Ia Orana (hello)! A Tahitian vacation is a mere dream for most, so shout out to you for actually realizing the dream. From basic necessities to French Polynesia’s strict airline baggage policies, this Tahiti packing list will make your vacation prep a breeze so that you can focus solely on your excitement and relaxation.
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Important Tahiti Baggage Information
Before we begin, it’s important to know that airline baggage policies to Tahiti are much stricter than suitcase requirements in other countries.
You’ll most likely be flying to Tahiti on Air Tahiti Nui. It is advisable that you follow Air Tahiti Nui’s baggage policies instead of your country’s standard regulations so you don’t run into any issues airport check-in.
Air Tahiti Nui Carry-On Baggage Policies
If you’ll be flying to Tahiti on Air Tahiti Nui, here are the carry-on baggage policies you should follow:
|Ticket type||max baggage allowance|
|Moana Economy||1 bag at 22 lbs (10 Kg)|
+1 personal item at 7 lbs (3 Kg)
|Moana Premium||1 bag at 22 lbs (10 Kg)|
+1 personal item at 7 lbs (3 Kg)
|Poerava Business||1 bag at 26.5 lbs (12 Kg)|
+1 personal item at 7 lbs (3 Kg)
|Infant (Any Class)||1 personal item at 7 lbs (3 Kg)|
Furthermore, carry-on bags of any class must not exceed the following maximum dimensions:
- Combined dimensions (length + width + height) of 45 inches (115 centimeters).
- Wheels, pockets and handles must be included in the 45-inch (115-centimeter) dimensions.
(Heads-up: the Air Tahiti Nui check-in employees actually do weigh and measure your carry-on and personal items unlike most airlines!)
Air Tahiti Nui Checked Baggage Policies
Furthermore, here are the checked baggage policies for Air Tahiti Nui:
|Ticket Type||max baggage allowance||Club Tier Silver & Gold||Weight Allowance|
|Moana Economy||1 bag||+1 bag||50 lbs (23 Kg)|
|Moana Premium||2 bags||+1 bag||50 lbs (23 Kg)|
|Poerava Business||2 bags||+1 bag||70 lbs (32 Kg)|
|Infant (Any Class)||1 bag|
+1 folding stroller
|–||22 lbs (10 Kg)|
Similarly, checked bags of any class must not exceed the following maximum dimensions:
- Combined dimensions (length + width + height) of 62 inches (158 centimeters).
- Wheels, pockets and handles must be included in the 62-inch (158-centimeter) dimensions.
Now, let’s get into this Tahiti packing list!
1. 3-4 Swimsuits
You will be swimming multiple times a day in Tahiti, which means you’ll want multiple swimsuits. No one enjoys attempting to slide into a half-wet bikini top.
Moreover, you’ll want to bring at least one one-piece suit for water activities like jet skiing, paddle boarding, snorkeling, etc. The rest of your swimsuits can be any style of choice: one-piece, bikini, tankini or even a wetsuit.
My favorite swimsuits are from Aerie and Victoria’s Secret. Aerie often has buy-one-get-one-half-off swimsuit sales. Whereas, Victoria’s Secret’s swimsuits are super cheap (cheaper than Target) during their semi-annual sale.
2. Beach Cover-Ups (Tahiti Packing List)
Swim cover-ups are always a good idea. They look great in photos and give you a little extra coverage when walking from your room to the pool or beach.
Plus, they take up a lot less suitcase space than beach towels. I brought this two-pack of Amazon sarong wraps and they quickly became one of my new favorite beach essentials.
3. Beach Towel
Similarly, you’ll definitely want at least one beach towel to dry off and cover up post-swim.
Odds are that your resort and/or vacation rental will provide beach towels for you. In that case, don’t bother taking up your precious suitcase space with a bulky beach towel.
However, if your accommodations do not provide beach towels, a packable, quick-drying microfiber beach towel (like this one from Amazon) will be your best bet.
4. Flip Flops (Tahiti Packing List)
The sidewalks get excruciatingly hot when the sun is out. Do not attempt to walk barefoot on the sidewalks or boardwalks when it’s sunny.
I actually thought I gave myself burn blisters from walking barefoot on the boardwalk. You only make that mistake once…
Learn from my mistake. Flip flops are essential to walk around your resort property. These uniquely shaped, sustainable Old Navy flip flops are a cheap, cute and very packable option to protect your feet.
