Ever wonder what it was like to travel to one of the most sought-after honeymoon destinations? Well, we did, and it was not on either one of our honeymoons. If you love adventure and relaxation, this is the trip for you! Keep in mind that this is a honeymoon destination, so coming across solo travelers is…rare!
And, if you’re thinking that a place like this can’t be done on a budget, here are tips to combat some of those misconceptions:
- Look for discounted airfare on travel sites such as Travelocity, Expedia, Travelzoo
- Track flights using Google Flights
- Use miles to book accommodations at a resort
- Book fares, or small guesthouses, “resorts” for budget travelers and eat most of your meals there if it’s included
- Borrow or rent bicycles from your hotel, this is actually one of the best ways to get around the island!
- If you plan on island hopping more than us, consider getting an island hopping pass
- Don’t pay for the $13+ a day breakfast your hotel offers, you will find plenty of places to get food for cheaper!
- Air Tahiti offers a free ferry shuttle from the airport to the mainland
In the summer of 2011, we traveled for 6 days through the islands of Tahiti and Moorea, located in French Polynesia. Being east coasters, it was not super easy to get there. We had to fly 6 hours to Los Angeles first, then an additional 8 hour flight to Fa’a’ā International Airport, also known as Tahiti International Airport, the international airport of French Polynesia.
PRO TIP: Since we had to go to Los Angeles first, we decided to make a trip out of that and stayed for a few days before flying out to Tahiti. BONUS TRIP!
This was one of very few trips we booked through the travel site: Travelzoo. We got discounted round trip tickets on Air Tahiti Nui out of Los Angeles International Airport. When we arrived at the airport in Tahiti we were greeted by ukulele musicians and, singers, and lei necklaces.
For this trip, we planned to stick to our usual budget hostel accommodations. However, we quickly found that hostels are RARE. You can find small guesthouse accommodations (more for the budget traveler) and resorts. We were very lucky in that a family member provided us with their award miles and booked us a hotel at Le Meridien Tahiti – one of the NICEST places we have ever stayed (we would not have been able to afford this place had we not had the miles for it).
We spent our first full day in Tahiti exploring the grounds at the hotel. We laid on the beach and used kayaks and snorkeling gear (free!) at the resort.
Later in the afternoon, we took a guided day tour of Tahiti with Tahiti Safari Expeditions. This was super cool, very jurassic-park like! We were conveniently picked up at our hotel by our driver and guide and rode in the jeep all day through the mountains and jungle viewing beautiful landscapes, flora, and waterfalls.
The next few days we enjoyed snorkeling, kayaking, and biking around the island. Our hotel, Le Meridien Tahitit, also offered Polynesian Dinner & Dance shows, which we took full advantage of!