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Advice: Pacific Islands

Last updated 11:41 30/08/2013

From when to book Pacific Island flights to food you're allowed to bring into Fiji...

If you have a travel question, email us at travel@stuff.co.nz.

Q. What foods can we take with us to Fiji? Everyone we ask has a different story. Thanks, Erica.

A. Hi Erica! For the most up to date and accurate information on Fiji's bio security regulations refer to their website -  this will provide you with comprehensive information and also offers contact details if you need further clarification before you travel.

The main thing to be aware of is that on arrival into Fiji you must declare on your arrival card that you are carrying food and be prepared to show the customs officials the items.

As a general rule food items that are sealed/pre-packaged may be ok providing you declare them but avoid taking animal products, dairy products, plants (fresh or dried) and honey products.

Q. Hello, Just wondering if you are able to help with my question: 1) Are the promotions for travel to the pacific islands (specifically in our case Fiji) set to begin around certain calendar dates? We need to book some travel for August 2014 but don't want to book and then see some super deals come through the next month/week/etc. Thanks in advance for your help, Troy.

A. Hello Troy. A good question!

Unfortunately there isn't an absolute answer I can give you on this, as like anything you buy TV's, shoes or mobile phones there is always the risk that the next week it may be on sale for less.

Purchasing travel really is not different, other than the fact that you don't get to take the product home immediately with you - but you do get to enjoy the anticipation of going on holiday and making all your friends and co-workers jealous!

A good way to think about it is that airlines and hotels do 'stock takes' of their inventory just like any retailer and if they have an excess of something they might choose to offer it on sale.

So while I can't give you any guarantee about when the best time to book your holiday is I can give you a few tips that might help:

1. You won't see airfare specials/sales for travel in August 2014 out for a few months; it's too far out for the airlines to start discounting yet.  Having said that though, August is a peak month for visitors to Fiji so you won't see as many deals on offer as you might for other months of the year.

2. There are often some good deals that come out just after Christmas/New Year's that might fit with your plans so definitely look out for these.

3. When specials do come out they are often quite short and sharp so knowing what you want to book means making a decision to purchase can take some of the pressure off.

4. A good travel agent would be happy to work with you to understand the type of holiday you're looking for and make some recommendations of places to stay and then when specials come out that are suitable contact you to let you know and make the bookings if you want to go ahead at the time.  They might require a small deposit to do the work upfront but this would then be taken off your booking.

5. Sign up to receive emails about deals and specials as they come out to make sure you are in the know.

6. Be aware that the islands in Fiji are very popular, and the resorts tend to be a bit smaller than those on the mainland so if you want to go to an island for that true white sandy beach and palm trees Fijian holiday experience then booking well in advance is essential.

Finally, we have a saying here at House of Travel that is "it's only a great price if it's a great holiday" so while you want to ensure you get value for your money you also want to ensure you get the holiday you want which isn't always cheapest one on offer.

Do you have any tips to share? Leave a comment below.

If you have a travel question, email us at travel@stuff.co.nz and we'll get the experts at House of Travel to provide the answer. Include a nickname if you don't want to be identified.

- © Fairfax NZ News

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