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People often ask me where they should go in Tahiti and French Polynesia. Lacking the ability to read minds, I do not have an easy answer. In other words, it all depends on what you want to see and do on your own vacation. What I like is not necessarily what will interest you -- but what I can do is give you the benefit of my expertise and advice so that you don't waste your valuable vacation time.

If you live in the United States, Canada, or Europe, the long flights mean you can easily burn a day getting to the islands and a day returning home. A week's worth of vacation suddenly becomes 5 days. If possible, therefore, you should spend more than just a week out here.

However you construct your own itinerary, first find out the airlines' schedules and book both your international and Air Tahiti domestic interisland flights well in advance. This is especially true of the domestic flights; do not wait until you arrive in the islands to take care of this important chore.

And remember the old travel agent's rule: Do not stay at the most luxurious property first. Anything after that will seem inferior, and you may go home disappointed. For example, most resorts on Moorea are neither as luxurious nor as picturesque as those on Bora Bora, so if you can afford to island-hop, start but don't end your visit on Moorea. And even after the luxuries of Bora Bora, you won't regret ending your trip with a bit of pampered chill time at Te Tiare Beach Resort on Huahine or the exquisite Le Taha'a Private Island & Spa on Tahaa.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.