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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
- Short-sleeve button down shirts for men and dresses/skirts for women
- First Aid Kit – Medical supplies are expensive so bring everything you need.
- Tylenol, Benadryll, Advil
- Hand Sanitizer
- 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
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.