Hawaii

Old May 6th, 2014, 08:09 AM
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Hawaii

Thinking of travelling with my 11 yr old son, my husband and his two teenage daughters to Hawaii but I have never been. Recommendations please ...

We will be travelling in early June for 10 days to Hawaii as a thank you trip for my family's patience during my MBA - which is completed as of now

I was thinking of doing 1 or 2 islands. Maui and Honolulu (South Oahu)... but I've never been so I need opinions here. We don't want to be hopping between more than two island during this trip since OUR GOAL is to: experience their culture, have fun, be safe and explore.

Any suggestions as to which islands are best? And where to stay that is safe but still allowing us to experience their culture, explore the waters and do some sightseeing?

P.s. the other option would be Paris since they've never been ... but totally different trip.

Merci!
Genevieve
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Old May 6th, 2014, 11:53 AM
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We just spent a week in Hawaii - two nights on Oahu and the rest on Maui for my brother-in-law's wedding. If you like, you can read my trip report here for some ideas on where we stayed and what we did.
http://www.fodors.com/community/unit...awaii-2014.cfm

If you rent a car on Oahu, you can easily see more than just Honolulu (which has plenty to see and do as well).

Lee Ann
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Old May 6th, 2014, 11:59 AM
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I think Oahu and Maui are a perfect combo for a first trip. Or just choose one or the other and spend the entire 10 days there.
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Old May 6th, 2014, 12:37 PM
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Oahu for sure, and I think you could easily spend your entire time there, if not in Honolulu. But it's fun to island hop! We went to Kauai and loved it, but we did not go to Maui, which is certainly highly recommended.

So I'd say, two islands, time divided between Maui and Oahu, or perhaps one day more on Oahu. Rent a car on Oahu, because you must visit the North Shore while you're there. You might even consider staying part of your time there, although if you do two islands AND move while on Oahu that may be too much moving.
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Old May 6th, 2014, 12:40 PM
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Car rental just depends on what you want to see and do. I like to stay right in Waikiki/Honolulu so do just fine using public transportation only. I've yet to rent a car on Oahu (5 trips so far).
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Old May 6th, 2014, 01:28 PM
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I guess I thought that with 5 people, some of them kids, it might be easier in a car, but I could see that not being true, also! Good point about the option of public transpo.
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Old May 6th, 2014, 04:04 PM
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With kids the ages of your and your husband's, Waikiki and Maui probably make the best sense, and I'd suggest 3 days on Oahu and 7 on Maui. Spend the Oahu nights in a hotel/resort and the Maui nights in a 3-bedroom condo on the west side, somewhere near Napili for a better cultural experience.

If the kids are more low-key, instead of Maui, consider the Kohala Coast of the Big Island; maybe a 3-bedroom condo in The Point at the Mauna Lani resort property.

You twice mentioned safety. You shouldn't have to worry about that, regardless of which island you choose.
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Old May 6th, 2014, 04:30 PM
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Oahu transportation is great, yes, but to visit the north shore (which you really should do, it's wonderful) you would want to rent a car. Seeing and taking photos of the gorgeous eastern shore, having lunch at one of the shrimp trucks around Turtle Bay, stopping in Haleiwa (sp) for shave ice, watching the surfers along the many beaches, and then maybe a stop at Dole Plantation on your way back into Honolulu/Waikiki. It makes a fantastic day trip out of the city. Oahu is so much more than just Waikiki.
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Old May 6th, 2014, 04:31 PM
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PS, I do this island drive on every visit to Oahu, which is once a year, usually late August or early September.
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Old May 6th, 2014, 07:58 PM
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We loved that drive, simpsonc510. Memorable!
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Old May 7th, 2014, 03:05 AM
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First of all - recommend you should take the kids snorkeling at Hanamaulu Bay - and if you have not been snorkeling before - beg/borrow/steal some gear - face mask and snorkel especially - and practice at home in a pool before you depart so you can have some degree of comfort level putting your face in the water.

Hanamaulu Bay/Beach Park is shallow and protected by reefs from the ocean current - and also has lifeguards - and has grassy areas beyond the beach if you want to have a picnic there. It's about 20 minutes "south" of Waikiki - and go early for not only the best visibility but also to beast the crowds and you can stop at the shopping center at Hawaii Kai (just before you go up the hill - as you get close) to pick up stuff for breakfast/lunch at the park.

You can also rent gear at the park - or more cheaply for the week - check out the Snorkel Bob's of this world - and they also have outlets on Maui and the other islands where you can get gear.

And I think getting a condo up/around Napili - on the north end of Maui (above the main/west town of Lahaina) would be good for your group. Check out the Napili Sunset - and there are others.

Our favorite island is Kauai - for the lush beauty of the North Shore/Bali Hai view - and there is so much to do on Big Island/Hawaii - but the second most visited outer isle is Maui - and it has great beaches - plenty to do/see.

