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Packing, Travel, Resort Info, and Diving Tips for the SB Invasion 2019 to Fiji

Discussion in 'ScubaBoard Invasion 2019 Fiji' started by ROXANNE, Apr 2, 2019.

  1. ROXANNE

    ROXANNE Artist

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Tampa Bay area, Florida, USA
    3,896
    2,312
    113
    Packing, Travel, Resort Info, and Diving Tips
    for the ScubaBoard Invasion 2019 to Fiji


    Well, we are getting closer SB Invasion 2019 to Fiji!!!!!
    I thought we could touch base on some of the great ideas and info
    that everyone has on Preparing, Packing, Travel, the Resort and Dive related tips.
    For some this is old hat, so share your knowledge.

    I’ll get things started… Here are some of my tips and info.
    Any new info that I update to these 5 initial posts along the way will be in GREEN,
    so you won't need to search for changing information!

    General Travel Info
    Anytime you are traveling outside of your normal area, it's good to check
    CDC Destinations/Travelers Health Info

    CDC Healthy Travel Packing List
    If you have any health or medication questions concerning travel or destinations, please check with your doctor. Don't rely on anyone else's opinion.

    Interesting Links on Fiji
    Fiji Tourism
    Interesting Info on Fiji
    A History of the Fiji Islands
    History and Info on Fiji
    Fiji's Fascinating Traditions
    Maps of Fiji


    Travel Checklist
    I have a travel checklist that I keep on file and printout for each trip. This was emailed to each crew member in the group along with resorts info. Enable the editing and customize the list for your own use. Save it and you'll always have a packing list for any future trips. (If you have not received the email, please PM me)

    It's also a Good thing to start packing early, in case anything needs to be serviced or repaired before you go.
    DON'T FORGET These Items when Packing!
    Airline tickets/info
    for going and return flights -
    I also print a copy even if you have it online.
    Maduro Dive Fanta Seas Travel Vouchers for your Resorts Reservations. Not needed, there will be a master voucher that we'll present to the resorts on your behalf.
    Passports
    (I also make a copy of it and put it in my carry on)
    Driver’s License or if you don’t have one, some other form of picture ID.
    Diving
    Certification Cards or E-Cards (I also make a copy of them and put it in my carry on.)
    DAN and Health Insurance Cards
    Diving Waivers - Will be filled out on site for both resorts.
    ScubaBoard Waiver -
    The waivers have been emailed to all the Crew. Please print, fill out and bring it with you to our meet-up at the LA Airport. We'll collect them there. If you didn't get a waiver, please PM me.
    Credit cards are widely accepted, but it's always good to have cash. All resort tips are in cash only and are done in the form of a Christmas fund that is shared equally among everyone. We always feel tipping is a personal matter. Please tip what you feel appropriate for the service that each resort provided for the week. All the staff will be working very hard to provide a wonderful experience during our stay.
    Small Bills (1’s, 5’s, 10’s and 20’s along with larger bills are always helpful when traveling.)The WestPac ATM inside the Nadi airport offers a favorable exchange rate using your debit card. Alternatively, you may exchange USD dollars at the money exchange inside the baggage claim or outside of customs (service fee of 15 FJD). Visit www.oanda.com or www.xe.com for current exchange rates.
    Prescription Medication - Carry in your personal item, not your carry on in case it is separated from you. Keep it in the prescription bottle with your name on it, and make a list of them to keep with you. Always bring a few days extra or a weeks supply in case you have travel delays along the way.
    Any over the counter medications and first aid items that you may need.
    Please keep in mind, many items may not be readily available.
    Especially allergy medication if you have ever had an allergic reaction. A med pack for traveling with items such as band-aids, sports wraps, Benadryl, Imodium, Advil, bug bite cream, Seasickness medications, etc. and any other products that you feel is a good thing to have. A mini version of this med kit is good to have while traveling to the destination, also.
    Sunscreen (my favorite Stream2Sea | EcoConscious & Biodegradable Sunscreen.
    Hats and Sunglasses
    Bug spray -
    Near sunset and sunrise are the worst time for mosquitoes. Here are a few products, www.reefsafesuncare.com. Here's a comparison of the Best Insect Repellents with Deet. Also, don't leave your door open or you may invite them into your room. FYI Did you know that if you put hand soap on a bite right away, leave it on and don't scratch it, many times it will alleviate the itch and swelling.
    Woolite or those all-in-one washer sheets if you plan on washing the funk off your clothes or dive wear in the sink/tub. Especially great when you're staying longer than a week.
    Clothespins and lightweight rope. They help when hanging items up for drying and to keep them from blowing off the porches.
    A light jacket, sweater or wrap - It goes on the plane with me as well. (Many of the airports and sometimes the planes can be very cold.)
    Tennis Shoes if your planning on going on Island excursions.
    Water shoes for arrival and departure.

