Can anything go wrong in paradise? Yes, it can, and if you’re not prepared, it will most certainly happen to you. Fiji is a wonderful island – the locals are friendly, the food is delicious and diverse, the beaches are almost magical, and the palm trees complete the image of ‘paradise on earth’.
Unfortunately, the feeling of relaxation and total peace can easily come to an end if you end up sick or injured. As with anywhere in the world, the possibility of illness and injury is very prevalent in Fiji and can befall anyone at any time. Being prepared and taking the time to learn about the common illnesses, as well as the most common dangerous illnesses and safety info will go a long way towards making your vacation smooth and incident free.
If you’re traveling to Fiji for the first time, whether as a backpacker or general tourist, the following info will help you plan for and ultimate avoid the unexpected.
As common sense as it may seem, the sun is one of the most dangerous health issues Fiji travelers face. You’re in the tropic – the sun is very strong and just overhead, shining down and burning indiscriminately. If you’re planning on spending the day outside, take a bottle of sunscreen with you and apply it hourly, more so if you just got done swimming. Don’t spend all moments in the sun – the shade will be just as warm, but will reduce the risk of sun poisoning and burning.
Be careful when it comes to water in Fiji – not all locations have safe tap water. The Coral Coast is generally fine when it comes to everyday drinking water. In other locations, however, it can be risky. It’s better to spend the extra money to purchase bottled water. Also, be careful with food that is washed with local tap water, such as fruits and vegetables.
This may sound odd, but ‘sharp beaches’ can be an issue in different locations. Walking through shallow water and in sand near water can result in cut feet due to sharp rocks and shells in the sand. Be careful when first walking through unfamiliar waters, and if you notice sharp objects, get some shower shoes with rubber soles – this may look a little goofy, but a slice across the arch of the foot can ruin a vacation.
Disease themselves aren’t a huge issue in Fiji in the more popular areas. There aren’t any major outbreaks, and there are no required vaccinations. The CDC does, however, recommend that travelers make sure all their routine vaccinations are up-to-date, and that you consider getting vaccinated for Typhoid, and Hepatitis A/B.
In addition, you may want to bring iodine tablets to purify water – bottled water can get expensive, tap water is generally not safe, and you may end up in a location where bottled water is not an option. Iodine tablets can be purchase at any camping/outdoors/sporting goods store.
Who wants The PNW Packable Backpack? I will be doing a review about it on my next post!