What to Pack For a Dream Vacation in Bora Bora

You’re headed to paradise! I’m so excited for you! I know that if you’re anything like me, you’ve dreamt of visiting Bora Bora and the French Polynesia for as long as you can remember. Now the time has finally arrived and I know you are wondering what to pack for your dream vacation in Bora Bora.

I love creating valuable content for you, my reader. However, there is a cost to maintaining a website. There may be affiliate links scattered throughout this site to help differ costs. By clicking on a link I may earn a small commission, BUT there will be no additional cost to you.

Ever since I was a little girl, Bora Bora has been number one on my bucket list. The time has finally come when this dream has become a reality (pinch me, I still can’t believe it).

I wanted my time in the French Polynesia to be perfection. I also want for your time to be impeccable and worry-free. Therefore, I am sharing the essentials, including items other than the usual hot weather clothing. In this guide you will learn everything that you will need to to pack for your time in Bora Bora.

Essentials you Need to Pack for Bora Bora

Bora Bora is an extremely hot climate, so obviously you will need to pack the usual hot weather clothing. In this post, I aim to put an emphasis on the “extra” essentials” that I found were needed when visiting Bora Bora. You have spent too much time dreaming, working, and saving for your dream vacation for it to be ruined by leaving something at home.

Once known as Mai te Pora in Tahitian "created by the Gods", Bora Bora is one of the most beautiful islands in the world.

Let’s get packing for your dream vacation in Bora Bora!


The weather in Bora Bora is a minimum of 26 degrees Celsius (80 degrees Fahrenheit) year round. Packing flowy, and yes skimpy dresses, loose fitting pants, tops, and shorts are ideal. Clothing made from cotton is the best option, as it is soft, light, beathable and it also soaks up the sweat.

Bora Bora is a very laid back, informal island, hence, casual clothing is best. I recommend packing the following for one week in Bora Bora

  • 4 – 5 cotton sundresses OR
  • 2 loose fitting slacks and 2 loose fitting tops (only if you prefer slacks to dresses)
  • 2 – 3 shorts
  • 2- 3 t-shirts
  • a couple of pairs of athletic socks if you plan on doing any adventures
  • underwear for each day you will be in Bora Bora
  • 2 – 3 bras
  • 1 pair of athletic shoes if planning on hiking, ATVing, etc.

The list of clothing is extensive and in reality you will be spending ninety percent of your time in a swimsuit. If you tend to travel light, you can easily skip the slacks and shorts.


Travellers flock to Bora Bora for the deep turquoise blue lagoons, thus, it essential to pack lots of swimwear. I recommend packing at least 3 bathing suits, 1 of which should be a one piece.

Just One Tip: Even better than a 1 piece, a pair of swim shorts or rashguard are most beneficial for your time in the lagoon.

Beach Cover-Up

Believe me when I say that you’ll be living in your swimsuit all day. The last thing you’ll want to do is get fully dressed to go for lunch. Why get dressed when you don’t have to? I recommend packing 2 or 3 beach cover-ups, and maybe support the local economy and purchase an authentic Polynesian sarong. What a great souvenir they make!

When visiting Bora Bora, book a tour of the lagoon by jetski.  Pack a rashguard for your time spent on the water.

Flip Flops

Flip flops, flip flops and more flip flops! You will be living in flip flops morning, noon, and night. I recommend packing a minimum of 3 pairs to be worn at the beach, the pool, and dinner. I packed 5 pairs and I only wore 2 different ones.


You won’t need to take an abundance of toiletries, as the resorts supply most of what you will need. However, I do recommend bring the following:

  • a really good conditioner. This is essential if you have long or wavy/curly hair. Your hair will get matted with all of the water sports and the salt water.
  • tooth brush and tooth paste
  • VERY little makeup is required, as you’ll have the natural glow from the sun. I do however recommend bring a chapstick which also doubles as sun protector.
  • deodorant
  • hair brush and/or comb and hair elastics
The resorts in Bora Bora supply excellent quality shampoo, conditioner, body wash, and moisturing cream.

Wind Proof Jacket

I know I said that the weather is hot in Bora Bora and it is, however, depending on the season you visit the climate will change. During the summer months (December, January, and February), it tends to get windy at times. During the winter months (June, July, and August), it is quite rainy. Regardless of the season a wind proof jacket comes in handy.

