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Hawaii or Idaho/Montana/Utah Road Trip - please help me decide

Hawaii or Idaho/Montana/Utah Road Trip - please help me decide

Old May 5th, 2021, 08:27 AM
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Hawaii or Idaho/Montana/Utah Road Trip - please help me decide

Hi folks:

I live in Bay area, California. I will be working remotely part-time during the summer and would like to work remotely from a different location for about 3-4 weeks during the summer. I will be taking my two girls (6 and 12) as they will be out of school. I will work until noon (during which time they will watch some TV, play, read, art and craft, chill, Outschool classes, etc.) And then after noon, we will have time to hang out together and explore. Well, that is the ideal plan. I will also have Friday/Saturday/Sunday off each week.

We have a trip planned to Seattle/Osoyoos for 2 weeks in June. So I am thinking we can either hit the road after that and do Idaho, Montana, Utah (staying about a week in each place, hitting the state parks). Or we can just head to Hawaii for 3-4 weeks. What do you think?

Not sure if many of you follow the Europe forum, but I had originally planned to do something like this with my girls last year. I had asked Fodorites for their opinions. Link to that post here. Well, we all know how 2020 summer turned out and we decided not to go...

Would love any thoughts, ideas, feedback.

Thanks!
Manisha

Last edited by Manisha; May 5th, 2021 at 08:31 AM.
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Old May 5th, 2021, 08:35 AM
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I think I would take a look at lodging availability and see if you can find what you want in your price range. Availability is low in MT and rates are high.
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Old May 5th, 2021, 08:40 AM
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Thanks kureiff! Yes, a quick search on AirBnb last week revealed this - availability was low. Might be easier to find one place to stay as opposed to 5-6 in these 3 different states....
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Old May 5th, 2021, 09:29 AM
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And consider the time zones. The time shift may work for or against you depending on your job responsibilities and/or your or your daughters own internal clocks.
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Old May 5th, 2021, 10:01 AM
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Availability and rental cars will also be a big factor if you choose Hawaii (which would be my choice with young girls).
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Old May 5th, 2021, 12:50 PM
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I'd probably visit two of the Hawaiian islands and Songdoc is right about rental cars. 2 weeks or so ago my sister had to rent a car while hers was in the shop and it took her 3 days to get a rental, all the local agencies were out (this was in the LA area).
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Old May 5th, 2021, 02:17 PM
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I would choose Hawaii.
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Old May 5th, 2021, 05:34 PM
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Hawaii. No contest. You can check the different islands for availability and entrance restrictions or testing requirements. You don't need a car on Oahu if you stay in Waikiki.

As far as Seattle in June, that is nothing I would recommend at this time I live here and things are not good, restricted, and just took one phase step backwards in reopening concerning the Covid pandemic.
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Old May 6th, 2021, 02:33 AM
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If your kids like outdoor activities, any of your choices would work. Hawaii is nice but Utah and Montana have lots of interesting National and state parks with kid friendly trails to hike, and beautiful diverse geology as well as fauna and flora. The deer, elk, Antelope, etc. will be having babies with them in June.
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Old May 6th, 2021, 11:36 AM
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Hard to argue against Hawaii. Might be more for the kids to do whereas they might get bored in the midwest. Probably easy if you're just in one place too, although there's plenty of travel opportunities on the islands too.
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Old May 6th, 2021, 03:50 PM
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Ask the girls...

if they want to go to Hawaii (aloha!) or Utah and Montana (booooring!)
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Old May 6th, 2021, 06:27 PM
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I think it will just depend on where you can find lodging. Idaho is nice and not too far from Seattle. Since you have your own car, the rental situation won't be a factor.

Given the problems with COVID testing for Hawaii and rental car shortages, I'd probably rule that out. Try Couer d'Alene for hotels.
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Old May 7th, 2021, 08:55 AM
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There isn't any "problem" with COVID tests for Hawaii, you just have to get one and their website gives you the various labs they partner with that you must use. If someone finds just getting one a problem, too bad, they can stay at home and never go anywhere.

I just checked AAA for car rentals as you often get a bit better deals using them and they had tons of car rentals available at Honolulu Airport for 3 weeks beginning end of June. I think when people say there aren't any, often they just mean they don't want to pay that much, as rates have gone up. Those rates were about $100 a day in Honolulu. So it is an expense, but it would depend where you are and how long you'd have to have one.

I'd think Hawaii would be more appealing also, but if your kids are excited about going to Idaho (?) etc. for 3-4 weeks, it would be easier. When I was a kid, I don't think Idaho would have excited me (or MT or Utah). Some national parks would be exciting, but not 3 weeks of that.
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Old May 7th, 2021, 10:38 AM
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Thanks everyone for your guidance, feedback and research! You are all awesome! I am leaning more towards Hawaii. Some of your questions made me imagine/visualize what our days in Idaho/Montana/Utah would be like - national parks, trails, hikes. My older one would love this but the younger one, not so much. Which means no fun for anyone. Which means - Hawaii. Rental cars in Hawaii are EXPENSIVE - wow! But it will be worth it in the end I think.

Any feedback on which islands? I was thinking Kauai (never been) and one other island (been to Maui and Oahu. So perhaps big island or Molokai). Not sure. If you have any ideas, would love to hear them. Girls like the beaches and waterfalls and the younger one is really into volcanoes.

Last edited by Manisha; May 7th, 2021 at 11:03 AM. Reason: clarification
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Old May 7th, 2021, 11:00 AM
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Kauai and Big Island. No to Molokai.
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Old May 7th, 2021, 12:40 PM
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I agree, visit the oldest island (Kauai) and the youngest (Island of Hawaii aka Big Island), my two favorites. Visited Molokai once and it was fairly boring with limited choices to eat, etc. Plus you can only fly there now, no more ferry from Maui.
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Old May 7th, 2021, 12:48 PM
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I live on Kauai and it is my favorite island. But ... check rental car prices in Kauai (Lihue). The last time I checked for random dates in the summer, the lowest prices for the smallest car were around $1,400/week. $300 - $400/wk would be normal.
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Old May 7th, 2021, 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by Songdoc View Post
I live on Kauai and it is my favorite island. But ... check rental car prices in Kauai (Lihue). The last time I checked for random dates in the summer, the lowest prices for the smallest car were around $1,400/week. $300 - $400/wk would be normal.
So at least $15,000 all in by the time you add in 4 airfares, lodging, food and COVID test(s) at $150-$180 a pop. Yikes.

How about Cancun?
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Old May 8th, 2021, 05:48 AM
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Thereís more than enough to do to spend 3 weeks in any state (Idaho, Montana, or Utah). The ages work fine too.
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Old May 8th, 2021, 07:04 AM
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Originally Posted by mlgb View Post
So at least $15,000 all in by the time you add in 4 airfares, lodging, food and COVID test(s) at $150-$180 a pop. Yikes.

How about Cancun?
The Walgreens Covid test Iím getting pre-Hawaii on Monday is $19. Rental car is $460for seven days. Condo is $1,500. And airfare was $350/person. I rebooked the car last week through Costco because it was less expensive than when I booked a few months ago.
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