Bora Bora Essential Packing List

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Planning a Trip to Bora Bora on Points and Miles
Bora Bora Essential Packing List
The Journey to Paradise – LAX-HNL-PPT-BOB
Intercontinental Le Moana Bora Bora Resort
Intercontinental Thalasso Resort and Spa
Eating in Bora Bora on a Budget
The Journey Home and a Layover in Papeete – BOB-PPT-LAX

The great thing about going to a beach destination like Bora Bora is that you don’t need to pack a whole lot of clothes.  I only brought 1 pair of shorts and wore three different swimsuits 95% of the time.  Most of my luggage ended up being food, water equipment, and electronics.  Here is my edition of a Bora Bora essential packing list.

  • 2 swimsuits to as many as you please
  • Long pants for the plane ride
  • Undergarments
  • Short-sleeve button down shirts for men and dresses/skirts for women
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • First Aid Kit – Medical supplies are expensive so bring everything you need.
  • Tylenol, Benadryll, Advil
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Toiletries
  • LOTS of sunscreen – We put on lots of sunscreen and still got burnt.  I used a banana boat 30 SPF sunscreen, and it did not work too well.  The sun is very strong, and I would recommend a sunscreen with high SPF with at least 45 SPF, such as Neutrogena Ultra Sheer SPF 45 Twin Pack 6.0 Ounce.
  • Aloe vera – Great to sunburn treatment
  • Water shoes – Very important because coral is abundant and small rocks and shells may cut your feet. I bought an off-brand that worked well, but the Speedo Men’s Surfwalker Pro All-Purpose Water Shoe seems to be the most popular one.
  • Your own snorkel – It’s best to bring your own snorkel because the ones at the resorts are beat up and dozens of people use them.  You can rent fins at the IC Thalasso and Le Moana.
  • ATM card for cash – I use the Fidelity ATM Cash Management card to take out money internationally completely fee free.  
  • Passport/driver license plus photocopies
  • Credit cards – I would bring two or three credit cards.  Definitely bring your IHG credit card if staying at IC Thalasso or Le Moana.  
  • Camera, film, memory cards, batteries
  • Converter/adapter
  • Underwater cameras – I used my GoPro Hero 3+ Silver camera to take awesome underwater shots, jetskiing shots, and for wide-angle shots.  I took a lot of video and am hoping to put together something cool.  I have the GoPro HERO3+: Silver Edition, but the black edition is better and comes with a wifi remote.  I used my iPhone Gopro app to take some remote shots at times.  

    Picture taken with GoPro Silver paired with Iphone GoPro App

    Picture taken with GoPro Silver paired with Iphone GoPro App

  • Travel guides
  • Water bottle/collapsible cooler – Bringing a water bottle can save you some money by filling up free water at the gym.  A cooler would have been nice to keep some drinks cold that you buy from the grocery store.  We were okay just using the hotel fridge after it was emptied out.  
  • Copies of itinerary for contacts – I use Tripit to keep my itinerary organized, but I also print out my whole itinerary to make sure we get to our flights on time etc.  
  • Small flashlight
  • Snacks (cereal, granola bars) –  We brought lots of snacks which I will share with you in a later post. We ate at the resort at times, but we also mixed it up with cup noodles and curry.  
  • Candy, gum – These things are very expensive in Bora Bora, so bring them.
  • Alcohol – You can bring two bottles per person.  There is also a duty free store in Papeete.  
  • Dry bag – A dry bag was very helpful in our trip because we used it kayaking to hold our snacks and lunch while we kayaked to the Coral Gardens, an island about 20-30 minutes from IC Le Moana.  I used a 10L bag from SealLine Baja Dry Bags.  It worked great!
  • Trash bag for wet clothes – I brought a few grocery bags and ziplock bags.  
  • Inflatable rafts – I bought a $4 inflatable tube from my local store and my wife enjoyed it a lot! 

    Awesome $4 Investment!

    Awesome $4 Investment!

  • Laptop – Watch movies at night.

Hope this list helps you plan for a Bora Bora trip or something similar.  If I missed anything, feel free to add it.

18 comments for “Bora Bora Essential Packing List

  1. Maury
    May 6, 2014 at 4:22 am

    I have a few questions: Do they charge to rent the fins at Thalasso? Did you buy the GoPro specifically for the trip? I do not have one now and I am thinking of buying one for this trip. If you do not have a remote, how do you film then? Do you highly recommend the Black then? Does a pole come with the system for underwater? What adapter do they use for electricity in Bora Bora? Thank you.

    • May 7, 2014 at 1:29 pm

      Fins are free to rent. I bought go pro for this trip and other uses. I pushed the button to record but remote would be easier with black. I would get a pole, I used a chesty and it was ok but Angled a little low. All gopros are underwater. Thy use French adapter.

      • Maury
        May 12, 2014 at 11:47 am

        Just purchased the Black edition GoPro.

        • May 12, 2014 at 1:02 pm

          Awesome! It’s a bit pricey but I think it is worth the investment to take pictures of a lifetime!

          • Maury
            May 12, 2014 at 1:19 pm

            I will use it for Bora Bora as well as for mountain climbing. Thanks again!

  2. Lively
    May 6, 2014 at 4:23 am

    What a great idea for a post. If I ever get the opportunity to go to Bora Bora….I’ll be searching for this post.

  3. Gaurav
    May 6, 2014 at 11:43 am

    Hey Rom–curious why you would pick the IHG card over something like the CSP? Would you value 5 IHG points more than 2.14 UR?

    • May 8, 2014 at 3:20 pm

      It’s hard to say. If there is an IHG property that you are eyeing, then IHG will be better. CSP is equally as good if you have no set plans.

  4. Maury
    June 7, 2014 at 2:16 pm

    Does the hotel supply the inflatable rafts also?

    • June 8, 2014 at 9:02 am

      We brought our own 🙂

      • Maury
        June 8, 2014 at 9:34 am

        Yes, I know that you took your own. However, do they supply it also for the guests?

        • June 8, 2014 at 8:33 pm

          I wouldn’t count on it. They might from previous guests.

  5. Kimberly
    September 23, 2014 at 10:51 am

    Thank you for this list! Do you suggest bringing your own towel or does the resort usually provide enough?

    • September 23, 2014 at 12:24 pm

      The resort will have enough.

  6. Catherine N
    May 11, 2015 at 1:23 pm


    Thanks for sharing all the great information! I am going to Bora Bora/Moorea with my Husband on the 20th =) Did you have a long layover? “The Journey Home and a Layover in Papeete – BOB-PPT-LAX”. We have a 6 hour layover from PPT to LAX. Any tips?

    Thanks in advance!

    • Catherine N
      May 11, 2015 at 1:25 pm

      Just saw your link to the PPT-LAX


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