How to Travel Bora Bora on a Budget: It’s Possible!


Bora Bora

When I was planning my South Pacific island-hopping adventure, I knew it wasn’t going to be cheap.

Unsurprisingly, the South Pacific is home to some of the priciest places on the planet; none more so than Bora Bora. This paradise island regularly tops lists of the most expensive honeymoon destinations in the world and during my research, I kept reading that prices range from expensive to indescribably expensive.

Challenge accepted.

One of my favourite things to do is shatter misconceptions about places around the world. I love going to destinations that have a reputation for being expensive and sharing exactly how you can visit for far cheaper.

Knowing that Bora Bora had such a high-end reputation was pulling me towards it. I immediately booked a one-way ticket to paradise, then set about figuring out how on earth I would be able to visit without spending all of my savings.

So can you visit Bora Bora on a budget?

Absolutely! 

I was surprised by how easy it is to do so. After booking my flight, I jumped online, sorted the nightly accommodation prices on Booking.com from low to high and was greeted with several guesthouses and hotels for well under $100 per person per night. A quick google of affordable guesthouses on the island brought up even more options that weren’t listed online — there were dozens of well-reviewed guesthouses for as little as $50 a night.

Did you know there’s a hostel on Bora Bora? It costs just $30 a night to stay there.

Who knew Bora Bora could be so inexpensive? I certainly didn’t!

And I’ll address this point now, because it always comes up whenever I talk about visiting stereotypically expensive places, like the Maldives or the Cook Islands, on a budget — this is not Southeast Asia cheap. You won’t find hostels and guesthouses for $1 a night, and likewise, you won’t find any street food for $1 a meal. If that’s your budget, the South Pacific isn’t for you.

But that doesn’t mean it’s ridiculously expensive, either.

On Bora Bora, a typical budget for a shoestring traveler is $20 a day. If you’re a budget traveler, you’ll spend no more than $500 for a week-long stay on the island. Don’t believe people who say it’s impossible to visit Bora Bora on a budget or that you need to use points and miles in order to score a bargain — it’s not true and budget travel is easy to do here.

Let’s get into the details.

Bora Bora
One of my favourite views on Bora Bora: this is what you’ll see when you exit the airport on the island

How to Get to Bora Bora Affordably

Your biggest expense when it comes to Bora Bora will most likely be the flights to get there. I don’t collect points or miles, so my guide is for those of you who don’t have a ton of miles to blow on the flight. If you do, use them! If you don’t, don’t let this put you off.

My biggest and best advice of all is to start checking Secret Flying religiously. This website is my holy grail when it comes to travel deals and it’s thanks to them that I managed to score return flights from Lisbon to Cape Town for 280 USD, Rome to Japan for 350 USD, and one-way flights from Copenhagen to Los Angeles for 120 USD, along with Singapore to London for 102 USD. They’re totally legit and regularly share deals they’ve spotted for Bora Bora, too.

As I write this right now (June 2021), they’re actually sharing a deal from U.S. cities to Tahiti for just 650 USD return, departing between August 2021 and May 2022, which is an incredible price!

If Secret Flying isn’t showing anything you can fit in with your schedule, I recommend heading to Skyscanner next. Search from the country you live in to Papeete over the space of the month you want to visit, and you’ll be able to make sure you are flying on the cheapest dates. You may find it works out to be many hundreds of dollars cheaper to fly out of a different airport that’s still within driving distance, for example, or that leaving a day earlier will save you lots of money.

If you’re based in Oceania, flights are going to be cheapest for you. From Australia (east coast) and New Zealand, flights to Tahiti start from $300 one-way, and if you’re already hanging out in the South Pacific, they’re just as affordable. I paid $356 for my flight from Rarotonga, in the Cook Islands.

If you’re hanging out in Southeast Asia, the cheapest way to get there is to take a flight to Australia for a hundred dollars or so with a budget airport and then onwards to Tahiti. Definitely make sure to check Skyscanner if you’re in Southeast Asia, as you can regularly get from there to Australia for $100 each way.

French Polynesia is a French territory, rather than its own separate country, so European readers will most likely find the cheapest flights from Paris, but it’s worth checking places further east, like Turkey, as well.

North American readers: the best way for you to get to Bora Bora cheaply is via San Francisco. French Bee flies there direct for $370 each way, which is a pretty sweet deal!

I also want to mention that if you’re planning on taking a round-the-world trip, you should be able to work French Polynesia into your itinerary without a problem. Several of the travellers I met in the region were there as part of their round-the-world ticket, so it’s definitely something to look into for a stopover.

