helpful!

 

What to bring:

Sunscreen, sunglasses and hats

If you read my holiday packing guide to Fiji, this shouldn’t surprise you πŸ˜‰ Sunscreen is expensive in Fiji so make sure you pack plenty. I think I brought like 5 bottles because I can’t go a day without sunscreen on my face.

Packing guide for Fiji sunglasses
 

Flip flops and open-toed sandals

Bring lots of them. They wear out quickly, thanks to the not-so-great road conditions. Also you’ll need them for the beach πŸ™‚
 

Running shoes and hiking boots

Fiji is home to beautiful hiking trails so you’ll want to pack appropriate footwear. I’m gonna be honest and say that I didn’t bring any hiking boots (I don’t even own one) because hiking isn’t my cup of tea. But one day I’ll go…one day.

Packing guide for Fiji hiking boots

Bathing suit/snorkel gear

For your weekend getaways at the beach.
 

Waterproof action camera

For your underwater selfies with fish, turtles and manta rays. Remember how much a GoPro costs in Fiji?

packing guide for Fiji GoPro
 

Basic first-aid kit

I always pack a personalized first-aid kit whenever I travel or move to a new country. Aside from the basic items such as pain meds, band-aids and antibacterial cream, I make sure to pack an ample supply of eye drops because I have dry eye syndrome and they’re ridiculously priced here.
 

Baby products

If you’re moving to Fiji with your baby, bringing some baby products, including formula, might be a good idea. A colleague of mine from Australia told me she always asks her visitors to bring some formula for her newborn because it’s expensive here. But I’m not sure how necessary this is since I’m not here with a baby and there’re weight limitations from Fiji Airways to consider, so feel free to email me with questions and I’ll be happy to look further into it.

Packing guide for Fiji baby products

 

What not to bring:

Clothes

My biggest regret is packing too many clothes. Not many people dress in western business attire here in the Pacific unless you work for a diplomatic mission. Instead, people go to work in traditional Pacific-patterned shirts and skirts called “bula shirts” and “sulus”. You can buy bula shirts and sulus at any clothing stores in the streets and they’re not only comfortable but also decent quality and affordable. Now I wear my pretty bula shirts every week and couldn’t have survived my two business trips to the Solomon Islands without them! If you’re up for something unique, go fabric shopping and get an outfit made by a tailor. I’ve already purchased a few patterned fabric to take to a tailor – can’t wait for her to work her magic and turn them into gorgeous dresses!

Packing guide for Fiji clothes

You won’t be dressed like this in Fiji


 

Close-toed shoes

I guess this applies more to women as men are expected to wear formal, close-toed footwear for work. I’m a big fan of shoes that cover my feet because they get cold even during the summer (it’s an Asian thing apparently!). So I made the mistake of bringing a bunch of TOMS and soon realized that I would’ve been better off with crocs. At least I didn’t pack any high heels with me…
 

Umbrella/rainboots

This actually contradicts my holiday packing guide for Fiji because I’d recommended them to bring a small umbrella. However, ditch the umbrella if you’re gonna be in Fiji for a while. Your umbrella won’t last more than 2 weeks no matter what season it is. I packed a small, cute umbrella from Korea and it didn’t stand a chance against the wind and downpour. So yea, don’t bother packing one…just invest in a tall, sturdy, Fijian-made umbrella that’s designed to fight the unpredictable weather. I’d thought about bringing my beloved rainboots but nobody wears them even if it’s storming outside. They just walk through the wind and rain in their flip fops, crocs or go barefoot because #pacificstyle.

Packing guide for Fiji umbrella

These umbrellas won’t last a week in Fiji


 

Books

Another item that contradicts my holiday packing guide. There’s a library and a book club so don’t worry about bringing your paperback books. Just bring your Kindle.
 

