French Polynesia has to be up there as one of the most popular bucket list destinations but let’s be honest it isn’t the cheapest vacation you can take. In this guide we round up all our traveling to Tahiti tips and tricks to help you plan a trip to Tahiti.
How to Get to Tahiti
Tahiti is the most populous island of French Polynesia and is home to the capital of French Polynesia – Papeete. Everyone who is going to visit French Polynesia will land on Tahiti as it is also home to the international Airport – Faa’a.
Tahiti, for such a remote place, is well serviced by international flights and receives direct flights from the USA, France, Chile and New Zealand.
To connect to other islands in French Polynesia / Society Islands you will be able to transfer by either Air Tahiti and Air Tahiti Nui. If Bora Bora is your final destination then you will need to transfer here and connect with Air Tahiti to fly into Bora Bora.
Do you actually want to be traveling to Tahiti?
As I have mentioned Tahiti is actually the most populous island in French Polynesia but is this actually the destination you want to be travelling to? One of the things that people don’t know about Tahiti is that French Polynesia is actually made up of over 11o islands with Tahiti being the most populated and most frequently visited. However is Tahiti the destination you want to visit?
In my opinion Bora Bora and Moorea by comparison to Tahiti are more beautiful and more what I expected when travelling to French Polynesia. I was glad that we had more time on Bora Bora and Moorea than we had in Tahiti. So your next question might be
How Long to Spend on Tahiti?
For me Tahiti is the gateway to the rest of French Polynesia and as such I would limit the time I spend on Tahiti. For me the perfect amount of time to spend on Tahiti is just a couple of nights – perhaps one or two at the beginning or end of your vacation.
If you are travelling on to Moorea or especially if you are travelling on to Bora Bora the chances are you will have to stay at least one night on Tahiti at the start and end of your vacation because of flight times. I think this is actually more than enough time as it will give you chance to get a feel for the island, give you a chance to buy Tahitian souvenirs (pearls anyone?) and see some of the city.
When we were on Tahiti we went to the Intercontinental Hotel and for me this really is the only answer to where to stay on Tahiti.
Can you Travel to Tahiti on a Budget?
In brief the answer to can you travel to Tahiti on a budget – the answer is kinda of! Flights to Tahiti are never cheap but I would definitely recommend looking for offers when traveling to Tahiti.
It is also worth looking for Air Tahiti Nui Package Deals as this is a way to save money on your trip.
However flights are not the only thing that make your Tahiti vacation bill add up. One of these is of course accommodation. Staying in an overwater bungalow is definitely something on everyones French Polynesia bucket list however this is expensive. If you want to do this maybe choose to do this just for a couple of nights to save money.
And be sure that you don’t forget anything off your French Polynesia Packing List as if you do forget something you will definitely be spending more to buy it on French Polynesia than you would have at home.
So Can you travel to Tahiti on a budget – yes you can but it will never really be a budget destination.
Another way to see the islands of the SOuth Pacific which might provide a cost saving although not complete on island experience is to take a South Pacific Cruise – click here for more info!
When to Travel to Tahiti?
When I was researching our trip to French Polynesia I found a lot of advice saying to travel during the off season which runs in Tahiti from November to April. And I will admit that the prices for accommodation during this period can definitely be cheaper. However I am going to say something different to the other advice on the internet. We did travel to the off season and we saw a lot of rain – a LOT! Now whenever you travel somewhere tropical whether that is Bora Bora or the Maldives you have to expect rain – rain is to be expected in the tropics. However I would say we saw more rain than sun and there isn’t loads to do in French Polynesia in the rain.
While Tahiti only really has two seasons the months that can be classified as shoulder season are November to April. If you want to save money then you could consider going in one of these months but I wouldn’t personally look at going in the true off season.
So my advice for when to travel to Tahiti is to go in peak season especially if you want to be guaranteed perfect weather go in peak season or at least in one of the two shoulder seasons.
Book Your Excursions Separate to Hotels
There are some amazing luxury resorts on Tahiti but you don’t need to only do excursions through the hotels. There are lots of things to do on Tahiti outside of your hotel and can you book these independently to save money.
If you are looking for activities and excursions in Tahiti you may want to consider:
Tahiti Isn’t Just For Honeymooners
Tahiti and French Polynesia generally are a great place to go on Honeymoon however that doesn’t mean it is only for honeymooners. We went to French Polynesia as a family and we loved Tahiti, Moorea and Bora Bora with kids. The islands of French Polynesia are definitely family friendly.
So there are my top traveling to Tahiti tips to help you plan your perfect island escape. Do you have any other questions about traveling to Tahiti? Let us know in the questions and we are happy to answer!