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Boating Trip in Tahiti – Packing List


So you have planned a bareboat vacation in French Polynesia! What do you take? The less you can take on a boat the better! If possible, soft sided bags are better, because once you unpack on the boat they can be folded up and stored more easily.  If you are flying inter-island to your boat on a another island, like Raiatea, these flights have stricter weight limits than international flights.  If your bags are overweight, you just pay the difference for excess baggage, and it has never been very expensive.  If you have a PADI card, that will give an extra 11 pounds.  Most boats offer snorkeling equipment, many islands have scuba diving shops. If you want to take your own equipment, that is always possible.

Here is a packing list for 10 days to get you started. Pack according to your taste, and adjust based on the number of days, and what you do before and after boating. Let me know if there is something you find useful that I have missed on the list.

  • 2 swimsuits
  • snorkeling gear
  • quick dry bath towel
  • a few hair clips to keep the wind from blowing in your face
  • dry bags – various sizes, one for cell phone for example, a larger one to keep a camera dry if you go ashore
  • phone/camera/chargers/external disks/computer + extra batteries + adapters
  • underwater case for phone/camera
  • water shoes
  • cheap flip flops
  • nicer flip flops
  • sturdy shoes if you plan on hiking
  • sailing gloves if you want to actively participate in sailing
  • short socks – to prevent blisters from flippers when snorkeling
  • lycra t-shirt & pair of leggings, for sun protection when snorkeling, dries quickly
  • long sleeved shirt & light weight pants for sun protection on the boat
  • hat/cap with strap
  • windproof jacket
  • 1 skirt
  • 1 casual nice outfit to go out in
  • 2 pairs of shorts
  • 5 tops
  • 5 pairs quick drying underwear
  • 1-2 bras
  • large scarf or pareo (or buy one locally)
  • insect repellent
  • sunscreen (preferable reef-friendly)
  • polarized sunglasses with strap
  • flashlight, waterproof – incase you need to find your boat at night
  • ziplock bag with your over the counter medications (aspirin, waterproof bandaids, etc)
  • toiletteries
  • back pack for any day excursions – there are ones that are dry bags as well
  • a reusable ‘shopping bag’

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    1. thanks Cherryl, there are so many places to snorkel in French Polynesia, it is hard to have a bad shot, from rays, to colorful fish, to sharks and more… Hope you can come visit some time!

  1. Leaving for Tahiti in one month, we are doing a 2 week sailing excursion with scuba diving. This is my first sailing trip. Thanks for the list, I’m nervous about over packing or not having what I need.

    1. Hi Morgan, you are going to have an amazing time! You will be there during whale season – it is a magical experience to go snorkeling with humpback whales – highly recommend doing that! What islands will you be going to? If you are flying to an island to meet your boat, your PADI card will allow you 5kg more of checked luggage. Please email me Larissarolley@outlook.com and I can provide you more information.
      Sailing is truly one of the best ways to experience the islands and go to secluded places.

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