In 2006 at my bridal shower I watched a video of my fiancé (now husband) answering questions and it was my job to guess what he was going to say. They asked him where he wanted to go most in the world and I knew to guess he’d say “Bora Bora”. I’m pleased to say that we made that dream happen and spent our anniversary on that beautiful island.
Full discolsure, it was in 2021 when we made this trip; so we definitely had an extra layer of Covid procedures to deal with. I’m not sure how different the experience would be now but these are now time-tested tips and items I can share!
Here are some things I learned that I hope help you on your travels.
- Come prepared. Bora Bora (and even Moorea where we stopped first) is not a great destination for shopping. So, you’ll want to bring EVERYTHING you need with you. Also, you have to think about your passport several months in advance if you don’t already have one.
- If you want to visit for an extended amount of time, stay on the island Moorea first and then make your way to Bora Bora. We arrived in Tahiti, stayed a night, flew to Moorea, spent a couple days in a land bungalow and then flew to Bora Bora to stay in an over water bungalow. Bora Bora is much more pricey so to cut down on cost check out another island nearby! There are also tours you can do that you can’t do in Bora Bora. We did the Tama’a Moorea Street Food Tour and Humpback Whale Swim and Snorkel Tour in Moorea before we made our way to Bora Bora.
- Less is more. You’ll likely be spending the majority of your time in a swimsuit so don’t pack too much! Don’t end up like me having to remove items from your checked bag because it weighs too much. I found that the states were a lot more lenient on the weight limit but coming back from Bora Bora they were very stickler about the weight limit.
So, what to bring?
These sandals were my favorite by far. They worked great for dressing up for a dinner date as well as island hopping travel. I even wore them riding bikes around the resort. I cannot overstate how comfortable they are. I’ve even shot a wedding day in these bad boys with no complaints!
We went to Bora Bora in October and it was quite hot. I lived in these skirts! So easy to wear going from beach to walking around and fancy enough to feel dressed up when I wanted to as well.
If skirts aren’t your jam, these cover ups were also on repeat. I honestly brought too many including this and this (remember less is more) but I’ve been able to enjoy them lots of other times as well. I’m a fan of self tanner over damaging my skin with the sun and this kind is my absolute number one favorite of all time. Do yourself a favor though and buy the mitt to apply. I used to think I could get away without one and life is just so much more luxurious when you use one, ha!
We spent 99% of our day going from one water thing to another whether that was swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, pool lounging, jet skiing, or even our lunch in the spontaneous rain and I was so happy to have this waterproof cellphone pouch. I first bought it after I saw my brother have one when we snorkeled at the Dry Tortugas National Park, and it has been going strong for a few years and many many uses – Beaches and Waterparks alike!
You’ll also need a travel adapter when you go from the states to Tahiti/Bora Bora. You won’t be able to use that cell phone charger or any other electronics without it! So, do NOT forget to get one (or three) to bring with you!
Last thing: if you’ve ever been to a sandy place than you know a waterproof bag that can be wiped down easily is a game-changer. My sister had this one in Florida (I got a lot of inspo from my siblings in Florida that time) and I went out and bought one immediately. It’s so pretty and honestly so helpful for moms on vacation or just going anywhere with water. IYKYK
I thought I would reward those who read through this post (thank you for reading!) with a packing list should you choose to visit Bora Bora or any other non-U.S. tropical travel destination:
- Shorts/Skirts (my favorite ones)
- Swimwear (Husband likes this one. I brought this one and several others)
- Sunglasses (I broke my raybans hiking on a trip this past summer- so get yourself an affordable pair that still look sleek)
- Sweater/scarf in case the plane is chilly or use a wrap
- Pareo / Sarong Wrap / Coverup
- Outdoor sandals
- Travel Backpack
- Small bag to carry personal items
- Insurance and ID cards
- Cash (approx $200), debit cards, and credit cards
- Pen to fill out customs forms
- Portable charger
- Universal Travel Plug Converter / adapter based on destination (2 prong European adapter 110/220v)
- Cell phone and charger
- Reef safe sunscreen
- Insect Repellant
- Reusable Water Bottle (my absolute favorite ever)
- Drawstring Backpack for hikes
- Earplugs, eye mask, and sleep aids for the time difference
- Reusable/disposable masks
- Antibacterial wipes
- makeup wipes
- Charged Go Pro + Cords
- Tanning lotion
- camera / camera cards / charger (film for me 🙂 )
Honestly leave your laptop home! I had school at the time and couldn’t; but if I didn’t, I’d have no reason to bring it. Also leave your blowdryer/flat iron/curing irons because the weather is so humid you really should just embrace your natural hair or a slick bun the whole time anyway. Use these tips for traveling anywhere tropical/beachy, stay safe, and have the best time! xo