10 day vacation to hawaii

Old Apr 11th, 2006, 11:56 AM
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10 day vacation to hawaii

My husband and I are taking a 10 day vacation to Hawaii. We havent booked our hotel yet. We were wanting to make our otenary before we booked. Our goal is to visit all the islands, is this unreasonable for 10 full days? I have no knowledge about Hawaii and am trying to educate myself. Any suggestions or comments?
smilesfromga is offline  
Old Apr 11th, 2006, 12:50 PM
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There is no way you can do all the islands in 10 days -- there are 6 "major" islands for tourists -- Maui, Oahu, Kauai, Big Island, Lanai, and Molokai. You'd spend your whole vacation on planes. I was going to do 3 islands in 10 days, and other posters convinced me to stick with 2. Once I started planning my itinerary, I realized how right they were. Check out hawaiitips.com -- they have a good system for choosing which islands you want to visit. If you really want to go for quantity, consider a cruise (although I've heard from almost everyone that it's not the way to go in Hawaii!).
karameli is offline  
Old Apr 11th, 2006, 12:59 PM
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It takes half a day or more to fly to another island (pack, check out of hotel, drive to airport, 90 minutes for security, 30-60 minute flight, get bags, rent car, check into hotel, etc). and you can't always go directly form one island to another so you may have to change planes in Honolulu.

Definitely do the cruise if you want to see so many islands. It will much cheaper than the cost of inter-island airfare and hotels, and you'll actually have some time to see something. I think they start at about $700.
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Old Apr 11th, 2006, 01:20 PM
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Definitely concur with lcuy on this one. If you want to try to see all of the islands (or even most of them) do a cruise. Ten days to do all the islands is not realistic in my opinion. Personally, I would only do 2, possibly (and this is a stretch for me), 3 tops.
chasechow is offline  
Old Apr 11th, 2006, 02:08 PM
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I'm afraid it is not realistic unless you do a cruise, although that's not a bad idea if you want to get an overview of all the islands.

6 islands in 10 days traveling independently (not on a tour) and by air, is just not feasible. You'd spend all your time and money going to and from airports, checking in and out of hotels, etc.

I think the easiest way to "educate yourself" is check out any guidebook from your local library that and do some reading.

In 10 days, I would pick 2 islands, and maybe squeeze in a 3rd max. Something like 5 days on Oahu (with an organized tour day trip to Big Island) then 5 days on Maui or Kauai.
suze is offline  
Old Apr 11th, 2006, 03:15 PM
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Another opinion: I lived on Oahu for two years. During this time, a visiting relative took me on a packaged tour visit to 3 other islands: the Big Island, Kauai, and Lahaina. The island connections were made via airplane. Oahu is terrific, but I really enjoyed the opportunity to see something of the other islands, and this tour was a good way to do it.

On the other hand, you only have 10 days, and this is your first trip to Hawaii. I advise spending at least a week on Oahu (so much to see there!), with 2 or 3 days on the Big Island, to visit the volcanoes.

Oahu has so much variety that with a rental car you can see much the same type of scenery there that you can see on the other islands. Just be sure to see parts of the island other than Waikiki.
JoyceL is offline  
Old Apr 11th, 2006, 03:17 PM
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correction: I meant Maui, not Lahaina (a city in Maui)
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Old Apr 11th, 2006, 03:48 PM
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I like Joyce's option.

I guess I would rephrase what I said above. If you want to see all 6 islands in only 10 days, I believe you need some kind of professional help... not trying to do-it-yourself.

Whether by cruise ship or using an organized tour of some type to cover more ground more quickly than you would be able to on your own.
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Old Apr 11th, 2006, 04:56 PM
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On two occasions, I have visited four islands in ten days and had a wonderful time. (I was a teenager.) I would never do it again. I think that two islands are the most you can do and get any feel for them and any time to relax...
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Old Apr 11th, 2006, 05:23 PM
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Agree with all the others. 10 days is not enough. We went to the BI 2 yrs. ago and felt our 9 days there could have been stretched to 10 or 11. If you like highlights do a cruise but for more in depth looking into the islands, if that is your goal, then 10 days = 2 islands. JM2C.
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Old Apr 11th, 2006, 06:18 PM
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I also think 2 islands, possibly 3 would be plenty in 10 days.

