Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   United States (
-   -   First time travel on short notice to Hawaii (

mvermani Sep 11th, 2006 02:45 PM

First time travel on short notice to Hawaii

By stroke of luck, my wife and I have 9 days off 16th to 24th Sept, 2006. Not sure if it is possible to plan a trip to Hawaii in such a short time frame, but we are hoping to plan a trip to Hawaii. Some of the points we are looking for help are:

1. Is it better to book the air, car and hotel ourselves or get a package deal?
1a) If a package deal, then do recommend some travel agents/websites.
1b) If it is better to do the reservation ourselves, do recommend some websites, etc.

2. Which islands should we see? I would love to see the active volcanoes in Big Island and also the Pearl Harbor. My wife loves the beaches and night life. We are not big into snorkeling/surfing. We were hoping to see at least 2 islands (BI / Oahu / Maui / Kauai??)

3. What are the activities we can do? The helicopter tours, the submarine trip and the city trip do look nice. Do share your pleasant experiences.

M & A

OldSouthernBelle Sep 11th, 2006 03:00 PM

It sounds like you've chosen Big Island and Oahu. If you fly into and/or out of Oahu to Big Island, I can see where that would work. If so, I'd spend at least 5-6 nights on BI, as it is so big it takes awhile to see it all.

I have reservations at Outrigger Keauhou Resort (3 star), Emeraldview B&B in Hilo and Kilauea Lodge at VNP for next May.

We stayed at Hilton Hawaiaan Village on Oahu, and it was great.

Be sure to do the Circle tour...also make it to Kailua and Lanikai beaches (Oahu) if you like beautiful white sand.
Turtle Beach on the NS and try the shrimp trucks.

Dukes is a landmark restarant.

It would help if you would state how much you intend to spend on lodging. And exactly what type you are looking for. Also, what type activities you like...any hiking?

Mary2Go Sep 11th, 2006 03:03 PM


Heck yes you can plan a trip on short notice...good problem to have! I think I would suggest checking with a group like Pleasant Hawaiian to see what kind of air/hotel/car packages are available on short notice. I would also check some of the deals on Expedia or Priceline. I would pick Oahu and which ever other island sounds the most interesting to you after reading a bit here on this website, or pick up a Fodors or Frommers Hawaii book at the local bookstore. Oahu is my favorite island because of the huge variety of things to see and do combined with the natural beauty. Waikiki is the place to go for night life and my favorite beach, Lanikai is there. Go their 1st and then really relax on a neighbor isle. Kauai has some great beaches and is very lush and tropical but no active volcanoes.

If you search on this site you will find tons of information from previous posts. I would look at Expedia and Pleasant hawaiin and see what hotels they are offering in your price range. Then search here and on under those names and see what people have to say about them. Happy planning! Enjoy Hawaii!

DebitNM Sep 11th, 2006 03:08 PM

Aloha Air has some good specials going on as does Hawaiian. I would check out their packages and see what you come up with.

If you can stand a timeshare presentation, Marriott Ko'Olina in Oahu has a great deal for 5 nights with car and breakfast and a few other goodies. Embassy Suites has a similar deal on Maui. If you want more info on these, email me. I also have great info from Hawaii consumer affairs how to survive in timeshare presentations and get what you are promised and get out alive {without buying}.

Hope this helps...

jtrandolph Sep 11th, 2006 03:34 PM

I have a good travel agent, and while we usually make our own arrangements for trips we always use her for Hawaii. Travel agents have contacts with perople like Pleasant Hawaiian Holidays or Sun Trips and can get you a reasonable package to include air, condo and car rental. It would save you a lot of time since you are leaving so soon. The only costs to you will probably be a modest fee for booking the air, since airlines have stopped paying travel agents commissions.

starrsville Sep 11th, 2006 03:52 PM

you may also want to check travelzoo or other last minute sites to see if there are special discounted deals.

mvermani Sep 12th, 2006 04:47 PM

Thank you all - we did manage to book the trip!
Looking forward for 3 nights in Kona, 1 in Hilo and 3 in Oahu.

Did the bookings using The agents were very helpful (thank you Kevin, Debbie and Jenniffer).

Now I am going to plan for specific activities in the Big Island and Oahu.

Is the Helicopter ride worth the money in Big Island and the submarine ride in Oahu?

jtrandolph Sep 12th, 2006 07:10 PM

When we were on the Big Island, even though we had a car, we took a half day tour which included the turtle nesting places and a coffee plantation. (We stayed in Kona the entire time.)

We spent two days driving around the whole island, with a detour down from Hilo to watch the lava flow into the sea. I loved this drive...especially over the top of the island and over the Parker Ranch. (We spent the night at Volcano House.)

We didn't do the helicopter tour and have not done the submarine ride. (Is this a "semi-submersible"? We did one of those on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia and it was quite interesting.

sherrie Sep 13th, 2006 04:55 AM

I just received an email from Delta Vacations with specials to Hawaii, and I think you can purchase one ticket and the other is free. I'm sorry to say I deleted the email so I'm not exactly sure, but I would check their website or call them directly. It was for fall travel, so maybe your Sept. travel will qualify. Good luck.

hulajake Sep 13th, 2006 02:11 PM

It's easy enough to book it yourself haven't found the benefit of a travel agent for Hawaii. Ohana/Outrigger, Hilton, Starwood all offer packages as well as the airlines. It mostly depends on your budget and the last I looked all the interisland carriers are still having fare sales I've seen as low as $33 one way.

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:34 PM.