Advice and Ideas Needed for Hawaii Trip

Old Aug 12th, 2014, 07:30 AM
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Advice and Ideas Needed for Hawaii Trip

I am officially a new member to this site as of today. My sister can not say enough wonderful things about the people who have helped her plan trips. I decided to give this a try!

My boyfriend and I (both in late 20's & early 30's) have decided to take a trip to Hawaii next summer (2015) I have been to Oahu and Maui about 10 years ago and always hoped to get back there. My boyfriend has never been. We want to begin planning and researching now in order to book the trip sooner than later. I would love some help with our planning.

We are both teachers so we do need to travel in June, July, or August. Which would be a better month to travel to Hawaii?
We both enjoy hiking, snorkeling, sightseeing, water activities, wine tastings, good food, relaxing by the pool.
We would love to go zip lining as well as see the sunrise in Maui.
I stayed at the Four Seasons in Maui on my first trip and loved it. Should we consider this resort again or look into any others? (My parents offered to help a little with spending so this would be doable)
I was also looking at the Grand Hyatt on Kauai. Any other recommendations?

We have decided Maui is a top choice for us to visit. We are planning on staying in Hawaii for 10-12 days. I have always wanted to see Kauai. Would these two islands be great choices for our trip? Should we spend a night or two on Oahu?

We are really looking for days with fun and adventure as well as a few relaxing days by the pool. Please help us plan our first big trip together as a couple.
GoldenGrl1028 is offline  
Old Aug 12th, 2014, 10:21 AM
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With 10- 12 days, I'd limit your visit to two islands, 5 or 6 nights at each. Because any island you choose will be awesome, there's no need wasting time checking out, returning your rental car, flying to another island, and doing it all again. It's a short flight, but it still takes up the better part of your day.

Regarding lodging, The Four Seasons or the Grand Hyatt are top-end resorts. I suggest you look at more mid-priced condominiums. On Maui, years ago, we liked the Napili Point and Napili Shores. Both are oceanfront with good prices and snorkeling right there. Not 'fancy' per se, though you can save money having your own kitchen and free parking.

Higher-end on Maui would be Kapalua. I don't know how expensive it is, but it's a gorgeous property.

We stayed at the Grand Hyatt Kauai years ago, before Iniki ruined it. I am sure they re-built to the same high standard. It was a very nice place. Again, you pay the price.

We also rented a private home once at Poipu, which I'd found in a real estate magazine. It was simple, but had a nice private pool.

You are smart to start planning so early. I don't know which month is best, and I assume it's a toss-up. I'd look for airfare to determine your time-frame and itinerary. Then find lodging.

Have fun planning.
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Old Aug 12th, 2014, 11:01 AM
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It's been a long time since we last visited Maui so will defer to others on that island.
Have been to Kauai many times, as until last year we owned a timeshare at the Marriott so we always stayed there. We've eaten dinner and watched the hula show and torchlighting at the Hyatt and if I could afford it, it sure looks like a beautiful place to stay. Might also look into Sheraton, which was remodeled 2 years ago or so, just do not book gardenview. Nice beach there. There are also condo options if interested in both Poipu and Princeville.
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Old Aug 12th, 2014, 12:04 PM
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Are you traveling from California, "GoldenGirl"? Might you fly into one island and back from the second? That would mean only one interisland flight ($100 pp and half a day in transit) on Hawaiian Airlines.

Any time mainland schools are on holiday is busy and expensive in Hawaii. Summer is nice throughout the islands -- unlike winter, when you'd have best ocean and weather south on Kauai, Oahu and Maui.

If you plan a lot of days out, sightseeing and doing excursions, you might not want to be too spendy on an expensive resort. If you want a condo for part of your trip, booking for a full week makes the most sense. Maybe your parents could 'help' on a night or two at a 4S or The Ritz.
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Old Aug 12th, 2014, 02:42 PM
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If you don't need to go thru Honolulu for your flights, and want to see Kauai and Maui, I'd skip Oahu.

Try for 12 days (instead of 10) and split them between the two islands.

Your hotels are way out of my price range so can't help with that part (lol).
suze is offline  
Old Aug 12th, 2014, 03:04 PM
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Thank you everyone for all your responses. My boyfriend and I will be coming from the East Coast. I guess I would have to look into flights. I am not sure if I can fly directly to an island from the East Coast? I will look into all the options you all suggested for condos, homes, hotels....etc. Thank you so much!!!
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Old Aug 12th, 2014, 03:49 PM
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Since you've stayed at the FS Maui before you know how fabulous it is. If you can afford it, go for it.

For Kauai:

I have stayed at the Grand Hyatt on Kauai. It is nice, but it is really big, too big for me to go back. I would look at something a bit more cozy like the Koa Kea.

On the north shore of Kauai there is the St. Regis Princeville. The location is superb.

If the budget allows, you could rent a beach house in Hanalei for about the same price as a good room at the St. Regis.

Reputable rental agents for homes and condos on Kauai:
Kauai Vacation Rentals
NaPali Properties
Bali Hai Real Estate
The Parrish Collection Kauai
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Old Aug 12th, 2014, 06:29 PM
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Kauai is beautiful, I would definitely visit there. AND if you love dogs, stop at the Kauai Humane Society and take a pup out for the day. .

http://kauaihumane.org/volunteer/dogfieldtrips
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Old Aug 13th, 2014, 03:34 AM
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In the summer - definitely the North Shore of Kauai, the most beautiful spot in all of the Islands.

