Kiribati, Nauru, Niue... there is something exotic about the names of the Pacific Islands countries. Vanuatu, Tuvalu, Palau.the names are not familiar but each holds untold beauty and mystery.

You have to work hard to visit many of the specks of land in the Pacific Ocean. The islands are not close to many places, they are expensive to fly to and once you are there you may have to pay out the nose for accommodations (especially in French Polynesia). But as a wise person once said, good things come to those who work hard. If you make the effort, your reward is paradise.

Paradise in this region means beautiful white beaches, stunning blue water, a relaxed way of life, and some of the friendliest people on this planet. It also means sitting around a fire drinking kava, being disgusted as you are served Spam, seeing a high level of poverty, and feeling the vise of tourist traps. It is not a perfect region, but the good outweighs the bad and by the time you have left you will forever sing the praises of those exotic names Wallis and Futuna, Tokelau

Assuming you don't have an outrigger canoe and a bunch of mates to help you paddle, you'll want to fly to the Pacific Islands. Some airlines offer packages where you can stop off at different countries as long as you continue to fly in one general direction. This is particularly helpful for those returning to the U.S. from Australia or New Zealand. You should also check out the Airfare to the Pacific Islands.

Accommodations on the various islands range from the modest to the outrageous. You should check out the Pacific Islands hostels if you are on a budget, or the Pacific Island hotels if saving money is less of an issue.