I like Oahu because there is so much to see and do there.

So I would split my time between Oahu and eithe Maui, Big Island or Kauai.

Lots of info:

List of things to do on Oahu

These are some hints/suggestions for things to do and see on Oahu. Many of the websites listed are good for all islands.

Arizona Memorial: (free) get there early, preferably by 8am. Opens at 7:30am. If you get there after 10am the lines can get long and you may spend 1-2 hours in line. Battleship USS Missouri and Submarine USS Bowfin are in the same area. These are about $15 each so you can go or skip them. Look for coupons in brochures for two for one. You can take pictures of them from Arizona Visitors Center and the Arizona tour ferry. Go on the lawn behind the Visitor's Center (Circle of Remembrance) for great pictures. You can also walk around the Bowfin Memorial area for free without taking the tour. Its worth the time. The Swap Meet is only a couple blocks from here at Aloha Stadium.

Polynesian Cultural Center (PCC): www.polynesia.com General Admission about $50 or the luau buffet package ($80). The evening 'Horizons' show is the best Polynesian show in all of Hawaii. It comes with all ticket price options. The higher priced ticket packages get the better seating for 'Horizons'. Also the earlier you get there, the better the seating is for 'Horizons'. The Ali'i Luau Show that is part of the luau package is also a good Polynesian show. IMAX, Canoe Pageant, Samoa and Tonga villages and Canoe ride are the best other attractions (these are included with any type ticket). Plan on this as an all day event. Get there by 1pm (earlier if possible), leave around 9:30pm. When I take visitors, I try to keep on this schedule: IMAX 1:30, Canoe Pageant 2:30, Samoa 3:00, Tonga 4:00, Canoe Ride around 4:30, regular buffet or Ali'i luau buffet 5pm and 'Horizons' at 7:30. The other villages are nice also, but there is not enough time for all of them. You will have time to do some shopping or looking around between the buffet or luau and 'Horizons'. Closed on Sundays. You can go back for free for two days. Check with PCC employees for instructions before leaving the Center if you want the extra days.
Coupon in Entertainment Book to save $36.

Diamond Head Summit: Drive right into the crater and hike to the top. ($5 per carload or $1 each if you walk into the crater). I prefer to drive in. Awesome 360 degree view from the summit. Best time is around 8am or around 4pm. In between it can get hot walking to the top. Takes about 1 - 1 1/2 hours roundtrip.

Punchbowl (National Cemetery of the Pacific): (free) While you are there, drive to the overlook area. Short walk to the summit that overlooks the entire city. If you have time, take the Mt. Tantalus/Round Top drive through a rain forest. Stop at the Puu Ualakaa State Wayside about 2/3 of the way to the top of the mountain. It has an awesome view of the city from Waikiki to Pearl Harbor. Punchbowl is near the bottom of Mt. Tantalus.

Hanauma Bay: Snorkel. Its for any age. You can rent snorkeling equipment there or some places in Waikiki or bring your own. Closed on Tuesdays. Try to get there as early as possible. If you drive, the parking lot gets filled up by 9:00 or 10:00. ($1 for parking, $5 for each person). You can reserve snorkel tours with several companies. They provide equipment, transportation, etc. They seem to have better equipment than the park does. You can also take the city bus. But the first city bus doesn't leave Waikiki until 8:30 am. Website:


Byodo-In-Temple (Valley of the Temples): $2 each. Just past Kaneohe. Haiku Gardens in Kaneohe is close by.

Chinaman's Hat: (free) Kualoa Regional Park is just past Byodo-In-Temple. Nice for pictures, picnic, swimming. Also nearby is Macadamia Nut Farm Outlet just before Kualoa Regional Park. Kualoa Ranch is across the street.

