Big Island - Shopping Advice Needed

Feb 24th, 2010, 04:58 AM
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Posts: 1,397
Big Island - Shopping Advice Needed

We are off to the Big Island in a couple of weeks and I am starting to think about a few things and am looking for some suggestions...

Snorkeling equipment - 2 adults, 1 child... best (cheaper?) to buy mask and snorkel in advance here and bring (and just rent flippers) or rent everything for the week - not sure how much snorkeling we'll do as my 7 yo has never been snorkeling.

Disposable underwater cameras - cheaper to buy here if I can find them?

I've read some good advice about shopping at Costco and/or Walmart and the Farmer's markets to save some $... any other suggestions?

I also saw someone posted a link to this website which I am going to check out:
iowamom is offline  
Feb 24th, 2010, 05:22 AM
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Disposable underwater cameras are probably cheaper to buy before you go. $10 at Target.

For our first trip to Hawaii we bought snorkeling equipment for the four of us the before we left (we went in Nov and were lucky to get some stuff on sale). The kids stuff we saw in Honolulu at an ABC store and it worked out about the same price as hiring equipment for a week (plus we went to 2 islands so we would have had to rent twice). Note. the adult equipment would have cost more on island.

The advantage of buying the equipment before you go is that your 7 year old can try it out at a local pool or even in the bath. This really helps get the feel for snorkeling. Borrow some equipment to try this if you can.

You're going to love Big Island! We are planning our third trip right now.

Oh, the Big Island Revealed book has great advice on markets. We shopped at the one in Hilo for fruit and bought snacks at the regular grocery stores (the prices were a little higher than at home but as we were in hotels/ B&B we didn't buy much)
sassy_cat is offline  
Feb 24th, 2010, 06:10 AM
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Costco usually has snorkel equipment. I bought mine at a dive shop because there is nothing more uncomfortable than an ill fitting mask. It is probably cheaper to buy on the mainland. But there are a number of dive and snorkel shop here and the new Sport Authority will probably have equipment and the camera.
wbpiii is offline  
Feb 24th, 2010, 06:56 AM
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Thanks for the advice. We have the Big Island Revealed book so I will use that for some ideas as well. I'm just not sure where to find snorkel equipment here - we don't have a Costco and it's hard to imagine anywhere having snorkel stuff in the middle of Iowa in the middle of the winter! But I will look around...
iowamom is offline  
Feb 24th, 2010, 07:36 AM
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We just bought new masks online (prescription) and were very pleased with them. Our order arrived in under a week so you could check out online.

We used www.snorkelmart recommended by another fodorite (KVR? not sure)
sassy_cat is offline  
Feb 24th, 2010, 07:38 AM
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OOps website should be
sassy_cat is offline  
Feb 24th, 2010, 11:06 AM
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The stores in Kona are well equipped for swimming and summery fun. There is a Walmart, K-mart, and a new Target. The prices are probably a bit more expensive than the mainland, but not by too much.

The discount stores also have much of the same items as pricey souvenir stores. Each store has a special Hawaii souvenir section.

I like going to the Waikoloa King's and Queen's Shops for free entertainment. I think the quality is excellent (John Keawe on Tuesday nights and the Kupuka'a's on Saturday evening for example).

Most towns have inexpensive local eateries, and even the delis have fresh sandwiches and very good locally made cookies.

For more free entertainment, I like to watch the whales at Pu'ukohola and Lapakahi

You'll have a wonderful time. Almost every place will have something charming to explore.
Kailani is offline  
Feb 25th, 2010, 02:40 PM
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Hi, Iowamom. We will be in Kona in two weeks, too!! We have been there every year for about 10 years. We stay in the same condo at Kona Nalu every time. We shop for stuff at Walmart, even though we don't shop there at home.

The farmers' market in downtown Kona has lots of clothing and souvenirs. And great produce. 5 papayas for a buck!! Yumm! there is also Alii Marketplace further south from downtown that has lots of clothing, souvenirs, and jewelry.
charnees is offline  
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