Going to Tahiti and we're budget travelers

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
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MrsRoos
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Going to Tahiti and we're budget travelers

Post by MrsRoos » Sun Feb 26, 2017 12:48 pm

We've booked a last minute trip to the island of Tahiti and will be there for 9 days and we might make a day trip to Moorea. We have also booked our lodging. Here are some questions for you BHs:

1) what sights are not to be missed on the Tahiti island and Moorea?
2) most economical rental car agency to use? It seems that most cars are manual transmissions. Automatics cost ~ $200 more for our stay.
3) how to best spend our dollars on a very expensive island?

Thanks in advance!
“Anyone who believes in indefinite growth in anything physical, on a physically finite planet, is either mad or an economist.” - Kenneth Boulding

123
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Re: Going to Tahiti and we're budget travelers

Post by 123 » Sun Feb 26, 2017 12:51 pm

Don''t forget to check out the beaches...
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arcticpineapplecorp.
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Re: Going to Tahiti and we're budget travelers

Post by arcticpineapplecorp. » Sun Feb 26, 2017 12:57 pm

MrsRoos wrote:We've booked a last minute trip to the island of Tahiti and will be there for 9 days and we might make a day trip to Moorea. We have also booked our lodging. Here are some questions for you BHs:

1) what sights are not to be missed on the Tahiti island and Moorea?
2) most economical rental car agency to use? It seems that most cars are manual transmissions. Automatics cost ~ $200 more for our stay.
3) how to best spend our dollars on a very expensive island?

Thanks in advance!

Can't help you with #1 or #2 (you might want to call Clark Howard about those).
As for #3...use a credit card that gives you cash back and has no foreign currency conversion fee.
"Invest we must." -- Jack Bogle | “The purpose of investing is not to simply optimise returns and make yourself rich. The purpose is not to die poor.” -- William Bernstein

MrsRoos
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Re: Going to Tahiti and we're budget travelers

Post by MrsRoos » Sun Feb 26, 2017 1:15 pm

123 wrote:Don''t forget to check out the beaches...

Haha, thanks for the reminder but I don't think we will "forget" to check out the beaches. :D
“Anyone who believes in indefinite growth in anything physical, on a physically finite planet, is either mad or an economist.” - Kenneth Boulding

selftalk
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Re: Going to Tahiti and we're budget travelers

Post by selftalk » Sun Feb 26, 2017 1:39 pm

Stowe away on a freighter ship going there. That`ll save a lot. Just kidding of course. Have a nice time.

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mhc
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Re: Going to Tahiti and we're budget travelers

Post by mhc » Mon Feb 27, 2017 9:28 am

Didn't spend much time on Tahiti, so can't help there.

On Moorea, we did a jeep tour and a boat tour that we really enjoyed. I would recommend both. I would guess they would have similar tours on Tahiti. We did not have a car on Moorea. We either walked, used a taxi or shuttle.

On the other island we went to, the hotel could only be accessed by boat. We didn't use a car there either.

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Re: Going to Tahiti and we're budget travelers

Post by shorty313 » Mon Feb 27, 2017 9:51 am

We only stayed in Tahiti one night either end of the trip to fly in/out so I'm no help there. We went for our honeymoon 15 years ago and hope to go back someday! It's beautiful.

We didn't rent a car. On Moorea we did rent a scooter one day and drove the loop road to see the sights ourselves. For everything else we walked or used taxi.

Food can be expensive...a few lunches we just went to the local grocery and bought baguette, cheese and salami and made our own sandwiches.

Enjoy your trip!

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Re: Going to Tahiti and we're budget travelers

Post by an_asker » Mon Feb 27, 2017 9:55 am

You've got me curious. Though I've heard of the place, I've never even considered it, so I have got to ask - why Tahiti? :confused And what sort of ticket prices did you get considering you said you are budget travelers?

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Re: Going to Tahiti and we're budget travelers

Post by Vanguard Fan 1367 » Mon Feb 27, 2017 10:24 am

I enjoyed my Tahiti vacation. We swam and enjoyed the black sand beaches. We also rented a car and drove completely around the island. I enjoyed that.
I have a memory of a boat tour where they talked about the divers for coral who free dive 100 feet or so to get this coral. Since I free dive they got my attention by saying that this extreme free diving eventually leads to brain damage. I mostly limit my free diving to below 30 feet though.