They are all beautiful.
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Old May 7th, 2014, 03:07 AM
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Et Tres Bon on getting your MBA. Have you found a job yet?

Bon Vacance.
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Old May 7th, 2014, 06:28 AM
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That would be Hanauma Bay, Tomsd. Hanamaulu is on Kaua'i.
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Old May 7th, 2014, 06:55 AM
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Dang it. Thanks Face. Luv the Tea House on Kauai too.
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Old May 7th, 2014, 07:56 AM
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Do you plan to visit THIS JUNE -- as in, next month? Hawaii is always busy when mainland schools are on break. You need to book your flights, rental vehicles, and lodging very soon.

Unless you live on the west coast of the mainland (five hours from Hawaii), look for flights with at least one long leg nonstop on a wide body aircraft. We fly Chicago-Maui most winters. I avoid 757's and west coast connections. Most airlines have good flights into both HNL and OGG (Maui). You might fly into one and home from the other more easily than from Kauai or Big Island of Hawaii.

You could enjoy ten nights on either of these islands. On Oahu you might split between Waikiki and North Shore. You could stay either South Maui or West Maui, or split with some nights in Hana. (South Maui is more convenient for sightseeing the whole island.)

I like the 3/7 split; Waikiki/Maui. Three nights hotel; a week in a condo. I would reserve a rental car for airport pickup/drop wherever you stay. You don't have time to waste on bus service, and you have to transport five people.

What is your lodging budget? How much space do you need?
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Old May 8th, 2014, 06:59 AM
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Yes ... this June or early July (depends on kids' schedule ... I promised myself and my family that we would do a celebration/thank you trip at the end of my MBA and this is it! Didn't get a chance to book anything before as I just finished my MBA last week. No job as of yet Tomsd but working on it hardcore and that's why I'd like to go on this fabulous trip before starting a new career. Looked into flights and rentals and so far so good on availability but you're right ChiSue, must book soon.

I'm a little torn between doing Oahu and Maui or if we should forgo one to spend time on the Big Island... ? Since we are there for 9 nights... two island is a max for us.

As for lodging (budget approx $2000 but not set in stone), we want location on water and close to people (if that makes sense) so we can experience their culture... I think it's important for children. Any suggestions as to where I would find the best condos/houses/hotels to rent while there? Any sites better that others? Or even better, does anyone have a specific place to recommend in Maui, Honolulu or the Big Island? (thanks for your recommendation FaceInTheCrowd)

We will be renting a vehicle to get around islands so we can visit as much as possible while we're there. - thanks NewbE and Simpsonc510

Keep recommendations coming ... this is very helpful. Thank you!
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Old May 8th, 2014, 07:16 AM
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Our first first to Hawaii was to Big Island and I highly recommend it as a great place to go with teens/11yr old.

Combining it with a day or 2 in Oahu would be good but bear in mind Big Island takes more time to explore (probably best to split your stay between Kona/Waikoloa area and Hilo/Volcano area).

Spend at least one night (preferably 2) in the Hilo/Volcano area to explore the volcano, waterfalls and this side of the island which is lush and wetter than Kona.

Maui is also a fantastic place!

Really you can't go wrong and if you think you'll be back don't hesitate and just book which ever island you find the better accommodation on.
If it's a once in a lifetime trip then I'd shoot for Big Island.
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Old May 8th, 2014, 07:37 AM
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Every islands has its advantages. I've yet to get to Big Island or Kauai, and have loved my trips to Oahu and Maui.
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Old May 8th, 2014, 07:58 AM
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If you are thinking early July, please recognize that the 4th of July week is a very popular time to visit Hawaii and finding lodging in your budget....$2000 for 9 nights, is going to be very difficult. Do you want waterfront or beachfront? On the Big Island there are many older, affordable, condo options that are waterfront in Kailua-Kona but few of them are on swimmable beaches. The best beaches are further north in the Kohala District. Few condos there (although some exist) are beachfront. Most are a walk to the beach. So, that is your tradeoff there. You will find more beachfront options in Maui but the prices will probably be higher (based on my highly unscientific research on condos on both islands).

There are some good beach front hotels on the Big Island...the Four Seasons, Hapuna Prince, Manua Lani, Mauna Kea....but your sacrifice space and flexibility if you go the hotel v condo route. Your call regarding what is most important but with the ages of your kids, a condo with the ability to spread out and cook might make more sense than everyone sharing a hotel room (your budget won't allow for two rooms for 9 nights).

Have fun planning.
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Old May 8th, 2014, 08:34 AM
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>

Not sure what you mean by this, but you might need a bit of a reality check here. You can go to a luau and see hula dancers, or a slack key concert, or the Polynesian Cultural Center. But if you really want to experience Pacific Islander culture, you'll need to go farther south. Like to Tahiti. Because the people in the condos or homes next to you in Hawaii are likely to be from California or Canada.

That said, because they're much less commercial than Oahu and Maui, I think you get a better sense of island culture on Kaua'i and the Big Island. Still, you have to look for it.
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