What to Pack | Bora Bora & French Polynesian Islands

Sunset in Bora Bora

it's vacation time, baby!

Picture this – you show up to Bora Bora after 15+ hours of travel to realize you forgot something major. Maybe it was your travel adapter or perhaps like us, a pair of sandals. You may think, “How the heck do you forget sandals for a tropical vacation?!”

Of course the weather in Bora Bora is phenomenal year-round. Warm beaches, cold cocktails in coconuts and overwater villas – what’s not to love?! While you should bring the basics necessary for any tropical vacation, there are also some extras to bring to Bora Bora that you may not have thought of! 

We’ll be sharing the essentials below that we packed and the items we missed. Hopefully this will give you some confidence and remove a little stress when packing for your trip to the beautiful French Polynesian Islands. 

outfits of the day OOTD

morning vibes

Women's Outfit for Tropical Vacation

+ jean shorts & casual top (we are both obsessed with Vuori – you can find this top here)

+ comfortable walking shoes

+ cross body bag & sun hat

lunch vibes

Women's Outfit for Tropical Vacation

+ bathing suit & cover-up

+ sandals

+ beach tote

evening vibes

+ cute dress / pants & top

+ sandals

+ fun clutch

essentials to pack

  • passport + document holder (our fav is by Leatherology!)
  • universal travel adapter
  • charging cords + portable charger
  • bathing suits! (you’ll live in these)
  • camera, gopro, polaroid + extra batteries
  • compression socks + neck pillow for plane
  • sandals + tennis shoes
  • water bottle + yeti (trust us)
  • toiletries + hair ties (check out the Tumi Madeline cosmetic bag – it’s stain and water resistant)
  • snorkel gear + water shoes
  • inflatable tube for villa + pool
  • sunglasses (a favorite in our house is Warby Parker)
  • beach clothing + accessories
  • duty free adult bevs (more details here!)
  • reading + writing materials
  • reef-safe sunscreen + hats
  • medications/feminine products
  • headphones (we love both the AirPods Max and Beats Studio 3 wireless headphones)
Mt. Otenamu in Bora Bora

extra tips for your trip

Depending on which resort you stay at in the French Polynesian Islands, or Bora Bora in this case, they should have complimentary reef-safe sunscreen and aloe for you to use. The resort we stayed at, Conrad Bora Bora Nui, provided these items, as well as a complimentary branded beach bag for you to use and even take home! They also provided robes to wear while you’re there and branded slippers (we came home with literally 5 pairs each somehow)

We miraculously traveled to Bora Bora for a week with only a carry-on and a backpack each. If your carry-on is brand new and you prefer it not to get dinged up, bring a bag to put it in. We specifically traveled with the expectation that we would have a more seamless process using a carry-on only. However, with the smaller plane, it was essentially treated as a checked bag, which can be more prone to damages.

Keep in mind, passengers are allowed one personal item, (21.7 x 13.8 x 9.9 in and max of 11 lbs) on Air Tahiti to Bora Bora. So, basically a backpack only! There is a 50 lb max weight limit for your “checked” bag – or carry-on bag in our case! We would still advise traveling with a carry-on if you can as it does make the process quicker when you land at the other airports in Tahiti and LAX.

Our all-time favorite purchase before this trip was our Monos Carry-On Pro (which comes with a built in TSA approved lock) and the Metro Backpack. We both have the exact same set up (except in different colors!) because we truly love this combo. Both the backpack and carry-on are extremely accessible, full of well thought out compartments, water resistant, tech-forward and go great together. This set up makes you want to go on vacation! Don’t forget Monos’ packing cubes either – they fit perfectly in the carry-on suitcase.

Pro Tip: bring a ziploc gallon bag to smuggle croissants from the breakfast buffet… you’ll thank us later!

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