So if you like beautiful scenery, car rides around the island, black sand beaches, and mountains it is a great place to go. I haven't been there for a while so perhaps there is some sort of tourist attraction other than what I have mentioned but to me that is enough.

Someone asks why you would want to go there. It sure is beautiful as are many islands in this world. We were doing a Pacific Tour with stops in Hawaii and New Zealand in addition to Tahiti.
Last edited by Vanguard Fan 1367 on Mon Feb 27, 2017 10:26 am, edited 1 time in total.

centrifuge41
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Re: Going to Tahiti and we're budget travelers

Post by centrifuge41 » Mon Feb 27, 2017 10:24 am

Yeah, I've spent a few days on Tahiti (the main island), and stayed at the then-Radisson resort. But back then, you could pull a free stopover between Auckland and LAX with Delta Skymiles.

Went to Moorea for a day trip. Beautiful island.

Tahiti main island is kind of run-down. Papette is a dusty small town. The point of going to French Polynesia is to be in Moorea or Bora Bora. Tahiti is less fun/nice than Hawaii (I've been to Oahu, Hawaii, and Maui).

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JDCarpenter
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Re: Going to Tahiti and we're budget travelers

Post by JDCarpenter » Mon Feb 27, 2017 1:16 pm

centrifuge41 wrote:Yeah, I've spent a few days on Tahiti (the main island), and stayed at the then-Radisson resort. But back then, you could pull a free stopover between Auckland and LAX with Delta Skymiles.

Went to Moorea for a day trip. Beautiful island.

Tahiti main island is kind of run-down. Papette is a dusty small town. The point of going to French Polynesia is to be in Moorea or Bora Bora Rangiroa. ...


FTFY! (if Diving, of course).

OP--enjoy your trip. We were just one day on Tahiti; the market in Papeete was fun though. Moorea--we would second the idea of scootering around the island.
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NoGambleNoFuture
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Re: Going to Tahiti and we're budget travelers

Post by NoGambleNoFuture » Mon Feb 27, 2017 1:22 pm

Nice OP! Looking forward to following this thread.

Planning on a trip with overwater bungalows in Hilton Moorea for honeymoon at the end of the year. Going to be using pure points from CSR to cover entire trip.

For those that have been there often: Assuming one is in Moorea, Tahiti, or Bora Bora - how easy is it to get between islands? I feel like if I'm going that far around the world I want to see two if not three of the group. Seems like almost only option is via flight which adds significantly. Any pro-tips there?

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Re: Going to Tahiti and we're budget travelers

Post by mbres60 » Mon Feb 27, 2017 1:23 pm

We were on a cruise to the South Pacific this past Oct/Nov and stopped in Moorea and Tahiti. They are both beautiful islands. Papeete isn't "beautiful" but once you are out of there the scenery is very nice. Because the islands are so close I would definitely say to hop on over to Moorea. That was my favorite stop. I think there is a ferry that goes between the two. Scenery was stunning.

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Re: Going to Tahiti and we're budget travelers

Post by centrifuge41 » Mon Feb 27, 2017 1:40 pm

Moorea to Tahiti is a ferry ride away (Aremiti). Runs a few times a day, takes a bit over an hour. It was $15 one way when we were there.

Either island to Bora Bora is a short 1 hour flight away on Air Tahiti (not Air Tahiti Nui), but it can cost $350+ round.

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Re: Going to Tahiti and we're budget travelers

Post by TravelGeek » Mon Feb 27, 2017 1:55 pm

NoGambleNoFuture wrote:Nice OP! Looking forward to following this thread.

Planning on a trip with overwater bungalows in Hilton Moorea for honeymoon at the end of the year. Going to be using pure points from CSR to cover entire trip.


Same here (following this thread for future travel ideas).

How are you paying for a Hilton property with Ultimate Rewards points (CSR)?

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Re: Going to Tahiti and we're budget travelers

Post by stm » Mon Feb 27, 2017 2:11 pm

TravelGeek wrote:
NoGambleNoFuture wrote:Nice OP! Looking forward to following this thread.

Planning on a trip with overwater bungalows in Hilton Moorea for honeymoon at the end of the year. Going to be using pure points from CSR to cover entire trip.


Same here (following this thread for future travel ideas).

How are you paying for a Hilton property with Ultimate Rewards points (CSR)?


I'm going to assume cash booking through UR travel portal at the 1.5c redemption rate.

