Most people dream of taking a once-in-a-lifetime vacation to somewhere far away and exotic. Maybe it's to celebrate a special occasion like a honeymoon or an anniversary or simply to enjoy a much-needed escape from the daily grind. No matter what, your longing doesn't have to live in fantasyland forever. Far-flung places like Tahiti, New Zealand, Bali, and Hawaii are more within reach than you might think.
Whether you've been squirreling away cash for more than a decade or are just starting to consider a trip, here are some exotic South Pacific vacations that are sure to wow. As a bonus, we've compiled some useful tips and money-saving strategies to make these dream trips a reality.
South Island, New Zealand
New Zealand's larger island has less than half of the country's population, so if you want to get away from it all, this is definitely the spot. You'll find wildlife and scenery here that's unlike anything else in the world.
Why Go: Mountains, glaciers, volcanoes, and pristine coastlines make the South Island's landscapes some of the world's most picturesque. Skiing, scuba diving, and hiking await the adventurous, while world-famous vineyards, glamorous boutique hotels, and relaxing spas are in store for those who need some pampering.
Getting There and Finding Deals: Embrace the South Island's outdoorsy focus by renting a campervan to be both your transportation and your lodging. Rates start as low as $28 per day. Or, experience life on a working New Zealand farm, by booking a farmstay (sheep-shearing duty is optional). Arriving from the North Island? The most scenic way to get here is via ferry, which takes around three hours. If you're short on time and money, Jetstar Airways often has airfare deals between the two islands.