Swap Meet: You can buy almost any souvenirs here much cheaper than anywhere else. All items are new. Vendors wrap around the stadium twice. Located at Aloha Stadium near Arizona Memorial. Open Wed, Sat, Sun.

Hilo Hattie's: Nice place to shop. Higher prices than swap meet, but not too much more on many items. Has good selection of clothing, candies and souvenirs. Check brochures for coupons. Can take free Hilo Hattie's shuttle from Waikiki.

Ala Moana Beach Park: (free) Nice beach. Great sunset location in the winter. Walk all the way out to the end of Magic Island. Great view of Waikiki, Diamond Head, Ala Wai Boat Harbor (shown in opening scene of Gilligan's Island).

Hike to Manoa Falls: $5 for parking at Treetops. One mile one way. Short hike through a rain forest. Also small bamboo forest there. Treetops restaurant there (at the previous Paradise Park site) has a good Chinese buffet. Lyon Arboretum is nearby. It is a nice botanical garden. You can park there and walk a short distance to Manoa Falls trail.

Hike to Makapuu Point Lighthouse: (free) Great view from here. Easy one mile hike. In winter months (mid-November to mid-April) it's great for whale watching.

Other Hiking on Oahu:

http://www.hawaiitrails.org/ (good for all islands)




North Shore Beaches: Haleiwa, Banzai Pipeline (Ehukai Beach), Waimea Beach, Sunset Beach, Shark's Cove (Pupukea) &Laniakea Beach. Laniakea Beach has sea turtles. Other nice stops for pictures in the area. Can be huge waves in winter. Good snorkeling at Shark's Cove in the summer. Laniakea Beach is located about 1/2 way between Waimea Bay and Haleiwa.

Other beaches: There are close to 100 beaches on Oahu. Besides North Shore and Waikiki beaches these are some of the better ones: Makaha Beach (west shore), Waimanalo Beach, Waimanalo Bay Recreation Area, Lanikai Beach, Sandy Beach, Hanauma Bay and Kailua Beach (east/Windward side), Ala Moana Beach Park (south shore). All public beaches are free except Haunama Bay.

Dole Pineapple Plantation: On H-2 just past Wahiawa. Can visit on the way to or back from the North Shore. Nice gift shop to browse, but expensive. Go behind the center for pineapple exhibits, gardens and carp feeding pond.

Kualoa Ranch: Several movies have been set here: (Jurassic Park, Mighty Joe Young and others), ATV rides, horseback riding, tours. Located across from Kualoa Regional Park.

Waikiki: Beaches, shopping, dining, nightclubs, shows, some museums. Wide range in dining prices. $3-4 breakfasts, $6-10 lunch buffets, $20-$25 fine dining and anywhere in between. Best Waikiki shows: Creation: A Polynesian Journey, John Hirokawa's Magic of Polynesia, Society of Seven, Blue Hawaii (Elvis impersonator), many more to chose from. Many Waikiki shows offer cocktail show along with the dinner show. They seat you after everyone else has eaten. Regular price of shows around $40-$60. Cocktail show about $25-$35. There are several other short free hula shows and other demonstrations in Waikiki daily. Check the brochures for location, days and times. Check brochures &Entertainment Book for coupons for shows/dining/shopping, etc.

Downtown Area: Aloha Tower (take elevator to the top, nice view), Chinatown, Hawaii Maritime Center, Iolani Palace, Bishop Museum, other museums.

Botanical Gardens: Oahu has many botanical gardens. Most are free, the others charge a few bucks. Haiku Garden in Kaneohe is nice and is a nice stop if you are taking an island driving tour. Located near Byodo-In-Temple (Valley of the Temples).
Here is a nice site for gardens in the state:

http://www.hawaii.edu/sciref/botgarden.html (all islands)

Check brochures or get info on-line for others. Search: oahu botanical gardens

Other: Sea Life Park, Honolulu Zoo, Waikiki Aquarium, Children's Discovery Center, dinner cruises, whale watching cruise, submarine tours, parasailing, helicopter tours, horseback riding, Hawaiian Waters Adventure Park, scuba, surfing lessons, other luau shows (Germaine's, Paradise Cove). Many other attractions, things to do. Check the brochures.

