It has been a long, long time since I updated this blog, because I am a terrible procrastinator.
But I have some good news: In three days I am off to Rarotonga, Cook Islands for 9 nights!
One of my closest friends is getting married in a week, which is the main reason for the trip, but why not turn it into this year’s holiday?
We had some issues with the airline cancelling our flights, but we ended up extending the holiday from 7 to 9 nights, so I’m not complaining.
My travel essentials for a tropical destination:
- Sunscreen – I bought SPF 50, even though I tan easily because I hate getting sun burned. If you’re taking sunscreen you already own, check that it hasn’t expired.
- Insect repellent – Mosquitoes are irritating
- Multiple pairs of togs (swimwear) – I have 2 bikini tops and 4 bottoms
- Jandals (flipflops)
- Cold/flu medicine – I always always get a cold when I travel
- Nasal spray/eye drops
- Camera – if you can get one with waterproof housing, even better
- Book/ereader – I take my kindle everywhere. It’s great to have a selection of books to read on the flight/while lazing on the beach.
- Hand sanitiser
- Travel insurance
Because we’re all from New Zealand, we don’t need visas for the Cook Islands, but it’s something you should check when travelling. The Cook Islands also use the New Zealand dollar, which is nice and handy for us.
We are staying at Sunrise Beach Bungalows for our first and last night and Tropical Sands for the 7 nights in the middle. I book everything through Hotels.com just because you accrue nights towards a free night. We ended up with 2 free nights for this trip, as Tropical Sands had a deal (stay 6 nights get 1 night free) and we used our free night from hotels.com for the last night at Sunrise Beach Bungalows. (It was also $100 cheaper to fly home a day later AND get a free night’s accommodation in the process. Score!)
Neither of the places we are staying has free wifi – the rates start at $10 per day. I would recommend buying a prepaid sim card from the airport. $25, and it comes with $20 credit. There are various txt, minutes and data packages as well.
Rarotonga doesn’t have strict immigration policies about bringing food in to the country, except for fresh fruit and vegetables. One thing I would recommend, especially if you’re on a budget, is to grab snacks and breakfast items from the supermarket at home and pack them in your checked bag.
- Long-life milk
- Snacks – chips, crackers etc
- Protein bars
If you’re like me and don’t want to pay an extra $50 per person for a meal on the plane for a 4 hour flight, then find out what you can take through customs to eat on board (no liquids!), or buy something once you’re through customs. Food isn’t cheap at the airport, but it’ll also cost you less than $50. I have a tendency to get something unhealthy like McDonald’s and then buy a bottle of water and chips to take on board.
Looking forward to the sunshine!