Rash Guard

People don’t go to Bora Bora to sit in their rooms all day, although staying in an over the water bungalow it was tempting. The majority of your time in paradise will be spent in or on the water, exposing you to the sun the majority of the day. A rash guard is a necessity to help prevent burning. I recommend a rash guard with a UPF (Ultraviolet Protection Factor) of 50. This means that only 1/50th of the sun’s UV rays will reach your skin.

Pack water shoes when visiting Bora Bora to protect your feet from the coral in the lagoons

Water Shoes

Bora Bora is surrounded by lagoons which contain coral. Water shoes are necessary to protect your feet from injury. This also applies when walking on the beach. If you choose to stroll the beach in your barefeet, you risk injury. Put on water shoes or sandals to protect yourself.

CAUTION: It is imperative that shoes or flip flops be worn at all times during your time in Bora Bora as your feet will burn if walking on wood, sand, or concrete barefoot (this happened to my travel companion who ended up with a burnt foot and in a wheelchair)

Hat and Sunglasses

Do yourself a favour and pack a hat that will fold up in your suitcase. You will be exposed to the sun all day and you’ll need that protection. The same applies to your eyes. Sunglasses help to cut down on the glare of the sun, but they also protect your eyes from injury.

Biodegradable Sunscreen

Bora Bora is surrounded by lagoons and a barrier reef. This means that there is a plethora of under water life, including sharks, and manta rays. In order to protect the reef, it is important to be using a biadegrable sunscreen.

Pack lots of biodegradable sunscreen and a hat when visiting Bora Bora


Despite best efforts, I can guarantee that you will get a sunburn of some degree. Pack a little container of aloa in your suitcase. You will need it.

Bug Spray

Bug spray? Yes! Bora Bora has an abundance of mosquitos and they aren’t going anywhere. Bug spray is a must have! It’s also a good idea to ensure that your vaccinations are up to date.


Notwithstanding that you’ve taken all of the necessary precautions to protect yourself from the mosquitos, you’re bound to get a bight or two. Bring after-bight with you which will help with the itch.

Snorkel Equipment

The majority of the resorts in Bora Bora will provide the snorkel and mask, however, the avid snorkeller may want to bring fins. Given that the lagoons are so shallow, I didn’t find fins necessary.

Pack floaties to laze in the crystal clear lagoons in Bora Bora

Pool Floaties

For those lazy pool days, you will want to have a floatie handy. I recommend picking up some cheap floaties and leave them for the next person when it’s time to leave. A floatie is an item that most people won’t think to pack, but it’s nice to have. There is minimal current in the lagoons which enables you to spend hours floating around.

Camera and Cellphone Protector

We all have our cellphone camera, however, to capture the amazing sealife found throughout the lagoons in Bora Bora, I recommend bringing a Go-Pro if you have one. I also suggest that you invest in a telephone protector to protect your cellphone from getting wet and/or damaged. Because of the high UV and temperatures, it’s possible for your phone to be damaged even when not around the water.


Everything is shipped into the French Polynesian Islands, which makes snacks and food in general very expensive. It is nice to have some snacks handy to nibble on while you’re enjoying the views from your bungalow or to tide you over until the next meal. I recommend that you bring snacks from home:

  • nuts
  • protein bars
  • crackers
  • dried fruit

These snacks are light-weight and don’t take up a lot of room in your suitcase.

Some resorts in Bora Bora will provide chips and chocolate bars in the mini fridge

Alcohol and Drinks

Drinks and alcohol are also extremely expensive in Bora Bora. Being as I travelled from Canada, I was concerned about bottle breakage. I purchased 2 “drinking boxes” of wine which successfully weathered the trip.

Just One Tip: You are allowed to bring 2 litres of wine or liquor which amounts to approximately 3 bottles per person. Purchase your drinks at the duty free shop before making the final flight into Tahiti.

Electrical Adaptor

The majority of the resorts have either European or US plugs. Some resorts have both. To be safe, I recommend bringing an electrical adaptor. The last thing you want is for your electronics to loose their charge.

Driver’s License

I know you’re probably wondering what you would need a driver’s license for when you’re just going to be hanging out at the beach. You will need it if you plan on taking an ATV adventure or renting a vehicle. Even if you aren’t, it’s always a good idea to have extra ID, just in case.