Most of the deals and routes mentioned above will get you to Papeete, on Tahiti, which is the main airport in French Polynesia. From there, you’ll need to take a 30-minute flight to Bora Bora — a flight that I have to confess is annoyingly expensive.

You’ll be looking at around $200 each way for the 30-minute flight, but before you give up and decide to go somewhere else, there is a way to drastically cut down the amount you pay for your flights.

I picked up an island hopping pass from Air Tahiti, which gave me a 60% discount on what I would have paid if I’d booked all of my flights individually. Rather than just visiting Bora Bora, I flew from Tahiti to Maupiti, Raiatea, Huahine, Bora Bora, and back to Tahiti over the space of two weeks. For this, I ended up paying $400 for seven flights to five islands, including Bora Bora. That makes my flights into and out of Bora Bora just $60 each way.

If you only want to visit Bora Bora, this isn’t super helpful, but I will say that I loved travelling around the Society Islands, and if you have a couple of weeks, it’s well worth checking out many of the islands, like I did. Maupiti is just like Bora Bora used to be 50 years ago and Huahine ended up being my favourite island in the South Pacific. It’s definitely worth considering some of the other nearby islands, as you’ll gain more value for your money.

Bora Bora airport
The colour of the water in Bora Bora is going to blow your mind!

Staying on Bora Bora for Cheap

I stayed at Village Temanuata for $65 a night and it offered great value for money. The owners were friendly and helpful, the guests had access to a private beach in front of the bungalows, and it was a five-minute walk away from Matira Beach — the best beach on the main island. They offered a free pickup from the ferry terminal, had decent reviews, and had lots of options for activities. The rooms were basic, but clean. The only downside was that the Wi-Fi wasn’t working while I was there.

Unfortunately, they’ve recently increased their prices.

There are several budget guesthouses on the island that receive great reviews. Check out Sunset Hill Lodge for doubles/quads starting at $120 a night.

I mentioned the hostel in Bora Bora earlier on in my post, and yes, it’s true: they charge just $30 a night. Bora Bora Shelter for Backpackers offers up the most affordable accommodation on the island, and they receive decent reviews, too. They’re located on Matira Beach, which is an added bonus, and everybody adores the lovely owners.

As I mentioned above, there are Couchsurfing hosts on Bora Bora, so if you want to travel on a super-tight budget, that’s definitely a route to go down. Couchsurfing isn’t my kind of thing, so I didn’t try it out, but there are 40-odd hosts on the site.

Airbnb is another great option for Bora Bora, if not the best option overall. There are 40 rentals listed for under $100 a night, and 27 for under $50 a night.

You can even stay in a guesthouse for just $33 a night there! This particular place sounds like such an epic way to see the island — you’ll be hanging out with locals, been shown their Bora Bora, and learning more than you would in those overpriced overwater bungalows.

bora bora resort view
A view of a luxury resort from the mainland. While visiting Bora Bora on a budget means skipping out on an overwater bungalow, you’ll still get to witness some spectacular views

The Cost of Transportation in Bora Bora

Bora Bora’s airport is located on a motu — a reef island so to get to the mainland, you’ll need to jump on Air Tahiti’s free catamaran shuttle. It takes you directly to the dock in Vaitape, which is the main town on the island. From there, someone from your guesthouse will most likely pick you up — this is usually free, but make sure to check before making your booking, as you don’t want to be caught out with any unexpected costs when you arrive.

The easiest way to get around is to rent a bicycle. I paid $15 a day to hire mine, but saw signs for $10 around the island.

There are rumours of a bus that runs from Vaitape to Matira Beach and back every hour for $4.75, but I never saw it. It’s definitely worth asking around at your guesthouse for more information, though, as this can definitely help keep your costs low.

Taxis are crazy-expensive on the island, so avoid those. And car rentals, too. The mainland is 18 miles in circumference, so you could easily cycle or scooter your way around in a day.

Beach in Bora Bora
Matira Beach on Bora Bora — this stretch of sand on the mainland is often voted one of the best in the world

The Cost of Activities in Bora Bora

There are plenty of things you can do on the island without spending too much money.

If you’re going to do an island-hopping trip around several of the Society Islands, as I recommended, you may want to do save your activities for the other islands you’re going to be visiting. Lagoon cruises are just as amazing on Maupiti, for example, and you’ll be paying far less for them than you would on Bora Bora. If you’re only heading to Bora Bora and you’re determined to make the most of your trip, here are some suggestions:

One of my favourite (and totally free) activities was heading to the Intercontinental Hotel (on Matira Beach) and watching the leopard rays glide past every evening. Matira Beach is one of the best beaches on the mainland, and it’s well-known for attracting various types of rays throughout the day. I even had one swim within a few feet of me while I was hanging out in the lagoon.

