With 118 islands and atolls, just over half of which are inhabited, The Islands of Tahiti offers a wide variety of options for a South Pacific escape. Choosing where to go and what to do in French Polynesia can be overwhelming, and to be honest, so can the bill if you don’t know what you’re doing.
But here’s the good news. A vacation in the Islands of Tahiti is available at a wide variety of price points, especially if you’re flexible.
1. Book Ahead
There are no “last minute deals” in The Islands of Tahiti. This is a dream destination for many, so for competitive rates, it’s best to book at least 90 days ahead, or preferably more.
2. Seasons Matter
This might be the single biggest way to save on The Islands of Tahiti. Travel during the “low season,” which runs November to March. Rates are at their lowest here, thanks to the season being wet. Rains however are usually confined to a single heavy downpour in the afternoon, which usually comes as a welcome relief from the tropical humidity. April and May can also offer some solid deals and are generally considered “shoulder season.”
3. Brand Loyalty
We know variety is the spice of life, but it can also cost you savings on accommodation in The Islands of Tahiti, particularly if you’re island hopping. Many resorts in the islands offer discounts when you stay within their “chain” across multiple islands. These include well respected brands such as Sofitel, Intercontinental, and Pearl Resort. Sticking to one brand also ensures a consistent experience throughout your stay.
4. Save on Domestic Flights
Speaking of island hopping, domestic flights in French Polynesia can be pricey. Booking an Air Pass relieves some of the pressure, allowing you to hop through the islands on one ticket. If you’re sticking to one island throughout your stay however, skip the pass and book a simple return ticket from home to your destination island instead.
5. Switch Up Your Stay
Remember what we said about variety being the spice of life? Even staying within one chain, you can knock a few dollars off your resort bill by switching room or bungalow types. The Islands of Tahiti are famous for their overwater bungalows that grace a thousand postcards, but it’s entirely possible to stay in one of these for only a night or two for the experience, yet spend the rest of your stay in a lower-priced garden or beach-facing option.
6. Pre-Booked Dining
There’s no sugar-coating it, resort dining in the Islands of Tahiti is expensive! One easy way to save, however, is to pre-book meals at your resort before you arrive. Besides saving a logistical hassle, this also allows you to skip some extra taxes once you arrive. If you’re spending at least a night in Papeete, French Polynesia’s capital on the island of Tahiti itself, check out the tasty and affordable food truck options at Les Roulottes.
7. It’s Not All About Bora Bora
Look, we love Bora Bora and Moorea, by far the most popular honeymoon spots in The Islands of Tahiti. Their very names evoke images of tropical paradise, with rocky volcanic plugs rising from lush green forests, lined with serene beach and the perfect blue waters of a lagoon. But you can enjoy a very similar experience at a much lower price point on some of the lesser known islands, including Taha’a, Huahine, and Tikehau. You might also enjoy a bit more seclusion away from honeymooning crowds.
8. Know Your Budget
This is good globetrotting advice at any time, but the average trip to The Islands of Tahiti can run over $10,000 per couple. With that said, not everyone arrives with inside knowledge on how to save. Talk to your travel consultant about the additional costs you can expect in destination, be open to suggestions (with minimal compromise to your Tahiti vacation), and know what’s really important to you on your vacation. Your travel consultant might have some suggestions to meet your needs for less.
9. Pre-book Day Trips and Excursions
If you think an island vacation is all about relaxing on the beach, the Islands of Tahiti will surprise you with their vast range of activities (swimming with manta rays, anyone?). Just remember, you’re in a boutique destination that has limited space. Book your “must-dos” well in advance, but don’t over-stuff your itinerary either. You’ll probably find yourself tempted by a few options you hadn’t considered once you arrive.
10. Save the Best for Last
If you’re not going high end for the entire trip, end on a high by scheduling those special treats toward the end of your Islands of Tahiti vacation. If you’re only spending one or two nights in an overwater bungalow, for example, make them your last nights in destination, so your trip just gets better as it goes along.
4-Day Bora Bora: Four Seasons Resort: Stay of Distinction
Balcony of overwater bungalow at Four Seasons Bora Bora
The Islands of Tahiti are a once-in-a-lifetime destination. Having an Idyllic Islands Expert help plan your vacation can be your key to great savings that enhance the experience and ensure your trip to French Polynesia is the treasured memory it should be.
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6 Jan 2020, 9:59 p.m.