Travel Tips from a Fiji Destination Travel Agent
So, you’ve decided to have a Fiji destination wedding – yay! Great decision guys!
Our brides often comment about the benefits of getting married in the South Pacific and the most common one being ‘the amount of quality time spent with family and close friends’. Your guests will often look at your wedding as a way to have a holiday at the same time, therefore enjoying your special day and the fun and activities on offer in a tropical paradise!
Below are a few tips that we trust will be of benefit when planning your dream wedding, brought to you by Bula Bride Vendor Carla from South Pacific Weddings. Carla has extensive experience planning weddings and group travel to Fiji, so these are collated from years of experience!
Wedding Dress Tips
1. Choose a dress that is practical in the heat of the tropics – a simple dress in a cool natural fibre will be more comfortable as will appropriate shoes. High heels can be a nightmare in the sand.
2. Tell your travel agent if you intend to take a wedding dress. We will then advise the airline so they expect a boxed or bagged dress to be stored on the aircraft.
3. Hang your dress up as soon as you arrive at the resort. The humidity of the tropics will help any creases to fall out.
4. Take care in the sun before your big day, use plenty of sunscreen – you don’t want to look like a lobster with any exposed skin in your wedding photographs!
Whilst some of our clients have small weddings with immediate family only, the majority of our clients have 20 – 100 guests. Group travel has many benefits and we have listed a few facts and tips to help you to plan.
Logistics – why book via a travel agent?
All weddings have certain logistical issues, however off-shore weddings arranged through our company will actually reduce the amount of work you have to deal with. All flights, accommodation, wedding arrangements such as food and beverage and special requests are managed at one central point – meaning that we do the work for you. There is a huge benefit in dealing with one person only.
Cost benefits of group travel
We have access to special airfares with airlines for group bookings. This provides more flexibility relating to changes etc and in some cases savings to you and your guests. Although the airlines are not as flexible with their rules as they used to be there are still many benefits of having a ‘group’ flight booking. The main one being you only have to pay a small initial deposit to secure your flights and the remainder is paid approx 2 months prior to travel. If you book your flights independently / as “Instant Purchase” you will need to pay the whole amount, in full up-front and they will immediately become non-refundable and non-transferable.
Additionally, we can still access airline specials, so if you have the money aside for your flights then we can look out for good deals and let you know when a special is released and see if you are in a position to pay for your flights then. This is why it is important to contact us as soon as you have made a decision to book Fiji so that we can keep you informed and updated on what’s available. Using our services means you have the benefit of your booking confirmed at the current best price with the advantage that we will watch for specials and apply if applicable.
Most of our preferred resorts will offer a special group rate to include all your guests and many resorts will also offer an additional benefit to the Bride and Groom (free nights, reduced rate, food and beverage credit etc), dependent on the total number of rooms booked at the resort. Again there is normally the benefit of paying a small initial deposit to secure your room and then the balance at a later date.
Getting to and from the Airport
Depending on the number of guests travelling, an arranged coach from your home town to and from the airport is a good idea. This is cost effective, saves everyone storing their vehicles whilst away and really does add to the group experience. Contact us if this is preferred. Of course we will also include transfers from your destination Airport to the Resort you are staying at.
A comment made so often at weddings is ‘how weddings create a re-union of family and close friends’, this is true. However, wedding days in New Zealand (or Australia & the rest of the world) are often very busy and it can be difficult to spend time with everyone before they head home …
Our clients often comment about the benefits of getting married in the South Pacific and the most common being ‘the amount of quality time spent with family and close friends’. Your guests will often look at your wedding as a way to have a holiday at the same time, therefore enjoying your special day and the fun and activities on offer in a tropical paradise!
When travelling to the Pacific Islands, we highly recommended you take travel insurance – you should factor the cost of this in right from the start in your planning process, not think of this as an optional item. Once you have purchased your ticket it is important that you have travel insurance in place. This will cover you for cancellation due to unforeseen circumstances and once you start travelling covers for baggage, medical, personal effects, passport etc. All of our wedding clients will receive 10% off their travel insurance.
The great thing about taking travel insurance early is the fact that you are covered from the day you pay for the insurance and a policy is issued until the time you return to New Zealand. Your own children, grandchildren and one other non-related child who are under 21 years and financially dependent on you or another person are automatically covered when travelling with you. If the child is not travelling with an insured adult, an individual premium will be required.
Travel with Kids
Family holidays are fun but let’s be honest, they can be a logistical nightmare! Below are a few tips and useful links to take the stress out of planning your getaway with the kids. Keeping kids entertained from sun up to sun down really is child’s play in the Islands. There’s plenty to do all day long and family fun for all ages and budgets. The island people have a natural love for children and a strong affinity for the family. Most of the Resorts in the Pacific have awesome Kids Clubs facilities to keep them entertained for hours. You may think why go away on a family holiday if the kids are in the kids clubs all day, but they just love the Island themed activities they have planned each day. This also gives you a break!! There is no destination more perfect for a fun, family holiday.
As we all know from experience, parents won’t relax on holiday until the kids are happy! Being prepared for the plane travel, a much hotter climate, a different (and sometimes traditional) island style of accommodation will really help your little ones to settle more quickly into their new environment, which means parents will get some much deserved R & R too!
We hope this helps to make your family getaway a more relaxed and pleasurable one.
* Bring a change of clothes for arrival as the heat can be a shock!
* Purchase a case of bottled water on arrival at Duty Free – saves time & money
* Consider resorts with inter-connecting rooms – you’ll appreciate the extra space
* Don’t forget the first aid kit ensuring you have plenty of insect repellent, antiseptic gel, sunscreen etc.
* Ask us about kid’s clubs and babysitting services – for you and the kids!
* Fan cooled rooms may be cheaper – but when it’s hot everyone will appreciate an air-conditioned room – especially the kids!
* Take lots of foods and snacks for the kids
We hope this helps with a few hints and tips on planning your travel for your Fiji wedding! If you feel like you need a helping hand to get accommodation, travel, insurance or any part of your trip arranged, drop Carla a message here.
Happy Fiji wedding planning!