Hiking throughout the island is another free activity that’ll net you some incredible views and photos as you explore. Mount Paihia is one of the best in Bora Bora for reasonably athletic people, and hikers do climb it without a guide. Ask at your guesthouse for details of where the hike starts, as the entrance can be a little tricky to find.

When it comes to paid activities, you can shop around through Viator to find the best prices. One of the cheapest activities is a very well-reviewed 4WD tour of Bora Bora for just under $75 — this is a great option if you want to spend half a day seeing the very best of the island, and the reviews of the tour are glowing.

Another option is this snorkelling cruise ($81), where you can feed and play with stingrays and sharks as you explore the lagoon. This is a quintessential Bora Bora experience, and my friends who did it said it was the highlight from their trip.

If snorkelling isn’t your thing, you could take a two-hour tour of the lagoon for $88. This will take you around the water to see the most spectacular parts of Bora Bora and is worth doing if you can afford it.

breakfast in bora bora

The Cost of Food in Bora Bora

Due to my lack of excursions, food was one of my biggest expenses in Bora Bora. Prices definitely increased from the other islands I’d visited, although (surprisingly) the quality didn’t drop.

Breakfasts! As I was staying near Matira Beach, I walked the half-mile to Tiare Market to stock up on fresh bread, croissants, and fruit for a third of the price that I’d pay for a guesthouse breakfast. There was also a small store near the beach with cheap snacks if you just wanted to grab a bag of crisps or a chocolate bar.

When it comes to lunches and dinners, there were way more affordable options than I expected. Lucky House is a pizza place beside Matira that drew me in with their free Wi-Fi, but kept me there with their great pizzas. I know, I know. So Polynesian. For $15, you’d get a large pizza that was actually really tasty, and would usually count for my lunch and dinner if I went down there at around 3 p.m.

Snack Matira was also within walking distance, where you could grab a burger, french fries, and a couple of drinks for around $12.

There are a few roulettes (rolling food trucks) around Matira, which is where the locals eat. There, you can find burgers, beer, fries, fish sandwiches, and chicken for around $10 a meal.

Budget travel tip: I recommend picking up a GRAYL water bottle to save money on drinks while also helping protect the environment. The water bottle works a bit like a French press — you fill it with water and then slide the filter down to the bottom of the bottle. Doing that kills 99.999% of all viruses, bacteria, and cysts in water and gets rid of any sediment, chemicals, or weird flavours or smells, making it completely safe to drink. You can drink tap water anywhere in the world with this kickass bottle and not get sick — whether you’re in India, Mozambique, or French Polynesia!


So what’s it like to travel around Bora Bora on a budget?

Bora Bora from above

I Was the Only Solo Traveler

Just like the rest of my time in French Polynesia (and in the Cook Islands), I didn’t meet any other solo travelers. This wasn’t a huge surprise in Bora Bora, given that it’s best known for being a honeymoon destination, but even in the cheaper accommodations, it was all about the couples.

I did feel a little isolated on the island, but I think that had a lot to do with the guesthouse I was staying in. The other guesthouses I’d stayed at in French Polynesia had a much more communal feel, with hang out areas and group dinners arranged nightly — that wasn’t the case here. Instead, I was given my breakfast on my bungalow balcony, which was surrounded by hedges, so I couldn’t see anyone or anything. Great for privacy, but also good for making you feel lonely.

Having said that, once I ventured outside, I was approached by locals all the time and found it easy to make friends. I spent a fun evening drinking a lime-coconut-dodgy-alcoholic-concoction while hanging out with a group of Polynesian paddleboarders who invited me to join them for sunset on the beach.

my guesthouse in bora bora

But I Was Far From Being the Only Budget Traveler

You don’t really hear much about Bora Bora as a budget destination. Or, at least, I hadn’t heard anything about it.

When I was researching for this trip and reading other articles about how to visit affordably, they were mostly all about grabbing loads of credit cards, racking up your points, and then spending them on free flights and a fancy resort stay.

So I wasn’t expecting much from the budget travel scene. I was expecting it to be similar to when I visited the Maldives back in 2014 — I was the only tourist on the local ferries, I ended up being the only tourist on an entire island, I had beaches to myself, and the guesthouses were either empty or filled with locals.

Nope!

The Bora Bora budget travel scene is far from undiscovered. My guesthouse was full and many of the other $50-80 a night guesthouses looked just as busy. So don’t turn up here thinking you’re some kind of intrepid explorer who’s discovered paradise on the cheap. A lot of people already have.

But the island’s big so while there are a lot of people on it, it never, ever felt crowded.

bora bora

Is It Worth It?

It’s funny: before I arrived in Bora Bora, I was expecting to hate it.