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Re: Going to Tahiti and we're budget travelers

Post by dave_k » Mon Feb 27, 2017 2:14 pm

About 10 years ago my wife and I flew in to Tahiti, stayed on Moorea for a couple weeks, and did a side trip to Bora Bora. We never rented a car, but we rented a buggy and scooters a couple times. We did jeep tours and boat tours - dolphin sighting and swimming with sharks and stingrays. We went kayaking and snorkeling quite often, and the snorkeling was amazing! There were great hikes as well. I loved the over water bungalows.

Food is expensive there, even at the grocery store, but on the island of Tahiti you can get cheaper food in Papeete. It's not generally a low budget kind of place, but if you bring your own snorkeling gear and like to hike and relax on the beach you can have a lot of inexpensive fun, and as I recall the kayaks were either free or pretty cheap to rent from the resorts we were at. You can rent bicycles as well. Have fun!

MrsRoos
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Re: Going to Tahiti and we're budget travelers

Post by MrsRoos » Mon Feb 27, 2017 5:35 pm

an_asker wrote:You've got me curious. Though I've heard of the place, I've never even considered it, so I have got to ask - why Tahiti? :confused And what sort of ticket prices did you get considering you said you are budget travelers?


The Husband and I love the islands and it's a loose goal of ours to visit remote islands of the world. Why Tahiti? The answer is simple - beautiful mountains, hiking, surf, snorkeling, which are all of our favorite things.

Flight from LAX to PPT was $1,315/person and we had used our CSR points to book this through Ultimate Rewards, giving us a 1.5X lower price ($876/tix). We had enough points to redeem, so we did not incur any out of pocket expenses.

Thanks for all the info, so far. We will definitely look into getting a scooter to go around Moorea for a day.
Last edited by MrsRoos on Mon Feb 27, 2017 9:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Going to Tahiti and we're budget travelers

Post by rralex1 » Mon Feb 27, 2017 6:19 pm

Love the subject line. "Going to Tahiti and we're budget travelers". :sharebeer

NoGambleNoFuture
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Re: Going to Tahiti and we're budget travelers

Post by NoGambleNoFuture » Mon Feb 27, 2017 6:21 pm

stm wrote:
TravelGeek wrote:
NoGambleNoFuture wrote:Nice OP! Looking forward to following this thread.

Planning on a trip with overwater bungalows in Hilton Moorea for honeymoon at the end of the year. Going to be using pure points from CSR to cover entire trip.


Same here (following this thread for future travel ideas).

How are you paying for a Hilton property with Ultimate Rewards points (CSR)?


I'm going to assume cash booking through UR travel portal at the 1.5c redemption rate.


Right, exactly. UltimateRewards.Chase.com. Got the 100,000 bonus, spend between 5-8k/month on company travel on CSR on top of my typical spending. Plus, paying for everything for the wedding on the card this year and paying off immediately so there's an extra chunk of points. Between that, I've already got enough points for the trip in just three months and still have 9 months to go.

I always wanted to spend my honeymoon in a hut in the middle of the ocean in French Polynesia, though honestly didn't really ever expect I'd be able to. Stroke of good luck and now it's going to be paid for in full essentially for free :)

Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort and Spa is the name fwiw.

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Re: Going to Tahiti and we're budget travelers

Post by LFKB » Mon Feb 27, 2017 6:32 pm

I'm not a very budget friendly traveler as I usually book business class and nice hotels but I do some almost exclusively on credit card points and air line miles. When we went to Bora Bora, I was able to use my American Airlines miles to book business class tickets from LA to Tahiti. I also used my Citi Prestige Credit Card to get a free night at the Four Seasons in Bora Bora. If you book three nights at any hotel worldwide, you get a fourth night free with that card. Anyways, not sure if you have AA miles or that card but that saved us a ton when we went out there.

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Re: Going to Tahiti and we're budget travelers

Post by TravelGeek » Mon Feb 27, 2017 6:56 pm

NoGambleNoFuture wrote:I always wanted to spend my honeymoon in a hut in the middle of the ocean in French Polynesia, though honestly didn't really ever expect I'd be able to. Stroke of good luck and now it's going to be paid for in full essentially for free :)

Hilton Moorea Lagoon Resort and Spa is the name fwiw.


Nice hut you picked out! :beer

Oh look, I have enough Hilton points for a night in a beach bungalow.

Congratulations on your wedding!

