Rustic Pathways | Fiji

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About

Our community partnerships in Fiji date to 1993. These deep roots mean that we have friends in every village we visit and our expert local staff members make students immediately feel at home. Arriving students are welcomed to their programs with a traditional sevu sevu ceremony and invited to share a taste of kava. Our Fiji programs visit villages on remote islands and in the mountainous highlands, locations not available to the average tourist.

Sailing through the islands of Fiji feels like you’re in a postcard brought to life. Whether you are in the highlands or among the islands, you will constantly be surrounded by calming tropical scenery. The warmth of the Fijian people make you feel at home and you will find yourself easily adjusting to island life.

Questions & Answers

Hey Sarah! I had the exact same question when embarking on my trip to Fiji. Being my first Rustic trip I followed the packing list completely. Which you should do because some of my friends did not have some of the stuff I had. I wish I brought more lounging, comfy clothing. Everything says on the website "no leggings", but everyone wore leggings and comfy lounging clothes when we weren't in...
I used a huge duffel bag, along with a day pack on all of the Rustic trips that I went on. I found that to work very well rather than a suitcase, as a suitcase would be harder to lug around, and duffels are made to carry easily.
I wouldn't consider the experience as a "tour group feel" whatsoever. You get really close with the other travelers, as you spend all day every day with them. There are activities put in place to break some ice and learn names, but after that initial "awkward" stage of not knowing anyone else, you'll find that you bond with the other kids really easily. Everyone in the group doesn't want to "tour"...
Yes! The entire time I never questioned anything that was going on in terms of my safety. When we stayed on SomoSomo island there was a guard who watched our camp site throughout the entire night.

Reviews

93%
based on 61 reviews
  • Impact 9.3
  • Support 9.4
  • Fun 9.1
  • Value 9
  • Safety 9.2
Showing 1 - 15 of 61
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Ellie
10/10

Rustic Pathways Trip to Fiji!

This summer I went on my first trip with Rustic Pathways and had an incredible experience. Before my trip I had never traveled alone before but I was pleasantly surprised with how safe I felt with Rustic's staff helping me at every step of the way. Once in Fiji, I bonded with so many amazing people I met on my trip. I was very nervous about the social aspect of the trip because I knew I was going to be one of the youngest people there. My nerves were quickly calmed once I met the people I would be spending the next 16 days with. The group leaders on my trip were so welcoming and fun. They were great at keeping everything organized and running smoothly while also having tons of fun. With the leaders and amazing organization I never once felt unsafe on my trip. The service part of the trip was so great. It was hard work but I loved every second of it because I was with awesome friends and I knew how helpful my work was. I strongly recommend traveling with Rustic Pathways and hope that everyone has and incredible time like I did!

How can this program be improved?
I honestly can not think of anything major that needs to be improved. If anything the packing list was not spot on but everyone had what they needed.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Ellie
10/10

Rustic Pathways Trip to Fiji!

This summer I went on my first trip with Rustic Pathways and had an incredible experience. Before my trip I had never traveled alone before but I was pleasantly surprised with how safe I felt with Rustic's staff helping me at every step of the way. Once in Fiji, I bonded with so many amazing people I met on my trip. I was very nervous about the social aspect of the trip because I knew I was going to be one of the youngest people there. My nerves were quickly calmed once I met the people I would be spending the next 16 days with. The group leaders on my trip were so welcoming and fun. They were great at keeping everything organized and running smoothly while also having tons of fun. With the leaders and amazing organization I never once felt unsafe on my trip. The service part of the trip was so great. It was hard work but I loved every second of it because I was with awesome friends and I knew how helpful my work was. I strongly recommend traveling with Rustic Pathways and hope that everyone has and incredible time like I did!

