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stuttsdc Apr 14th, 2009 12:12 PM

10 Days in Hawaii, Multiple Locations?
I know... so many posts just like this one. I wish I could have answered my own question by reading them all...

I'm normally a good trip planner but I'm very short on time and need all the input I can get.

We're considering 10 (possibly 11) days in Hawaii.. late June/early July.
Probably flying using my air miles so we have to arrive in and depart from the same location.

For that purpose, my wife and I are probably flying in and out of Maui.
We've not been to Hawaii before. We're in our early-mid 30s, no kids. We'd love a combination of serious relaxing and sightseeing. It'd be nice to go out for a drink in the evening but we don't need to base the whole time around being near good bars/restaurants.
We're on a modest budget.. I don't see us taking helicopter rides or expensive tours. Nor would we be staying at resorts (unless there are some decent deals.)

So far, I've gotten several counter recommendations...

One friend suggested staying in West Maui the entire time (but where??), doing the road to Hana as just a day-trip.

Friend #2 said to mostly ignore West Maui, find somewhere along the North Shore, and then spend at least 4 days in Hana (or a couple of nights in Lanai... or both.)

Friend #3 said to stay in West Maui for 4 days, do the road to Hana as a day trip, and then go to Kauai.

So, I'm thoroughly lost. I'm willing to do two islands but I don't want to have to go from Kauai to Maui to home (DC) all on the last day.
Likewise, I don't mind spending a night (or more?) in Hana.. I don't want to do that drive in one day. But 4 days there? I like that it's remote but I could see getting bored.
So I'm not sure how to pull this altogether. Would seem like a lot of back-and-forth and heck, right now even places like 'North Shore' and 'West Maui' are also pretty vague to me so I've no idea of where to focus as a base.

The one thing I want to do is to go to Haleakala (I work for the Park Service.) Though I can't quite tell if that's best reached from the west, north, or East... or accessible all ways. hmm.. need some more maps, I think!

Any input is very welcome, particularly specifics on locations to stay, things to do...

suze Apr 14th, 2009 12:15 PM

Maui is not all that big, you can basically reach anywhere from everywhere! Just take a decent guidebook along, and work things out once you get there, planning as you go along.

jcb Apr 14th, 2009 12:27 PM

Hi stuttsdc -

Are you sure you can't fly into and out of different locations with you miles? Then you can buy a one way ticket btw the islands on Hawaiian Air or similar.

I've done it before, but it can't be booked on line. (But it was on American, and obviously, I don't know who you have your miles through). My apologies if I am wrong in suggesting this.

Best of luck in your search. I'm not familiar w/ Maui, so I can not help you that island.

montereybob Apr 14th, 2009 12:31 PM

You could easily spend all 10 days on Maui to avoid that back and forth thing to the airport. I agree with friend about staying in West Maui. And taking day trips to other areas. Also, staying a night in Hana is a great idea, because the drive is very long round trip from West Maui and you'll want a day to relax and enjoy the beaches there before driving back. You can get to Haleakela from anywhere.
I would highly recommend getting the guide book Maui Revealed by Doughty. It will tell you everything you need to know about visiting Maui and will insure that your trip is a great success.
Another itinerary option would be to spend 5 days on Maui and 5 days on Kauai. You could fly back to Maui a day before your flight leaves for home and rest up in a hotel near the airport. The flight from Kauai to Maui is pretty short.
Have fun!

stuttsdc Apr 14th, 2009 12:39 PM

@JCB... yeah, my miles only let me fly in/out of one spot. bummer!

You are suggesting something like....
3 nights West Maui
1-2 nights Hana
go to Kauai 4 nights
somewhere Maui 1 night... fly home

or.. 7-8 nights West Maui and 1-2+ in Hana..

Is that right?

montereybob Apr 14th, 2009 01:13 PM

That second option would be my choice and one night in Hana is plenty. I think the back and forth thing between the two islands is doable but involves a lot of stress, hassle, packing, unpacking, driving back and forth to airport, sitting in airports, and sitting in planes. Hence, to me, it adds too much time to your vacation that is just not fun. I would spend the whole trip on Maui and on your next trip to Hawaii spend the whole time on Kauai. Then you will have 100% fun and relaxation.
Again I cannot stress enough the importance of acquiring a copy of Maui Revealed and using it to plan your trip. You can find it at most bookstores or used on Amazon.

Marginal Apr 14th, 2009 01:16 PM

There isn't any north shore in Maui.

West or South Maui are where I would stay. I prefer south Maui over west Maui, but it tends to be more expensive.

sf7307 Apr 14th, 2009 03:38 PM

Going to two locations on Maui is like going to two islands. It would be too much to add Kauai to the mix, especially with having to return via Maui. I would stay in West Maui or South Maui, with a day or overnight to Hana.

LindainOhio Apr 14th, 2009 04:47 PM

Our first trip to Hawaii, we spent 10 days on Maui, in one location, and loved it. We stayed in a condo in West Maui. Our second trip, we did 5 nights Maui and 9nts. Kauai and loved it. I really don't think you can make a mistake.

I hate moving around--you miss valuable beach/relaxation time. Check in/Check out/Wait for plane/ pick up another rental car etc.... If it were me, I would spend the whole time, in one location, on Maui. Relax and enjoy.

jaitio Apr 15th, 2009 07:17 PM

Hi stuttsdc,

I just reserve a trip with FFM arriving in Maui and departing from Kauai. I made it w/ AA. Again, are you sure you can't you do same. My family and I are going to visit these two islands and we're planning on spending more time in Kauai.

Good luck!!

okoshi2002 Apr 15th, 2009 08:43 PM

I ditto staying on Maui and spend 2 nights in Hana. This will allow you to unwind the first day after that drive to Hana and enjoy the second day going to the beaches, Seven Pools, etc without worrying about driving back that night.

Haleakala would be another day, Iao Needle, snorkeling, poolside, aquarium, on other days- that would make a leisurely trip.

wayfarer Apr 19th, 2009 02:10 PM

If you want to do two islands, you can do two islands.

We spent 10 nights in Hawaii this summer - 4 on the big island and 6 on Kauai.

If you do two islands, I would second your friend's recommendation for Kauai and stay in Hanalei. It is a neat little town at the north end of the island - about an hours drive from the airport in Lihue - a pretty and laid back place. Like you, we aren't into resorts. We rented a house in town, two blocks from the beach. You can stay in town and walk to a number of good restaurants, most not too pricey. (Try the Mai Tais at the Hanalei Gourmet) There are a lot of great beaches - Ke'e, Secret, Tunnels, Queen's Bath. We did some great snorkeling and saw a lot of turtles. We did the expensive helicopter tour (very expensive, but our family rated it the best excursion we've ever done and we travel a lot)but there is a lot to see without breaking the bank too.

Whatever you decide, I am sure you'll have a great time.

suze Apr 19th, 2009 03:47 PM

Your choice. For me personally I'd stick to Maui & maybe do two different parts of the island, or several day trips. If you want to split it up & do another island, well there's no right or wrong, just know you'll spend a bit more time in checking in & out of hotels, getting to & from airports, etc.

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