Author: Sophie McDonald
My husband, 22-month-old twins and I recently returned from our first overseas family holiday. Our destination of choice was Fiji as we’d heard it was a great location for kids and it was only a 4-hour flight away! Easy right? If the idea of an international holiday with multiples gives you the shivers, I’m here to tell you that it’s not only possible, but also enjoyable! Here’s how we did it!
Getting organized to travel to Fiji with twins and multiples
Passports – The first step was to fork out some cash and get the twins’ passports organised. These days you can simply apply online. Just make sure any existing passports have at least 6 months validity before you book or you might get a surprise at the airport!
Booking – We booked through an online travel package agency, something we had never done before, as we are more the type to book flights and figure out the rest when we get there! However, this time we knew it would be different travelling with toddlers and looked at a variety of options before settling on the package deal. It included our flights, transfers, accommodation and some resort credit.
The great thing about Fiji is that at just about every family resort, kids under 12 stay, play and eat for free! That means accommodation, kids club and all meals are covered. As our twins were under two, they also flew for free sitting on our laps!
Packing tips for visiting Fiji with twins and multiples
Packing – Besides all the obvious things to pack for
Firstly, the most annoying thing to pack is nappies as they take up a lot of room when we’re talking about multiples! We didn’t take enough and planned on buying some there, which ended up costing us a small fortune. If you do need to buy them at your destination, make sure you find a local supermarket and not the obvious tourist spot, as the mark up was huge! ($20 for 15 nappies!). Wipes were also quite poor quality and I wish I had packed extra for all the wipe ups on the go!
Bottles were hard to wash in the bathroom sinks and I wished I had brought a bit of liquid detergent and a bottlebrush! I also regretted not bringing a bit of laundry detergent to wash a few things each night rather than carting round a big load to the shared laundry and having to hang it all out.
A few other handy items to pack are; inflatable pool toys that don’t take up much packing room, kids headphones, extra dummies (very important if your multiples are as dummy-crazed as ours and you don’t want to be begging customs to let you back through the airport to find the one they dropped, yes this really did happen.
Money when in Fiji
Money – There are many options these days when it comes to money overseas. ING and several other banks offer no fees when withdrawing money. This saved us a lot of money when withdrawing cash from ATMs and meant we didn’t have to worry. Check out fees from your bank before you leave so you don’t end up with any surprises.
Flight tips for travelling to Fiji with twins and multiples
Flights – When you first arrive to check in,
Airlines are very accommodating when it comes to infant equipment. On most flights you can take a car seat, a stroller and a port-a-cot free of charge. Check with the airline before you get to the airport. We took along a collapsible twin stroller that we were allowed to take right up to the side of the plane! This made it lots easier to get the twins around the airport. The only time they were required out of the stroller was through the x-ray machines. At this point you need to be organised with your liquids and electronics, as you don’t want your twins running off through immigration! Thankfully nothing beeped and we didn’t need to remove anyone’s shoes so we were in and out quickly.
Flying to Fiji with Twins
The flight itself was ok and the twins hardly made a fuss. Other mums and some flight attendants helped us keep the twin occupied which made it so much easier. We took on a bag of new toys (mainly fiddly ones from the $2 shop), which kept the kids busy and we rotated them between us as they got wiggly. Unfortunately, we were seated right next to the toilet. The main issue was the lines of people waiting to use it as the aisle was the only spot the twins could stand and stretch their legs. If you can, try and select seats a bit further from the toilets!
A few last flight tips: dummies helped with equalising ears, we took extra snacks and then some more to keep them happy and busy, and if you want to make a bottle with cows milk, try and get a flight attendant on your side with milk and ask early so they don’t run out. Better yet, take your own on if you are organised! Devises are a lifesaver, so don’t feel guilty about screen time! They will be getting plenty of outdoors time on holidays anyway.
