Published On: Mon, Aug 28th, 2017

5 Ways to Enjoy Bora Bora for Less

PHOTO: Four Season Bora Bora Tahiti. (photo via Flickr/Arnie Papp)

Famous for its turquoise waters, ocean wildlife and overwater bungalows, Bora Bora is a destination popular for honeymooners and travelers celebrating a special anniversary or milestone.

Unfortunately, it is easily one of the most expensive destinations in the world: $1,000-per-night hotels, $30 cocktails and $60 dinner entrees are the norm.

Still, it’s possible to save on Bora Bora with some planning and forward thinking. Here are 5 ways to see the pearl of French Polynesia for less, and without sacrificing too much:

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Leverage Airline Miles and Flexible Travel Credit

Airfare is one of the most expensive components of any Bora Bora vacation. No matter where you fly from in the United States, it’s difficult to avoid paying less than $2,000 to round-trip to Tahiti, then Bora Bora.

One part of the struggle is the fact that, even if you use airline miles to fly to Tahiti, you cannot avoid paying for the round-trip flight to Bora Bora (around $400 per person) on Air Tahiti.

Research your options and come up with a strategy that will let you pay for part of your trip with airline miles. Both Air France and Air Tahiti Nui fly to Tahiti from the mainland, which means you may be able to use airline miles from Delta, Air France/Flying Blue, American Airlines or partner airlines to book part of your flight.

READ MORE: Celebrating 50 Years of Tahiti’s Overwater Bungalows

Sign Up for a Hotel Credit Card

Hotels are also pricey in Bora Bora, but you can book free nights with specific travel credit cards. InterContinental Hotels Group has properties (InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa, InterContinental Le Moana Resort) in Bora Bora, as does Hilton (Conrad Bora Bora Nui). Marriott also offers Le Meridian Bora Bora as an option.

To book free nights, you can sign up for the rewards cards associated with these loyalty programs and start racking up points.

Book a Special Promotion or Package Deal

While a quick glance at Bora Bora hotel prices might make you feel overwhelmed, it’s important to check and compare what’s included in individual packages.

Why? Because some deals are a lot better than others.

The top-rated Four Seasons Resort Bora Bora, for example, is currently offering a 4th-night free package that includes breakfast, lunch and dinner for two (excluding beverages). When you add up the value of a free 4th night and having all your food included, the average nightly rate becomes a significantly better deal.

Rent an Airbnb

While not as luxurious an option, there are many affordable rental condos on Bora Bora you can book through Airbnb or VRBO. Starting at around $100 per night plus cleaning and taxes, these properties will give you more living area but come with a lot fewer amenities.

If you’re traveling with family, having a rental condo with separate bedrooms for the kids might be a smart move in terms of familial harmony. Having your own kitchen can also help you save since it will allow you to cook some of your own meals.

READ MORE: Best 6 IHG Rewards Redemptions for a Luxury Getaway

With snacks, meals and alcohol so expensive in Bora Bora, it makes sense to bring your own food from home. Having a bag full of granola bars or trail mix could save you from splurging on a $38 hamburger for lunch.

Pack foods that will stay fresh in your luggage and bring along your own booze. You can fly to the country with two bottles of wine or liquor in your checked luggage, but you can also buy it at the airport and bring it with you duty-free.

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