advertisement

The South Pacific islands have one of the most developed backpacker industries in the world, especially in Fiji and the Cook Islands.

You won't find any student discounts, however, so a student ID card won't do you much good in the islands. If you're going on to New Zealand and Australia, you'd be wise to get an international student I.D. card from the International Student Travel Confederation (ISTC) (www.istc.org), which offers savings on plane tickets. It also provides basic health and life insurance and a 24-hour help line. You can apply for the card online or in person at STA Travel (tel. 800/781-4040 in North America; www.statravel.com), the biggest student travel agency in the world; check out the website to locate STA Travel offices worldwide.

If you're no longer a student but are still under 26, you can get an International Youth Travel Card (IYTC) for the same price from the same people. The card offers some discounts (but not on museum admissions).

Travel CUTS (tel. 800/667-2887 or 416/614-2887; www.travelcuts.com) offers similar services for Canada and U.S. residents. Irish students may prefer to turn to USIT (tel. 01/602-1904; www.usitnow.ie), an Ireland-based specialist in student, youth, and independent travel.

Both high school and university students can participate in summer community service programs in Fiji organized by Rustic Pathways (tel. 800/321-4353; www.rusticpathways.com).

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.