I’d just had an incredible trip around some of the lesser-visited Society Islands and was sure Bora Bora wouldn’t compare. I mean, Maupiti, for example, is geographically very similar to Bora Bora — it has an extinct volcano in the centre, one main road that winds around the island, pretty beaches, a large lagoon, and some beautiful islands on the outer edges of the lagoon. Wouldn’t Bora Bora just be similar, but crammed full of rich tourists, overrun with resorts, and ridiculously expensive?

To my great surprise, it was none of those things, and I was seriously impressed.

Bora Bora’s a special place, and I didn’t realise how special until I saw it for myself. I mean, it’s seriously gorgeous — like blow-your-mind-spectacularly-gorgeous to the point where you constantly feel like you’re living in a Photoshopped world. There really aren’t that many people on the island either — you can probably see from all of my photos above that there’s never any crowds anywhere. I don’t know if they’re all on excursions or hidden away in resorts (probably), but I never felt like I was in an overly-touristy place.

And the prices? They’re not that bad.

You’ll pay a little more for food. You’ll pay a little more for transportation. You’ll pay a little more for the excursions. But it’s not eye-wateringly bad. It’s $20 for dinner instead of $15; it’s $15 a day for a bicycle rental instead of $5. It’s $70 for a lagoon cruise instead of $50.

So yes, I’d say that Bora Bora is definitely worth visiting. I’d also say that it would be a good idea to visit another island or two in the Society Islands while you’re there to see a different side to French Polynesia that isn’t just about tourism and excursions — Huahine was my favourite island and was very different to Bora Bora.

So yeah. Bam! Bora Bora on a budget. It’s totally possible.

It's so easy to visit Bora Bora on a budget! There are plenty of guesthouses for $50 a night, you can get around cheaply by bicycle, and there are affordable food trucks for saving money on meals!

101 Comments

  1. August 17, 2016
    Reply

    OMG these pics look like NOT real!

    xx
    ani from ani hearts

    • August 17, 2016
      Reply

      It really does feel like you’re wandering through a Photoshopped world while you’re there. I couldn’t get over how beautiful it was.

  2. August 17, 2016
    Reply

    This is so cool! I love it when I read articles in budget travel that ‘expensive’ areas. People mostly think these places can’t be done on a budget, but really it’s possible. Thank you for another superb article! And oh my, everything is all so blue. 0.0

    • August 17, 2016
      Reply

      Exactly! I’d pretty much written it off as a luxury destination I’d probably never visit, so was surprised to discover just how many options there are for an affordable stay.

  3. August 17, 2016
    Reply

    Absolutely stunning!

    I may need to add Bora Bora to my vacation list. :)

  4. August 17, 2016
    Reply

    I’m thankful you took these budget trips to Tahiti and the Cook Islands. They are destinations that were in the “maybe someday” file and have moved into the “definitely do-able” file! Pictures of these islands have long been my idea of paradise. While I’m not necessarily jumping on a plane *right now*, a trip to paradise is now on my radar. So, thanks!

  5. August 17, 2016
    Reply

    That food pictures, as well as all of the other pictures in this post, look great! I’ve never been to Bora Bora but we have plans to go one day :)

  6. August 17, 2016
    Reply

    Ohhh all these posts about beautiful islands are making me crave a tropical island vacation! Yet my next trip will take me to South Korea. It’s probably gorgeous in its own right, but an island holiday would be great right now :)

  7. Charlie
    August 18, 2016
    Reply

    Great article, and amazing photos.

    I am not sure how you easily found flights to Bora Bora from Tahiti for 100 dollars each way! I wanted to visit Bora Bora on my trip to Tahiti but the cheapest round trip was almost 500 dollars from PPT! And that was the same time frame you were there. Like the Cook Islands, Air Tahiti has a monopoly on this route. But obviously you found a great deal and they exist, I would just warn your readers it isn’t a guarantee. From my research a typical price is more towards 200 each way.

  8. Jacki
    August 18, 2016
    Reply

    Oh, thank you so much for this article! I look forward to being the next solo-traveller on the island :)

    • August 22, 2016
      Reply

      No problem! You’ll have a wonderful time :-)

  9. August 19, 2016
    Reply

    Oh My God! It looks like heaven on earth! Am so jealous! :)

    • August 22, 2016
      Reply

      It’s a pretty special place :-)

  10. Amit
    August 19, 2016
    Reply

    WoW its like paradise , the pictures gave me Tingles.
    You are a Travel ASMR Artist :)

  11. I love how blue and green every photo is. And you’re right, it doesn’t appear crowded at all! I was sure it would have been.

