"Doing" Hawaii

Old Mar 7th, 2024, 05:35 AM
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"Doing" Hawaii

I'm working through the bucket list, and looking at a (likely) once in lifetime trip to Hawaii. Is 3 weeks enough time to see the highlights of the 4 main islands? Will it all look the same to see one island after another? Wondering how to split up the time between the four islands.

Acting a bit fast to take advantage of a fare sale, but a multi-city itinerary is really driving up the cost. It's farther than Europe for me, so out of the way, and a second trip not likely. Can get a nonstop outbound, however, at the current sale price, making it a bit more manageable.
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Old Mar 7th, 2024, 06:59 AM
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Yes, three weeks is enough time if you plan it right. I would personally focus on Kauai, the Garden Island.
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Old Mar 7th, 2024, 08:17 AM
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Sure you could do the four main islands in three weeks. Or you could choose only a couple to visit, which is what I would do. No right or wrong answer. And no the islands do not all look the same -lol.

Where can you fly in and out of? If you can make that two different islands that would help smooth out your trip a little bit (into Maui out of Honolulu, for example, saving you one "island change" flight). Of course you'll need a hotel and rental car four different times (or at least three, you can get by without one on Oahu) with your proposed plan.

aloha, suze
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Old Mar 7th, 2024, 08:34 AM
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Where can you fly in and out of?
I saw Delta at $750 main cabin so that piqued my interest. That's to HNL, nonstop outbound but via OGG and LAX return.

Now Alaska is lowering fares, $506 main cabin w/stops in SEA each way, but in and out of OGG only.

Could use SW points to island hop.

I'm grappling with the "now or never" aspect of a big bucket list and limited years. My Peru trip has mushroomed into a 4 week to trip to incorporate "everything."

Edit: Multi-city with Alaska say into OGG but home from KOA is $100 more but worth it for not having to backtrack.

Last edited by tom_mn; Mar 7th, 2024 at 08:42 AM.
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Old Mar 7th, 2024, 08:40 AM
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I've been lucky to visit the 6 main islands. It wasn't until about trip 20 that we visited Oahu for a week. I love them all. Each has its charms. All are different in many ways.

That said, I would reconsider to 2 or 3 islands. Take time to study which islands most interest you, then explore them and understand their differing energy, and their differing stories. Then sample their lodging choices. And edit it down.

Good luck and happy exploring!
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Old Mar 7th, 2024, 11:09 AM
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These airfares won't last so just playing around, for $506 could fly main cabin into OGG, home from LIH, easy one stops both ways. Alaska has better legroom but would miss the Delta free movies and nonstop flight.

Could use Southwest points to island hop, all nonstops,
OGG>>KOA
Hilo>>HNL
HNL>>LIH
So 5 days per island (if 4).
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Old Mar 7th, 2024, 04:20 PM
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Booked. The Delta cheap fares already are gone, so went with Alaska (never flown them before). Into Maui, fly home from Kona, and will fit in Oahu in between. Kauai isn't going to happen this time. Couldn't fit LIH or HNL into the cheaper fare.

So about 7 nights Maui, 4 or 5 nights Honolulu, then the rest one or 2 places on the Big Island. Time to research. Hiking, history, and natural wonders are the objective, and to visit state #49. One left (Georgia).

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Old Mar 7th, 2024, 09:20 PM
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Alaska has tons of free movies on their free alaskawifi.com. You need you own device to access them, -tablet, phone, etc.
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Old Mar 7th, 2024, 09:25 PM
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Look at your lodgings first before splitting islands. Shockingly expensive by the time you add in resort fees and parking. Costco often decent packages with reduced resort fees.

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Old Mar 8th, 2024, 05:15 AM
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tons of free movies
That's good to know, and expected. I do feel the built in video screens are more convenient. Learned booking Peru flights that even American business class to SA and domestic first class lack video screens, when the last row on a Delta flight has them.

Costco often has decent packages with reduced resort fees.
I will check, thanks. Makes sense that a Seattle company would excel in Hawaii which is a West Coast playground. For some reason I have low expectations concerning Hawaii, perhaps carry over from Florida which I mostly dislike (Pensacola is nice).
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Old Mar 8th, 2024, 07:19 AM
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Originally Posted by mlgb
Look at your lodgings first before splitting islands. Shockingly expensive by the time you add in resort fees and parking. Costco often decent packages with reduced resort fees.

