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Bora Bora - Heaven on a Cheap Budget!

June 04, 2012

Love this beautiful photo of Bora Bora - our daughter  hand feeding large turtles


Bora Bora, an island in the mesmerizing archipelago of Tahiti in the South Pacific, is one of the most beautiful and remote locations in the world. I dreamt about visiting and vacationing in Bora Bora for many years, but it is known for it's highest-priced luxury hotels as much as its beauty and we are family travelers who travel the world on a tiny budget of $23/day per person.

We were so very pleased to discover that Bora Bora and all of Tahitian French Polynesia can be a very family friendly cheap destination without losing any of the world-class luxury and one can actually experience it more authentically outside of the cruise ship or luxury hotel route.

How? We kept to our low budget by couch surfing with an amazing veterinarian and eating like locals ( mainly buying from grocery stores the local, not imported food, like delicious French bread and Tahitian mango jam for breakfast). We also checked out local long stay places and cheap but charming funky hotels on the beach for  a possible long stay in the future and found there are many great low budget options for those willing to look.

You can also visit and hang out at the top luxury hotels without paying the high prices...except maybe a drink ( which even that will be a major splurge as tourist prices are wild). There was hardly anyone at the hotels when we visited, so we pretty much had all the luxury to ourselves.

The beautiful beach where the locals hang out  is always free and we did a wonderful small boat all-day excursion tour where we swam with sharks and visited this family-owned motu ( small islands surrounding the gorgeous blue lagoon), sang polynesian songs and fed these turtles. We had a ball on other days just exploring the island, hanging out with locals and absorbing the unique culture.

Don't eliminate Bora Bora or Tahiti as a destination, just because you are a budget traveler. In my opinion, going budget to Bora Bora is by far the best way to experience it! Happy too that I finally got this favorite photo on our blog. So many happy memories.

Have you been to Bora Bora yet or is it on your bucket list?



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Martin Pietrzak

Great tips on Bora Bora. $23 budget! Wow, congratulations!. I guess couchsurfing.com does really help. We didn't have much luck with it as a family of 3 but we met some great people that way. Regardless, Bora Bora is on our list.

Jeanne @soultravelers3

Thanks Martin! We were very pleasantly surprised that we could do it so luxuriously and cheaply. We also met some amazing people through couch surfing and all of them allowed us to stay longer than normal and all three ( on these Tahitian islands) had a limit of just 2 people.

We also had just joined couchsurfing and were not verified or had much of a profile ( no recommendations etc).

I think it probably did help that we had a long time popular travel blog and Soultravelers3 Youtube channel to verify us.

There are places on couchsurfing where large families can stay ( I have a facebook friend in Cambodia who does that), but with a small family of 3 that can all stay in the same bed, we often ask for an exception for those that just want 2 and get it. We do this with airbnb too.

So maybe try that idea next time! There are lots of cheap options there as well outside of couchsurfing and Bora Bora and French Polynesia rocks!

Steve @ Back-Packer

CS is a great idea for such a destination - though it's sometime quite difficult to get a couch in those areas.
Thx for the tips - Bora, Bora is now on my list! ;)

Wouter

That's fantastic picture! I love these big turtles.

Jeanne @soultravelers3

It really is @Steve! I was surprised that it really was so easy to find couchsurfing stays in Tahiti as we booked everything at the last minute.

I think the island mentality factors into this...so they are eager to connect with new folks for a bit.

Bora Bora should be on everyone's list! ;)

Jeanne @soultravelers3

Thanks @wouter I love them too. I think it is hard not to get a great photo on Bora Bora. ;)

CarolB

Thanks for the tip on couchsurfing! Never heard of them. And thanks for the travel tips for Bora Bora. I would never have thought of Bora Bora as a family "on a budget" trip. Will have to look into this more. But I suspect airfare from my home town will kill any ideas! :(

Jeanne @soultravelers3

We never thought of Bora Bora as a budget place either, but since I wanted to see it, we had to find a way! ;) It was easier than we imagined.

Not sure where you live, but one can get some decent airfare deals there. Also, always when you can stay longer at a place, it helps a lot to defray air costs. Monthly vacation rentals are easy to find there and we ran into an American family on the free beach doing that with their whole extended family....and having a ball..far away from winter at home.

Diana

Hello,
can you help me with a contact info and recommandation for 4 persons between 21 and 28 december in Bora Bora and from 28 to 8 in Moreea. We are 4 friends from Romania looking for a cheap accommodation
.
Thank you very much! Diana

Jeanne @soultravelers3

Sorry Diana, I am not a travel agent, just a traveler. Why don't you join couchsurfers or look into renting a vacation rental there?

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