Hawaii vs Tahiti on a Budget


Jun 11th, 2007, 10:21 AM
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Hawaii vs Tahiti on a Budget

Hey everyone,
My fiance and I are torn between picking Tahiti or Maui for our honeymoon, which will be late October, early November. I've read the other postings about Tahiti and Hawaii, but we would have a tighter budget than most. We were hoping to spend about $5,000. We were leaning toward Moorea if we went to any of the islands. Is it realistic to go to French Polynesia on that budget (flying from the Midwest USA) or would Hawaii be our better choice. We both love hiking especially to waterfalls, four-wheeling, snorkeling, and just playing at the beach. We'll have about 7 days for our trip, and I was afraid that there's so much to do in Maui that I won't be able to relax, but will constantly be on the go wanting to experience everything. Also, I've read all about the positives of both Hawaii and French Polynesia, but can anyone list some negatives of each place which may aid in our decision making. If we choose Moorea, would it be suggested to try to get a vacation package? Any help would be greatly appreciated!
jamayda is offline  
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Jun 11th, 2007, 11:04 AM
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If you want a special place for a honeynoon, pick French Polynesia. I have never seen anything like it. The calm, crystal clear lagoons are something to experience (you don't "fight" with the waves!) There are nice excursions available on Moorea, but not so many that you feel like you're missing something if you don't do them all. If you have only 7 days, it will give you plenty of time to enjoy the culture and the lagoons. I honestly can't find anything negative to say about it. I've seen lots of affordable packages on You can go to Hawaii any other time...

AndieB is offline  
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Jun 11th, 2007, 11:09 AM
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Neither Hawaii or Tahiti are going to be inexpensive, so to speak. You could do a nice trip to Maui for your budget, but it would be very difficult for Tahiti.

When budget is a consideration, I often recommend a cruise to honeymoon clients (and others) because meals, drinks and accommodations are included and you get to see all of French Polynesia, including the Cook Islands during your trip. It allows you to see French Polynesia, but keeps costs in control. The cruises are 7 to 10 days and the ships are smaller, so it is a more intimate and personal experience. On the cruises, there are people who get off the ship every day in snorkeling gear and go snorkeling.

Best Regards,
Julia_E is offline  
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Jun 11th, 2007, 11:17 AM
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A cruise to FP and the Cooks for 10 days including airfare under $5,000 for two people????? I'd like to see that!! I also did a 7 days cruise in FP only on the Paul Gauguin...It was more than $5,000...If you have a deal, sign me up!
AndieB is offline  
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Jun 11th, 2007, 12:49 PM
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If I were going to Hawai'i for a honeymoon, I would pick a quieter island than Maui. I would go for the Big Island or Kauai. You could do either island for $5K as long as you don't stay in too fancy a hotel, and don't go crazy eating out.

You can also do FP for $5K, but the flight and most everything else will be more expensive. There are several small pensions or hotels on Moorea that are reasonably priced (for FP!) and are great for honeymooners. Check out for places to stay, as well as packages that might save you some money.

If I were going on a honeymoon, I think that I would go to the Cook Islands or Fiji. The flights are even more expensive than to Tahiti, but both places tend to be a lot less expensive for everything else.

I think that I would stay in a shoreside bungalow on Rarotonga, and take an overnight side trip to Aitutaki, which is about the most idyllic island I've ever been to. A whole week in Aitutaki would be great too, but it is an awfully small place.

There are also tons of nice little romantic places to stay in Fiji. You could stay on the Coral Coast part of the main island of Viti Levu, or stay on the outer islands of the Yasawa group. My favorite island is probably Taveuni, which has fantastic SCUBA diving, waterfalls, and good hikes (but, sadly, not much in the way of sandy beaches).

Take a look at the Cooks and Fiji, as good alternatives to the more traditional honeymoon locales of FP and Hawai'i.

Al F.
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Jun 12th, 2007, 10:52 AM
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Tahiti is such an amazing place for a honeymoon. I would talk to a couple of different travel agent (specialists in Tahiti travel) and hopefully they can get something for you. If you don't want to stay in an over water and if you aren't going to Bora Bora I would think there is something that might be able to work. Just remember that Tahiti has much less tourists than Hawaii/Maui which (in my opinion) puts it on a completely different level.