Coming from the Mainland - if you do fly into Honolulu - just schedule your outer island flight for after your arrival in Hono - and walk over to the inter-island terminal - and be on to your next destination - arriving within half an hour or so after you depart the inter-island terminal.

If you are checking baggage - see if you can check it thru, but for Hawaii, all you really need is what you can put in a carry-on.

And I too prefer the Napili - north of Kaanapali area - for Maui. For a very reasonably priced place - on it's "own" beach - check out the Napili Sunset. http://www.napilisunset.com/

You could enjoy a very laid back stay there - and splurge on the North Shore of Kauai.
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Old Aug 13th, 2014, 07:45 AM
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There are good nonstops on wide-body aircraft from the East Coast to Honolulu. If you're not interested in anything on Oahu (which is a beautiful tropical island outside of the city), you can stay within security at HNL until a flight to another island. (Long day, but better than going into Hnonolulu and coming back, going through TSA again.)

Our miles are on AA, and they no longer have a nonstop to HNL or OGG, but we can still fly a nice 767 out of DFW right to OGG (or to HNL). We can live with two hours ORD-DFW. We buy coach and use miles to upgrade to first. I can sleep on the redeye returns OGG-DFW.

If you want to skip Oahu and just keep moving on, put your interisland flights on the mainland flight ticket and through check your luggage. Then you will not have to leave security to claim luggage, pay fees to re-check, etc. Better yet, just do carry-on -- easy in casual Hawaii and even easier if you use a condo with washer/dryer for part of your trip.

I avoid 757's and west coast connections that usually fly these narrow-body planes.

Remember that Day One in Hawaii won't feel like a true vacation day because you'll be adjusting to the big time change. Departure days also tend to be 'less'. Maybe you don't want to waste half-days flying from island to island either, and would just stay on one for 10 - 12 nights. OR...stay less expensively and stay *longer* on one or two islands. Hawaii itself is the real 'draw', IMO. The sun, sand, ocean and night sky are equaly enjoyable from many different lodgings -- and you're coming a long way.

You'll need mainland and interisland flights, lodgings, and a rental car or cars. If you want a specific restaurant or a luau, or you want specific excursions, book early. Cars and flights get progressively more expensive with time.

Use Hawaiian Airlines interisland. Costco sometimes has good deals on rental cars (and lodgings). You can see aerials and reviews of almost every lodging in Hawaii here: www.hawaiirevealed.com
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Old Aug 13th, 2014, 11:41 AM
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To me it's never a wasted half day to fly from one island to another - as they are short flights (20 minutes from Oahu to Kauai - getting to and from the airports can cary) and you get an aerial view of paradise while en route - both when leaving Honolulu/Oahu and when coming into Maui, Kauai, whereever.

You also have a scenic drive from the airport to your lodging - sort of like a continuation of a tour.


And for me - the first day in Paradise is wonderful - invigorating actually - starting when you inhale the marvelous Hawaiian air/tropical breezes - and then it continues when you get to the beach for a swim in the warm ocean.

I would definitely do two islands - and for me - it would be three or four nights enjoying Maui and the rest kicking back on the North Shore of Kauai - Bali Hai and all: https://www.google.com/search?q=View...w=1280&bih=645
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Old Aug 13th, 2014, 12:35 PM
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I forgot to mention that I teach too and that we routinely visit Kauai in the summer months. The weather in August seems to be a bit warmer and perhaps a bit more predictable, which we like. I like going in June too though because I like leaving on a trip right after school gets out. It is a great way to start summer! In August I am starting to think about getting my classroom ready, and all that stuff we teachers think about before the start of the school year which can make being present more difficult. That doesn't happen in June! July can be a fun month to be on the island as there is the Kauai Music Festival and Koloa Plantation Days. Both are a lot of fun and happen in the later part of July I believe.
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Old Aug 13th, 2014, 12:55 PM
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While flight time for Oahu to Kauai is on the average 23 minutes, the more important figure is gate to gate and that average is 41 minutes.

http://www.travelmath.com/flying-tim.../Oahu/to/Kauai
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Old Aug 13th, 2014, 01:28 PM
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You're not on a plane long, interisland, but you must get to and from airports, and be there 90 minutes ahead of departure. You don't want to be left behind, barefoot-and-beltless in a TSA line while your plane takes off.

The "Old Hawaii Hands" can do a transfer more quickly -- if our lodgings aren't very far from the airports. I'd want a newbie to allow nearly half a day interisland, especially if connecting to a flight back home.

(Great point about relaxing without worrying about school preparations. Our DIL teaches Junior High math; more like only TWO months 'off' these days.)
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Old Aug 19th, 2014, 01:36 PM
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RENTING A CAR. If you are a member of Costco, check out costco travel. Their car rental prices are fabulous and they waive the $10.00 a day fee for additional driver which is mandatory in Hawaii. They also have great vacation packages but you probably already have your hotels, condo, etc. We have used VRBO several times and have had great results....Ocean view is important to us so that is always something I look for when renting from VRBo or whomever. If it doesn't say, be sure to ask if that is important to you.....
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