    Leave a copy of your itinerary, contact information, credit cards, prescription info, and passport with someone you trust at home.
    Do not bring or wear expensive clothing or jewelry.

    :)
     
    Daddyscopilot likes this.
  2. ROXANNE

    ROXANNE Artist

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Tampa Bay area, Florida, USA
    3,896
    2,312
    113
    Airline Travel
    Always allow plenty of time for check-in, security screening, and boarding flights. Please check with your airline prior to departure for the latest recommended arrival times and security guidelines. It is also recommended you have a government-issued picture ID available at all times, as well as a printed itinerary if you're using an electronic ticket.

    U.S. citizens are required to have a U.S. passport valid for 6 months beyond departure date.

    CARRY ON ANY ITEMS THAT YOU CAN’T AFFORD TO LOSE.
    Any items that you couldn't do without such as prescriptions, contacts/glasses, ID’s, Credit Cards, Cash, Paperwork, etc., carry in your personal item or on your person, not in your carry on. Sometimes a carry-on will be forced to move to checked luggage if they run out of room in the overhead bins and you don't want to be without those type of items.

    Please Check with your connecting Airline for specific rules as to what's accepted, size and weight limits for luggage and procedure for checking in, as these seem to be changing constantly. For anything in question or in liquid form, check with your airline.

    Fiji Airlines
    Fiji Airlines Baggage Allowances

    Fiji Airlines Restrictions on Dangerous Goods

    Making the most of the luggage weight restrictions and packing
    (Don't forget, Men and Women are allowed to have a personal item such as a purse/backpack/briefcase/man purse in addition to their carry on. Make the most of it!)
    I have a large purse that I use just for flying. The personal item is not weighed, so it's great for a few heavier items. Just make sure the items you put in your personal item can be carried on and not needed to be placed in checked luggage. A vest or jacket with pockets can also help distribute items and weight during check-in. :wink:
    (Again, please always check with your airline.)

    I recommend carrying on in your personal item -
    ID’s, Credit Cards, Cash, etc. - make sure these items can not be easily accessed while your sleeping.
    Prescription Medications
    Prescription Glasses/Contacts
    Phones and electronics (tablet, e-reader, chargers, etc.)
    Jewelry/watches (Do not bring or wear expensive jewelry)
    Comfort items - Eye mask, earplugs/headphones, pain reliever, sleep aid, snacks, reading materials, small flashlight, etc.
    A mini-med kit - band-aids, sleep aid, pain reliever, antacid, sports wrap, and a few 325 mg tablets of non-enteric-coated aspirin in case of heart issues.
    Lite snacks.
    Please keep in mind, that most planes provide entertainment, blankets, pillows and such but sometimes those items are not available. So please be prepared for your own comfort.

    I recommend carrying on in your carry on -

    Any Cameras/Electronics/Housings that you don't need for inflight entertainment.
    Rechargeable batteries in individual cases or bags
    Your Regulators
    Prescription Mask
    Dive Computers
    Dive lights (take batteries out or for rechargeable lights, put in locked mode.)

