First time traveling to Hawaii

Apr 12th, 2013, 12:31 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2013
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First time traveling to Hawaii

I have read a couple of responses to similar posts. They have been most helpful. I probably am going to ask something that has been asked before. Sorry. I am going to fly into Honollulu on the 26th of April and am staying on the big island at a Marriott resort. I understand from posts it is good to get a car. Can you provide some guidance on getting from Honollulu to the big island and once there what are the hints and things you would have to offer about what to do. I already plan on doing a snorkling trip with kona Storkling. Want to see the falls and the volcano. It would be fun to learn to surf or do something that the typical tourist doesn't. I am an adventurer who might actually do a windkite off of the cliff if I had the chance so nothing is out of bounds. The hotel has a luau but I wonder if there isn't a more personal one on the big island. I see that there are some on the other islands.

How hard is it to get to Pearl to see the memorial from the big island? I am staying 6 days. should I try to do another island?

Thanks so much for your thoughts
Ace1Sam is offline  
Apr 12th, 2013, 12:56 PM
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6 days is not enough time for 2 islands, particular when the first island is Hawaii, which is the largest island.

FWIW, many a typical tourist does in fact take surfing lessons -- you'll see when you get there.
sf7307 is offline  
Apr 12th, 2013, 02:07 PM
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To get from HNL to the Big Island you'd have to fly there via interisland flights. They are relatively inexpensive. Hawaiian Airlines flies these routes as well as a lot of inexpensive carriers. Try for a search. Do you have to do a round trip to fly back to Honolulu to get your flight back home?

I would not do 2 islands in 6 days. I'd either stay on Oahu or travel to the Big Island for all 6. If you happen to have a LOT of time on Oahu before your flight to the Big Island, then you may be able to to do Pearl Harbor but I'd allocate at least several hours just for it, and you want enough time to get back to the airport and check-in. Make sure you reserve tickets online for pearl harbor in advance so you will be guaranteed a spot to view the USS Arizona.

On the Big Island I'd go snorkeling, visit the volcano, drive to Hilo, Waimea, visit Ka Le (southern most point in US), visit coffee farms, night dive with manta rays, visit Punalu'u black sand beach. I don't do anything too adventurous so probably can't help with the specific activities. But I did see a few people jump off the cliff at Ka Le (please do at your own risk as there are no lifeguards) into the ocean. You'd probably want to spend a few nights at the volcano and maybe you can hike to wear the active sites are. Have fun!
tifa2276 is offline  
Apr 12th, 2013, 03:44 PM
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All the fun snorkeling and beaches are on the West side of the Big Island as is the Marriott. So, you would want to fly into Kona. The Volcano is on the East side. So, if you do that on the end of your trip, you would want to fly out of Hilo. Make sure your rental car allows you to pick up on one side and drop off at the other.

You will probably want to book a night on the East side when visiting Volcano National Park. The distances on the Big Island are vast and it would be a long, long not terribly safe drive to try to drive back to the Marriott at night after a full day at VNP.

The manta ray night snorkel is very popular. Might try that. The beach near the Marriott is not that great but you can drive north still and find some good ones such as the beaches at the Mauna Lani, Mauna Kea, Wailea Bay (Beach 69), Hapuna, etc. Many of the beaches have a limited number of public parking spots so plan on going early to try to snag one.

If you have time while on Oahu to see Pearl Harbor, then book your tickets online asap in order to be able to take the boat to the Arizona. Those tickets go quickly.

Have a good trip.
taitai is offline  
Apr 13th, 2013, 12:55 PM
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I used this outfit on my last trip to Kauai and got a nice car with Avis, book early, they do run out:
jamie99 is offline  
Apr 14th, 2013, 09:10 AM
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Pearl Harbor is on Oahu, where Honolulu is. So you'd want to do that on your incoming or home-bound flight days when you are already on Oahu (not try to see it from the Big Island).

But for your arrival in Honolulu you need a flight to get to Big Island (and back). I would arrange that part immediately. You really need to have one more ticket in hand, your plane arrangements get you all the way to Big Island. Just getting to Oahu isn't really close enough for what you want to do.

You already have 2 islands (Oahu, BI) you don't have time to add any more in only 6 days.
suze is offline  
Apr 14th, 2013, 09:16 AM
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You really don't have time for your wishlist.

Your best place for surf lessons is Waikiki Beach on Oahu.

You need a rental car on The Big Island of Hawaii. for options

Hawaiian Airlines for interisland flights. Plan on $90+ tax each way. You need to be at the airport 2 hours prior to the flight.

You need to research more about The Big Island.

I don't know what a "more personal luau" is. Not too many options on the island of Hawaii. Do the one that's closest.
explanation is offline  
Apr 14th, 2013, 10:42 AM
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Spending all 6 days on Oahu is definitely a viable option. You can do the volcano only on BI as a day trip with a tour.