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RE: Costco The Costco near OGG on Maui has a gas station that has the lowest gas price on Maui. You do have to use your Costco membership card to get the pump to work. There is often a waiting line at this gas station.
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Old Mar 8th, 2024, 07:47 AM
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Good choices! Just remember that because the islands are volcanic, the road system winds around and so primarily two lane roads and it takes a while to get from place to place. My personal favorite is the Big Island as so interesting but it is big. It is an island the size of the state of Connecticut so plan your outings accordingly. It has been years since I've been to Honolulu and at the time we didn't prebook our visit to Pearl Harbor but got there around 9 and so no issue. These days I would pre-book. It is very moving and well done and informative and you should take your time there.

All of my Hawaii visits were for conferences for my husband and so was lucky enough to go along, staying at big hotels. In Oahu, the Hilton Hawaiian Village with a great beach and outstanding view of Diamond Head, on the Big Island , the Hilton Waikaloa, lovely hotel with beautiful artwork and several pool areas as well as several dining optons. In Maui, we stayed at the Hyatt Regency, which was just undergoing renovation when we were there and it was situated a few miles north of Lahaina, such a tragedy.
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Old Mar 8th, 2024, 08:24 AM
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For some reason I have low expectations concerning Hawaii,

Hmmm... that's unfortunate. Because it's a pretty fabulous place to visit!

Glad you've cut back to three islands for your time frame.
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Old Mar 8th, 2024, 12:06 PM
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Of course there is the Urban Waikiki, but volcanos, mountains, valleys, beaches. Hawaii has it all!
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Old Mar 8th, 2024, 05:35 PM
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Hmmm... that's unfortunate.
IDK, sometimes high expectations not met is a big problem with travel. For example, I expected Barcelona to be wonderful-- not the dirty city with Smurff architecture that I found it to be. Low expectations would have helped in that instance.
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Old Mar 8th, 2024, 06:33 PM
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Well I guess that's one approach to a new place... to expect the worst lol
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Old Mar 9th, 2024, 08:03 AM
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Just a quick update. Maybe January is off season, but easy to find rental cars at $50/day and condos on AirBnB for $200/night. As long as I get at it, it's not going to be the financial washout I was expecting.

Everything at a resort, even via Costco, has frightening add ons, like cleaning fees for a hotel? That's not the only add on fee, also.

Volcano House: Is staying here worth it, and a good way to end the trip? How many nights?

Shangri La Museum also recommended, anything else museumwise, on these 3 islands?

Last edited by tom_mn; Mar 9th, 2024 at 08:08 AM.
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Old Mar 9th, 2024, 09:19 AM
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January is high season. I enjoyed the Iolani Palace in Honolulu. Arizona Memorial. My husband liked the USS Missouri tour. Ocean front/ view is important to us.
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Old Mar 9th, 2024, 09:56 AM
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These are all Oahu...

I loved ShangriLa Estate. The (small van) tours leave from Honolulu Museum of Art which is also nice to see. I hear the cafe there is good. You need to make a reservation for ShangriLa as the days, times, numbers are limited.

I am also crazy for the Iolani Palace and have been twice. You can do a docent lead tour (mornings) or a self-guided audio-tour in the afternoons. If you go on a Friday the Royal Hawaiian Band sets up out on the lawn (metal folding chairs are provided and set up by both musicians and audience).

For a half-day DIY tour in a rental car you can head to: Byodo-In Temple, Ho'omaluhia Botanical Garden, Lanikai and Kailua beaches, Nu'uanu Pali Lookout.

There is also Pearl Harbor, Bishop Museum, Queen Emma's Summer Palace, Mission Houses, Plantation Village.

I have never paid over $200/night for a hotel room (but 2022 was my most recent trip). Things are expensive post-covid so I'd probably need to bump it up a bit next trip.
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Old Mar 9th, 2024, 11:00 AM
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Originally Posted by MichelleY
January is high season. I enjoyed the Iolani Palace in Honolulu. Arizona Memorial. My husband liked the USS Missouri tour. Ocean front/ view is important to us.

I totally agree re ocean front/view . . . but if budget is a real issue I'm OK with mountain view which is usually quite a bit cheaper. Since you are out and about and likely near the water most daylight hours you really won't miss the ocean views from your room at night. In January sunset will be around 6PM and sunrise around 7AM
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