Traveling to the French Polynesia
and why you should go
Traveling to the French Polynesia was in Bonnie’s Top 5 bucket list since she first made a travel bucket list. Reading books by James Michener and hearing about how Marlon Brando loved Bora Bora and how beautiful it is inspired her to travel there. Islands like Tahiti, Bora Bora & Moorea sounded far away and exotic. Seeing pictures throughout the years only increased her desire to go there.
La Orana! That means Hello! The national language is Tahitian and French. Bonnie thinks the French language is the most beautiful language in the world. French music makes her feel creative and happy. The French Polynesia feels similar to Hawaii with lush green landscapes. Think Hawaiian music but sung in French. The French Polynesia feels more exotic and less developed than Hawaii because it’s further away in the South Pacific. You should go if you love islands, romance, snorkeling, and for the experience of relaxing on your overwater bungalow deck on the water. James Michener said, “Bora Bora is the most beautiful island in the world.” The French Polynesia offers an island paradise with French influence.
Learn a few Tahitian words to know before your trip.
Check out the Bora Bora Island Guide
It’s not really that far
Getting to the French Polynesia is closer than you think. It’s about an 8-hour flight from Los Angeles Airport to Tahiti. You can fly with Air France, Air Tahiti Nui, American Airlines, Air New Zealand, Quantas, and Hawaiian Airlines with a stopover in Hawaii.
Use Kayak to see which airlines are flying there when you want to go.
You can check with your credit card reward partners to check for mileage reward tickets.
Bonnie used transferred 132,000 American Express miles to Air France and booked an Anniversary Trip last year. Taxes cost $440.99 total for two people. Not bad to get to your dream destination when tickets range from $700-$1,000 per person.
Things to know about the French Polynesia
The French Polynesia is made of 5 island groups, the popular Society Islands where Tahiti, Moorea and Bora Bora are, the Tuamoto Archipelago, the Gambier Islands, the Marquesas and the Austral Islands. 118 islands make up the French Polynesia. 67 of these islands are inhabited. It’s a paradise for tourists to visit. The islands of Bora Bora and Moorea are incredibly beautiful with sea life and blue lagoons.
The local currency is the CHP franc. In Tahiti, some businesses accept US dollars.
Bonnie uses the XE Currency Conversion and has this app on her phone when she travels
Food in the French Polynesia
You can’t go without trying the National dish, Poisson Cru. It’s fresh raw fish with lime juice, coconut milk, cucumber, tomato, and peppers. It’s delicious!
Remember it’s an island so they have to import steak. Fresh seafood is the thing to enjoy. It’s fresh and delicious. There is a French influence in the food with fresh baguette, croissants, and crepes. Don’t miss the fresh fruit juices! They are the best! Buy some local rum and enjoy cocktails with fresh fruit juice every day on your deck. Enjoy the pineapple and coconuts too! The pineapple is way better than the pineapple in the USA. It tastes better and get this- no canker sores when you eat it.
Food is expensive in the French Polynesia. Try to upgrade your hotel status to get free breakfast. ( Bonnie did a status match with Hilton so continental breakfast was complimentary with Gold Status) You can read about it here, Moorea, French Polynesia a romantic and magical destination. Don’t miss the 2 for 1 happy hour cocktails offered at most of the resort hotels.
What to Buy
The black pearl is famous along with colored Tahitian pearls. Bonnie found Nancy’s Creations in Moorea and purchased her handmade earrings direct from Nancy. Bonnie’s favorite souvenirs to buy on her travels are handmade jewelry from a local artist. It makes it even more special when you meet the artist that made it. She highly recommends going to Nancy’s Creations when in Moorea. Moorea has better pricing than Bora Bora when it comes to buying Pearls.
Hand Painted Pareo’s are beautiful and not made in China. They make the perfect gift. Some resorts offer how to wear a pareo demonstrations.
Hand Painted Seed jewelry
Tahitian Vanilla and Noni Juice
Fresh fruit juice during your stay and local Rum
There is a great store in the Tahitian Duty-Free store that offers wood art, jewelry, pottery and items made by artists that live on various islands in the French Polynesia. If you are in Tahiti visit the Tahitian marketplace.
What to pack
Here is a list of items you should take on your vacation to the French Polynesia
It’s expensive to buy it in the resorts.
enjoy a large breakfast, play all day and bring snacks to enjoy in your room at sunset, then have a dinner later in the evening. Good things to bring are nuts, seeds, or buy baguettes at the local store.
A Guide Book
Lonely Planet Guidebook on Tahiti and the French Polynesia– Get some more travel tips and advice. Bonnie’s love the travel guides from Lonely Planet.
Bring a Sunhat
Wallaroo hats are Bonnie’s favorite you can buy the Women’s Trilogy Trilby on Amazon.
Want Gary’s hat? It’s the Head N Home Cabana Sol Air. It’s his favorite packable lightweight sun hat. Perfect for a golfer too
– most high-end resorts will have them. It is great to have your own private deck.
Don’t forget a good book
There is plenty of relaxation and downtime when you have an overwater bungalow.
Bonnie’s Favorite Bug Spray is Skin So Soft by Avon, it’s easily packable too.
and maybe more than just one!
Buy duty-free alcohol
at the airport in LA – you will save money on cocktails!
Don’t bring high heels, dressy sandals and flip-flops are all you need
Summer Sun dress
are perfect for the evenings. Green and blues will photograph nicely with the water in the background. Nordstrom Rack is a great place to shop for inexpensive dresses.
Bring a sun shirt or rash guard!
Just in case you get sunburnt or for protection against those long days in the sun.
Bonnie always travels with a mini bose sound link stereo
You need this for your private deck! She used it every day on vacation in the French Polynesia.
A float for two
Get a swan or flamingo. This floating heart is perfect for your honeymoon or anniversary!
Are you thinking of going to the French Polynesia?
There are many reasons you should visit the French Polynesia. The people are friendly and the language is beautiful. The islands and lagoons are so beautiful it creates a feel of magic and romance just being there. You don’t have to make it a super expensive trip. There are alternatives to the expensive resorts offered on AirBNB or maybe you can score a reward night at the Hilton, IHG or Starwood resorts.
You can read Bonnie’s Moorea, French Polynesia, a magical romantic destination
Going to Bora Bora? Bonnie writes Bora Bora, is it worth it? Find the answer here.
If you enjoyed Bonnie’s travel tips to the French Polynesia contact her and tell her!
If you are going to the French Polynesia have a magical travel experience and enjoy every moment!
Feel free to write Bonnie about your trip!
This was one of her favorite places in the world she has been to and longs to re-visit again!