How can this program be improved?
I honestly can not think of anything major that needs to be improved. If anything the packing list was not spot on but everyone had what they needed.
Yes, I recommend this program
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EMMA
8/10

Rustic Fiji

My experience in Fiji was amazing, not only did I meet amazing people, but the country itself is beautiful. I truly do miss waking up to the sunsets and the quiet all around, where every local there is so full of life and happy to be there, which shows such a big contrast with the world I live in. The way of life was completely different there, however, I adapted quickly and realized that the little things in our life were nothing, because people here live in such a different way that it inspires us to change how we live and not be so focused on things that do not matter. Being in Fiji for three weeks really did inspire me, being disconnected and far away from home, I was able to look at life from a different, eye-opening perspective. Now that I have this new perspective, I feel like I can accomplish so much more.

How can this program be improved?
The only problem I had was with my Program Leaders, however, I also met amazing ones that were just not leading my program.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Binney
10/10

Rustic Fiji

My trip was amazing! I did the Highlands & Islands trip and I will remember it for the great of my life. When they say it’s a life changing trip, they mean it. This trip made me change my perspective on third world countries. On my trip, I did a home-stay which was the best. The family that you stay with is so glad to have you there! My host parents gave up their bed for me and my homestay buddy. We had a little sister who slept in the floor with her parents when we were there. We got to help out the village is ways that seem small to sit but can change their lives. I also got to go out to the island for some beach days. We got to go scuba diving and sky diving! (Its all very safe, don’t worry.) This trip is what prompted me to get more involved I’m my community, finding ways to help more people. I am so excited for my next trip with Rustic!

How can this program be improved?
Already perfect!!!!!!
Yes, I recommend this program
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Hannah
10/10

Spring into Fiji

Living in New England, everyone that I know of goes to Florida for spring break. In spring 2018 I traveled to Fiji with Rustic Pathways for a week that I would always remember. Fiji is the most beautiful place ever and worth the plane ride -I didn't come for the Instagram photos but, I ended up with way too many to post. I came to Fiji for the perfect mix of community service and fun, which was better than I imaged. The community service was meaningful, we helped build a house, made and delivered food for a children's home and farmed on the eco-lodge. One day when we were walking away from the house that we were helping build I saw the mother of the household crying. For that morning we hammered wood and played with her 2-year-old daughter and know that we were apart of helping them get back on their feet is an amazing feeling. When we delivered dinner to the children's home, we spend the night playing games with them and learning more about there culture. Fiji has so much culture to it that was so cool to learn about like it is disrespectful to touch someone's head. Also, there is plenty of time to step outside of your comfort zone, explore Fiji and have fun. With my 10 new best friends and 2 amazing group leaders, every time was the best time! The place we stayed at also had an amazing pool and food! We went to the beach, hiked the beautiful sand dunes, zip lining, went in caves, went to the local markets, went to a mud bath, snorkeling, went island hopping and some of us went skydiving! Island hopping was my favorite as we spent the whole day in a boat seeing all the beautiful islands. Rolling out of the plane 14,000 ft in the air was also amazing too.

There is something special about spending a week in an unknown place with a group of people that become your family, I left Fiji with way too much inside jokes and smiles.
I came to school refreshed with a new perspective of the world, ready to take on the rest of the year.

If you have any questions feel free to reach out, my email is [email protected] or [email protected] :)

(also my computer is broken so my photos won't upload):

How can this program be improved?
Nothing, this program is perfect for a spring break mix of community service and stepping out of your comfort zone and fun. I just wish that all schools had a longer spring break so that I could stay longer!
Yes, I recommend this program
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Courtney
10/10

Courtney’s Fiji Trip

My trip to Fiji with Rustic Pathways was unbelievable. It was truly life-changing from all the service we accomplished to the fun days with new friends just hanging out at the base house. Although hard to pick just one, one of the highlights of my trip that will stick with me forever is when we did our first day of service. My group started their service with a beach cleanup. I remeber not knowing anyone and that beach clean up gave us the most time to connect with all the girls on my trip while still picking up 20 pounds of trash. Little did I know right then that those 11 girls would become my new best friends and people I still stay connected to.

