Photo Credit: Marc Gerard
Why We Splurged: Inside Our $18,500 Dream Vacation To French Polynesia
When Capricia Alston met Kim Raney on a dating app almost three years ago, one of the things that stood out on his profile was his answer to a question about his dream vacation. He stated, “Bora Bora” and for Alston, it was an answer that piqued her interest because it meant a potential partner who loved to travel as much as her.
She had no idea her now-boyfriend’s dream vacation to French Polynesia would actually come to fruition or let alone their decision to go would go viral because of the trip price tag of approximately $18,500.
“We’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback, but we also got some negative feedback of people asking us, ‘what we’re you thinking?'” Alston told Travel Noire. “I know there’s this movement going on now about being flown out, and you have to get things paid for, and I am definitely for that movement. But when you have a partner, it’s all about compromise.”
Alston has a joke she makes when people ask her about how much money the duo spent on the dream vacation.
“Bora Bora will make you a little poor [a] poor [a.]”
As the couple revealed to CNBC, accommodations were the largest expense as their hotels and villas cost them $8,253. The price included five days in Mo’orea, five days in Tahiti, then an additional day in Tahiti the night before the flight back home.
Food was also pricey, as most of the food and alcohol on the islands are imported. They spent anywhere between $75 and $300 on food per meal, bringing the rough total to roughly $4,785. And just in case you’re wondering: the answer is yes, alcohol made things more expensive.
Flights ranked third when it comes to price as they spent $2,856 from Washington D.C. to Tahiti then from Tahiti to Bora.
Activities and shopping cost around $2,238 but one thing people should consider is they experienced French Polynesia during peak lockdown because of the pandemic. Attractions such as snorkeling and underwater scooters were closed. Most of their money was spent on spa services, photoshoots, and shopping.
They rented a car in Tahiti, took a $22 ferry from Tahiti to Mo’orea, and then once there, spent $60 on a one-day rental to explore the island. The couple used free bikes to get around in Bora Bora. All of this cost them about $375,
“The most memorable part of us renting a car was the exploration part of it. I love to explore, whereas my boyfriend can chill on the beach all day. With everything being on lockdown, it was the only way to get around.”
The biggest question from so many is was the trip worth it?
“Yes, it’s worth it, but I’ll say it’s definitely one of those trips that you’re actually celebrating something,” said Alston. “I feel Bora Bora gives honeymoon vibes or a place to renew vowels, but a 32nd birthday? Not so much. I have no regrets, but I do think it’s a very large price tag. My advice is, don’t go if it’s something you think you can’t afford.”
French Polynesia is their fifth country together, and while they’ve checked off a bucket list vacation, they don’t feel pressure to top that trip.
“We’re always looking forward to traveling,” said Alston. “There are so many gorgeous places to see still, and I don’t think you have to spend the big bucks to have a romantic vacation.”