Wednesday, February 24, 2016

How to Save Money in Bora Bora

1. Bring your own food! 
We brought our own granola bars and instant mocha coffee for breakfast. Most resorts include an electric hot water kettle that you can use to add instant coffee, tea or hot chocolate to. The Intercontinental Thalasso also offers a 50% discount on breakfast upon arrival at check in, if you haven't previously selected a dining plan. 
We also brought GoPicnic meals with us. They are easy to store and do not need refrigeration, so perfect for travelling and replacing energy. 
Eat a late breakfast and an early dinner. Sometimes we would split a $30 resort pizza for an early dinner, then eat the chocolate we had brought, in bed as a late night snack. 

2. Bring ziplock bags. 
All different sizes and more than you think you would need.  I used them for all different reasons. I put beach sand in some, seashells and coral in others. After a trip to the local market to purchase snacks, we split them into ziplocks for easy transfer to other resorts and so they would fit in the ice bucket to keep cool. I also kept the daily toiletries and put them away in the ziplocks. When I got home I had a month supply (at least) of some really luxurious brands of shampoo, conditioner and body wash! 

3. Check for complimentary activities. 
Everyday at noon at the Intercontinental Resorts, there is a "Cultural Events" demonstration. Basically someone would be cutting down actual palm branches off the trees and turning them into hats and purses, then give them to the people attending. Perfect (FREE) souvenir to bring home to the children!

4. When leaving, some resorts give you a shell necklace. If you are staying at a Hilton do not purchase them during the trip as you get one on departure. You also get a flower lei upon arrival from all resorts. But it only lasts a day. 

5. Save money by booking your excursions with the tour companies directly. Skip booking it with the resort as their prices are higher since they want to be paid as well. A quick google search and you can find many options, as well as on Trip Advisor. 

6. Utilize the complimentary activities offered at the resort. Included were paddleboarding, windsurfing, paddleboats, outrigger canoes, snorkeling gear and I am sure there are ones I am missing. 

7. Skip the sting ray excursion. 
Check with the resort to see if they have daily sting ray feedings. We were able to interact with the rays and feed them for free. Many guests were swimming with them and playing with them, for free. You are able to get great photos and videos of this, as it is in a picturesque spot at the IC Thalasso, with the bungalows and motu in the background. 

8. Use hotel loyalty rewards points! 
We stayed every night for free by redeeming our IHG points. 50-60,000 gets you a free night in Bora Bora, with Intercontinental. 


9. Use a credit card where you can redeem points to pay off your travel expenses that are not hotel related, such as the Barclays Arrival card. You need to be using the hotel's branded credit card at the hotel itself to maximize points for the stay. 

10. Share a taxi. When the hotel emails you regarding pickup at the airport or ferry station, (for Moorea & Tahiti) ask about shared taxi options. We saved over $100 each ride by sharing with other couples heading to the same resort!