Bring your driver's license if you're planning on taking an ATV tour of Bora Bora

Read Next: Sofitel Kia Ora Moorea, a luxury beach resort

What Not to Bring to Bora Bora


Being as you’ll be hanging out at the beach or in the water most of the day, jewellery isn’t necessary. If you feel you must wear jewellery while you’re away, I recommend supporting the local economy and buying some of the goods being sold by the residents of the island.

High Heeled Shoes

Trust me when I tell you that it’s difficult to walk in high heels at the resorts in Bora Bora. The majority of the walkways are either sand or boards. If you choose to wear high heels, you can expect to lose the heal, so leave the stilettos at home. Flip flops are the only way to go.

Resorts in Bora Bora are all sand or board pathways.  Flip flops are the only shoes you'll need to pack for your trip to Bora Bora

Hair Straighter or Curling Iron

There is no sense lugging a hair straightener or curling iron across the ocean. The humidity is so high that your hair will have a mind of its own. Bora Bora is definitely one destination when less is better.

Banned Items

Like most places, French Polynesia also has a few restrictions as to what can be brought into the Country. The following items are prohibited:

  • live animals
  • all plant material
  • flowers
  • fruits
  • cultured pearls of non French Polynesian origin
  • all weapons and ammunition
  • narcotics

French Polynesia is well-known for its black pearls which is the reason other cultured pearls are not allowed.


Last but not least, you must leave all stress at home. After-all you’re on your dream vacation in Bora Bora. What’s there to stress about?

Back lots of flip flops when visiting Bora Bora.  The walkways get extremely hot and can burn your feet if walking barefoot

All Packed and Ready to Go on a Dream Vacation

I hope that you found this list of “extra” essentials helpful. By packing these “extra” items, you won’t be disappointed. In Bora Bora, packing less is better as it’s an extremely casual and laid-back island.

Now get packing and have a fabulous time on your dream vacation to Bora Bora.


Kelly xo

Kelly is a writer and solo traveller who shares her adventures with the world. She is a mom, grandma, and lover of all things wine. She encourages solo travel and offers tips and advice on how to do it safely and confidently.


Kelly is a writer and solo traveller who shares her adventures with the world. She is a mom, grandma, and lover of all things wine. Kelly’s passion lies in exploring Canada and other parts of the world and sharing her experiences with others.

As a senior traveller, Kelly aims to inspire others to live their best life and not be afraid to venture out into the world on their own. She encourages solo travel and offers tips and advice on how to do it safely and confidently.

Travel Solo Like a Pro!


♥  CheapOair and WayAway offer flights at a resonable rate. Let CheapOair or WayAway find the cheapest and best flight for your destination


♥  I use Booking.com to book all of my accommodations, both domestically and internationally


♥  Get Your Guide and Viator are the absolute best sites to plan and book any adventures, activities, and all things fun


♥  BikesBooking.com will find the best prices for bicycles, motocyles, and scooter rentals any place in the world.


♥  Economy Bookings will provide rental prices worldwide, which making it a one stop shop for the most reasonable car rentals


♥  Kiwitaxi is who you want to contact for transportation from the airport or train station.  Why not arrange for a PRIVATE CITY TOUR with Kiwitaxi at the same time.


♥  Cruise Critic not only provides reviews and answers questions, it also offers great cruise deals. If your a cruise lover (like me), I highly recommend that you check it out!


♥  Travel insurance these times of natural disasters, travel interruption and baggage loss is no longer a place where you can cut costs. essentials.  It has become an essential part of travel. Visitors Coverage will take care of all of your insurance needs.

Pin for Your Dream Vacation to Bora Bora

31 thoughts on “What to Pack For a Dream Vacation in Bora Bora

  1. Carolin | Solo Travel Story (@SoloTravelStory)

    I missed out on Bora Bora when I visited Australia as Covid had just hit. I’m living precariously through your posts and would have expected anything else than living in a bikini or swimsuit for a stay there. Had to look up what a rash guard is and the water shoes come in handy, not just for Bora Bora but also for beaches in Australia/Fiji. I’m very excited to hear more from your Bora Bora vacay in any of your up-coming posts.