How can this program be improved?
I would not change anything to this program.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Jill
10/10

Sun, sand, and international service

Before the trip, I was excited, yet frankly very nervous. I had never traveled out of the country without my family and was scared of a culture shock. But what I expierenced in Fiji was nothing what I could’ve ever imagined. My outlook has changed immensely from my trip; experiencing new culture and seeing how one thing may seem tiny but made an enormous positive impact put everything in perspective. We often take many things for granted, like running water, restrooms, and even shelter. But, after helping to build compostable toilets I was able to see how much change one person can make. I know it may seem far fetched or dramatic, it really isn’t. Once you take a trip to an amazing and welcoming culture, like Fiji, your eyes will he opened. It wasn’t just service, but even the service was fun and very rewarding. We were able to go island hoping and even to the highlands, which is the “real” Fiji; most people just think of beaches or resorts and look past the locals lives in the villages in the mountains. We took a caravan to our home stay, where we were instantly accepted. The people are just the nicest and friendliest people you’ll ever meet, there’s no words to explain how at home you’ll feel in just a few short weeks. I loved my trip and would do it again in a heart beat.

How can this program be improved?
The trip was perfect!
Yes, I recommend this program
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Therese
10/10

Beyond the “Bula” Smile

The two sweet weeks I spent in Fiji were beyond life changing. I always look past these cheesy posts after international service trips, but it’s one of those things where you have to see it to believe it. I don’t have the vocabulary to express how extraordinary my time there was, but to be honest I don’t think anyone in the world does either. The service did not even feel like service when you were surrounded by so much love and especially so many Bula smiles :) There is not a second of that trip that I will ever take for granted. Going into the trip I was extremely nervous to make friends, but I can confidently say that I am much better friends with the seven people that were in my group that I am with some of my friends back here in Canada. They are so amazing that we are all planning another Rustic trip next summer :). If you do plan on joining the Rustic Family, it will 300% be worth while. PS if you choose Fiji, say Bula to the crew for me :) - T dawg

How can this program be improved?
Nothing. I loved it :)
Yes, I recommend this program
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Madeline
10/10

Spring to Fiji

My experience traveling with Rustic Pathways was the best experience of my life. I learned so many valuable lessons, made so many new friends (who I still keep in touch with to this day), had SO much fun, and learned so much about myself and the world around me. To be honest, I was nervous before going on this program. I've never traveled without my family before, and I wasn't sure if i was going to connect with the other kids going on my program. But as soon as I met everyone in the airport, I immediately became comfortable because everyone was just so kind and welcoming. I ended up having the best week of my life, did some really meaningful service, and had so much fun. One of my favorite parts of the trip was skydiving, which was absolutely incredible. I still look back on my experience to this day and smile, because I've never been happier than I was on that trip. I wouldn't trade my experience for anything!!

How can this program be improved?
The only thing would to be to put more emphasis on the importance of packing long skirts/shorts for service and being in the village. I didn't bring enough long shorts for service, and because they get very dirty during service, I eventually had to borrow someone else's.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Jordan
9/10

Sun, Sand, and International Service

I had the best time ever on my trip to Fiji this summer! We completed 60 hours of community service on this trip, which sounds like a lot, but every hour was well worth it. Some of the service activities we did included working in an animal shelter, building bathrooms in villages, making dinner for single mothers and their children, planting mangrove trees, picking up waste on the beaches, and painting a house. With so many different service activities, everyday is different so it never gets boring. There is also an opportunity to do a weekend side trip, and I highly recommend going on the highland side trip because you get to do a home stay and get really close with your host family. I unfortunately got sick on my program, but I am only mentioning this to recognize how wonderful the doctors were at the medical clinic. My doctor at home was in complete agreement with how the doctor's in Fiji were treating me, so you should have no concerns over sending your children to Fiji, they are in very good hands. Overall, I learned so much on my trip to Fiji that I never could have even imagined. Fijian culture is one of the most warm and welcoming cultures I have ever witnessed, making it all the more difficult to leave their beautiful country. Even though they may not have much money or material possessions, they are the happiest and most loving people I have ever met, which was something truly great to experience. If given the opportunity to come on a Rustic trip to Fiji, I would strongly encourage you to go on the trip.

