This dreamy South Pacific archipelago is a bucket list bullet point for every tropic-loving vagabond. Fiji boasts golden palm-lined beaches, crystal clear turquoise lagoons, spectacular coral reefs and an abundance of water sports. It’s cheap, the food is great, and Fijian’s are some of the friendliest in the world.

There’s no need for more convincing. We’re all sold on a trip to Fiji.

Sometimes, amidst the sunburn, smoothies and satisfied bellies of Fiji, we forget to look out for ourselves. Travelling isn’t always glamorous. It’s important to be a little more cautious when we venture from home.

Here are 10 things NOT to do in Fiji.

Don’t show too much skin

Indigenous Fijian man wearing a traditional Sulu vakataga skirt, the national dress of Fiji. Picture: ChameleonsEye / Shutterstock

Whilst Fiji does have a large industry for western tourism, there is still a certain emphasis on modesty when it comes to clothing. In many Fijian villages, women are expected to cover their shoulders. Visitors should follow suit. For all genders, clothing that covers the knees is also regarded as important in some areas. It’s also considered disrespectful to have anything on or above your head in various situations in Fiji, so it’s a good idea to remove hats and sunglasses.

Don’t give kids sweets

This one sounds a little odd, but hear us out. Unnatural sugar intake in western countries is slightly different. For the kids in Fiji, their digestive systems aren’t always used to foreign sweets. Diabetes related deaths are actually the second highest in the world, so it’s important to be careful. Kids in Fiji may also have less opportunity to visit the dentist – something that we tend to take for granted.

Kids climbing a palm tree rope swing in Lavena village on Teveuni island. Picture: Don Mammoser / Shutterstock

It’s also important to avoid sharing hand sanitiser. Some kids haven’t seen it before, and while their fascination with your pocket-sized bottle might seem like a good opportunity to give it as a gift – don’t. If their immune systems get used to the protection of hand sanitiser and then the bottle runs out, the kids can then become sick without it.

Don’t be an overconfident snorkeler

Picture: Travel_Master / Shutterstock

Even if you have snorkelled before, everyone is vulnerable to getting tired. While the snorkelling in Fiji is incredible, try not to overwork yourself. Recognise your limits and take a flotation device if you need. Snorkel with a friend and head back to shore before your energy runs outs.

Don’t be negligent when driving at night

Watch out for the muddy pot holes. Picture: Flystock / Shutterstock

The streets in Fiji aren’t going to be what you’re used to. Roads can be lined with pot holes, and the lack of street lights makes vision a lot worse. Chances are, you’ll also be in a car you aren’t familiar with. It’s important to be extra careful.

Don’t leave planning to the last minute

Picture: Kalamurzing / Shutterstock

It’s always a good idea to do a bit of research before you head somewhere. Some of the best spots in Fiji are a little off the beaten track and might need some preparation. Find an area that is right for you: you don’t want a quiet family trip to take place in a busy party village. It’s also a great idea to look into village tours. Learning about local culture and traditions is super interesting with a bit of prior research.

If you want some advice on Fiji accommodation for families, check the full guide to Fiji here

Don’t eat raw roro

Traditional Fijian Roro. Picture: Loving Islands

Roro, a famous dish in Fiji, is made of coconut milk and greens. It’s delicious, but if it’s uncooked it can leave cuts in your mouth and throat. The wounds are itchy and painful, so it’s worth being that extra bit careful. Make sure there are locals eating at the same place you are, and avoid trying to cook roro yourself.

Don’t rideshare

Taxi to the Sacred Heart Cathedral of Suva. Picture: maloff / Shutterstock

While local Taxis in Fiji are predominantly safe, there have been reports of other passengers causing havoc in ride shares. There’s no need to travel in fear, but it’s worth paying a little bit extra for a private taxi to avoid unfriendly companions.

Don’t hike alone

Hiking the Navua River bank in Suva, Fiji. Picture: EA Given / Shutterstock

The hiking paths aren’t always well maintained in Fiji, and the terrain can be hazardous. Travel with a friend or family member to help navigate and avoid danger. Don’t be scared to ask locals for advice.

Don’t go heavy on the kava 

Kava the national drink of Fiji. It’s a mildly narcotic drink made from mixing the powdered root of the pepper plant with water and results in a numb feeling and a sense of relaxation. Picture: ChameleonsEye / Shutterstock

Kava is a spiced herbal drink made from the Kava plant. It’s a legal depressant. A glass or two is enough. The drink encourages grogginess and lack of coordination, so it’s important to take responsibly and avoid driving.

Don’t stay in the urban areas

Busy central bus station in Suva city centre. Picture: maloff / Shutterstock

Overpopulated areas tend to be less safe and have higher rates of crime. Do your research and check with hotel staff for where is safe. The smaller islands of Fiji tend to be less busy and often more fun to explore.

READ MORE: 

Fiji island guide: Where to stay, how to get there

Super fun Fiji family experiences for under $20

Fiji family hotels rated by a mum who has been there

Why you should go back to Fiji