Wondering what to pack on your trip to Fiji? I’ve got you covered. After living in Fiji for over two years, I’m well acquainted with what will be actually worn versus what’s simply going to sit in your suitcase.
In this guide, I’ll cover general packing tips for your trip to Fiji as well as tips for surfers, scuba divers, and freedivers. Plus, what to leave at home.
Table of Contents
Fiji Packing Essentials
Before we dive in, consider what activities you plan to do. There are no major cities in Fiji outside of Suva and Nadi. If you’re going to be island hopping, expect to hike, swim, snorkel, and take day trips to other islands. You probably won’t be spending a lot of time indoors or in formal environments.
Fiji is a safe destination compared to most places in the world, but there are still risks to consider. Coral reef cuts, rolled ankles, dog bites… incidents happen. I’ve unfortunately had to use my travel insurance when a mosquito bite in East Timor decided to mess with my leg. I recommend World Nomads. World Nomads covers most activities you’ll do in Fiji.
Backpack vs. Suitcase
Backpack: Best for travelers who will be doing a lot of island hopping or catching the local buses. I use a Deuter 60L for longer trips and the Osprey 46L for shorter trips. It’s wise to have a rainproof cover. >Shop backpacks
Rolling suitcase: Ideal for those who are staying at mid-range to luxury resorts. >Shop suitcases
Dry bag: A dry bag is a MUST in Fiji. Rainstorms can happen unexpectedly and a dry bag has saved my camera gear and phone on many hikes, day trips, and boat trips. I recommend having a dry bag backpack as your day pack. At a minimum, have a compact dry bag in your bag at all times. >Shop dry bags
Keep things casual but nice. Bright floral patterns are popular in Fiji, so don’t shy away from color. It could be a great place to bring that “Aloha” patterned shirt you got from Hawaii and never wore again. Think sundresses, t-shirts, shorts, and pack a sarong for village visits. While skimpy clothing is worn at the resorts, you might feel more comfortable covering a bit more when you’re in town or visiting the villages.
Lightweight t-shirts: Tank tops are okay in Suva/Nadi and the resorts. If you’re going into the villages, cover your shoulders. You’ll want shirts that are light and breathable.
Shorts: Perfect for sightseeing days and lounging at the beach.
Loose pants: Ideal for keeping mosquitoes away during sunset walks.
Sundress/maxi dress: It’s always a good time to wear a sundress in Fiji! Pack one for romantic dinners or to throw over your bathing suit after a swim.
Hiking outfit: If you stay on one of the larger islands like Taveuni, you’ll be able to hike your heart out. I like to wear a long-sleeved hiking or fishing shirt to protect my skin against the sun. Running tights double as leggings for beachside yoga classes or surf leggings.
Hat and sunglasses: Essentials for Fiji! Note that when you enter a village, it’s impolite to have anything on top of your head and you’ll want to take them off.
Bathing suit and rashguard: This one is pretty obvious, isn’t it? Water tends to be around 27°C (81°F) so you won’t need a wetsuit for general swimming and snorkeling. >Shop rashguards
Sarong: A sarong (called a sulu in Fiji) is commonly worn during formal ceremonies by men and women. It’s one of the most practical travel items and I bring one on every trip. A sarong is perfect for village visits and post-swim lounge sessions. You can also tie sarongs into a cute dress or top.
Footwear: You’ll want a pair of sandals, hiking shoes, and reef booties. Leave any formal pairs at home. If you plan on experiencing Fiji nightlife, men will need closed-toed shoes and women will get away with having a nice pair of sandals. It’s uncommon to see heels. You’ll quickly notice that Fijians walk barefoot everywhere–when I went rock climbing, some locals scaled the wall with bare feet. >Shop hiking sandals
What about a sweater? You might not wear it. I only wear mine to the movie theater, though it’ll probably come in handy on your flight over. Err towards warm weather attire rather than winter wear.
Underwear/socks/PJs: The works.
While Fiji has large stores and supermarkets, you may not be near them–especially if you are visiting any of the outer islands. Pack any must-haves with you.
Medications: Bring all your medication from home for the duration of your trip. I always pack a small first aid kit in case of reef cuts or scrapes, complete with triple-antiseptic cream/spray.
Ear plugs: A must if you’ll be staying in one of the hostels. Stray dogs and drunk backpackers tend to howl at the moon come nighttime, too.
Reef-safe sunscreen: The coral reefs in Fiji are fragile, so be sure to pack sunscreen without reef harming ingredients. I like sunscreen made by Avasol and Stream2Sea. >Shop reef safe sunscreen
Makeup: I rarely wear makeup in Fiji thanks to the high humidity. If you pack yours along, ensure your foundation has SPF in it. Waterproof mascara is a good idea.