You will love Moorea!
Travcarib is offline  
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Jun 12th, 2007, 01:31 PM
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I would look first at weather. It is drier in the June-through-October period in FP. So that would be, perhaps, the best time to visit. The weather gets warmer and more humid starting in November.
In Hawaii, those months are a transition time between the steady tradewind weather of summer and more unsettled weather during the winter. This is still hurricane season for the Central Pacific and Hawaii. The vast majority of the time, the storms stay far enough away that no impact is noted in Hawaii, though. Typically the threat for tropical systems begins to quickly diminish by early October, however during El Nino periods, the threat can continue well into November. More flash flooding occurs during October than any other month. Still, the majority of the time there are generally sunny conditions with brief light showers.
Both of your choices have large spaces to hike. Both have spectacular waterfalls. Some people will tell you that the snorkeling is pretty darn nice in Maui, but the best snorkeling I've done was in the FP. I was just in the FP last month, so my memories are very fresh.
I, of course, would choose Moorea.
Knowing is offline  
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Jun 15th, 2007, 06:09 PM
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The words "budget" and "Tahiti" should never be used in the same sentence!

Coming from the midwest, with 7 days (and I'm not sure if you mean 7 days TOTAL or 7 days IN a location for your honeymoon, and that's a BIG consideration), I would suggest that you go to Kauai. It has everything that you're looking for in your list of preferences without the higher prices.

One thing you should consider are costs once arriving at your destination -- I like to bring that into focus for clients and tell them to figure on the "$18 hamburger in Tahiti".

With all the stress and costs involved in a wedding, you really don't want to stress yourselves out further and be worrying about the cost of everything.

There are amazing hikes you can take in Kauai (and other Hawaiian islands as well), gorgeous waterfalls, etc., and you can stay at a really nice condo with daily maid service. The advantage of that is having your own kitchen - I'm not saying you should stay in and cook every day, but it's a nice option to be able to go to a store, purchase some sodas, beer, wine, juices, snacks; have a nice breakfast out on your lanai, maybe have a BBQ of fresh fish that you've purchased from a local stand one get the idea.

You use that extra $$ you would have spent travelling a further distance and have some unique tours & excursions and some romantic, splurge meals at a nice restaurant!

Hope this is helpful!


Hawaii Specialist
wlzmatilida is offline  
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Jun 29th, 2007, 08:36 AM
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My husband and I spent our honeymoon on Maui. We had a nice time as neither one of us had been there before. We spent about $6000 total, though that includes a few extra excursions that if we were to return, we would cut out. I can't remember our plane flight price, but 600 per ticket rings a bell. Our hotel room was about $265/night, plus we had a rental car. We were there for 8 or 9 nights, staying in Kaanapali the first many nights and then Wailea the last two nights. Our trip was in February so I'm not sure how much our costs would have varied if we would've went in Oct (we were actually married in Oct). While there, we went on a snorkeling trip, a helicopter tour, a dinner cruise, went to the Luau, did some shopping, and ate dinner out every night (though not every lunch as we went grocery shopping for snack food to make some lunches) and went to some decently expensive places that cost around $100 for two and once a place that cost us $200, rented wet suit tops and snorkel gear, rented boogie boards, etc. That's probably more info than you wanted to know, but you can make your budget work if you want. I liked Maui, because it wasn't as quiet as I had heard Kauai to be. Now, I would consider Kauai, but at the time, the ability to go somewhere more busy was good since we hadn't traveled much and wanted to be able to have a lot of options within a close distance. Since then, we've stayed in more remote places and I love it. You'll have fun no matter what location you choose. If you do end up on Maui, put on your list to get some Hula Pie - God's gift to ice cream lovers on Maui

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Aug 15th, 2010, 02:13 AM
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Hi, my husband and I just returned from the "Honeymoon Island" of Kauai Hawaii. We spent 6 nights and spent just about $2000 total for everything including flight, hotel, car rental and food - for the 2 of us. We stayed in a lovely condo with an amazing kitchen and an ocean view. I hunted for this bargain for about 4 days before I found it. Doing the same now for Tahiti.
We saw so many weddings going on while we were there. It is heaven on earth. My husband went hiking along the amazing west coast while I spent the day on a white beach with aqua water. The flowers, plants and tropical wildlife are everywhere. We can't wait to go back.
Take a look again at this island as it maybe just what you are after.....heaven!
Happy wedding and happy life to you.
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