French Polynesia Budget: What does it cost to visit French Polynesia

French Polynesia is a bucket list destination for many. In fact, it is primarily seen as a “honeymoon destination” thanks to Bora Bora and their fabulous overwater bungalows. But there is so much more to French Polynesia than Bora Bora, and we think anyone should visit to explore these beautiful islands! If you’re planning a trip to French Polynesia, here is what you can expect to spend.

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Bora Bora Overwater Bungalow

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We spent 10 days in French Polynesia. We are mid-range travelers, we like to splurge every once in a while but otherwise just look for comfortable places to stay. We don’t try to travel on a “budget”, we simply like to keep track of what we spent while we travel.

We broke up our spending into 5 categories:

  • Accommodations
  • Dining Out
  • Groceries
  • Activities and Excursions
  • Transportation

Is French Polynesia expensive?

When visiting French Polynesia, it can seem like it’s really expensive! Bora Bora is a popular honeymoon destination with gorgeous luxury overwater bungalows, but there are also a ton of low-cost accommodations on the islands. We found that there is a little bit of every budget in terms of accommodation. And while at first glance it can seem that French Polynesia is really expensive, we think it’s definitely possible to visit French Polynesia on a budget.

Accommodation in French Polynesia

Accomomodations can easily take over a good chunk of your budget. While most people assume French Polynesia hotels are really expensive, there is actually a nice variety of accommodations depending on your budget. We stayed at 6 different accommodations over our 10 nights, and besides our overwater bungalow, it came out to about $150/night. We did decide to splurge on the overwater bungalow for $1000/night which obviously increased our average.

For 10 nights, including 1 night in an overwater bungalow, we spent $2440, coming out to $240/night.

You can search for your French Polynesia accommodations here:

Food/Drinks in French Polynesia

We actually found the food and drink prices to be really reasonable in French Polynesia. Bora Bora seemed to be more expensive, especially at the resorts, but if you go off the resorts, you’ll find some great places without a hefty price tag. For example: We ordered 2 tuna dishes and 2 cocktails on Mo’orea and spent $64 USD.

We spent a total of $973 over the course of 10 days, coming out to $97/day on food and drinks.

Bora Bora Beach club

Groceries in French Polynesia

We generally like to pick up a few necessities and groceries when we first arrive, that way we can cook a little for ourselves, and we can save some money on eating out. We mostly purchased some liquor, beer, bottled waters, and snacks like chips, meat, cheese, eggs…

We spent $358 on groceries.

Excursions and Activities in French Polynesia

We did 2 excursions while in French Polynesia: The Huahine Nautique Tour and Whale Watching in Moorea. We definitely highly recommend both excursions, especially the whale watching, as we got to swim with humpback whales! It was unreal!

We spent a total of $498 for the 2 excursions, for the 2 of us.

Moorea Moana Tours Swimming with Whales


If you decide to visit multiple islands around Tahiti, the transportation can get expensive. You can take the ferry between Tahiti and Mo’orea but otherwise you’ll need to buy flights. Air Tahiti has multiple different multi-island passes, that come out to cheaper for the pass than if you bought each flight individually. There are some stipulations for the multi-island pass, like can’t go to an island twice and must start or stop in Tahiti, but all of that is posted on their website.

Because we traveled around some much, we spent quite a bit on transportation. We ferried to Mo’orea and then had 3 different flights to the other islands. We spent $460/person on the multi-island pass. Our transportation costs also include the ferry tickets, rental car, gas, taxi, and airport transfer. For all of that we spent $1240 ($620/person).

If you want to see a total breakdown of what we spent in French Polynesia, you can download our budget guide here

Huahine Yacht Club

French Polynesia is a bucket list destination for most people. A lot of people want to visit Bora Bora for the overwater bungalows. And while those are nice, some of the other islands are wonderful too! Our favorite ended up being Huahine. The weather in Mo’orea was not that great for the 3 days we were there, so kind of put a damper on it, because Mo’orea is a fan favorite! But no matter your budget, you can still visit and enjoy French Polynesia without spending too much money!

Tips for visiting French Polynesia on a budget

If you want to visit French Polynesia, but it’s a little out of your budget, here are some tips to save on your trip:

  • Travel in the off-season
  • Book in advance to get the best deals
  • Keep your travel to only a few islands
  • Book your accommodations at pension (family run properties)
  • Go to the grocery story and cook most of your meals

If you’re planning a trip to French Polynesia, make sure you read these posts:

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