I'm still hung up about you arriving Honolulu airport without any arrangements to continue on to the Big Island, if that's what you really want to do. Most people would have bought a plane ticket that gets them all the way there (to BI).
suze is offline  
Apr 14th, 2013, 02:41 PM
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No real suggestions, but a couple of points. There will be good surf on the big island for lessons. There are also snorkeling opportunities south of Hilo, but the best are along Kona. The best beaches are along Kohala. On the Big Island, we much prefer the Hilo side and can easily spend four or five days there.
DanM is offline  
Apr 16th, 2013, 11:30 AM
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Thanks so much everyone for the thoughts and suggestions. I frankly, didn't realize that there were multiple airports available. When I made the reservations on Kayak. I have points to use and am staying at the Marriott Cortyard King Kamehameha at Kona so I think I am going to really enjoy it. Will have to deal with the plane rides to Honolulu but my plane on the way back doesn't leave till 8:00pm so I can fly over early and explore a bit. Is it worth it to go on one of the scuba trips or get some gear and scubba around the Kona area?
Ace1Sam is offline  
Apr 16th, 2013, 12:15 PM
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There are even "multiple" airports on the various islands. Hawaii is no small place. That's why we keep stressing about making arrangements bewteen islands. There's no boats, you need a flight. I would want to have one arranged that smoothly connected from Honolulu over to BI in a timely fashion, so you don't end up "stranded" over night or even sitting for half a day in the Honolulu airport waiting for the next available flight.
suze is offline  
Apr 16th, 2013, 12:45 PM
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Change of Plans. I am going to stay on Oahu rather than try and do the transfers.
Ace1Sam is offline  
Apr 16th, 2013, 12:50 PM
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I did have a ticket on Hawaii Air for an hour after arrival in Honolulu but I think staying on Oahu will be better all around. The hotel here has a kitchenet so I can do some cooking. Thank you all for being aware of it and wanting/providing help.

I am thinking rather than rent a car for the 6 days, avoid the $32 hotel charge and rent a car for a day or two for what I need. Any thoughts?
Ace1Sam is offline  
Apr 16th, 2013, 01:16 PM
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Go on right now and book your tickets for Pearl Harbor. Do not wait. The boat trips to the Arizona fill up fast and your trip is in just a couple of weeks.

The Bus is a pretty good way to get around Honolulu so you can use that. Is your hotel in Waikiki? Pretty much everything is walkable in that area.

You would need a car to explore the North Shore area so that could be one day.

Have a good trip.
taitai is offline  
Apr 16th, 2013, 01:39 PM
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You're not go to the Big Island at all? I thought you said you were <>

So you're going to stay only on Oahu the whole trip?

If yes, and you're staying in Waikiki it's fine to just wait and rent a car for a day or two when you want to go outside the Honolulu/Waikiki area.
suze is offline  
Apr 18th, 2013, 10:38 AM
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Yes Suze I changed the hotel to a marriott on Oahu. I am thinking of taking a one day trip to the big island offered by Roberts which does the volcano's and falls. It is $300 and seems reasonable.

If anyone has any thoughts on the best snorkling or things on Oahu, please let me know.

Interested in any and all information.

Ace1Sam is offline  
Apr 18th, 2013, 12:02 PM
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Sam, That sounds good. Staying on Oahu with just a day trip to BI. I'll assuming you are staying in Waikiki, there is loads of tourist information readily available. Look for the free booklets like "101 things to do" or "Oahu Gold" (in stands on the sidewalk, hotel lobbies, etc.). They have maps and lists of all the major activities and attractions.
suze is offline  
Apr 19th, 2013, 09:47 PM
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rent a car when you need it BUT rent it before you get there or you may be stuck with a large rental fee. I reserved mine several months in advance for a fabulous price and there was a couple at the car renta agencywho decided at the last minute to rent and they paid big bucks.
Shar is online now  
Apr 26th, 2013, 04:49 PM
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"Spending all 6 days on Oahu is definitely a viable option. You can do the volcano only on BI as a day trip with a tour."

Oahu for 6 days would be horrible. It's it least interesting island with the least natural appeal. Waikiki is a tourist trap, a bunch of beaches and overpriced, mediocre chain and "celebrity" restaurants. Apart from lying on the beach, there is very little to do there. Two days is enough.
lmhornet is offline  
Apr 26th, 2013, 05:09 PM
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Oahu is my favorite island. I've been several times and have never run out of things to do. See Pearl Harbor, Iolani Palace, Chinatown, the Polynesian Cultural Center, climb Diamond Head, go to a luau, drive around the island, drive up Mt. Tantalus, let the wind blow you away on the Pali, see Punchbowl Cemetery, snorkle at beautiful Hanauma Bay, go to Kailua beach if you want more private space than Waikiki--I can go on.
carolyn is offline  

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