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Ideal Country & Best Travel Agent?

Port Vila, Vanuatu
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Ideal Country & Best Travel Agent?

Help!

I am trying to plan a holiday for my mother and a close friend of hers (they are both getting on in years and becoming forgetful, so I’m doing the groundwork…) to a South Pacific island(s) later in the year, a place they have not been to yet…both have been to Vanuatu and New Caledonia hence I'm thinking Tahiti (Morea & Bora Bora), Samoa, or Fiji?

Their travel needs are lower mid range, and they are more into organized touring than lazing & drinking coctails by the resort pool.

They will need a reliable agent that knows the country well in order to look after all their questions and booking requirements before & during their trip.

Anyone with suggestions as to which country would be better suited for two young spirited elderly ladies…and a great travel agent that would look after them like their own mums?

Thank you in advance,

Cheers,

John

Edited: 29 April 2011, 23:16
Moreton Island...
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1. Re: Ideal Country & Best Travel Agent?

Hi John,

At least in Fiji there's many older people who travel there. I assume they are coming from Australia, as you mentioned on the Vanuatu forum that you visited your mother in Australia. The plane trip is just over 4 hours from Sydney and not as far as Samoa or Tahiti, which is a bit more expensive.

Fiji may suit them as it's relatively safe.

As I usually book direct and use taxi's or boat travel in Fiji and book direct I can't help with a travel agent.

However what about National Seniors Australia or a similiar organisation. They have a travel section

I also know that many Probus groups in Australia go on group trips overseas too. (all not for profit Assns.)

all the best with it,

LTB

Sydney, Australia
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for Denarau Island
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2. Re: Ideal Country & Best Travel Agent?

John,

I'm not really aware of any "bus trips" as such that will take them to various places over a few days.

One option would be for them to stay at Nadi or Denarau & just do day trips-theres plenty of options from there, both land trips & island day tours.

You could just book them in to stay somewhere nice & organise various day trips for them, & present them with an itinerary-eg Tuesday, be out the front of the hotel at 9am, you are going on a trip to ...............Wherever.

However, that means they will have to fend for themselves as far as finding dinner etc at the resort-can they do this??

We have booked Fiji travel several times in the past with both Specialist Holidays & also My Fiji and have found them great. Not sure they can help out with what you are looking for, but if you like, I can give them a call & see what we can do.

Port Vila, Vanuatu
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1,031 posts
12 reviews
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3. Re: Ideal Country & Best Travel Agent?

Wow, you guys rock!

Vanuatu is not enough hey? Fij as well!...your generosity of spirit is humbling.

I feel strange being on the recipient end, not used to it. But I know I'm in good hands...Anyway back to Mum:

Thanks LTB, Mum is sooo independent, never joined an association in her life, so I'll suggest but don't like my chances. As I mentioned elsewhere, at 90 she lives by herself and refuses to go to a retirement village because "that's for old people...".

At 88 she climbed the Yasur volcano with a cane, one month after a knee replacement operation!

No problem with "running" around a big resort...(buying her a skateboard with velcro top)....but they are more into the intimate personal atmosphere type place...where they can have a chat with the cook in the kitchen or the gardener and not have management bureaucracy breathing down their necks, if you know what I mean.

Cheers,

John

Sydney
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4. Re: Ideal Country & Best Travel Agent?

Hi John,

Can't help with a travel agent, but have a look at Navini's website. Small island, close to the mainland and they have complimentary tours each day. Sounds like they'll be able to get on and off a boat easily!

Julie.

Moreton Island...
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5. Re: Ideal Country & Best Travel Agent?

Perhaps you could organise a trip for them John, sure you could do that. :):)

Some ideas for Fiji, as coming from Sydney to the Cook Islands or Samoa is a longer plane trip, especially the Cooks or even Tahiti.

