My Spending Breakdown While Travelling in Bora Bora

Travelling in Bora Bora has always been a dream of mine since 2015. There’s just one problem. It’s too damn expensive to go there! So how can someone that makes between 30-50k a year (I work in fitness so my salary fluctuates a lot) afford to go to this dream travel destination? The answer might seem simple at first glance which is to save points. However, saving points is not enough for this trip. Even if you earn enough points for a free night’s stay at an overwater bungalow, you have two big problems.

First, redemption at an overwater bungalow is nearly impossible. Most hotel points programs require you to redeem at their beach bungalow instead of an overwater bungalow. What most people do is get hotel elite status and hope to get upgraded to an overwater property. That was my initial strategy and was aiming to earn some Hilton points from American credit cards along with Diamond Status from the AMEX Hilton Honours Aspire Card. After 7 years of waiting, luck was on my side and just for one night, I could have booked directly at an overwater bungalow property using my IHG points. As you can see, the rest is history and below is the spending breakdown of my dream trip to Bora Bora.

My 4 days spending breakdown while travelling in Bora Bora

  • Flight from Vancouver to San Francisco (Air Canada) to Tahiti (United Airlines) in Economy for one – 10,650 XPF ($120.36 CAD + 50,000 Aeroplan Points, $87.01 USD)
  • Money exchange fee at Tahiti airport (USD to XPF) – 850 XPF ($9.61 CAD, $6.95 USD)
  • Taxi to Mahana Lodge Hostel from the airport – 1,250 XPF ($14.13 CAD, $10.21 USD)
  • Taxi to airport from Mahana Lodge Hostel – 1,250 XPF ($14.13 CAD, $10.21 USD)
  • Mahana Lodge Hostel & Backpackers – 3,937 XPF ($44.50 CAD, $32.17 USD)
  • Tahiti to Bora Bora flight (Air Tahiti) – 29,360 RBC Avion points
  • Taxi to Intercontinental Bora Bora Le Moanna Resort – 1250 XPF ($14.13 CAD, $10.21 USD)
  • INTERCONTINENTAL BORA BORA RESORT THALASSO SPA – 120,000 IHG points (Free night stay at an overwater bungalow)
  • Breakfast at Bora Bora Resort Thalasso Spa – 3,850 XPF ($43.51 CAD, $31.45 USD)
  • Dinner at Bora Bora Resort Thalasso Spa – 11,395 XPF ($128.78 CAD, $93.10 USD)
  • Roundtrip ferry from Le Moanna and Thalasso – 3,420 XPF ($38.65 CAD, $27.94 USD)
  • Airbnb in Bora Bora – 11,180 XPF ($126.35 CAD, $91.34 USD)
  • Groceries in Bora Bora – 625 XPF ($7.06 CAD, $5.10 USD)
  • Chinese food in Bora Bora – 2,200 XPF ($24.86 CAD, $17.97 USD)
  • Lagoonarium Tour – 10,000 XPF ($113.01 CAD, $81.70 USD)
  • Bora Bora to Tahiti flight (Air Tahiti) – 5,326 XPF ($60.20 CAD + 25,660 RBC Avion points, $43.52 USD)
  • McDonald’s in Tahiti airport – 1,110 XPF ($12.54 CAD, $9.07 USD)
  • Money exchange fee at Tahiti airport (XPF to USD) – 850 XPF ($9.61 CAD, $6.95 USD)
  • Alaska Airlines flight with Air Tahiti Nui from Tahiti to Los Angeles for two people in Economy – 14,974 XPF ($169.23 CAD, $122.34 USD + 60,000 Alaska Miles)
  • Westjet Flight from Los Angeles to Vancouver for two in Economy – 15,485 XPF ($175 CAD + 272 Westjet Dollars, $126.51 USD)

Expenses that’s split in half between Karen and myself:

  • Airbnb in Bora Bora split between two people – 5,590 XPF ($63.18 CAD, $45.67 USD)
  • Air Tahiti Nui flight with Alaska Airlines for two people in economy per person – 7,487 XPF ($84.62 CAD, $61.17 USD)
  • Westjet Flight from LAX to YVR for two in Economy per person – 7,742 XPF ($87.50 CAD, $63.26 USD)

Travelling in Bora Bora

Total cost of travelling in Bora Bora with flights

  • 78,786 ($890.37 CAD, $643.67 USD)

The average daily cost of travelling in Bora Bora with flights

  • 19,696 XPF ($222.59 CAD, $160.92 USD)

Total cost of travelling in Bora Bora without international flights

  • 47,578 XPF ($537.69 CAD, $388.71 USD)

The average daily cost of travelling in Bora Bora without international flights

  • 11,894 XPF ($134.42 CAD, $97.18USD)

Total points and miles spent while travelling in Bora Bora

  • 50,000 Aeroplan points, 120,000 IHG points, 55,020 RBC Avion points, 272 Westjet Dollars

Travelling in Bora Bora

Conclusion

As you can see, the most expensive part of travelling in Bora Bora is the flights. I literally took 4 flights just to reach the island. Of course, the cost of each flight will add up. The excursion is amazingly priced fairly and I highly recommend them as it was the highlight of my trip to Bora Bora. 90% of the tourists that came to Bora Bora came as a couple so if you come alone, you’d definitely feel out of place or awkward. There are 5% of the people that go as a family which also includes a couple. The last 5% are random backpackers not staying at the resorts and doing the adventure activities such as hiking, snorkelling, diving, and driving an ATV around the island. I did a rough estimation that had I not used points, the entire trip would have cost $5000. So I think I did a pretty good job considering the savings.

The big elephant in the room is why I only came for 4 days and 3 nights. And the main reason is my girlfriend and I were out of vacation time and this was all we can spare for this trip. Honestly, I was perfectly happy with it while my girlfriend said one more night would have been nice. I’m open to coming back to French Polynesia one day but I’d explore Mo’orea and Tahiti instead. This would make the trip significantly cheaper as Mo’orea is just a ferry away from Tahiti. Since I’ve ticked off staying in an overwater bungalow, I don’t feel the need to stay in a resort which would further reduce the cost of a future trip.

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1 thought on “My Spending Breakdown While Travelling in Bora Bora”

  1. We enjoyed Bora Bora as well back in 2017. We used Air Tahiti Pass for $500 USD which gave us 3 islands. We rented a scooter on Bora Bora island, and we stayed at an over-the-water-bungalow on the island of Huahine, which is much cheaper. We could snorkel right off from our bedroom/living room. We like Moorea a lot too.

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