    • August 20, 2016
      Reply

      Me too! That was probably the biggest surprise of all — I just couldn’t work out why the beach wasn’t more crowded. It’s supposedly one of the best in the world, so I was expecting it to be packed.

  12. August 19, 2016
    Reply

    IT is definitely on my list, but I also figured it may or may not be possible. Glad to read a post telling me that hotels won’t cost me $500 per night.

    • August 20, 2016
      Reply

      Definitely not! I was surprised by just how many affordable options there are on the island. I thought there might be one or two tiny guesthouses, but there were dozens of pensions and Airbnb apartments and Couchsurfing hosts…

  13. Sheraz
    August 20, 2016
    Reply

    your post is showing your hard work. Once again we got amazing article that is really helpful for us. Thanks for it.

    • August 20, 2016
      Reply

      Thank you! I did work pretty hard on this one :-)

  14. Rick S
    August 20, 2016
    Reply

    Still reasonable but I checked on a three-night stay (Garden Bungalow) at Village Temanuata and it was in the $353 in January including the 5% hotel tax, city tax of about 3 bucks and a 9.2% service charge or $406 total. It looks like a nice place to stay.

    • August 21, 2016
      Reply

      Yeah, prices do seem to vary a lot based on time of year, how far out you’re booking, whether you’re a solo traveller or not, etc

  15. Lerchan
    August 22, 2016
    Reply

    great article Lauren, I actually followed your maafushi route and had the best time of my life.

    Bora Bora is quite far from me. Im not round the world traveller I can only be gone for 10 days max because of my job, would save this for something special.

    • August 23, 2016
      Reply

      So happy to hear that, Lerchan! :-)

  16. August 23, 2016
    Reply

    What a gem of a post. I’d like to do Bora Bora on a budget not because I can’t affoare it but because my idea of an island adventure is authentic over luxury. Love this.

  17. Kolo Pius
    September 3, 2016
    Reply

    Nice article! Bora Bora is one of those destinations i have always dreamt of. Hope i get a chance to visit it one day. Nice article by the way. I loved it

    • June 3, 2017
      Reply

      I hope so, too! It’s really not as expensive as people think it is.

  18. September 10, 2016
    Reply

    Super positive review. Assuming the same scheduling budget to jump around and explore, are there any arguments for skipping Bora Bora in favor of island X? Or, in hind sight, extending a stay on island Y in place of jumping over to BB?

  19. September 24, 2016
    Reply

    been wanting to go there since forever, never quite made it yet. but I was the only single traveler in the Maldives when I went there. you’ve got great photos, great advice, great insight…good stuff
    Oh but just so you know, it bothers me, and I don’t usually follow through with adding my name etc below (do you think that puts others off…or is it just me?)

    • October 19, 2016
      Reply

      Thanks so much for the compliment!

      And it doesn’t bother me that much, but it does mean I can’t really address you in my comment, because I’d feel weird saying, thanks, Badfish! :-)

  20. Mahamudul hasan
    October 19, 2016
    Reply

    LOVE THIS. GOing there this winter and this post has helped me further make up my mind about how long to stay in Bora Bora. Thanks.

    • October 19, 2016
      Reply

      Yay! Glad you found it helpful :-)

  21. Erika Sales
    January 24, 2017
    Reply

    So how would you compare Bora Bora with the Maldives? Which one has more activities outside of the beach. Thanks.

    • January 24, 2017
      Reply

      Well, you’re comparing an island to a country, which is tough to do, because there are so many islands in the Maldives to compare it with. In general, though, I preferred Bora Bora and thought there were way more things to do there. The fact that you have a volcano in the centre and that the island is pretty large (compared to the Maldivian islands I visited that were like, 400 metres in length) means that your activities don’t have to be centred on the water, which they pretty much all are in the Maldives.

  22. February 12, 2017
    Reply

    A lot of travelers skip out on Bora-Bora because its’ expensive. I’m glad I came across your post! This will help a lot, and very beautiful pictures by the way!

    • February 19, 2017
      Reply

      Thank you, Agness! :-)

  23. Shieron
    February 17, 2017
    Reply

    Hi ! Thank you for this! I always wanted to come to bora bora that much like i dont want to get married without this visited! May i know roughly how much you spent when you visited this lovely place?

    • February 19, 2017
      Reply

      You can calculate it from my post. I spent $65 a night on accommodation, $15 for a bicycle hire, around $30 a day for food. So I guess I averaged around $100 a day as a solo traveler.

  24. Tee
    March 3, 2017
    Reply

    How do you forget to include flights from Canada? This blog lost me in its inequality.

    • March 3, 2017
      Reply

      Its inequality? Lol. Don’t be so ridiculous.

      I’ll tell you why: because less. than. 4%. of my traffic comes from Canada. I can’t write about flights from every single country in the world, both because I don’t have the time to sit down and spend days of my life researching it and also because that would be incredibly boring to read. So I focused on which countries are most relevant for my audience. Sorry that didn’t include Canada, but it also didn’t include 150-odd other countries around the world, too. How would you have enjoyed this article if it contained a list of 196 options?

      There’s also the fact that there isn’t really a cheap way to get to Bora Bora direct from Canada. You’d most likely have to fly to Hawaii and then take the Hawaiian airlines flight to Tahiti.

      I could have just written about how I personally found cheap flights, but no, I decided to actually spend a significant amount of time researching other alternatives to make my article as helpful as possible, but apparently that’s still not inclusive enough. Thanks for being so appreciative of the hard work I put into writing this COMPLETELY FREE GUIDE.

  25. Chris
    March 19, 2017
    Reply

    Hi Lauren,

    Thank you so much for this inspiring Blog. It convinced us that BB can be done on a budget so we included it in our trip.

    Question. You refer to village Temanauta for 65 USD/night which is insanely cheap. How did you get this price? When I check Agoda or their website I see 120 usd as the cheapest price all over the year.

    Thanks in advance

    Chris (from Holland)

    • March 20, 2017
      Reply

      Hmmm, it could be that I was travelling alone so just paying for one person. I think I remember it being listed as a single room rather than a double. Or that they’ve put their prices up.

  26. Lorraine
    April 9, 2017
    Reply

    That’s what we called YOLO. :)

  27. Quan Ngo
    April 10, 2017
    Reply

    Wow, great article Lauren, I actually followed your maafushi route and had the best time of my life. I Going there this winter and this post has helped me further make up my mind about how long to stay in Bora Bora.
    Thanks for share!

    • April 12, 2017
      Reply

      I’m so happy to hear that, Quan! I hope you have a wonderful time in Bora Bora :-)

  28. Nicole
    April 23, 2017
    Reply

    Hi I ❤️ Your article inspiring I unfortunately have been researching and not able to find the low prices that u mentioned ? Hawain airline was almost double instead of the $300 and air Tahiti to bora Nora was around $361 if u have any suggestions I would appreciate open to any travel time thanks ?

    • April 23, 2017
      Reply

      It’s slightly more expensive, but here are some for $370 rather than $300 for next month with Hawaiian Airlines.

      For Air Tahiti, maybe look at one of their island hopping passes and add on a couple of other islands in French Polynesia while you’re there. I managed to take 7 flights for $400 with a pass and visited four islands in total, including Bora Bora, and they still have that deal on their site.

  29. Pooja
    April 27, 2017
    Reply

    This is definitely the most comprehensive post on Bora Bora that I’ve come across. Thanks for the time and effort it must have taken to put all of the information together. Heading to Bora Bora in August 2017 and now relieved it won’t break the bank in order for me to do so. Thank you!

    • April 29, 2017
      Reply

      No problem! And thanks for the appreciation — it’s not something that’s often acknowledged by people reading my site, so means a lot :-)

  30. Tim
    May 14, 2017
    Reply

    Great post! Looks incredible :)
    Do you happen to remember if the one way flights were a special? From Papeete the prices seemed fixed at 340 Euro in the off season… which is more or less the same as the pass!

    • May 14, 2017
      Reply

      Which flights are you talking about?

  31. nami
    May 31, 2017
    Reply

    Thank you for this. So many of the other bora bora posts I found were talking about how a normal budget was over $10,000! it’s good to see how it can be done on the cheap, where cheap means cheap. Mostly, anyway.

    • June 3, 2017
      Reply

      Sweet! Yeah, I found those posts frustrating, too, as just a quick google would have shown them it’s easy to visit on a budget.

  32. Jeremiah
    July 9, 2017
    Reply

    These are the best tips I’ve seen for visiting Bora Bora on a budget. Had no idea it was possible until now! So many of the other posts online say you can visit on a budget but then say the budget is $500 a day! Ridiculous.

    • November 17, 2017
      Reply

      Yes! That annoys the hell out of me! It’s so easy to visit on a budget :-)

  33. Katz
    August 28, 2017
    Reply

    Thank you so much for your article!!! We are headed to Bora Bora and 2 other islands for our honeymoon this November and I’ve been trying to find articles on budget travel that isn’t all about the points. Definitely taking tons of your advice ❤️ Super love your article and my husband and I just took down notes ?

    • August 28, 2017
      Reply

      Ah, thank you! Yeah, it drives me crazy that so many blog posts about how to visit on a budget are about getting a bunch of credit cards and collecting points. There are actually budget options on the island!

