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    by mkataoka Fodor's Editor | Posted on Nov 28, 16 at 01:31 PM
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Planning birthday trip to Big Island & Kauai - advice!

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So I've spent a lot of the last three days reading threads on Hawaii, and such great advice and love for the place on these forums, that I thought I'd post my current holiday ideas for advice!

My partner and I have just booked tix to Hawaii in mid-November, for my 40th birthday. We're Australian, and we usually holiday in far north Queensland, near the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest. - we're lovers of rainforest and endless beaches. I've dreamed of going to Hawaii ever since I was a kid, and cheap airfares were the last push we needed to commit to going this year. We'll have 14 nights clear on the Island - we're flying in and out of Oahu as that was the airfare deal.

We want a romantic, low-key, low-energy holiday. Our idea of romantic is being together in beautiful places - lots of privacy and scenery. Both of us have jobs which are kicking our backsides at the moment, and we have a major European trip impending, so I also want this holiday to involve lazy days rather than lots of activity, more time for spontaneity and less scheduled activity.

We have a reasonably substantial budget (assuming the interest rate holds up!).

Current ideas:

From browsing here and elsewhere, it feels like we should split our time between Kauai and Big Island.

DP is a geology enthusiast, so checking out VNP is a given, and it seems as if there is relatively unique, lush rainforest in the volcano area. I've been looking at a B&B called Volcano Mist Cottage that looks like our definition of perfect. The area looks like it has a wealth of walking through different habitats opportunities?

We could head to other side of the island for a couple of days for snorkeling/seeing how the island changes. We're pretty keen snorkelers, although we've never snorkeled outside of Australia!

Kauai also seems to suit our general agenda of less people/more scenery/wetter and more rainforesty. I'd be keen to stay near a beach there if we are going more inland on Big Island.

I guess i'm thinking something like 6 nights Kauai north shore; 3 nights Big Island Kona side; 5 nights Volcano area.

The questions (finally getting to the point!)
* Does this plan seem to suit our interests well? Is it doable?
* DP has mild asthma. Is staying in Volcano for 5 nights risky for breathing problems?
* Our last night is Thanksgiving. As a non-American, I didn't even think about this until we booked. Will it cause complications?
*Any advice for booking island-hopping flights?
*Any advice on where to stay on the west coast of Big Island? I've read a ton of threads on this and it just left me feeling more confused. It seemed like the northern area was prettier, but very tourist enclave-like. We're *really* not resort people or gated community people. But we do like a nice view....
*Any advice on how to look for accommodation in Kauai? I'm not radically keen on a condo, and have looked for self-contained houses or areas that might be more remote, but so far without success. These forums convinced me that the north shore is absolutely where we want to be, it seems pretty popular as a beautiful spot.
*Any other advice/suggestions or ideas to get me more excited? (ok, I'm pretty excited, but still - I have a lot of months to be excited for!)
*Snorkeling advice in particular would be welcomed. I've noticed a lot of kayak+snorkel options, but I have arthritis in my hands and kayaking isn't possible :( Is this likely to be an issue?
**wow, apologies for the length of this. I promise to write a really good trip report in payment...****

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