    Think about lightweight items when packing. Inexpensive t-shirts (like Hanes or fruit of the loom) are very lightweight, come in multiple colors, are great for shore diving and cover-ups and can be left behind if you need to lose weight for souvenirs that you wish to bring back. Lightweight dresses, shorts, and tops are great for the ladies. Think khakis or other lightweight fabrics instead of jeans.
    Shoes can weigh a lot also. I wear my tennis shoes on the plane as they weigh the most.
    Many of the airports and sometimes the planes can be very cold. So a light jacket, sweater, wrap, and or vest goes on the plane with me. I prefer items with pockets which can come in handy, especially for those who dabble in photography. Jacket or vest pockets can become helpful for transporting overflow items.
    A personal travel hand scale is an invaluable tool so you don't have surprises when getting to the airport on your flights.

    Some items to consider packing -
    If the women want to go visit the village they can’t wear shorts or have their knees visible. They can’t wear sleeveless tops or halter tops. Hats are not to be worn by either gender.
    Dress code and Etiquette Tips for Fiji

    Put your name, address, and phone number inside all your bags including your carry on and personal item in case they become lost or separated from you.
    If you're traveling with a partner, put some of each person's items in each checked bag. That way if one of the bags get lost, you still have some of your things.
    If a solo traveler, try to fit in at least 1 extra pair of your undergarments in your carry on. Outerwear is easier to purchase if your bags arrive late or are lost, but trying to find undergarments for purchase can be more difficult.

    Travel from Airport to Resorts - Transportation from Nadi Airport to Pacifica Harbor is approx. 2 1/2 - 3 hrs, then about 45 mins by boat. Upon arriving at Beqa – We will be doing a wet landing. When we get off the boat, we will be getting into the water to about our knees. They do NOT have a dock. Pack/wear your water shoes or remove your shoes. An empty plastic bag would come in handy to hold your shoes, and pants that easily roll up would be suggested. The same for departing the resort when we transfer to VoliVoli.

    Returning Home - Check out at Volivoli is by 10 am and lunch is not included although available for purchase. There are showers and restrooms available for your use. We'll be much more comfortable at the resort than lingering at the airport.
    We'll be staying together as a group and traveling back to the airport together at 3 PM. Travel is approx. 2 1/2 - 3 hrs to the airport.

    Weather Forecast to help you decide what to pack
    Average Fiji Weather

    The average daily temperature is 68°F - 85°F.

    Some links on surviving long flights
    26 tips to help you survive a long haul flight
    Experts Reveal 23 Tips to Survive a Long-Haul Flight

    10 ways to survive a long haul flight

    Baby Asprin - As long as it doesn't interfere with any medications you are taking, I like to take a baby or low dose aspirin the day before and each day while traveling along with good hydration, to avoid blood clots.
    Hydration - I also want to remind everyone again of the importance of getting Hydrated before and staying hydrated while traveling. Drink your water. The typical air cabin is exceptionally dry and dehydrating. At around 12 percent humidity, it is drier than you will find in most deserts. You do not want to start your vacation off dehydrated or having a medical issue. Alcohol can add to dehydration. It's best to avoid while long distance traveling.
    Compression Socks - Help to keep your feet and legs from swelling on long flights along with getting up, stretching, and
    move around often.
    :yeahbaby::yeahbaby::yeahbaby:
     
    Daddyscopilot likes this.
  3. ROXANNE

    ROXANNE Artist

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Tampa Bay area, Florida, USA
    3,896
    2,312
    113
    BEQA LAGOON RESORT AMENITIES

    Bega Lagoon Resort

    Everyone on the crew should have received a FAQ on the resort. If you didn't, please PM me.

    Upon arriving at Beqa – We will be doing a wet landing. When we get off the boat, we will be getting into the water to about our knees. They do NOT have a dock. Pack/wear your water shoes or remove your shoes. An empty plastic bag would come in handy to hold your shoes, and pants that easily roll up would be suggested. The same for departing the resort when we transfer to VoliVoli.

    Some additional info

    Please make sure you have the correct converter and adapter according to the FAQ sheet.

