You can’t. Just don’t go. Kidding! Bora Bora is one of the most expensive destinations on earth and if you emulate the trip we took for our wedding and honeymoon in Bora Bora, you’re sure to spend well beyond what would be deemed a “budget trip.” BUT, you’re in luck. It is 100% possible to visit Bora Bora on a budget! Here’s how:
The flight from Los Angeles to Tahiti is direct and almost exactly 8 hours. From Tahiti, the flight to Bora Bora is only about 50 minutes. The combined 2 flights typically range anywhere between $1200 – 2000. If you’re traveling from anywhere else in the US or abroad, your flight will likely be both longer and more expensive.
It’s likely that you’ll reserve a trip to Bora Bora for a special occasion (a wedding, honeymoon, anniversary, family reunion, etc.), so the “budget” aspect probably won’t be as severe as when you were 20 years old gallivanting around Europe in a backpack. It’s also likely that you’ll have time to plan and save both money and airline/hotel miles. The best way to visit Bora Bora on a budget is to make sure your flight is free! We used the Chase Sapphire Reserve sign-up bonus (which was 100,000 miles at the time) and some Amex miles we had to book 2 free flights for our wedding/honeymoon.
The outer island Motu Piti A’au is where you’ll find some of the finest 5-star resorts in the world like the Four Seasons Bora Bora. These resorts have nightly price tags that start in the $1500 price range, so you’ll definitely want to avoid this outer motu and look for accommodation on the main island.
You might be surprised to know that there are plenty of Airbnb options on Bora Bora’s main island. Sign up for Airbnb and we both get travel credit!
We just did a search for Airbnbs on Bora Bora’s main island and found 66 options that fall into the “entire home” category. We prefer our privacy, so 9 times out of 10, we opt for the entire home. Prices on these properties are as cheap as $100/night!! You can literally stay in Bora Bora for 2 weeks for the price of 1 night at Four Seasons Bora Bora. Of course, the quality is massively disparate, but if you’re looking to visit Bora Bora on a budget, there are some amazing options!
Airbnb even offers boats where you can sleep on the boat and cruise around, dive, etc. For those like Alex who get severely seasick, this wouldn’t be the best option, but if you have a strong stomach, it would be a great bucket list experience!
Bora Bora is an island that is teeming with fish and other aquatic life. Go out spearfishing (or even just good old fashioned regular fishing) and catch yourself some mahi-mahi, yellowfin tuna, blue marlin, or barracuda! Then, grab yourself some rice and vegetables from a market and cook yourself an epic dinner at your Airbnb.
Rather than venturing on an expensive all-day tour around the island of Bora Bora, hire a boat and sail yourself around the island. You can get a small boat for a full day for as cheap as $250 while even a half-day tour to swim with sharks and stingrays could easily cost $300/person. If you’re traveling with a group, rent a decent sized boat and split the cost. You can sail around the island like Captain Cook, catch some mahi-mahi for dinner, and swim with black tip sharks and string rays.
Good news…the ocean and the mountain are free! You can swim and hike to your heart’s content. Some of the best free things to do in Bora Bora include: