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People often ask me where they should go and what they should do in Fiji. While I cannot plan their vacations for them, I can in this chapter give some recommendations to help you personalize your own visit to Fiji. The end result will depend on what you want to see and do, how much time you have, and how much money you want to spend.

For a majority of its visitors, especially those from nearby Australia and New Zealand, Fiji is one of those "3-S" tropical destinations -- as in, sun, sea, and sand. For those relaxing diversions, I think you should choose one resort in your price range and stay there for the better part of your vacation.

You could spend your entire vacation in Nadi or one of the nearby islands, but you will miss what I consider to be the best parts of Fiji. This is a country of more than 300 gorgeous islands, and -- in order to get a sense of this diversity -- I would try to experience more than one.

By that I do not mean island hopping in the Mamanuca or Yasawa islands off Nadi. Those islands and their resorts are variations on the same theme, and you would waste valuable time jumping from one similar environment to another.

While Aussies and Kiwis can fly up here for a weekend, the long flights coming and going mean the rest of us burn a whole day getting to Fiji and another day returning home. Consequently, we Northern Hemisphere folk should certainly spend at least 1 week here, or more if we can.

When planning your trip, first find out both the international and domestic airlines' schedules, and try to book all domestic inter-island flights at the same time as your international flights. Do not wait until you arrive in Fiji to take care of this important chore.

And remember the travel agent's classic advice: Never stay at the most luxurious property first. Anything after that will seem inferior, and you will likely come home disappointed.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.