What To Do If You’re Going To Tahiti

Clyde and I just came back from our honeymoon. We were lucky enough to visit Bora Bora and Moorea. Those 7 days were the most amazing days I’ve had so far. I lived in Hawaii and, as beautiful Hawaii is, Tahiti truly is something else. It is completely otherworldly. It’s remote. It’s beautiful. I couldn’t believe we were there. Now that I’m back home, I still can’t believe we were even there! Good thing Clyde took a gazillion pictures.


This is the picture I took!
This is the view literally from our beach front bungalow at the Sofitel resort on Moorea.

So here’s the advice I have.

Booking Your Trip

We used Costco. Clyde booked the trip. Costco has a lot of great deals. We also went during the off season. It’s also known as the “wet season” and lasts from November to April. This generally isn’t the time when people travel to Tahiti because it rains. A lot. December is the wettest month of the year and January is the next wettest.

We actually got lucky when we went February 19 – 26. I think it only rained once and it wasn’t very heavy rain.

The reason why I would recommend either Costco or another travel agency is because getting around Tahiti is a PAIN!!! There’s no real bus system as there is only one road in Moorea and Bora Bora. There are taxis but they are stupendously expensive. They also aren’t very reliable.

Booking through Costco came with the following :

  • round trip airfare for the two of us
  • hotels in Tahiti, Moorea and Bora Bora
  • transfer from the Papeete airport to our hotel in Papeete
  • transfer from the hotel to the ferry dock
  • the ferry ride from Tahiti to Moorea
  • transfer from the dock to the hotel in Moorea
  • transfer from the hotel in Moorea to the airport
  • inter-island flight from Moorea to Bora Bora
  • transfer from Bora Bora airport to hotel
  • transfer from hotel to airport in Bora Bora
  • inter-island flight from Bora Bora to Tahiti

I know this sounds crazy to list them all (and I hope I got them all) but it is extremely hard and EXPENSIVE if you do not have set transport. When we booked with Costco, we got all our transfers included. In case you don’t think this is a big deal, we payed about $25 PER PERSON for a round trip ride from our resort to another resort so that we could play with dolphins.

Oh yeah. Make sure you passport is up to date and valid!

Packing

Here are my “must have” products :

  • Bikinis, bikinis and more bikinis for the ladies. In case you’re wondering “I don’t have a bikini body!”, let me tell you “You’re wrong”. I’m not a model. I no longer have the body I had when I was in a bikini competition. I’m squishy and I have nothing remotely resembling ab muscles. Having said that, I felt right at home running around in my bikinis. There are GRANDMOTHERS in their 60’s letting it all hang out and they feel absolutely beautiful. That’s why I can say “You can wear a bikini. Nobody cares! You’re beautiful!”
  • Swim trunks / board shorts for the men.
  • Pareos, beach coverups for the ladies.
  • Sleeveless shirts or loose, comfy shirts for the guys.
  • Smocked dresses, beach dresses, sun dresses for the girls.
  • Shorts for the guys.
  • Flip flops. I never wore shoes while there.
  • Water socks. You could get water shoes but water socks are just fine.
  • Sunblock. You’ll be reapplying this every 2 hours. No joke.
  • Aloe vera but try to get the ones without alcohol.
  • shampoo and conditioner
  • deodorant, toothbrush, facial wash, toothpaste.
  • sunglasses
  • GIANT, FLOPPY HAT for the ladies, baseball cap or any hat you fellas like.
  • roomy beach bag for the ladies, backpack for the guys.
  • SNACKS!!! I went to Target and bought a few bags of beef jerkey, trail mix and fruit bars. This will come in handy because food is super expensive in the islands of Tahiti. You will also get super sick of French food. I did.

This is what I would pack the next time I go. This is really all you need. I never wore shoes the entire time I was there. Flip flops were acceptable footwear for the nice restaurants. We went to Bloody Mary’s in Bora Bora and K gastropub in Moorea. I wore flip flops to Bloody Mary’s and I was barefoot with my toes in the sand at K, the upscale restaurant. Go figure.

At The Airport

If you like wine, go to Duty Free and buy a couple of bottles to take into Tahiti. According to this site, each person can bring in 2 liters of spirits, wine or champagne for their own personal consumption.

Wine by the bottle at the restaurants are pretty pricey. Here’s a way you can save some money. Believe me, Tahiti is e-x-p-e-n-s-i-v-e.

Also, stock up on some liter bottles of water. You’ll need it in Tahiti. Water bottle prices in the hotels are also pretty expensive. It can be upwards of $5 per bottle.

Exchange your currency here!! When we were traveling, the exchange rate was $1 USD = 90 XFC. When we landed in Papeete, the exchange rate at the hotel was $1 USD = 82 XFC. We were so happy we exchanged our money at the airport. There is only a $5 charge and you can change as much money as you want during that transaction.

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