5. Water Shoes
Even though Tahiti’s ocean is extremely clear, there are tons of reef, spiky black sea urchin and sharp coral pieces on the ocean floor. If you plan to swim or snorkel in the ocean, you’ll want water shoes.
We did not bring water shoes, but we wish we would have. Again, protect your bare feet!
I love that these sleek water shoes look more like tennis shoes as opposed to traditional water shoes.
6. Lightweight Kimono Robe
You will live in a lightweight kimono robe in Tahiti if you pack one.
A lightweight, full-length kimono robe, like this one, provides the perfect amount of coverage when you want to lounge outside on your bungalow deck post-swim but don’t want to put actual clothes on.
7. Sunscreen (Tahiti Packing List)
The Tahitian sun shines extremely bright, no matter the season. This can cause your skin a lot of damage in the long-run.
If you were blessed/cursed with fair, acne-prone skin like me, I recommend the Neutrogena Clear Face oil-free sunscreen with SPF 55. This sunscreen is very lightweight, high-coverage and has never made me break out.
8. Aloe Vera
You might still burn even after using sunscreen. Aloe vera heals sunburns naturally, making it an essential item on this Tahiti packing list.
In addition, aloe vera also helps cool and replenish freshly waxed skin (preventing ingrown hairs and other wax-induced discomfort) in case you get a bikini wax for your beach vacation.
This travel size organic aloe vera gel is an Amazon bestseller and highly reviewed by its users.
9. Sunglasses (Tahiti Packing List)
Just like you need to protect your skin, you need to protect your eyes. Bring a pair of sunglasses everywhere you go in Tahiti.
The sun’s brightness in French Polynesia is incomprehensible until you experience it first-hand. In fact, the sun was so bright that there were multiple times when I was squinting with my sunglasses on.
Blessed/cursed with poor eyesight? Zenni Optical has incredibly cute and cheap prescription (or non-prescription) sunglasses in every style frame imaginable (aviator, round, luxury square, classic and more). This rectangle pair of Zennis is my personal favorite and is under $15 with a basic prescription.
10. Flowy, Loose Shirts & Blouses
Loose, lightweight blouses (short or long-sleeved) are perfect tops to pack for your Tahiti vacation.
Not only are lightweight shirts and blouses practical for the warm-yet-breezy weather, but they can also act as either casual or dressy attire. Packing clothing items that match any outfit is a key factor in not overpacking.
Here’s one affordable option that will go with any occasion and look great in beach photos.
11. Flowy, Loose Linen Pants And/Or Skirts (Tahiti Packing List)
Like the lightweight tops, loose fitting pants are a staple piece in Tahiti year-round.
They are cool during the day. They are warm for breezy nights. And, they prevent inner-thigh chaffing during those pleasant daytime beach walks. I am not kidding when I say that loose linen pants are a must for Tahiti.
12. Casual Dresses
Do you see a common theme here with the loose, flowy clothing?
Trust me, you won’t want to wear your tight tanks and skinny jeans in this island climate. But, you probably want to look cute on your Tahiti vacation still, right?
Just like loose fitting tops and bottoms, casual dresses are an essential Tahiti packing list item.
13. 2-3 Dressy Outfits For Nice Dinners (Tahiti Packing List)
Furthermore, you’ll inevitably be splurging on some fancy dinners while you’re in Tahiti. Dress the part!
I personally packed these two Amazon dresses for my Tahitian vacation, and I am still obsessed with them.
Additionally, I bought this Amazon dress for our engagement photos and have worn it on multiple vacations since.
14. At Least One Sun Hat (Tahiti Packing List)
As mentioned earlier, the sun was so bright that even sunglasses didn’t provide enough shade.
I was planning on bringing this adorable, classic straw sun hat along, but I forgot it at home! Don’t take after me. Pack a sun hat for Tahiti.
15. Waterproof Makeup
Although you’re gorgeous without makeup (obviously!), you may be looking for affordable, proven waterproof makeup for your Tahiti vacation.
As a travel blogger and photographer, I have had my fair share of beach and underwater photoshoots. I have personally tested these makeup products, and they are tried and true for surviving even the wettest conditions.
Seriously, I used all of these products on my wedding day, and I didn’t have to touch up once — even after crying, dancing and sweating.
