Hawaii Itinerary Help

Dec 29th, 2008, 02:30 PM
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Hawaii Itinerary Help

Hi. My sister is planning on taking my 3 daughters (16, 18, 21) to Hawaii July 15-31. She needs help with creating an itinerary. She wants to do 4 islands but I suggested 3. Her first stop will be Oahu - Hilton Hawaiian Village seeing Pearl Harbor, Punch Bowl Cemetery, the snorkeling place. After that we have nothing. Your help is appreciated. She knows this will be expensive and wants to stay in some nicer hotels. Thanks.
roseclare is offline  
Dec 29th, 2008, 02:56 PM
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Lots of info including sites with free brochures for all islands.

dusty56438 is offline  
Dec 29th, 2008, 03:03 PM
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Thanks Dusty. We will enjoy looking thru all the links you've provided. Just generally - do you have a suggestion on how to allocate her 2 weeks among the islands with Oahu her being her first stop?
roseclare is offline  
Dec 29th, 2008, 03:03 PM
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It would not have to be expensive, if she didn't want to stay in "nicer" hotels.

Does she have any idea what towns she wants to stay in or near on Big Island, Kauai, and Maui?

Can you tell us what kinds of things they are interested in? Culture? Museums? Outdoor adventures? Beaches? Picnics? Hiking? Luau?

Do they want to rent a car on each island?
suze is online now  
Dec 29th, 2008, 03:07 PM
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With 15 days I would probably just do 2 island... Oahu and Maui, a week on each.

My reasoning is to fit 4 islands into that time period, you "waste" a lot of time & money checking in and out of hotels, going to and from airports, swapping out rental cars, etc. I prefer to spend my time enjoying myself where I am!
suze is online now  
Dec 29th, 2008, 03:15 PM
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If she is planning on one hotel room with 2 queen beds, I would suggest a few days on Oahu at a great hotel, a week in a rental on Kauai's northshore to give everyone their space and then a splurge hotel - perhaps the suites at Kea Lani on Maui.

4 women need their space.

gyppielou is offline  
Dec 29th, 2008, 03:43 PM
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To suze:

She does not have specific towns she wants to stay in on any of the islands other than Oahu (Waikiki).

She does plan on renting cars on each island.

My sister is 50, my kids are 16, 18, 21 so due to the age difference they are probably interested in different things but I know they all want to do outdoor stuff, swim, hike, relax, see the amazing beauty of Hawaii. Its a "big" vacation for my sister. I agree about having a splurge hotel on one island but still having a pretty nice place to stay elsewhere.
roseclare is offline  
Dec 29th, 2008, 03:59 PM
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Gosh this is such a huge question.

I would suggest they get some guidebooks from the library and have everyone do some research. Each person pick out a few things that specifically are of interest to them. Fodor's has a brand new 2009 one that is very good.

On Maui I loved the town of Lahaina for the historic walking tour, going up Haleakala one morning, the Old Lahaina Luau, U'lalena a show at Myth and Magic Theater, Aloha Mixed Plate for a fun plate lunch.

I think on Kauai the idea of a rental from VRBO is an excellent one.
suze is online now  
Dec 30th, 2008, 06:01 AM
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When my kids were that age their favorite "activity" was time spent at the beach. I recommend Maui for easiest access to great beaches.
Also, I would consider staying in a nice 2B/2B condo on Maui. The extra space and privacy will be needed with 4 almost-adult females. Also, it cuts down on meal expense if you can have a few light meals (and snack food) at
"home" instead of eating out all the time. There are some very nice upscale condos in the Wailea area, and beaches are wonderful. A one night splurge at the Grand Wailea would give everyone a chance to use the fabulous fantasy pool complex for 2 days.
Barbara5353 is offline  
Dec 30th, 2008, 11:18 AM
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To fit in four islands an itinerary might look something like this:
15 arrival day
16/17/18 Oahu
19 move island day
20/21/22 Big Island
23 move island day
24/25/26 Maui
27 move island day
28/29/30 Kauai
31 departure day
giving you only 3 days per island
suze is online now  
Dec 30th, 2008, 01:06 PM
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You don't have to waste a whole day moving from island to island. If you want to island hop, here's my suggestion:

--Pack light and carry on your luggage. Hawaii is very casual, and you'll be living in shorts and t-shirts.

--Book a very early interisland flight so you get less crowds at the airport, shorter lines at the car rental place, and more overall "day time" on the next island.

--You don't have to go check into your hotel immediately. Fill a tote bag with some essentials, get your rental car, and do some sightseeing before you check in.

That said, with two weeks I'd probably just do three islands. Here's my suggestion:

Three days on Oahu at the HHV
Five on Maui
Five on either the BI or Kauai
Gellers is offline  
Dec 30th, 2008, 03:09 PM
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With 16 nights, you can do up to 4 islands.