MrsRoos
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Re: Going to Tahiti and we're budget travelers

Post by MrsRoos » Mon Feb 27, 2017 9:14 pm

Any must-see sights on Moorea? Best snorkeling sites?
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LFKB
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Re: Going to Tahiti and we're budget travelers

Post by LFKB » Wed Mar 01, 2017 1:38 am

TravelGeek wrote:
NoGambleNoFuture wrote:Nice OP! Looking forward to following this thread.

Planning on a trip with overwater bungalows in Hilton Moorea for honeymoon at the end of the year. Going to be using pure points from CSR to cover entire trip.


Same here (following this thread for future travel ideas).

How are you paying for a Hilton property with Ultimate Rewards points (CSR)?


Chase UR points transfer 1 to 1 to the Hyatt awards program, you almost always get better value doing this than redeeming thru the portal at 1.5 cents each

TravelGeek
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Re: Going to Tahiti and we're budget travelers

Post by TravelGeek » Wed Mar 01, 2017 1:54 am

LFKB wrote:Chase UR points transfer 1 to 1 to the Hyatt awards program, you almost always get better value doing this than redeeming thru the portal at 1.5 cents each


Agreed; that is why I even forgot about that option ;)

(also, 3rd party booking means no points earned, no stay credit towards status, and no elite benefits)

Bigger problem here, though: there's no Hyatt in Tahiti anymore

https://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelrperry/6597193913

:shock:

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Re: Going to Tahiti and we're budget travelers

Post by mouses » Wed Mar 01, 2017 4:09 am

TravelGeek wrote:Bigger problem here, though: there's no Hyatt in Tahiti anymore

https://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelrperry/6597193913

:shock:


Gee, that's weird. They let a large hotel fall into bits?

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Re: Going to Tahiti and we're budget travelers

Post by Vanguard Fan 1367 » Wed Mar 01, 2017 10:00 am

mouses wrote:
TravelGeek wrote:Bigger problem here, though: there's no Hyatt in Tahiti anymore

https://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelrperry/6597193913

:shock:


Gee, that's weird. They let a large hotel fall into bits?


A few years ago I thought it "weird" that Port Lucaya in the Bahamas had a number of hotels/large buildings that were crumbling.

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Phineas J. Whoopee
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Re: Going to Tahiti and we're budget travelers

Post by Phineas J. Whoopee » Thu Mar 02, 2017 12:51 am

I spent three days and two nights in French Polynesia (I'm using the official term because otherwise individual island names might be misleading) as a no-extra-airline-charge stopover on my way back from Australia (my seventh continent woo hoo!) to the US. The A340 was scheduled for an all-day layover with refueling, resupplying, recrewing, reluggaging, and repassengering there anyway.

It was too hot for me. I was happy I paid a little extra for a room with an air conditioner. Many budget hotels there don't offer them.

The scenery was fantastic on Tahiti Nui (Big Tahiti), Tahiti Iti (Little Tahiti, a peninsula, and one alleged source of our English term itty bitty), and the very nearby Moorea, but there wasn't much last-moment transportation on the latter. I ended up hiking a few miles from the ferry terminal along the road and beach. I captured a great photo of a horse with a goat standing right under it. Maybe if I had planned an adventure instead of doing things spontaneously my excursion to Moorea would have been more, well, adventurous, but only in a planned sort of way.

In the capital city Papeete, on Nui, I bought a small black pearl, which was my souvenir objective on the visit. It's roughly oval, as I expected, and cost me around $20. At the low end the market's pretty competitive. I remember the salesperson making a completely understandable bilingual order-of-magnitude error in foreign exchange and at first thinking I was only looking to spend $2, which was enough to buy a tiny broken one. They had some on offer.

There's an area in the city, near the beach, with food carts, where the people who live there go, especially at night, when it was still too hot for me. One nice, and inexpensive, dinner I had there was steak-frites. My other meals were built from reasonably-priced local fresh seafood.

One can, if one wants, spend an arbitrarily large quantity of money. It may be good for bragging rights. I prefer to brag about all the places I've visited without having broken the bank.

PJW

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Re: Going to Tahiti and we're budget travelers

Post by centrifuge41 » Thu Mar 02, 2017 9:11 am

Sometimes there's taxis at the Moorea ferry terminals. Public transportation (Le Truck) doesn't exist. You might be able to find a nice islander willing to take you around a bit by trying to hitchhike. It's safe. We were graciously picked up by a wonderful French couple, who brought us to the pineapple farm, and up to Belvedere Lookout, along with a 5 minute stop at the beach on the northeast of Moorea, before heading back to the ferry terminal.