    Carolin | Solo Travel Story

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mitch

    A really useful bunch of tips, especially for those extras that you might not think about when packing. The water shoes and biodegradable sunscreen are good ideas. Mosquitos adore me, so we would definitely need bug spray. It was also interesting to learn that drinks are expensive in Bora Bora so it was good to know what you can bring with you.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Emma

    I can see why this was your dream vacation. Just that first picture alone was enough to sell Bora Bora to me. What a magical looking place – it doesn’t even seem real!! Great tips, especially about protection from bugs and sun. Two things that love me (or hate me depending on how I look at it). Never seen water shoes like that though, they seem like a great idea.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. James

    Ah, Bora Bora… Now, this looks like a place for me! That water is heavenly. I may skip the hair straightener but it’s a useful list to know what to bring. I always overpack or underpack!I didn’t think of a driver’s licence for an ATV. Good shout! Glad for you to tick it off the bucket list.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. awakenedvoyages

    I am drooling looking at your pictures of paradise. Bora Bora is number one on my bucket list too (alongside Fiji) and I’m glad to hear your holiday has met your expectations of the island. Very good tips about what to pack, especially the water shoes as I don’t tend to pack them and love walking barefoot on islands but there’s nothing worse than being injured on holiday. Good to know you can buy bulky equipment on the island and that resorts provide snorkeling equipment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just One Passport

      I can honestly say that Bora Bora is as close to paradise as you can get. There are no words to describe the water! It’s unfortunate that it’s so difficult to get to from Canada though 😦


  6. Agnes

    I want to pack my suitcase and go to Bora Bora. This paradise island is on my dream list. So one day, I will use your tips on what to take. But I like the most the tips on what not to pack in Bora Bora. Especially stress. I think that even if someone flies with a heavy head, the strss will pass, when seeing these heavenly views, feel the soft warm sand under their feet, and hear the sound of the sea. It’s a great packing list for Bora Bora.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Pingback: Sofitel Kia Ora Moorea Beach Resort Review – JUST ONE PASSPORT

  8. Barry

    A great list of things to bring – and not – that will prove helpful to many a packer. I travel very light and its good to know what would be classed as essential here – never thought about water shoes and I’ve not heard of rash guard, so again good to be informed about them. Mosquitos adore my blood so I know the repellent spray/cream would be high on my list.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. sierra bisson

    Wow I wish I was packing for a trip to Bora Bora right now after reading this! Looks like an absolutely amazing place and your packing list is so helpful! I saved for later and will refer back when I visit Bora Bora in the future! Thanks for sharing this list 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Melanie

    I’d love to visit Bora Bora and French Polynesia someday, so this packing list is very helpful. That foot burn sounds awful, ouch! I don’t usually bring water shoes so that’s good to know. Good suggestion with the reef-safe sunscreen. It’s important to keep nature safe, too!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. BlondeAroundTheWorld

    Here is a destination that fascinates me a lot and at this moment would make me fly to the other side of the world. Your photos are a plus and invite me to book the trip as soon as possible!
    More than the usefulness of knowing what to take to Bora Bora, is the list of things not to take. Most of the time we take things on a trip that are totally unnecessary and this post is very helpful and enlightening!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just One Passport

      If you ever get the chance…go! Getting there is exhausting, but totally worth it. And in all honesty, you can cut the packing list in half. All you really did are bathing suits, flip flops and water shoes.


  12. thedctraveler9b7e4f7d4d

    It definitely looks like a magical vacation! I didn’t think bout everything being shipped to the French Polynesia – so it’s good to know about bringing snacks to save some money. Your pictures are breathtaking – definitely want to visit here – its stunning!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Luke Young

    Thanks for sharing, Kelly.

    Some great tips here, and I think we’re all guilty of taking more than we need on vacation. Especially beach holidays, whereas you say – 90% is spent in the glorious waters.

    Bora Bora looks lovely, I’m glad you ticked off your dream destination, and the wine got there in one piece for you to enjoy. Love that you use reef-friendly sunscreen; we all need to do our part to protect our oceans and marine life.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Pingback: 3 Day Itinerary in Moorea, French Polynesia – JUST ONE PASSPORT

  15. Pingback: Le Bora Bora By Pearl Resorts A Luxury Resort in Paradise – JUST ONE PASSPORT

  16. Pingback: 3 Days In Bora Bora A Tropical Paradise – JUST ONE PASSPORT

  17. Pingback: Moorea v Bora Bora Which Island In Paradise Is Right For You – JUST ONE PASSPORT

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.