This past June, Ben and I traveled to French Polynesia for two glorious weeks. This was a particularly special trip (which I know everyone says about their honeymoon); however, ours was unique in that, instead of doing wedding gifts, we only registered to Wanderable to pay for our voyage. For those of you that don't know, Wanderable is a website that allows you to register for honeymoon activities as opposed to toaster ovens. This made our travel all the more meaningful because our friends and family were the ones who sent us on our honeymoon! Every activity, meal and drink made us think of the people who gifted us that particular memory. It was the perfect way for us to celebrate our seven year relationship.
More and more couples have been asking me about our journey because more and more couples want to go to Bora Bora! Here is the behind the scenes scoop on our trip:
We used a travel agent. Using a travel agent was the best thing we could have done. Now, I know what you're thinking if you're a budget bride like me, "Can we afford a fancy travel agent? Can't I just go on Kayak and save a bunch of money that way?" The answer is no, you can't; I tried. I attempted to book the same trip for the same amount of time and ended up almost paying MORE than if I had used an agent. Furthermore, on the islands, there are no cabs so you need to set up transportation to your hotel before you get there. Travel agents help you avoid those crazy long distance calls to Tahiti. Jessica from McCabe World Travel in Northern Virginia planned our entire trip! It was seamless. We got little perks everywhere we went and the only thing that was less than desirable was the flight and, until we discover teleportation, there is no way around that.
We flew into Tahiti and only stayed one night. Ideally, you want to spend as much time on other islands as possible because Tahiti is more urban and less idyllic (although it was pretty stunning to us even after 24+ hours of travel). We then flew straight to Moorea for a week. You can take a ferry or flight but they are about the same amount of time and money. We did most of our land activities in Moorea which were all amazing. You can book all activities when you arrive through your hotel. We stayed at the Intercontinental in both Moorea and Bora Bora.
Many future honeymooners have asked which island we liked better and the verdict is... it's a tie. I liked Moorea; Ben liked Bora Bora. There is more exploring to do in Moorea; it feels way more local and authentic whereas Bora Bora is more relaxing and iconic. Both are stunning and if you can do both then DO IT. In Moorea, we swam with dolphins, made a custom pareo, went hiking, saw a traditional Polynesian show and rode ATVs. The best thing we did was the Lagoonarium. Although we saved most of our water activities for Bora Bora, this was the best most affordable snorkeling ever. My GoPro photo from that day is used on our thank you cards!
We then flew local air to Bora Bora for a week and stayed at the Intercontinental again in one of the overwater bungalows! The hotel was incredible. There are two Intercontinental hotels on Bora Bora: La Moana and Thalasso. We stayed in La Moana and it couldn't have been a better fit. Don't get me wrong, Thalasso is stunning and, from what I could gather, more expensive. However, La Moana is more of a beach bungalow vibe and Thalasso is more modern comfort living. La Moana is also on the mainland so you don't need a boat to take you to the island if you want to eat at a restaurant outside of the resort. We had the good fortune to visit both because our new honeymoon friends were at the other Intercontinental.
In Bora Bora, we did most of our relaxing and eating. We of course rented jet skis, snorkeled and took a boat tour but the rooms are so stunning you hardly ever want to leave! The coffee table opens right up to the ocean and the resorts have free paddle boards and kayak as well! It was a dream. The weather was perfect in June but it was not whale watching season so keep that in mind if that is a make or break activity for you!
The only regret I have about the trip is that it will take us forever to go back. I hope you enjoyed this virtual vacation! If you're considering going to either island, don't hesitate to reach out with questions or contact a travel agent!