    Not all equipment can take a 110-240 voltage range. Check each of your electronics and chargers. We have chosen to take the power converter option to make 240 into 110v and not worry about this issue. It also provides surge and overcurrent protection. Here is what we are bringing, along with an additional power strip for more than 3 outlets.
    Universal Travel Adapter
    These can also be found on eBay also and could be at a lower cost.

    I've added the resort map.
    full.jpg
    :grouphug2:
     
    Daddyscopilot likes this.
  4. ROXANNE

    ROXANNE Artist

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Tampa Bay area, Florida, USA
    3,896
    2,312
    113
    VOLIVOLI RESORT AMENITIES

    Volivoli Resort
    Everyone on the crew should have received a FAQ on the resort. If you didn't, please PM me.

    Some additional info

    Please make sure you have the correct converter and adapter according to the FAQ sheet.
    Not all equipment can take a 110-240 voltage range. Check each of your electronics and chargers. We have chosen to take the power converter option to make 240 into 110v and not worry about this issue. It also provides surge and overcurrent protection. Here is what we are bringing, along with an additional power strip for more than 3 outlets.
    Universal Travel Adapter
    These can also be found on Ebay also and could be at a lower cost.

    I've added the Resort Map
    full.jpg
     
    Daddyscopilot likes this.
  5. ROXANNE

    ROXANNE Artist

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Tampa Bay area, Florida, USA
    3,896
    2,312
    113
    Diving Tips
    Volivoli Dive Sites
    Bequ Lagoon Dive Sites
    Fiji Map & Reef Creatures Guide
    Fiji Sharks & Rays

    Fiji Coral Identification Guide

    ScubaBoard Invasion 2019 Fiji Dive Teams and Boat Rotations

    Diving Waivers -
    Will be filled out, on-site for both resorts. Bring your Insurance and cert cards.

    Weather Forecast to help you decide what to pack

    Water temperature 77°F - 79°F
    Skin or Wetsuits? This is a personal decision for each diver. We can not tell you if you will be hot or cold. You'll need to decide if you are one of those divers that are on the cold side or planning on doing a lot of diving. If so, you may want to bring your 3 - 5 ml. wetsuit or the addition of a hood and vest.

    At both resorts, you'll have a beach/wet entry for getting on the boats as neither has a dock. You should be dressed in your wetsuit and boots. All your gear should get loaded for you each day except what you want to carry yourself such as cameras, drybag, etc. They'll be happy to assist each of you in whatever you need help with in boarding.

    Marine park pass-
    Bequ, none. Volivoli FJ$15.00 (approx US$7)

    Shore Diving and Night Diving
    is available at both resorts.

    Boat Night Diving
    is available at both resorts. You MUST bring your own lights.

    Snorkeling
    from shore is allowed at both resorts.
    Snorkelers are allowed on boats only at Volivoli. Cost, FJ$45.00 (approx US$21)

    Gloves
    are allowed at both resorts, but no touching.

    Pointer sticks are allowed only for pointing out critters and as tank bangers, please do not use them to touch coral or animals.

    DIN Tanks Available -
    Bequ, approx 40 DINs, mostly yokes. Volivoli, readily available.
    I would suggest bringing your adapter in case it's needed.

    100's Available -
    Bequ, only 4 air, 2 nitrox (an extra charge of $5 per tank).
    Volivoli, only 5 nitrox (an extra charge of $7 per tank)

    Nitrox Analyzers
    are available at both resorts.

    Camera Room -
    Available at Bequ Lagoon only
    Camera care A lightweight cooler bag is a great way to carry those bigger underwater cameras and the smaller ones too on the boats! They give the camera some protection and are easy to fold up for packing, lightweight and rinse out easily. I have also found the little neoprene drawstrings bags with clips are great for protecting your Go Pros on the poles or trays.