16. Pony Tails & Extra Hair Product (Tahiti Packing List)
With your dream tropical vacation comes humidity, unfortunately.
Although the humidity isn’t too noticeable when you’re lounging outside or swimming, it is definitely noticeable right after you’ve done your hair.
If you have wavy-curly hair like me, I highly suggest bringing the OGX Extra Strength & Renewing Argan Oil of Morocco to help tame frizz.
17. Beach Bag
You won’t want to lug your carry-on backpack with you from your resort room to the beach. That’s just a fact.
It may be worth packing this small, packable, beach-y purse so that you have a bag to keep your phone, room key and sunglasses stored while you swim.
Or, if you don’t mind carrying a beach bag through the airport, you could also use this full-size woven beach bag as your airplane personal item.
18. Waterproof Phone Pouch (Tahiti Packing List)
I am probably the only travel blogger/photographer who will admit this, but GoPros are overrated.
Unless you are an aspiring travel videographer, you are much better off purchasing a waterproof phone pouch over a GoPro. Today, smartphone cameras have incredible technology that will produce photo and video content that is just as good (if not better) than a GoPro.
Even if you are an aspiring travel videographer, you should really invest in underwater housing for your DSLR or mirrorless camera instead of blowing several hundred dollars on the newest GoPro.
This waterproof phone pouch will keep your phone safe, dry and usable during all of your underwater adventures.
19. A Book You’ve Been Meaning To Read
We all have a stack of books waiting to be read.
I read Atomic Habits by James Clear while I was in Tahiti, and it completely transformed my perspectives of habits, goals and work-life balance. It helped me recharge while I was on vacation so that I was actually excited to return to work when I got back home.
Furthermore, The 4-Hour Workweek teaches step-by-step how to automate your life so you can work less and travel more. It’s a perfect beach read.
20. French-English Dictionary (Optional Tahiti Packing List Item)
While most of the people you will encounter, such as airline and hotel staff, speak at least a little English, it may benefit you to pack this French-English Dictionary.
In addition to French and English, it will be important for you to know the following Tahitian words.
- Ia Orana (yo-rah-nah) = Hello
- Maururu (mah-roo-roo) = Thank You
- Maeva (mah-yeh-vah) = Welcome
You will here everyone say these Tahitian phrases everyday, especially “Ia Orana” and “Maururu.”
21. Snorkel Gear (Tahiti Packing List)
Like beach towels, most resorts will have complimentary snorkel gear rentals. However, it is worth researching, as you will not want to miss snorkeling with Tahiti’s tropical array of rainbow fish, puffer fish, angel fish and stingray.
If you need to pack snorkel gear, I swear by this Amazon snorkel gear set.
Pair this snorkel set with these travel-friendly snorkel fins (which I also swear by) to really immerse into Tahiti’s oceanic habitat.
22. Socks & Underwear
This Tahiti packing list bullet is the most basic but also the most forgotten. Remember to pack enough socks and underwear for the number of days you’ll be in Tahiti.
To keep your suitcase organized (and to prevent a nightmare of underwear falling out of your suitcase at baggage claim), I suggest using packing cubes or mesh laundry bags to store all of your unmentionables.
23. Cute Comfortable Pajamas
My go-to cute-and-comfortable pajama bottoms are basic sweatpants from H&M.
24. Activewear (Optional Tahiti Packing List Item)
If you’re more of the beach-only type of traveler, you can keep scrolling.
But, if you are up for a rewarding island hike, resort yoga flow or beach run, you may want to consider bringing a workout outfit or two.
Another obvious but frequently forgotten packing list item for Tahiti? Toiletries (toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, face wash, moisturizer, etc.). Here’s your second reminder to pack reef-safe high SPF sunscreen!
I use a hanging toiletry bag for all of my trips. Not only will a hanging toiletry bag keep all of your little bottles packable and organized, but it will also allow you to hang your bathroom necessities on the mirror, shower rod or towel rack to save precious hotel counter space.
26. Neck Pillow For The Flight
I have a confession.
I hated neck pillows up until our long-haul flight to Tahiti. Before this flight, I thought neck pillows were stocky, uncomfortable and more harmful for my neck than beneficial.
However, my husband convinced me to try one again on our eight-hour flight from LAX to Tahiti because I can “never” sleep on flights.