3 islands is probably preferable.

4 nights on each island if 4 islands.

5 nights on each island if 3 islands.

It will take about 4-5 hours between islands.

Polynesian Cultural Center has the best Polynesian entertainment in Hawaii. Go there & skip all other luaus.
dusty56438 is offline  
Dec 30th, 2008, 06:55 PM
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"It will take about 4-5 hours between islands."

Very accurate. And if you are awake for 14 hours, you have 10 hours left to do things.
Gellers is offline  
Dec 30th, 2008, 06:56 PM
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....or more. I like to sleep A LOT when I am on vacation.
Gellers is offline  
Dec 31st, 2008, 05:59 AM
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If she wants to make the most of her time, I'd go with three islands (I think doing four islands would waste too much time in trasit as another poster said).

I'd recommend that she look for the "highlights" on each island and see which ones appeal to her most. These would be mine:

Snorkeling at Hanauma Bay (1/2 day)
Pearl Harbor (1/2 day EARLY)
North Shore (full day)
Kailua Bay (full day)
hiking Diamond Head (1/2 day or less)

Volcanos National Park (full day)
kayak Kealakekua Bay (half day)
Waipio Valley (half day)

Road to Hana (full day)
Haleakala (most of day)
Lahaina town (half day)

Waimea Canyon
Na Pali cliffs
loads of hiking

karameli is offline  
Dec 31st, 2008, 08:20 AM
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Gotta agree with suze on this one. Your sister will be spending thousands of dollars and if she does not want to shell out for a guide book, she can check out some at the local public library for free. Hawaii for Dummies is good for a basic overview and to help narrow down the choices.
jamie99 is offline  
Dec 31st, 2008, 08:30 AM
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Especially traveling with a family, I think it best for everyon to have a stake in the planning. Have your sister and each daughter pick out 1 thing per island that they are interested in doing, and include that.

IF no one wants to plan (or does not bee capable) this trip, I'd suggest finding a qualified travel agent to put a package together for them (something I usually wouldn't recommend). If they stick with 4 islands in 2 weeks plan... that's a LOT of hotel, car, plane ticket, activities logistics to deal with. Not a simple trip to plan.

suze is online now  
Jan 9th, 2009, 11:38 AM
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Thanks for all the help. My sister has finally agreed to limit the trip to 3 islands over 15/16 days (7-15 to 31). She has decided on Oahu (she's ex-militay and must see Pearl Harbor), Kuaui and Big Island. Her first stop will be Oahu.

Does it matter what order she does the other two? What do you think of Hilton Hawaiian Village Alii Tower? I stayed in HHV in the 80s and loved it.

My sister has numerous travel guides but has not had time to go thru all the info yet. I purchased the "Revealed Guides" for her for each of the islands.

I appreciate your help and as we start to settle on various aspects of the trip I'd appreciate your comments.
roseclare is offline  
Jan 9th, 2009, 12:36 PM
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Its pretty hard to go wrong in Hawaii. My top 10 activities
1) Whale watching (winter months)
2) Snorkeling trips- lots of 4-8 hr boat tours that include lunch and snokeling.
3) Kauai- Helicopter tour around the Island-awesome-
4) Big island- Kona Sportfishing is the best!
5) If you dont want to be bothered, go to Molokai. Other than that skip it.
6) Lanai- too expensive for what you get. I think its just a place for rich Hawaiians to go to get away from us.(joke)
7) Maui/Big island- go to the Volcanic Natl Parks(dress warm)
8) Valley horseback tour Maui/Big Island
9) Hike to a waterfall in Kauai(caveat-about the only Island I would say Mosquitos are an issue)
10) Drive to Hana
Pearl harbor-N Shore are really the only 2 things I like ao the main island(skip if you need extra days elsewhere)

I find that just 1 activity is enough for the whole day, but we like to take things slow in Hawaii.

You want some nice Hotels
1) Kauai- Princeville Resort
2) Maui- Ritz or Four Seasons
3) Big Island- This is the only Island where I will say you have to get a nice hotel and stay at the Mauna Kea

There are lots of super nice places on Maui and Kauai that wont cost you as much and you can lower costs wihout lowering your overall vacation quality

Tip- You can save LOTS of money if you wait till the last minute and book your tours at one of the many kiosks around town.(politely turn down the timeshare offers)

After you choose Hotels, I can tell you some good places to eat
FrankS is offline  
Jan 9th, 2009, 01:41 PM
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I'll look into Muana Kea. I have always wanted to stay there myself. They won't be going to Muai, at least not this time around. Will get back to you as we settle on hotels etc.
roseclare is offline  
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