Food

It’s important to research ahead of time what food you can and cannot bring into Fiji. For example, most dairy items are allowed if you’re flying in from Australia or New Zealand. I know a lot of people love to bring cheese as it’s RIDICULOUSLY PRICED here – yes, I wrote that in all caps to emphasize just how expensive it is – but they must be vacuum-sealed and properly packaged. However, if you’re coming from a country that’s not Australia or New Zealand, what you can bring may be heavily restricted. Refer to this page for more information and remember that all foods must be declared at Customs upon your arrival, as your suitcase will be scanned after you collect them at baggage claim. There is an amnesty bin for you to throw away any foods before you go through the scanners. If unsure, ask a Biosecurity Officer at the airport because you’ll face a hefty fine if you’re caught bringing in something that you shouldn’t.

Packing guide for Fiji cheese

I wish cheese was cheaper here…

 

Are you an expat or soon-to-be expat in Fiji? Did anything in the guide surprise you? Let me know your thoughts in the comments πŸ™‚Β 

 

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Packing guide for Fiji

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35 Comments

  • Reply
    Sooah
    December 22, 2017 at 3:22 pm

    So glad I found your blog!
    This is an extremely helpful post! πŸ™‚

    • Reply
      susie
      December 25, 2017 at 10:56 am

      Thanks! Happy holidays xx

  • Reply
    Joan Cajic
    December 23, 2017 at 1:43 am

    Great tips, I would really love to visit Fiji one day and hopefully I do.

    • Reply
      susie
      December 25, 2017 at 10:56 am

      Thanks Joan! I hope you visit one day as well. Happy holidays xx

  • Reply
    Andrea
    December 23, 2017 at 2:30 am

    Oh my gosh how exciting, your moving there. WOW I would love to be able to visit one day.

    • Reply
      susie
      December 25, 2017 at 10:57 am

      I actually moved back in May πŸ™‚ I hope you visit one day as well! Happy holidays xx

  • Reply
    Aashima
    December 23, 2017 at 9:28 am

    Fiji is a on my vacation list and I hope to visit it soon. Great tips for packing, thank you so much for the post.

    • Reply
      susie
      December 25, 2017 at 10:58 am

      Thanks Aashima, hope you get to visit soon! Happy holidays xx

  • Reply
    Sarah Camille
    December 23, 2017 at 10:38 am

    Just vacationing in Fiji would be a dream come true for me! Moving there sounds fabulous and I love your tips. πŸ™‚

    • Reply
      susie
      December 25, 2017 at 10:58 am

      Living in Fiji is definitely an experience πŸ˜‰ Happy holidays Sarah! xx

  • Reply
    Ashvin
    December 23, 2017 at 12:24 pm

    This is the ultimate packing guide! Fiji looks and sounds amazing and good luck with your move!

    • Reply
      susie
      December 25, 2017 at 10:59 am

      Thanks Ashvin! I actually moved back in May πŸ™‚ Happy holidays xx

  • Reply
    Denay DeGuzman
    December 23, 2017 at 2:19 pm

    What a dream it must be to live in Fiji! I would wake up and pinch myself every single morning just to make sure that I was awake and really living in paradise. Congratulations on being a new expat in that fabulous location.

    • Reply
      susie
      December 25, 2017 at 11:00 am

      Thanks Denay! Living in Fiji has its pros and cons just like any country would but overall I’m glad I get to call myself an expat here πŸ˜‰ Happy holidays xx

  • Reply
    Ana De- Jesus
    December 23, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    I have to agree with you, despite it being such a beautiful place to visit and live in, I can imagine it must have been frustrating to glean all your information from Lonely Planet when locals advice on Fiji would have been more helpful. Congrats on the move x

    • Reply
      susie
      December 25, 2017 at 11:02 am

      It took me forever to decide what to pack and what to leave behind! I wish I’d known not to pack too many clothes, now I need to leave a bunch behind when I leave Fiji. Happy holidays Ana xx

  • Reply
    Melina
    December 23, 2017 at 4:11 pm

    Helpful guide! The tip on formula is so important, especially if you have young ones! Love the pictures!