I hate to admit it, but I slept better on those flights than I ever have on a flight before. I think I have to credit this basic neck pillow for the bettered sleep.
27. Outlet Adaptor
Did you know that not all countries use the same shape of outlet?
Obviously, this poses a bit of a problem when traveling internationally. In Tahiti, you will need this Type E outlet adaptor to use and charge your electronics. Most resorts will have universal outlets built into their walls, but it is better to be safe than sorry.
Pro tip: If you bring a power strip, you will only need to purchase one outlet adaptor to charge all your devices at once. This power strip has a retractable cord, so it won’t get tangled or take up extra space in your suitcase.
28. Travel Camera Gear
You want your dream vacation to be as memorable as possible, so I highly suggest bringing a nice camera with you.
For all of the best budget camera gear (which I used to take the photo below) for travel photography, click here.
29. Travel First Aid Kit
If you bring a first aid kit, you won’t need it. That’s the key.
This travel-sized first aid kit includes everything you would need for any injury that doesn’t require a trip to the hospital.
30. Fun Floaties
As you already know, the water in Tahiti is simply spectacular. It’s even better in person than in photos.
Sometimes, you’ll want to just relax and float in the water without having to swim, paddle or otherwise exert energy.
A cheap pool floatie would be more than worthwhile to pack. In fact, we were a little jealous of our bungalow neighbors who thought of packing a floatie ahead of time. Amazon has tons of floaties to choose from, like this diamond ring floatie or this fun llama pool floatie!
How Do People Dress In Tahiti?
Inside the resorts, local people in Tahiti dress in casual beachy attire: sundresses, tropical button-ups, khaki shorts and sandals. Outside the resorts, local people in Tahiti dress very casually: tee shirts, shorts and flip flops.
How Should I Dress In Tahiti?
Similar to the locals, tourist attire typically leans toward the dressier end of beach casual: sundress, flowy pants, nice button-ups, khaki shorts, etc.
So, whether you’re hoping to dress like a tourist or a local, sundresses and nicer beach clothes are your safest bet.
Can I Take Food Into Tahiti?
Yes you can take food into Tahiti; however, the food needs to be sealed in its original can or packaging, and it must not break Tahiti’s biosecurity rules.
In order to protect the environment of Tahiti, French Polynesia has strict customs regulations in terms of biosecurity.
You will find various contradicting biosecurity rules online, so it is always best to play it safe and ask the biosecurity service desk upon arrival in the Tahiti airport.
You can also visit the Tahiti Biosecurity website for more information prior to your departure (French only).
Here is a list of foods that we brought into Tahiti without any issues:
- Tuna packets (cheap and they pack well).
- Tortillas to make tuna wraps (won’t get smushed in your suitcase like bread would).
- Ritz crackers to eat with the tuna.
- Pre-packaged tuna salad and cracker boxes (we ate a lot of tuna, obviously).
- Fruit leather (you can’t bring fresh fruit or vegetables through Bora Bora’s biosecurity at the airport).
- Dried mango (perfect beach snack).
- Beef sticks and beef jerky (good source of protein other than tuna, haha).
- Lots of granola bars.
- Protein bars.
- Trail mix.
What Can You Not Take To Tahiti?
According to the Air Tahiti FBO, here’s what you cannot take to Tahiti:
- Fresh fruit, dried fruit or nuts.
- Fresh plant produce (food) or grains.
- Plants, seeds, etc.
- Plant products (wood, grains, fresh/dried flowers, food, medicines, etc.).
- Dirty camping or sports equipment.
- Eggs or egg products.
- Dairy products.
- Honey or other apiculture products.
- Products of animal origin (wool, feathers, etc.).
See? Obviously, there is some contradicting information about the Tahiti biosecurity rules!
So, don’t be mad if biosecurity takes any of your food items away at customs. Ultimately, these professionals know what is best for native Tahiti land and agriculture.
Be optimistic, be patient and don’t be an angry tourist!
Did I miss anything on this Tahiti packing list? Let me know in the comments below!
More On French Polynesia
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How To Do Bora Bora On A Budget
What To Pack For Your Bora Bora Honeymoon
Is Bora Bora Worth It? A Place Better Than Bora Bora
Best Budget Camera Gear For Travel Photography
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