    Hair care - I use Scuba Do Rags to keep my hair under control. If I don't keep my hair braided and covered like that, It would just be shredded. I also like to put some biodegradable condition in it while dry before covering it. I use Stream2Sea | EcoConscious & Biodegradable Sunscreen leave in conditioner. Some kind of covering is great for gals with shorter hair and guys to keep their heads from getting sunburned too. Unless you're bald, it very hard to put sunscreen on your scalp.

    Seasickness medications
    work best when you get them into your system a day or 2 before diving.

    TIPPING GUIDELINES -
    All tips are in cash only (any currency, no preference as long as it's cash.) and are done in the form of a Dive Staff Christmas fund that is shared equally among everyone.
    We always feel tipping is a personal matter.
    A general minimum guideline is a starting point of $5 per tank. Please tip what you feel appropriate for the service that each resort provided for the week. All the staff will be working very hard to provide a wonderful experience during our stay.


    Please keep in mind, any additional charges will be charged to your room and paid at the end of the week.

    Other ideas

    Bring a thumb drive to share photos or to back up yours.

    Now is a good time to get your gear serviced! If it's new or has been serviced, you'll want to get in a pool session/dive in and make sure it works.

    If you have Floro Lights for night diving, this would be a great time to bring them, Dr. Suessville!

    Get yourself rested and hydrated before the trip and stay hydrated, but don't overdo it. Drinking smaller amounts of water throughout the day is better than just guzzling a glass or 2.

    We like to use baby shampoo for mask defog.

    My feet get blisters and take a beating while diving multiple days, so I wear thin socks. They also help your feet slip into your wetsuit!

    Chaffing can occur with multiple days of diving. Talcom power can be of great relief.

    A waterproof bag for the boat and a pelican box or other waterproof case for excursions can come in handy for keeping things dry. A gear bag (one with wheels would be great) to help you transport your gear back and forth from the dive shop area to the shore diving area or to your room.
    Wheeled bags are just a suggestion for those who don't wish to carry their gear. You'll find terrain from, wood, to concrete, to hard soil. Any kind of gear bag would be fine or you can just put your BCD on and carry the rest of your gear in your hands. Once your gear is at the dive shop, you won't need to worry until it's time to go on to the next location.

    Found this article and thought it might have some helpful tips for your ears and diving. :D
    Ear Clearing 101

    Some asked about their Save a Dive Kit (Spare Parts) We have a full-service dive shops available from our hosts. You'll find they really go out of their way to be helpful there. I would just bring some important basics for the boat, computer O rings, mask strap, tie wraps and elastic bungee, etc. I would also include a spare battery for your computer. You may not find your type batteries there so I prefer to have one handy. I also carry baby or low dose aspirin in case of a heart attack.
    Please keep in mind, we are in another country and many items are not readily available.

    :clearmask::clearmask::clearmask:
     
    Daddyscopilot and cardzard like this.
  6. ROXANNE

    ROXANNE Artist

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Tampa Bay area, Florida, USA
    3,896
    2,312
    113
    Feel free to add your tips or ask questions.
    Any new info that I update to these 5 initial posts along the way will be in GREEN
    so you won't need to search for changing information!
     
  7. islanddream

    islanddream ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Hobe Sound, Florida
    800
    473
    63
    At either resort, do we wade out to the dive boats or are they parked at a dock where we enter/exit the boat?
     
  8. ROXANNE

    ROXANNE Artist

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Tampa Bay area, Florida, USA
    3,896
    2,312
    113
    Great question, we'll check on that.
     
  9. islanddream

    islanddream ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Hobe Sound, Florida
    800
    473
    63
    Thanks!
     
    ROXANNE likes this.
  10. ROXANNE

    ROXANNE Artist

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Tampa Bay area, Florida, USA
    3,896
    2,312
    113
    At both resorts, you'll have a beach entry as neither has a dock. You should be dressed in your wetsuit and boots. All your gear should get loaded for you each day except what you want to carry yourself such as cameras, drybag, etc. They'll be happy to assist each of you in whatever you need help with in boarding.
    I have also added this info to the original post on Diving.
     

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