    • Reply
      susie
      December 25, 2017 at 11:03 am

      Thanks Melina! A lot of people move to Fiji with their newborns and children so formula and powder milk is essential for them πŸ™‚ Happy holidays xx

  • Reply
    Jenny Thompson
    December 24, 2017 at 4:24 am

    I’ve always wanted to go to Fiji. The water looks so blue and clear, and the beaches are stunning in photos. Thanks for the recommendations! If I ever get to go, I’ll know what to bring haha.

    • Reply
      susie
      December 25, 2017 at 11:04 am

      Thanks Jenny, hope you visit soon! Happy holidays xx

  • Reply
    Kelly Hutchinson
    December 24, 2017 at 7:12 am

    I have to admit, Fiji has always been a place I have always wanted to visit. I had no idea baby products were so expensive there. Good to know!
    Kelly Hutchinson recently posted…This Spiced Rum Punch Recipe Is The Perfect Holiday Drink!My Profile

    • Reply
      susie
      December 25, 2017 at 11:06 am

      I didn’t know either, the cost of living in Fiji is so high due to all the imported goods from Australia and NZ :/ I guess it’s one of the perks of living in an island. Happy holidays Kelly xx

  • Reply
    Ashley
    December 24, 2017 at 9:46 am

    Such great tips! I would love to visit fiji someday and now if I do Ill now what to bring

    • Reply
      susie
      December 25, 2017 at 11:06 am

      Thanks Ashley! Hope you visit one day. Happy holidays xx

  • Reply
    Claudia Krusch
    December 24, 2017 at 6:17 pm

    It would be so exciting to move to Fiji. This is a great packing guide. I would have such a hard time deciding what I want to bring.

    • Reply
      susie
      December 25, 2017 at 11:09 am

      Thanks Claudia! It always takes me forever to figure out what to pack haha. Happy holidays xx

  • Reply
    Savannah Pham
    December 24, 2017 at 9:30 pm

    Congratulations on your new job and moving to Fiji! That’s a huge step – something I wouldn’t be able to do. I wouldn’t know where to start when it comes to packing because there’s so much stuff.

    • Reply
      susie
      December 25, 2017 at 11:10 am

      Thanks Savannah! I actually moved to Fiji back in May and just can’t believe how time flies. If I were to move here again I’d definitely leave all my western clothes behind haha. Happy holidays xx

  • Reply
    Jennifer L
    December 25, 2017 at 8:12 pm

    Oh wow how exciting for you to embark on this amazing new chapter! Thank you for this list, there’s usually so much to think about when moving that having a guide like this helps narrow things down.
    Jennifer L recently posted…Last Minute Holiday Nail Art & TutorialMy Profile

  • Reply
    Agness of Fit Travelling
    December 26, 2017 at 3:53 am

    Fiji is an awesome and picturesque travel destination, Susie. Moving there seems like a great idea. I will definitely use your guide for packing when going on holiday there!

  • Reply
    Blair villanueva
    December 26, 2017 at 5:17 am

    Awesome complete guide to pack! Fiji is akso included to my travel bucket list. Hope I would have a chance to visit it. I’ll use your guide to my other island vacay.

  • Reply
    Ruth I.
    December 26, 2017 at 2:39 pm

    I agree with this list, complete. Though I haven’t been to Fiji, some are basic things that we must always bring. I am now interested to go to Fiji soon.

  • Reply
    lavandamichelle
    December 27, 2017 at 12:52 am

    These are great tips, I would really love to visit Fiji. Hope I would have a chance to visit it. Fiji is on included to my travel bucket list.

  • Reply
    Jessica Taylor
    December 28, 2017 at 4:40 am

    I would love to visit Fiji one day! I think this list could help out with other places as well!

  • Reply
    Leo T. Ly
    January 1, 2018 at 4:46 pm

    I’ve heard a lot about Fiji and I would love to live there. It would be great to live there for a few months or a year or so.
    Leo T. Ly recently posted…Is Bitcoin An Investment Or A Gamble?My Profile

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