1. Book them into the Westin, Sheraton Villas or the The Terraces for a couple of nights, with a transfer with Coral Sun or Rosie Holidays

2. Organise a tour to Nadi Markets to buy food, to cook up in their self catering room

3. Catch the Malolo Cat from Denarau Marina to Malolo Lailai Island. Takes apporox 45-50 mins Stay at Musket Cove Resort in a Beachfront Bure or a resort villa.

4. Musket Cove, is a small resort, and does cater for seniors, in fact the owners the "Smiths" live on the island and sure your mother and friend would enjoy that. They are over 70....

5. Malolo Lailai Island has many things to to including walking, and it's hilly.

6. Ask Joe the manager to take them for a trip around the island, to the old coconut plantations, MC's fruit and vege garden, and there's fantastic views from the tops of the hills, and plenty of beach to explore at low tide. Walk around the island if they are fit enough.

7. Plenty of day trips to other islands, dolphin spotting and fishing if they are inclined.

8. Small and friendly enough to peek into the kitchen at Dick's restaurant, and tell them how to cook the lovo. :)

9. Some staff members speak several languages.

There are others options on the island, like renting a house there or staying at Musket Cove, which is smaller, 4 star and more personal. Lomani Resort is also on the island it's adults only, so there are plenty of eating options. And at the other end is the very large Plantation Island Resort, kids 3 star paradise! stay away..lol

10. Back to Denarau, stay the night and get the plane back to Sydney the next day, transfers to the airport via as mentioned above or taxi's, the easier option.

Another alternative, look at Blue Lagoon Cruises or Captain Cook Cruises to the Yasawas, they may also love that.

PS the National Seniors travel section is for anyone they donb't need to be a member.

Have fun booking that John, need any hints happy to help, LTB

Edited: 01 May 2011, 11:07
Melbourne, Australia
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6. Re: Ideal Country & Best Travel Agent?

John, if your mum and friend didn't want to stay on an island, I'd suggest Bedarra Beach Inn near Sigatoka. It's a very personal and personable hotel where the staff would take good care of the pair of them; your mum could chat to her heart's delight with the chef and all other staff; there is a reliable and reasonable taxi service at the hotel for trips to Sigatoka and, if they wanted, day trips. Reviews on TA are consistently positive.

We directly arranged a transfer from Nadi Airport to the hotel at 120FJD and were surprised at being greeted by a modern clean Mercedes that made the hour and a half drive very very comfortable and enjoyable with a lovely driver.

It would be worth discussing your mum and her friend's needs/ wants by email with Bedarra's staff - they are very prompt in replying to inquiries and no question is left unanswered in my experience.

http://www.bedarrafiji.com/Bula-Welcome.htm

I hope I'm still travelling adventurously when I'm your mum's age!

cheers

Moreton Island...
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7. Re: Ideal Country & Best Travel Agent?

Me too BB, it's wonderful that a 90 year old loves travel!

LTB

Melbourne, Australia
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8. Re: Ideal Country & Best Travel Agent?

LTB, I'll be relieved to make 90 years, lol!!

Tampa, Florida
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9. Re: Ideal Country & Best Travel Agent?

I would highly recommend Destination World travel agency. We used them for our wedding/honeymoon in Fiji and they were outstanding. When we started we weren't sure where in the South Pacific we wanted to go and they were extremely helpful. They also answered all of my silly questions! =] We were recommended them from my best friend who also used them for her South Pacific wedding.

We personally dealt with Lynette Wilson. They have an office at the Nadi airport, so they're there to meet you when you get off your flight. Their number at the Fiji office is 679-672-7040. Or her email address is world@silcom.com

Port Vila, Vanuatu
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10. Re: Ideal Country & Best Travel Agent?

Thanks everyone, I am relaying the info to my mother as it comes in, she thinks I must be very important since have I have friends all over the world providing this wonderfull information!...I stoped explaining how forums work a long time ago. She wants to take a computer course to "...learn about that Skype thing I heard about", the problem is that she crosses the road when faced with a ATM machine, so letting her live in her real time world, cyber space is a little too frustrating for someone like her (heck I can barely keep up myself!).

Cheers,

John