In the case of the Cook Islands, far-flung doesn't have to mean expensive. The islands cater to all types of travelers, from budget to ultra-luxury, so value-conscious visitors can do well here. Save money by taking advantage of the region's sleepy, laid-back atmosphere. Eschew guided tours for self-guided snorkeling expeditions, skip restaurants in favor of cooking your own meals, and relax on the beach with those novels you wanted to read last year. And, consider a vacation rental guest house over a hotel, and maximize your food budget by fishing for your own dinner or stopping by the Saturday market in Rarotonga for fresh local produce.
Or, for the ultimate in relaxation, many resorts in the 15 islands offer all-inclusive getaways where, for one price, your airfare, accommodations, meals, and entertainment are taken care of in one transaction. Ask your travel agent about the latest Cook Islands offers, then compare all-inclusive options to the price of airfare, hotel, and meals priced individually. In some cases, you may find that, dollar-for-dollar, the all-inclusive option will be a better deal.
At publication time, Air New Zealand was promoting an airfare deal to Rarotonga from $778 per person.