Menstrual products: Bring your own cup or enough tampons/pads to last the duration of your trip. Assume that you might not be able to visit a shop if you’re staying outside one of the main towns. Resort shops often run out.
Natural bug spray: I don’t really use mosquito spray. I usually try to avoid being near heavy vegetation at sunrise/sunset to avoid being bit. Dengue fever is present here so if you’re worried, I’d add it to your Fiji packing list. You can pick up a natural spray locally made by Pure Fiji.
Should I pack a snorkel, mask, and fins? If you are staying at a mid-range or upscale hotel, there will probably be snorkeling gear available for rent, usually included in the cost of your stay. Message the hotel in advance to make sure before trusting what’s published on the hotel website.
Snorkeling gear isn’t easy to buy in most parts of Fiji. I recommend packing at least your own mask and snorkel if you’re staying in budget accommodation and/or will be moving from island to island. >Shop snorkeling gear
Hikes tend to be moderately challenging, with no special gear required on treks like Mount Korobaba (Suva), the Lavena Coastal Walk (Taveuni), or Tavoro Falls (Taveuni). However, some challenging treks–like those hosted by Talanoa Treks–might be more comfortable with hiking poles and a head lamp. Because it is not acceptable to traipse wherever you feel in Fiji, most hikes will need to be done with a local guide.
Fiji is one of the most picturesque places I’ve ever been to, and I’m always thankful to have a camera on hand. At a minimum, pack your smart phone (you can get phone data at the international airport with Digicel or Vodafone). If you want to bring proper camera gear, here’s what I suggest.
GoPro: An action camera is perfect for a destination like Fiji. Compact and durable, you can take it hiking, down water slides, snorkeling, surfing, scuba diving–and you don’t need to worry about sudden rain showers. I used to have a full-on underwater camera rig but found myself reaching for my GoPro on trips instead. >Shop GoPro
Video above filmed with my phone and a GoPro Hero 7 Black
Mirrorless camera: For a mid-range mirrorless camera, I recommend the the Sony a6000. For a professional level camera, I use the Sony a7iii with the 24-105 G series zoom lens. But, as the saying goes–the best camera to have is the one in your hands.
Drone: Travelers can fly drones for recreational purposes in Fiji, but the drone must be registered at the airport upon arrival. The DJI Mavic Air and DJI Mavic Mini are ideal for traveling thanks to their small size and awesome camera quality. >Shop DJI Drones
Surfer Packing List
Surfboard: Can I rent a surfboard in Fiji? It depends on where you’re staying. If you’re on a budget, accommodations like Rendezvous and the Beachhouse have boards for rent–but there might not be one you like. Don’t expect to purchase a cheap board and resell it before you leave like you would in Bali or Costa Rica. Surfboards are a hot commodity in Fiji and most residents don’t let them go until they’re dinged to death or snapped in half (even then, they might hang on in hopes of someday repairing it…). If you’re a beginner, the boards available at the surf schools are fine. If you’re an intermediate or experienced surfer, bring your own. Pack your board in a decent board bag. Boat rides out to the breaks can be bumpy.
What about a wetsuit? The water tends to be around 27°C (81°F) and the weather is almost always hot and humid. You won’t need a wetsuit–even on rainy days. You’ll want a rashguard and maybe surf leggings to protect yourself from the sun. For long sessions, a surf hat is a good idea. Surf booties might save your feet if you end up on the reef.
Surf accessories: Add a spare leash, wax, and fin key to your Fiji packing list. Assume that you won’t be able to easily replace a snapped leash or item that gets lost somewhere along the way. Surf shops are rare in Fiji, most local surfers use their friends coming in from the U.S. or Australia as pack mules for surf gear. Leave your accessories with a local surfer if you want to make a friend for life. >Shop Surf Accessories
Scuba Diver and Freediver Packing List
Scuba gear: Most dive resorts will have quality scuba gear–including wetsuits–for rent. You should bring your own dive computer. The water temperature hovers around 27°C (81°F) all year long.
Freediving gear: There is no major freediving scene in Fiji. There is one main school, Liquidstate Freediving, found in Savusavu. Of course, locals freedive as spearfisherman but you won’t find communities depth training in a formal way. Bring all your freediving equipment (fins, socks, mask, snorkel, belt) aside from weights, which can usually be borrowed or rented from a nearby scuba center.
Did I miss something? Let me know in the comments below.