Baby in Fiji (Malolo)
By Inez, mother of Frank
Dave and I decided on Fiji as a destination because we’d heard it was good for families with young children. And as we were travelling with Frank, 13 months, and his three-year-old brother, Freddie, the relatively short travel time (around four hours) was also attractive.
We kept our expectations for the flight low (ie, expected the worst!) and planned ahead with games, new toys and snacks so it wasn’t too bad. We travelled during school holidays and were positioned at the rear of the plane with all the other parents, where many knowing glances were shared during the course of the flight. I was on my feet quite a bit, doing laps of the plane while bouncing Frank in his baby carrier but, once he was asleep, I managed to gingerly recline back in my seat and even read a bit of my book.
The resort on Malolo was perfect. The locals were very professional and super helpful. What surprised me was how attentive Fijian men are with babies, often eliciting big, gap-toothed grins as they playfully tickled and teased Frank.
Mealtimes were easy. There was a great selection of fresh fruit, vegetables, pasta, meat and rice dishes so we popped him in a high-chair with an assortment of different bite-sized morsels which he happily worked his way through.
A couple of nights Dave and I hired a nanny (about AUD4 per hour per child) and had dinner together at the adults-only restaurant.
We spent our days swimming, snorkelling, kayaking and hiking through the bush. Back at base, Frank loved sitting/splashing/rolling around in the small, tin water trough outside our Bure for cleaning sand off your feet.
What I liked most was having time to just look at Frank and play with him and enjoy him without having to worry about all the domestic chores that take over when you are at home.
We’ll definitely do it again, most likely in a few years when both boys are a bit older and can make better use of all the activities and water sports available.