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Today’s post is part of a weekly series called “Travel Toss-Up,” in which we ask you to take your pick between two amazing travel experiences.

This week’s toss-up offers a choice of two destinations that commonly appear on travel bucket lists.

Would you rather…

… go on safari in Africa, or …

lions african safari



… find ultimate relaxation in French Polynesia?

bora bora kayak


An African safari is a common bucket list trip for travelers who love wildlife. Learn more with our guide to Planning an African Safari. The farflung islands of French Polynesia, with their aquamarine waters and lush palms, inspire many a wintertime daydream among those of us who live in colder climes.

Vote for your preference in the comments below!

– written by Sarah Schlichter

Today’s post is part of a weekly series called “Travel Toss-Up,” in which we ask you to take your pick between two amazing travel experiences.

This week’s toss-up offers a choice of two warm-weather adventures.

Would you rather…

… hike to a secret waterfall in Kauai, Hawaii, or …

kauai waterfall



… go snorkeling in Tahiti?

snorkel snorkeling tahiti


Here in the Northeast, we’re sick of ice and snow — which is why we chose two warm-weather experiences for this week. The first picture captures one of the many waterfalls on the Hawaiian isle of Kauai; known as the Garden Island, it’s a haven for hikers and nature lovers. In the second photo are snorkelers enjoying the unspoiled undersea landscape off the coast of Tahiti.

Vote for your preference in the comments below!

– written by Sarah Schlichter

Suffering from the Monday doldrums? For everyone out there facing the beginning of another work week, here’s a little jolt of wanderlust to brighten up your morning. Each Monday, we offer a photo of a spectacular place to spark ideas for your future travels.

Today’s shot is a view of Mount Otemanu in Bora Bora, French Polynesia.

bora bora mount otemanu


French Polynesia Trip Reviews

Send us your best travel shot! E-mail your most beautiful or captivating travel photo to feedback@independenttraveler.com. (Please put Monday Inspiration in the subject line.)

Photos: 9 Best Destinations to See from the Water

– written by Sarah Schlichter

French PolynesiaEvery Tuesday, we’ll feature the best travel bargain we’ve seen all week right here, on our blog. Be the first to find out which deals make the cut by subscribing to our blog (top right) or signing up for our weekly deals newsletter.

The Deal: Air Tahiti Nui is currently offering discounted fares from the West Coast to Papeete for as little as $980 roundtrip plus taxes and fees — a savings of 30 percent. The extra fees generally amount to just $92.60 roundtrip, bringing your total lowest possible roundtrip fare to $1,072.60. But, as this is an early-bird sale, travel isn’t valid until this fall, between November 1 and December 14.

Tahiti’s wet season starts in November and lasts through April, so if you take advantage of this deal you’ll be hitting the islands during low season. But not to worry — Tahiti’s like Hawaii. There’s not really a bad time to visit. Conditions will likely be humid and occasionally rainy, but crowds will be fewer and you’ll have a better shot at snapping up the more sought-after hotel rooms.

The Catch: Your tickets must be booked a whopping 120 days in advance, which shaves some time off that November 1 to December 14 travel period. According to my calculations, November 23 is 120 days from today’s date. The longer you wait before booking, the smaller your window of available travel dates becomes.

The Competition: We haven’t spotted a published fare from another airline that beats this price. But Air Tahiti Nui is offering another similar deal with a wider range of travel dates: fly from Los Angeles to Tahiti for just $965 roundtrip plus taxes and fees from November through May (with the exception of some blackout dates). The catch? Your trip must be quick. Travelers who book this deal may stay in Tahiti for no longer than five nights.

– written by Caroline Costello