How can this program be improved?
The trip was so great in every way that the only improvement I can even think of would be the food at the base house. The food was edible and not too bad, but it would have been nice to have more of a variety.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Emily
9/10

Rustic Pathways Fiji

I loved my trip and it was very fulfilling. The leaders were great. We did service that felt meaningful and made an impact onto other people. I made great friends with everyone i roomed with and local people and kids. The service was very personal and we were given opportunities to explore the country in ways many people are not. We grew close with the culture and the people living in it. I would recommend this trip to anyone.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Bernice
10/10

Life changing experience

I have never experienced a country to this depth before. Instead of being told about their culture through guided tours and pamphlets like I had grown so accustomed to, we were able to experience traditions and customs firsthand. We grew so close to the locals and, as a result, we were able to learn so much in such a natural and seamless way. Rustic Pathways has taught me so much, not only about the beautiful country that is Fiji but about myself as well.

Yes, I recommend this program
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Eleanor
8/10

Big Fiji Explorer

The Big Fiji Explorer trip was a lot of fun. It is great for someone who is interested in culture and exploring the island of Fiji. We had lots of activities packed into each day which I really enjoyed. I was never bored. I learned so much from the people of Fiji. They were all so excited to see us whether we were walking through their village or just driving by them, they always greeted us with a loud Bula!! We spent a good amount of time in villages and drinking Kava which is a celebratory drink of Fiji.
However, I will say the itinerary for the trip was completely off. The trip is rustic and the itinerary really tries to jazz it up to make it seem like more of a vacation. We did lots of hiking, swimming/snorkeling, and some zip lining and high ropes courses. Warning in advance: there are no hot showers. I didn't really have a problem with that because it is warm in Fiji and most of the time a cold shower felt refreshing. My biggest disappointment however was on the last day we could not go skydiving because it was too windy outside. I really think the program leaders of this trip should move the optional skydiving activity to another day in the trip that way if weather cancels it can be rescheduled. Everyone in my group was very disappointed that we couldn't skydive and it made everyone leave in a bad mood.
Overall I am still glad I went on the trip. I have always dreamed off traveling to Fiji and I think a rustic program or another student program is the best way to do it because you get the most out of your trip. I really did travel all over the island, spend time in local villages, and I think I did every activity available (besides skydive). I don't think this could have been possible on just a family vacation.

How can this program be improved?
The program could really be improved if the itinerary was updated and skydiving was moved to sometime in the middle of the trip.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Lily
10/10

Fiji- Highlands and Islands

Going on the Highlands and Islands trip in Fiji gave me a chance to go off the beaten path and really dive into a new culture. This trip gave me the opportunity to truly experience a culture because I got to live within it by staying in a host family and living as a local in the village of Nausori for a week. It's an amazing experience and probably the best time of my life. My leaders were so fun and caring and my group turned into my best friends.

How can this program be improved?
The itinerary was a little off so that could be updated.
Yes, I recommend this program
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Natalie
10/10

Incredible Experience!

I went on the Escape to the Fiji Islands trip with Rustic Pathways this past summer and could not have had a better experience! The activities were super fun, the scenery was breathtaking, and the locals were so kind to us. My group and I bonded so much over the course of the week and we still talk all the time! My program leaders were absolutely incredible and I miss them an insane amount. Overall, SO worth it and SO perfect!

How can this program be improved?
Better food options for people with intolerances/dietary restrictions.
Yes, I recommend this program

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About Rustic Pathways

Travel and volunteer abroad with Rustic Pathways to one of many exotic locations.

We take students on unique, rewarding, and safe programs to some of the world's friendliest and fascinating countries. Immerse yourself in a new culture, work on...