Getting Around The Islands Of French Polynesia On A Budget

French Polynesia, made of numerous islands comprises of nature in all her abundance. The islands are blessed with postcard-perfect beaches, tropical rainforests, swaying palm trees, stunning lagoons with crystal clear water, and also the reputation of being expensive, very expensive. So let’s try and see how we can go around French Polynesia on a budget.

Islands, islands, and more islands

French Polynesia consists of 118 geographically dispersed islands and atolls – ruggedly mountainous Marquesas Islands, Gambier group with lush high islands and friendly locals, great for snorkelling yet the lesser known Islands of Tuamotu, the most popular Society Islands, and the isolated Austral Islands.

Tropical island above and underwater with fishes, Tahiti
Tropical island above and underwater with fishes, Tahiti
Hop between islands

Air Tahiti, the country’s only domestic airline, offers island hopper flight services between 38 of the French Polynesian islands one or more times a week. On the off chance that you pick a few goals in a single island aggregate the cost, it’s worthwhile hanging around a couple of days in the Islands like Tahiti. Numerous flights from Tahiti to the Marquesas, stop first in the Tuamotus, enabling access to in excess of one island bunch on the same ticket.

Travel by sea

Travelling by sea can trim the expenses if you have time. Supply ships with basic cabin ply the waters between Papeete and most of the inhabited islands, and some also take passengers, you just have to bring your own food and bedding. Schedules are not promoted, so you should ask at the port in Papeete.

Travelling by road

Private transport or Taxi is extremely expensive, there’s “le truck” — converted buses with wooden seats. When in Moorea hop on the round-island bus from the ferry terminal which costs 600 francs to travel around the island. You can also consider free bikes as roads are surprisingly easier to navigate on two wheels.

Few other points to keep in mind
  • Try the low-key, family-run accommodation options instead of notoriously pricey resorts.
  • Visit during offseason (April-June and September-November) when the stay and domestic flight costs can be up to 30% lower.
  • Eat at low-key restaurants, roadside stands, or pick up some fruit and veggies from vendors. You can also carry some snacks with you to make up for 1-2 meals.
  • If you have to shell out for packages try taking all-inclusive ones where everything from your stay to meals to tours is covered.

These tips can help you some, but French Polynesian islands are gorgeous and they are expensive for good reasons. With them being largely isolated from the rest of the world tourism is one of their primary incomes. They also don’t grow most of their produce, but have to have them shipped or flown in from around the world. So while you count your pennies, also try to enjoy this place for the best it has to offer.


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