VACATION IDEAS

Yes, You CAN Afford the South Pacific!

So you thought you had to put those Tahitian dreams on hold? Think again. Luxe locales like Fiji, the Cook Islands—and, yes, even Tahiti!—roll out the red carpet for folks like us. Read on for tips on planning, picking the right island, and getting a good deal!

Find a deal to the Cook Islands: PleasantHoli­days.com offers package deals to the Cook Islands, often starting at less than $1,700, including airfare and lodging, from Los Angeles.

FIJI

Well, the first thing you need to know about Fiji is that it's not just one island, as many travelers assume by its name. This string of islands attracts more than 600,000 visitors each year, making it the most popular South Pacific destination—and that's largely because it combines a reasonable price tag with extreme sights, flavors, and experiences unlike anything you'll find anywhere else. Plant yourself in Nadi and you'll be immersed in a heady city experiences, including Indian cuisine and a bustling street life. Sign on for a jungle cruise and you'll experience an entirely different Fiji, including some of the world's most colorful and entertaining bird-watching. Sonaisali Island Resort is an upscale splurge (sonaisali.com, from $330). Radisson Blu Resort Fiji Denarau Island is an everything-you-could-want property on the beach (radissonblu.com, from $135). Crusoe's Retreat bills itself as "Fiji's best-kept secret" and lives up to its name with affordable beachfront bures (crusoesretreat.com, from $125).

Find a deal to Fiji: Goway.com offers package deals to Fiji, often starting at less than $2,000, including airfare and lodging, from Los Angeles.

TAHITI

Here, you'll find a rarity among French Polyne­sian destinations. In the company of pricier places, Tahiti offers some stylish steals. Start in Papeete to get a sense of Tahiti's cultural juxtapositions at the Gaugin Museum, which documents the years the French artist spent here capturing local colors and personalities on canvas. Radisson Plaza Resort Tahiti is set along a half-mile of pristine beach and includes an infinity pool and spa (radisson.com, from $242). Taaroa Lodge is a lovely no-frills option that gets you a room with private bath for a steal (taaroalodge.com, from $69).

Find a deal to Tahiti: TravelScene.com offers package deals to Tahiti, often starting at less than $1,800, including airfare and lodging, from Los Angeles.

HUAHINE

Are you a budget traveler who relishes something a bit rougher around the edges? You may find that Huahine is the kind of place you'd love to be stranded on. Two islands joined by a bridge, Huahine packs a lot of potential into its 9x8-mile area and is ideal for hitting the waves and backpacking. Hotel Maitai Lapita Village Huahine is a pleasant oasis with garden bungalows (huahine.hotelmaitai.com, from $245).

Find a deal to Huahine: Huahine is sometimes included in tours and cruises to other islands in French Polynesia.

 

 

 

 

 

SEE THE ISLANDS!

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.
 

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