Getting from the airport to the hotel when visiting Fiji with twins and multiples
Transfers – regardless of where you travel, you will at some point need to think about getting from point a to point a, whether that’s from the airport to a hotel, from a mainly to an island or even between airport terminals. This was one area I had no idea how to do with kids. Can kids just be chucked in the back of a taxi? Are car seats required in other countries? Should I lower my own safety standards just because legal requirements might be different? Or should I take my own car seats? Should we hire a car and car seats? Or should I just chill out a bit and put the damn child on my lap?
I asked myself ALL of these questions in the week leading up to our Fiji holiday.
After many midnight google searches, I realised just about every other mother (and the occasional father) about to embark on an international holiday was googling the same thing. In the
While this was the more expensive option compared to the local bus, or a local taxi (potentially with none or only one car seat), it did mean it was stress-free and we didn’t have to wrestle the twins, the stroller and our baggage around the airport or carpark looking for a way to the hotel.
We also had to take a boat out to the island for one of the hotels we had booked. Thankfully the transfers were already part of our package, as they were VERY expensive. So in summary, try to pre-book and pre-plan the transfers as much in advance as possible to save yourself stress and sometimes (but not always) money!
Choosing a suitable hotel in Fiji for twins and multiples
Hotels/resorts – To find out if the resort or hotel is going to suit your family’s needs, Google and reading online reviews are your best sources of information. Try to ignore the reviews that are too good, as well as the ones that are shocking.
You will quickly come across common themes (eg. overpriced food,
Above all, remember that the staff want you to have a good time so email if you have questions or need help before you get there. You may need to stress the fact you have multiple kids the same age as often this was where confusions came (eg. only one cot in the room, only one car seat and one bassinet).
Food in Fiji for twins and multiples
Food – As a parent of multiples you’ve probably already got hidden snacks in every bag pocket and car door. This shouldn’t change when you are overseas. Snacks became our third parent as whenever we needed a bit of silence, out they would come and save the day.
We brought some from home and bought some at local supermarkets to always have on flights, car rides, boat trips, basically anywhere! We also stocked up on some basics (peanut butter, bread, crackers) we knew the kids would eat if they weren’t particularly fussed on the dinner that night at the resort.
Thankfully we never had to worry about it much because with the buffet, there was always something they’d eat (even if it meant hash browns for breakfast every day). The variety of fruit and veg was different from home so they ate a LOT of watermelon and corn and not much else as it was just too different for them.
I didn’t worry as this was a holiday and they went straight back to eating their regular fruit and veg when we got home.
Using a nanny when in Fiji with twins and multiples
Nannies – Hands down the BEST part of Fiji is that every Fijian loves your children the same, if not
In the case of some of our friends, their kids begged to hang out with the nanny more than their family. We were hesitant to book a nanny at the start, having only had our kids babysat by family in the past.
We booked a nanny (which cost about AUD$11/hr for twins) for when the kids were already asleep and we went and had a kid-free dinner. The kids didn’t wake and we had a fantastic few hours to ourselves! The nannies can also take kids under 4 to the kids club where they run a variety of different activities for kids aged 4-12.
A lot of the resorts also run teenager programs to keep older kids busy too. You also have the option of having the nanny spend the day with your family to be an extra set of eyes and hands when you are at the pool or beach, giving you a bit more chance to relax.
Best time to travel to Fiji with twins and multiples
Weather – Unbeknownst to us, we booked our Fijian holiday in peak cyclone season (Nov-April). Unfortunately for us, the day we arrive a Category 2 cyclone developed off the coast. And within a few hours of arriving the sunshine was replaced with grey clouds and rain. This lasted for the first five days.
Yes. Five days of rain with twins, stuck in a hotel room – obviously far from ideal. Luckily it was still very warm so we swam in the pool (we were getting wet regardless) and wandered a
The cyclone did end up blowing away from Fiji. And when we travelled out to our second resort the weather cleared up and we had perfect sunshine for a further five days. Weather is one of those things that cannot be predicted,
Fiji is an extremely family-friendly international destination that can be very affordable, accessible and enjoyable, even with twins! If you are prepared, you’ll make it just that bit more relaxing for yourself too.