Brochures: (free) Can be found in the airport baggage claim area or at hundreds of news stands throughout Waikiki, in hotels, in stores, and at some attractions. These are excellent "things to do and see" guide books (maps, attractions, beaches, dining, night clubs, etc.). There are a lot of coupons in these for dining, shopping, etc. The best brochures are: 'This Week on Oahu', 'Oahu Gold', '101 Things Oahu', 'The BEST of Oahu'. Some of these brochures can also be found for other islands (Maui, Kauai, Big Island) unique to that island. Most of these brochures also have on-line versions.


www.thisweek.com 'This Week On Oahu' They will send up-to-date brochures for a few bucks. Also This Week Maui, Kauai, Big Island.

www.spotlighthawaii.com 'Oahu Gold' They will send up-to-date brochures for a few bucks. Also Maui Gold, Big Island Gold, Kauai Gold.

www.gohawaii.com This is the official site for Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau. They will send a free brochure.


www.visit-oahu.com Oahu Visitors Bureau, for free brochure 1-877-525-6248 (toll free)

www.hawaii.com Good site for comparing hotel locations, prices, etc.






www.honolulu.hawaii.edu/tours (driving and walking tours)

www.driveguidemagazines.com Good island maps including many detailed maps. Also good restaurant guide. Good for all islands

www.discoveringhawaii.com Free (pdf) circle island tour map. Also free (pdf) download Oahu movie location map.

www.hawaii-hotels.com Compare hotels

www.bookit.com Compare hotels



www.honoluluadvertiser.com one of two main Honolulu newspapers, has dining &entertainment guides, TGIF calendar

www.starbulletin.com one of two main Honolulu newspapers, also has dining &entertainment guides

Automobiles: Oahu is the only island that you can get around by bus. Oahu has a good bus system, but a rental vehicle gets around a lot better. Parking in Waikiki can be a problem at times. If you plan on renting a car, make sure your hotel allows parking at the hotel or in a nearby lot or garage. Get the parking pass at the hotel registration area. Probably $8-$14/day to park at the hotel. You can get city bus passes at any ABC store in Waikiki for $20 for 4 days ($40/month). Or you can pay $2.00 per trip. There are also many shuttles, tour buses and vans and trolleys that go to many places (some are free). Also 1 or 4 day Waikiki Trolley passes available.



Internet Search Engines: Use Yahoo, Google, Dogpile or any other search engine to find information on any thing else on Oahu (or other island) that may interest you. Type in: hiking hawaii, hiking oahu, bed and breakfast oahu, condominiums oahu, botanical gardens oahu, oahu hotels or any other terms that will get you information.

Hotels: Most hotels (or hotel chains) have their own 800 numbers and/or websites:




, etc. Or you can use a search engine to find the website or use the search engine's yellow pages for the phone number.
also try www.vrbo.com for more options

Entertainment Book
Entertainment books for Hawaii and many other locations can be purchased online at:


They cost around $35-$40 plus shipping or if you wait until mid-March, the price is reduced to about $25 (or less) with free shipping, $15 after mid-May. Expires November 1.

Coupons include half price tickets for John Hirokawa's Magic Show. Hundreds of other coupons for reduce price luaus, shopping, dining, movies, attractions, etc. The Hawaii book also has many mainland coupons for hotels, car rentals, Universal Studios, Sea World, etc.