  34. September 7, 2017
    Reply

    Awesome information. I’ve always felt like those high prices were damn near scam worthy! I don’t need, nor want, a resort experience. Thank you so much for putting this all in one place!

    • October 9, 2017
      Reply

      Glad you found it helpful, Katie!

  35. Anne
    September 10, 2017
    Reply

    While I was browsing around islands near New Zealand, I saw french polynesia is one of the closest and I remembered I’ve been dying to see Bora Bora. I am so happy to see it’s just around the corner, I thought I would need to cross half of the world for that. And your review was amazing and my impulses is just telling me to plan a trip to Bora Bora soon before we even get pregnant :) Thanks Lauren!

    • January 2, 2018
      Reply

      Yay! I really hope you do make it there, Anne :-)

  36. redoan@zeomac
    September 29, 2017
    Reply

    I really appreciated this article because my wife and I planning a trip to Honolulu. I’ve never been there before, so we’re trying to figure out what things are fun to do. I too am excited for the food, and the opportunity to find places to eat at. Thanks for sharing this!

    • September 30, 2017
      Reply

      What the hell does Honolulu have to do with Bora Bora? Ugh, travel bloggers suck.

      • Teri McClelland
        September 22, 2020
        Reply

        Well, this is an old article. Here it is 2020 and I am now just finding it!! Thank you Lauren for all the awesome ideas for Bora Bora!! I hope to make it there one day soon after this plague. Loved reading your blog! Thanks again!!

  37. Tiago Muza
    October 9, 2017
    Reply

    Hi, nice review! It’s easy to find any place to rent a kayak and paddle around the lagoon or go to the motus?

    • October 9, 2017
      Reply

      I’d imagine there would be! If you can’t find anything in Google, though, ask around when you get there and I’m sure a local will be able to help you out.

  38. Vincent Meehan
    October 30, 2017
    Reply

    I dont think you’ll find flights from AZ or NZ from $300 one way.
    Its $1400 minimum from east coast of Australia.
    But I liked your post all the same!

    • October 30, 2017
      Reply

      Here’s one for $550 from Auckland, $300 if it’s just to Papeete. And I’m seeing similar for flights from Sydney, too.

  39. Robin
    October 19, 2018
    Reply

    Looks amazing! So you travel by yourself? I don’t want to feel lonely so, would you recommend going to bora bora alone? I’m trying to figure out places to travel to on my own…. obviously safety is a concern as well. Can you recommend any other places that are good for solo female travelers?

  40. Les
    October 29, 2018
    Reply

    I bribed my son and daughter with a trip to Bora Bora if they had a 3rd grandchild…So…wha la…..little Girl….born yesterday….so Lauren, thanks for the blog…..AND WE are going BACK TOO!!!
    Last time I was there (15 years ago with my 3 sons) we had a wonderful
    shark Dive….so the divers listening on your blog should check it out!

  41. Barry
    November 28, 2018
    Reply

    Awesome, thank you. I’m heading to French Polynesia for Xmas and New Year with 5 days on Bora Bora. I’m even more excited now after reading this.

    • November 30, 2018
      Reply

      Yay! You’re going to have an incredible trip :-) Make sure you nab a window seat on the flight there!

  42. Craig
    December 2, 2018
    Reply

    Lauren, THANK YOU! This guide is amazing and provides such an informative perspective! The wife and I are visiting FP in October 2019 and we’re so excited.

    One question for you, you mentioned Huahine a couple times in this as your favorite island. What Huahine so special in your eyes? We’re looking at visiting Bora Bora and Huahine at this point…

  43. Candace
    January 15, 2019
    Reply

    So the Tahiti air hopping pass that you bought only took you around the French Polynesia? Or does it go to other islands in the South Pacific? Just starting to do some research on budget traveling here and you’re right, the information is overwhelming!

  44. February 19, 2019
    Reply

    This is awesome, many thanks! I’m planning to go to French Polynesia in March, do you recommend visiting Tahiti? Is staying in a private apartment a good solution compared to hotels there?