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Re: Going to Tahiti and we're budget travelers

Post by MrsRoos » Fri Mar 03, 2017 2:29 am

centrifuge41 wrote:Sometimes there's taxis at the Moorea ferry terminals. Public transportation (Le Truck) doesn't exist.



Phineas J. Whoopee wrote: The scenery was fantastic on Tahiti Nui (Big Tahiti), Tahiti Iti (Little Tahiti, a peninsula, and one alleged source of our English term itty bitty), and the very nearby Moorea, but there wasn't much last-moment transportation on the latter. I ended up hiking a few miles from the ferry terminal along the road and beach. I captured a great photo of a horse with a goat standing right under it. Maybe if I had planned an adventure instead of doing things spontaneously my excursion to Moorea would have been more, well, adventurous, but only in a planned sort of way.


How and what would one plan to see Moorea on a day trip? Are there scooters for rent?
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Re: Going to Tahiti and we're budget travelers

Post by an_asker » Fri Mar 03, 2017 10:04 am

Phineas J. Whoopee wrote:I spent three days and two nights in French Polynesia (I'm using the official term because otherwise individual island names might be misleading) as a no-extra-airline-charge stopover on my way back from Australia (my seventh continent woo hoo!) to the US. The A340 was scheduled for an all-day layover with refueling, resupplying, recrewing, reluggaging, and repassengering there anyway.

That's lucky/smart. How did you plan it? Or are you saying it was completely unplanned?
[...]
Phineas J. Whoopee wrote:One can, if one wants, spend an arbitrarily large quantity of money. It may be good for bragging rights. I prefer to brag about all the places I've visited without having broken the bank.

PJW
I am assuming you participated in the vacation budget thread :oops:

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Phineas J. Whoopee
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Re: Going to Tahiti and we're budget travelers

Post by Phineas J. Whoopee » Fri Mar 03, 2017 6:30 pm

an_asker wrote:...
That's lucky/smart. How did you plan it? Or are you saying it was completely unplanned?
...

My original plan was to spend 15 days away from home, and that's how it turned out. When I sought out flights I could get with my accumulated frequent flyer miles, one "partner" airline didn't require me to use as many, so I chose it, Air Tahiti Nui, noting at the time the Tahiti stopover. All I did was move a couple of days from the Australia column to the Tahiti column, but yes, the airline reservation reflected my intent to linger there for a bit. Bound up with that was researching hotels, things to do, and one nature tour I paid for. I still hit my main objectives in Australia with no problem, and even had a restful two-night vacation-within-a-vacation in Alice Springs.

Normally I like to plan out the big parts, like fights and where to sleep, make plans for things I'd especially like to do, then leave the rest rather loose. Moorea turned out to be a bit of a disappointment that day, but these things happen sometimes when you show up to see what's available. They're made up for by the amazing experiences that result from the same approach.

PJW

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Phineas J. Whoopee
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Re: Going to Tahiti and we're budget travelers

Post by Phineas J. Whoopee » Fri Mar 03, 2017 6:43 pm

MrsRoos wrote:...
How and what would one plan to see Moorea on a day trip? Are there scooters for rent?

centrifuge41 may know. I didn't plan the particulars, and anyway it was years ago.

TripAdvisor makes several suggestions. I only had a few hours on Moorea because my flight back to the US was that evening. Before my trip I had noticed the opportunity to visit the nearby island, but I didn't make the final decision until that morning (after enquiring how reliable the return ferry schedule was). Hanging out in Papeete, which was my other main option, might have been amazing, or maybe not. You pays your money and you takes your choice.

PJW

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Re: Going to Tahiti and we're budget travelers

Post by nvtribefan » Fri Mar 03, 2017 8:37 pm

I recommend the James Norman Hall home, Point Venus, and The Museum of Tahiti and her Islands.

Take a loaf of bread and a jar of peanut butter!

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Re: Going to Tahiti and we're budget travelers

Post by Carson » Fri Mar 03, 2017 9:13 pm

nvtribefan wrote:Take a loaf of bread and a jar of peanut butter!

I know this is kind of a joke, but it is really all I have to contribute to the thread. DH took me on a surprise trip to Ireland, and I was not prepared for the cost of food in the least, and it was kind of a bummer.