www.visitmaui.com They will send a free brochure

www.bigisland.org They will send a free brochure

www.kauaidiscovery.com They will send a free brochure

dusty56438 is offline  
Old Apr 11th, 2006, 07:19 PM
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Maybe book an inter-island cruise? I myself have never cruised, but I hear cruise companies are now operating in Hawaii.
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Old Apr 11th, 2006, 07:51 PM
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The wife and I figured you could possibly plan to spend 5 nights on one and 5 on another. and maybe do a fly and drive or take atour on the other two main islands. I would probably stay on Maui and Oahu simply because they have the most to do and see also more flights. Which is another thing there is another carrier starting this summer so if you are going between June 9 and Sept. 30 you can get one way interisland fares for 39 dollars. Also on Maui if you find time you can take a ferry to Lanai or Molokai. If you want to enjoy your selfs I would plan on two and see what happens.
hulajake is offline  
Old Apr 11th, 2006, 08:18 PM
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smilesfromga, I gather you are from Georgia? Coming from the East coast, I would definitely hold it to two islands, Oahu plus either the Big Island (Hawaii), Kauai or Maui. Ten days is not a long time in the islands ... I would really relax and enjoy two of them, saving the others for a return trip!
Old Apr 12th, 2006, 04:47 PM
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"It takes half a day or more to fly to another island."

No, it doesn't. Complete myth. Book an early morning flight and you'll be fine.

That said, I'd do 3 tops. My choices would be Oahu, Maui, and Kauai since the Big Island is so big, it deserves a little more time.
Gellers is offline  
Old Apr 12th, 2006, 07:10 PM
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Gellers........By the time that they pack/check out of their hotel, go to the airport, return rental car, fly to another island, collect bags, rent car, drive to hotel, check into/get to room, they have blown a half day easy. That is not a myth, that is reality.
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Old Apr 12th, 2006, 09:15 PM
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My husband and I fly interisland often. Even coming from our home (faster than from Waikiki), driving and parking our car in the parking structure, picking up up a rental car at the destination and not including packing and saying goodbye at the house , We will leave at 8am to get to anyplace on the destination island at 1:00 pm.

If I had to check out of a hotel, return a rental car and didn't have premier status to avoid the long security line, I'd add another hour at least. Thats half day to me!!
lcuy is offline  
Old Apr 13th, 2006, 02:55 PM
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I've traveled to Hawaii numerous times and it's NEVER taken half a day to go interisland. You pack the night before, you get an early flight--there are no lines early in the a.m., and you are fine. (Shrug) I am being completely honest. It has NEVER taken us half a day.
Gellers is offline  
Old Apr 13th, 2006, 09:31 PM
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Gellers...Just curious. How early do you mean when you say an early flight? I have done this trip maybe 15 times since 9/11 and my husband does it once a month. I'm not trying to be rude, and maybe we're just doing something wrong that it takes us four+ hours to get to our destination.
lcuy is offline  
Old Apr 14th, 2006, 07:01 PM
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It just never seems to be that much of a hassle for us...perhaps we are lucky? We have traveled to Hawaii probably 10 times in the past 6 years and always do at least two islands.

We have always booked interisland flights as early as possible...usually 9 a.m. on avg I would say?

--We pack before going to bed.
--Checking out of the hotel takes two minutes nowadays...most hotels let you do it from your room.
--We get to the airport about 1 hour early for an interisland flight--go through the express drop-off line at the rent-a-car--that usually only takes 10-15 mins.
--Unless things have changed drastically in the past year or so--?security doesn't usually take that long. It doesn't take anywhere near 90 minutes at LAX!
--By the time we land it's around 10-ish, still early.
--We don't check baggage, we carry on.
--Picking up our rental car never takes all that long early in the morning. We haven't been faced with any long lines as of yet. And, we come in with our reservation printout for them, and it's always a fast process.
--At this point it's too early to check into the hotel, so we plan sightseeing for a few hours (making our way to the hotel) and then have lunch.
--Around 2 we check into the hotel which usually, again, doesn't take all that long. Then we have the rest of the afternoon for whatever we want to do. And, we've already spent most of the morning sightseeing and having lunch someplace cool, so we don't feel that half of the day was wasted, any more than we'd feel it was wasted if we'd slept late.

I suppose this sort of plan works better if you are a tourist and not on a strict schedule (for business, or whatnot). We don't ever have to be anywhere at any certain time.
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