"Wanderlust consumed her; foreign hearts and exotic minds compelled her.

She had a gypsy soul and a vibrant hope for the unknown. "

- D. Marie

Budgeting In Paradise

Budgeting In Paradise

Brought to you by ANZ Australia

Since (gratefully) stumbling into travel blogging almost a year ago, I’m often asked for recommendations of the best places to visit around the world.

Usually I hit back with a question of my own: what KIND of holiday are you after?


Are you more of a Carrie, Sex & The City, city-hopping, cocktails and shopping, culture-rich kinda gal (eg. London, Paris, New York, Los Angeles) or are you after more of a ‘Rihanna does Barbados’, beach-baking, poolside-reading, relaxing post-massage kind of escape?

If you’re after the latter, by far and away my favourite place that I’ve been lucky enough to visit so far on my ‘Young Blood Travel’ adventures has got to be the Cook Islands.

As I mentioned back in my original Cook Islands X Pedestrian.tv article (which can be found HERE), the Cooks are home to perhaps some of the most beautiful, pristine beaches I’ve ever seen.

The people are friendly, the culture is rich, the food mouth-watering and there is so much to see and do, you’ll never get bored.


The one (slight) downfall with the Cook Islands however is that it’s not nearly as easy on the old bank account as say Bali or Thailand.

The ‘Cookies’ use New Zealand dollars however my travel buddies and I found most things were often on par, if not a tad more expensive than back in Australia.

Because of this- and because I’m a women who has lived a champagne life on a beer budget for 27 years now- I thought I’d whip up a few budgeting tips for those of you hoping to escape the Australian winter.

So, count your pennies, start saving and follow the below for your dream trip in paradise!



  1. In terms of accommodation, I suggest spending the majority of your time at a cheap hotel or resort (for instance, Club Raro in Rarotonga which is the main island) and then treating yourself to a few nights in a swankier place. I highly recommend visiting the insanely amazing island of Aitutaki. (it’s the one you’ll see in all the brochures) however a plane ride is required so maybe budget and book for this one before you arrive. Alternatively, there are some beautiful boutique resorts on Raro (such as Little Polynesian Resort).
  2. Hit up local favourite ‘Palace Burgers’ on a Wednesday (also happens to be one of the biggest party nights in Raro) for their happy hour. Hands down the best burgers on the island and they’re only $3.50! NZD
  3. Talking transport, cabs are really hard to come by and super expensive so consider hiring a car when you arrive. Alternatively, borrow some bikes! The island is only small so you could easily cycle from one end to the other without too much hassle.
  4. Finally, so that you are able to upload all of your crystal blue water snaps to Instagram (and make all your friends back home green with envy) consider buying a local Sim-card when you arrive. Wifi is also really expensive to purchase from your hotel and tends to be on the slow side so if you can’t beat em, join em!

That’s it! My top budgeting tips for one of my favourite places in the world.

For your chance to win your very own pre-loaded ANZ Travel Card worth $1,600 + tickets to your local National Geographic event, head over to my Facebook page (click HERE) and tell me your top travel budget tip in less than 50 words within the comments!

Happy Holidaying!


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