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3 wks during peak season or just 2 wks in Hawaii - How would you split it?

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Jan 28th, 2013, 08:02 AM
  #1
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3 wks during peak season or just 2 wks in Hawaii - How would you split it?

The company my husband (DH) works for shuts down from Dec 23rd to 27th this year, and we like to use our vacation days strategically to maximize our holidays. If we travel during this break, we use only 2 weeks of vacation time but get 3 weeks off.

I'm wondering whether to travel to Hawaii during Dec 7th to 29th, which seems like very high season, or just going for 2 weeks at some other time of the year?

How much more expensive/crowded will it be during December than say October? I know Hawaii suffered a tourism slump a few years ago but last year had record number of tourists so I guess there aren't any deals during high season, even if we book early?

How would you split your time differently btwn islands if you were going for 2 weeks vs. 3 weeks?

We're coming from Toronto area so flights will be expensive, as well as days used up for travelling.

DH & I are more "independent travellers" than tour group types but will likely do a kayaking day-tour, do a lot of snorkelling on our own, a couple of half-day hikes, and as it's my first visit to Hawaii, we'll take in the usual "tourist must do's". If we stay longer at each locale, I'll try to see what we can find on vrbo.

All suggestions much appreciated - enjoy-la!
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Jan 28th, 2013, 10:22 AM
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I think the first part of Dec, up til the 15th or maybe the 20th, is not really the holiday season yet, so that should be an advantage price-wise.

One disadvantage to going in Dec is that it can be rainy and stormy, but in early Dec you might be able to see some pro surfing competition (which was a thrill for me ).

I personally like to spend enough time in a location to really soak it in, so i think a week per island is good. Interisland tickets are going to add to your total cost.

Personally, i would go when I could spend three weeks.
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Jan 28th, 2013, 10:46 AM
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The Hawaiian islands covers a large area. It's not like any certain time is "high season" that effects everywhere.

I don't know about specific "deals" but you can find places to stay in all price ranges. In my experience (once to Maui, four times to Oahu) there are budget options available if you look for them. Hawaii doesn't have to cost a fortune.

I think three weeks would be fantastic! You could do 2 or 3 islands in that time.
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Jan 28th, 2013, 05:51 PM
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aloha & suze, thx a mint for taking the time to share your thoughts - much appreciated.

I will stop over-thinking this and just go for 3 weeks - thx for the reassurance.

aloha, I'll be mindful of pro surfing when I'm doing my research - something that wasn't on my radar.

suze, nice to see you've been a few times. I'm worried it may take a decade for us to circle back - guess all the more reason to explore as much as we can on this trip.

Enjoy-la!
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Jan 28th, 2013, 06:03 PM
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Been going to Paradise on average - once a year since the mid-70's - and have always wanted to see the surf really up on the fabled North Shore of Oahu. And if you can catch a day at a surfing event - all the better.

Have seen some good surf - maybe 8-10 foot waves (as measured in Hawaii - from the back of the wave) - at Sunset beach - but always wanted to see the legendary pipeline in top form, but it's been all Pau when I have been there.

And would also vote for taking as much time as you can - and during the busiest time (usually the week of Christmas thru New Years) - google and google away to find some bargains - perhaps a little out of the way from the main spots. VRBO has some options but there are other good pages too.

Oahu is probably an automatic for a few days - assuming you are flying into there - and then our favorite islands are Kauai and Big Island - but they are all nice. Part of it would depend on where you got the deals you want - and they all have plenty of things to do/beautiful places to explore.
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Jan 28th, 2013, 06:29 PM
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Klam, re the surfing competitions, I think they have a window of weeks within which the event will be held, depending on the surf conditions. We were lucky enough to catch it one year but since it is not scheduled for a specific day(s) you can't be certain of catching it.

And don't worry, once you have been to Hawai'i, chances are you will not wait a decade to return!
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Jan 29th, 2013, 06:34 AM
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Tomsd, I can hear your passion for waves from your description! I agree there's lots to explore and do.

I was thinking of staying in Oahu first as we'll likely arrive via HNL, and with the island being a busy hub with Waikiki, etc., we'll avoid the really crowded times later in the month.

Big Island and Maui were my other two islands. Not sure yet in which order we will visit them.

aloha, thx for the info on the surfing event. I see it runs thru to Dec 20. Neither of us surf but it'll be fun if we happen upon it.

I have my Fodors Hawaii guide in hand so I'll get on this trip!

Enjoy-la!
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Jan 29th, 2013, 07:12 AM
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Hawaii's tricky to plan, because of all the island choices. My first couple trips I used a *stack* of guidebooks from the library to learn about each one. Because of my travel style (usually solo, and preferring not to rent a car) I've pretty much settled on Waikiki as my go-to place.

I'm in Seattle to Hawaii is an easy vacation. A nonstop 6 hour flight (with a 2 hr time change backwards, so I leave at 10am arrive at 2pm).
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Jan 30th, 2013, 05:25 AM
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suze, you're so lucky with that short travel time and the clock in in your favor!

It's a killer for me as a 7am departing Hawaii flight has me arriving home past 11pm. I just noticed yesterday that it causes a hiccup as I'd planned to leave BI for HNL and fly out. However, there are no flights from BI that get me into HNL early enough to catch that 7am flight. Then I JUST realized while I was typing this, I can fly out of Hilo. It means I will have to leave on Sat instead of Sun but at least my day isn't spent at airports since I'd have to leave BI on Sat then find a place for one nite before heading off very early for our Sun flight.

Enjoy-la!
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