When we went to Hawaii, I was definitely more aware, and we did take a few compact food essentials along with us - we ate meals cooked in our VRBO kitchen with great local meat and produce, but when we were out and about, both of us were sated by high-density meal replacement bars (eg, Clif Builder bar) which prevented us from spending significantly more money out. ETA, we did some meals out, but I'm a pretty decent cook, and it more worked out because our location wasn't near anywhere that served dinner.

So I would say if you can pack anything that would be expensive abroad if it became an actual need - make sure you have the clothes you need, medicines you might want, and some food type items.
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Re: Going to Tahiti and we're budget travelers

Post by an_asker » Fri Mar 03, 2017 10:51 pm

Phineas J. Whoopee wrote:
an_asker wrote:...
That's lucky/smart. How did you plan it? Or are you saying it was completely unplanned?
...

My original plan was to spend 15 days away from home, and that's how it turned out. When I sought out flights I could get with my accumulated frequent flyer miles, one "partner" airline didn't require me to use as many, so I chose it, Air Tahiti Nui, noting at the time the Tahiti stopover. All I did was move a couple of days from the Australia column to the Tahiti column, but yes, the airline reservation reflected my intent to linger there for a bit. Bound up with that was researching hotels, things to do, and one nature tour I paid for. I still hit my main objectives in Australia with no problem, and even had a restful two-night vacation-within-a-vacation in Alice Springs.

Normally I like to plan out the big parts, like fights and where to sleep, make plans for things I'd especially like to do, then leave the rest rather loose. Moorea turned out to be a bit of a disappointment that day, but these things happen sometimes when you show up to see what's available. They're made up for by the amazing experiences that result from the same approach.

PJW

Was this a recent trip to Australia? Because I don't recall you responding to my thread last summer! Or maybe you did, and I just forgot :oops:

Did you do the circumambulation at Uluru?

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Phineas J. Whoopee
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Re: Going to Tahiti and we're budget travelers

Post by Phineas J. Whoopee » Fri Mar 03, 2017 11:09 pm

an_asker wrote:...
Was this a recent trip to Australia? Because I don't recall you responding to my thread last summer! Or maybe you did, and I just forgot :oops:

Over a decade ago. I had nothing specific to contribute to your thread because what I know is out of date.

an_asker wrote:Did you do the circumambulation at Uluru?

I did. It was one of my main objectives. My only regret is I refrained from buying one of the "I Didn't Climb Uluru" patches sold in a few places (for the uninitiated, the indigenous people who live nearby and own it ask visitors not to climb, but at present have no power to prevent them).

PJW

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Re: Going to Tahiti and we're budget travelers

Post by Phineas J. Whoopee » Fri Mar 03, 2017 11:23 pm

Carson wrote:...
So I would say if you can pack anything that would be expensive abroad if it became an actual need - make sure you have the clothes you need, medicines you might want, and some food type items.

Before deciding to bring food you should find out whether the customs regulations where you're going allow you to import it. Many countries are very picky about that. The US is one.

Going to Hawaii from elsewhere in the US, of course, doesn't cross an international border so you were fine on that trip.

PJW

MrsRoos
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Re: Going to Tahiti and we're budget travelers

Post by MrsRoos » Sat Mar 04, 2017 1:40 am

nvtribefan wrote:Take a loaf of bread and a jar of peanut butter!

Wish I could only survive on that. Lol! But seriously, we have a kitchen and will plan to bring brown rice/quinoa, steel cut oats, lentils and some other staples. Read somewhere that dried nuts aren't allowed through customs :confused
“Anyone who believes in indefinite growth in anything physical, on a physically finite planet, is either mad or an economist.” - Kenneth Boulding

wdr1
Posts: 42
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2012 9:46 pm

Re: Going to Tahiti and we're budget travelers

Post by wdr1 » Sat Mar 04, 2017 2:25 am

We went to Tahiti for our honeymoon & loved it. We did 4 days in Papeete & 10 days in Moorea.

Advice I've given to a few people:

* Find your resort map online & figure out the best rooms. (TripAdvisor forums can help here too.) Email the hotel in advance & request them if possible. Do this especially if you have an OWB.

* Bring DVDs. Pay-per-view didn’t seem common & most TV is in French. The only exception was ESPN & Fox News (no joke), which didn’t go over well with my new wife.