  45. Russ
    March 11, 2019
    Reply

    Supermarkets (e.g. Super U) take credit cards, no minimum purchase. Just be careful with the working hours (they don’t work on Sundays and holidays and close early/~7pm).
    Biking to Matira point was a little scary for us. No bike lane and cars are going fast. I did see the Le Trucks (in the late morning/early afternoon), wish I took them instead of biking.
    The road in Vaitape can be noisy, especially on Friday/Saturday night, so be careful where you stay (if you are a light sleeper).
    Airport beach is ok to hang out on a motu with a view of the island (took the free air tahiti boat after checking out on the last day but the water was not clear enough to swim and there is no shower at the airport).
    We really liked the lagoon tour/snorkeling,

    • March 27, 2019
      Reply

      Thank you so much, Russ! :-)

  46. Bonita
    April 15, 2019
    Reply

    Oh Wow Lauren. I was just laying in bed and thought I’d google ‘cheapest way to go to Bora Bora’ and your article came up. It’s given me hope that I’ll be able to travel there. My husband and I are saving for Maldives and your article has shown that I can go to Bora Bora for less than what we were going to spend for Maldives! Thank you for this. I have shared this with my nearest and dearest. As much as it’s a treat having luxury accommodation, I’d forego that for more time in a beautiful location and these beaches!!!

  47. May 31, 2019
    Reply

    super! I am heading to Tahiti (and will arrange my air pass tomorrow) in June, to spend my astrological relocation there! I am going solo as well, and this blog was great! I am yet to click on the lodging links you put up, but I will tomorrow. Hopefully I find cheap lodging :)

    • May 31, 2019
      Reply

      Fun! I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you :-)

  48. Anto
    June 4, 2019
    Reply

    Great post Lauren! Thank you! Super helpful
    Which month do you recommend thinking of cheap and good weather?

  49. June 18, 2019
    Reply

    Hi Lauren. I love all of this stuff you have written about the South Pacific adventure. Love the photos and all that blue! We are going to spend 2 weeks on Huahine at a little ‘shack’ on the beach. so excited because we do not like crowded or commercial places. I have one day to spend because I made a little mistake on our reservations due to time differences where we gain a day…a bonus really. We have over 24 hours before our accommodation on Huahine is ready for us. Can’t decide what to do!!! Been peeking at maybe going to another island, Bora Bora or another one. Any suggestions would be great. We are traveling in September so it is urgent I make plans asap for that one day & night. I also have an option to make it 2 days and nights if I want to. Thanks in advance.

    • June 22, 2019
      Reply

      Hmmm, I’d probably try to make it two days and nights, and then spend it on Bora Bora. Although if you don’t like crowded and commercial places, maybe somewhere like Maupiti would be better suited.

  50. July 27, 2019
    Reply

    Hi Lauren,

    It’s been incredible reading your reviews of the FP islands!! I’m still a bit unclear as to how to book the multi-island pass, looking at the Air Tahiti website – seems to be through travel agents only or their agents? So confused!

    Also – could you pay with other currencies whilst there or only XPF?

    Anyway hope all your travels are going well!

    Anca

  51. Nicole
    July 29, 2019
    Reply

    Lauren, thanks for your incredible post I’ve just stumbled upon. It’s been a dream of mine to visit the Pacific Islands and specifically Bora Bora, so I am thrilled that this is actually within reach! Excited to read more of your blog!

  52. Victor
    November 22, 2019
    Reply

    Hi Lauren,

    Your post is such a wonderful resource. Thank you so much for writing it. Under your influence I booked our stay at Temanuata, but now they are charging $20/person for return trip to Vaitape.

    What would be your advice? Should the 2 of us just pay the $40 round trip to Temanuata or look for other options to get to our hotel?

  53. Malcolm
    May 29, 2020
    Reply

    i dont think i could travel with you . such low standards.

    • May 29, 2020
      Reply

      Wow. I’m absolutely devastated that some random dick on the internet could never travel with me. Heartbreaking.

      • Amanda
        May 31, 2020
        Reply

        Brilliant response to this moron

  54. Rose
    May 30, 2020
    Reply

    I had no idea this was possible! Thank you for this awesome guide. I can’t believe Bora Bora is now achievable for me!

  55. Hazel L.
    September 23, 2020
    Reply

    Hi Lauren,

    I’m in the search for a budget trip to Bora Bora and came across your site. I absolutely loved these travel tips you shared. They are so helpful and exactly what I need. You mentioned going inside the IC Le Moana. I want to ask if you have to pay to get in or the resort is open for non-staying guests?

    Thank you so much. You made planning much easier.

    HL.

    • September 23, 2020
      Reply

      It’s on a public beach, so I was just hanging out on the beach in front of it :-)

  56. B.J.
    January 1, 2021
    Reply

    Very well written and researched. Thank You for sharing.

    • January 13, 2021
      Reply

      I’m so glad you found it helpful!

  57. Brianna
    May 24, 2021
    Reply

    This post is so helpful! Would love to travel to Bora Bora on a budget :)
    Brianna

  58. Daniel Kleist
    June 24, 2021
    Reply

    I thought about Bora Bora and then traveled down the rabbit hole on how to make it happen on a budget… It’s always been on my bucket list…

    Thank you so much for this blog!

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.