With non-stop, affordable flights from California to both Tahiti and Fiji, many families are beginning to look beyond Mexico and Hawaii and all the way to the South Pacific for their next trip. In one quick, overnight flight you can be in either Tahiti or Fiji. Both airlines also offer amazing pricing for kids (sometimes half price!) making what seems like an exotic destination, a bit more approachable.
It’s true… taking the family to Tahiti or Fiji can be surprisingly affordable! I find that most people associate Tahiti with overwater bungalows and Honeymoons (both true) and Fiji with traditional Melanesian culture (also true) but that’s about all people know. Of course there is much more to both Tahiti and Fiji for family travelers.
If you’re considering something a bit more exotic for your next family vacation, here’s what you need to know about Fiji vs Tahiti.
While there are over 100 islands that make up Tahiti, the islands of Tahiti, Moorea and Bora Bora are where the majority of resorts are located. Here, you’ll find several luxury properties, including the Four Seasons, Le Meridien and St Regis, as well as some lovely Intercontinental properties at the 4-star level. Throughout Tahiti, children typically eat free which is a nice value!
Tahiti is all about the views. Here, you can enjoy the iconic landscape of volcanic mountains rising up from the ocean, with soaring peaks covered with lush jungle terrain. Outer reefs circle the islands, creating the tranquil lagoons and amazing water colors.
Tahitian culture is a mix of Polynesian and French. This is particularly fun when it comes to dining! French sophistication melds with an abundance of seafood and tropical fruits for a unique, and delicious, culinary experience.
Tahiti is home to the overwater bungalow, and they arguably do it best. There is nothing like diving off your private deck into the water, surrounded by a spectacular array of underwater life. This is what Tahiti is all about!!
However, one of my favorite experiences is a “motu picnic.” A “motu” is a tiny islet delicately resting on the lagoon. Soft sand, coconut palms and crystal-clear lagoon, welcome to the most amazing restaurant in the world! Here, lunch is served on the beach or in the lagoon. An absolute must-try is the local speciality, “poisson cru”, a delicious salad of raw tuna and vegetables marinated with coconut milk and lime juice. And in the islands, coconut milk is squeezed right before your eyes! Can’t get fresher than this!
Flight time from California to Tahiti is just under 8 hours on an overnight flight, and the time difference is only 2 hours, making the travel very do-able even for young children.
Fiji is a true remote paradise, made up of 332 islands, only 110 of which are inhabited.
While the beaches here are, as you would expect, fabulous, there is more to Fiji than the beach. There are plenty of opportunities to hike and experience wildlife and nature throughout Fiji. For example, kids will love hiking to the Tavoro Waterfalls on Taveuni Island and exploring the sand dunes near Kulukulu village on Sigatoga, in addition to plenty of water-based activities.
Here, many of the resorts are actually on private islands, adding to the “remote paradise” atmosphere here. Also, Fiji has a great selection of 4-star options, making the destination surprisingly affordable. Generally in Fiji, all non-motorized water sports, snorkel equipment, kayaks, SUP, and kids club are included in the price of accommodations.
Fiji is also going to offer a bit more when it comes to cultural experiences. In rural Fiji, traditional village life is still common in many areas. Villages often hold conservative values, the principles of interdependent living are strong, and the traditional hierarchical structure – with a Chief at the top – remains. In the cities, however, the culture is more modern, like you’d find in many of the world’s big cities.
Both of these destinations are wonderful options for Fall Break (October) or Thanksgiving (American Thanksgiving that is!) as these months are off peak in terms of in-demand travel months, yet the weather is still fabulous.