* Without question, get an underwater camera. Some of your best shots are coming to come when you’re wet.

* Pre-order cash at your local bank. Do this at least a week or so in advance, as they may need some lead time. You’ll get a better exchange rate than on the island. If you run low on cash, switch to using a credit card & avoid the hotel front desk. Hotels tended to have the worst exchange rate & credit cards seemed to offer the best.

* If you rent a car and do an island tour (and I hope that you do), get the insurance. It’s a total scam in the states, but when you’re international, it’s well worth it. Coverage, laws, and everything all changes when you leave the country. Even if you get into a minor fender-bender (as we did), you don’t want to have to waste time on your honeymoon dealing with it.

* Tahiti is expensive. And I say this as a man living in one of the most expensive parts of the US. I don’t mean the flights & room (although they are too), but the everyday items, like food & drinks. The “normal” price of things is going to be what would be considered expensive in LA. E.g., a typical drink is going to be $15. A can of Diet Coke is $4. Hamburgers are $30. And, of course, things go up from there. You can’t really escape, but you can try to minimize the pain. Things are the most expensive at the resort. If you can find a local market, you’ll save a bunch. Bring what you can. This includes things like sunscreen & bug spray. Still, plan to spend $100-$200/day. If you can’t bear the thought of that, don’t go. It’s pointless to shell out so much for the trip & then be miserable each day at the cost of everything.

* Another smart thing to do is to opt for a package with a breakfast buffet. It’s usually a combination of French & American breakfast. Packages with it usually are much cheaper than getting it individually ($72/breakfast). It’s a good way to start to start the day and less strain on the wallet.

* The ATV tours through the interior of Moorea are amazing & totally worth it. Wear pants (not shorts) to keep the bugs at bay. Make sure your tour includes Magic Mountain. A few don’t and it’s one of the highlights of the tour.

* Sunburn sucks. If you’re a guy, bring a rash guard (or two).

* I highly recommend Tahia Pearls. Pearl shopping is one of the “things” to do while there, and it’s a great way to get something for the love of your life to remember your trip by. Some places in Tahiti haggle on price, but Tahia doesn’t. No hard sell, no worry about getting ripped off on price. The first time we entered a Tahia shop, I pushed my wife to get a more expensive necklace than the one she was looking at. (She doesn’t like to spend money on herself.) I thought the sales lady would take my side (as I wish pushing for one 3x the price), but she interrupted me & said my wife had to pick the pearl that spoke to her. She then told us she would hang on to the one she liked for the day, but before buying, she should also look at the other shops too & find something she really loved.

* You’ll need to bring a power adaptor. Rather than buying a few, I brought just one adapter & simple/lightweight power strip.

* Also consider bringing a lightweight router with you. This lets you share the Internet connection (between laptops, ipads, iphones, kindles, etc.) instead of paying per device.

cmoneymillz
Posts: 43
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2017 8:07 am

Re: Going to Tahiti and we're budget travelers

Post by cmoneymillz » Sat Mar 04, 2017 7:19 am

Also heading there myself next year for honeymoon. Some friends who have been previously recommended packing ramen for quick lunches vs spending $30 on a burger. I plan to pack some KIND bars to help satiate me between free daily breakfast and an anticipated pricey dinner.

Others: use chase reward points (good job!), ATM (I just set up w/ Schwab - no ATM fees anywhere, always reimbursed, and this is the best/most economical way to get currency abroad), utilize free resort options (snorkel,stand-up paddleboard, boat transfers to sister properties etc etc)

Have fun!

Vanguard Fan 1367
Posts: 679
Joined: Wed Feb 08, 2017 3:09 pm

Re: Going to Tahiti and we're budget travelers

Post by Vanguard Fan 1367 » Sat Mar 04, 2017 11:41 am

nvtribefan wrote:I recommend the James Norman Hall home, Point Venus, and The Museum of Tahiti and her Islands.

Take a loaf of bread and a jar of peanut butter!


My sister and I stayed in a Youth Hostel in Amsterdam. That was quite reasonable but we needed to eat meals somewhere and I was impressed with the high cost of restaurant meals. I did find the McDonalds to fit my budget ok and we ate a number of meals there. I am enjoying the Boglehead mentality, it is a real gift to be able to save money even on a somewhat limited income. Since I was young I have been able to save and invest (starting with Passbook savings at 4 or 5 percent).

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