Hawaii Trip - Please Help!

Old Apr 3rd, 2007, 10:43 AM
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Hawaii Trip - Please Help!

My wife and I love to travel and recently we both tried to think of places that we would definitely want to see sometime in our life. #1 on the list for both of us was Hawaii.

So now I am trying to put together a trip for the two of us to Hawaii...but I'm having a bit of trouble getting started. I have a Fodors Hawaii guide and have looked through it quite a bit, but I want to get real people's opinions. We aren't into too much night life and partying, so something calmer and low key is always good.

Right now I am looking at July of 2008 for our trip. Is July a good time to go or would you recommend a different time of the year?

We both love beaches and love to relax, but if we are going to be in Hawaii I want to have a true Hawaii experience as well. Which islands or areas have you been to and loved visiting? I'm not opposed to having a trip where we stay in 2 or 3 different places during our vacation.

Any tips on where to start with finding accomodations? Which have worked out best for you between hotels, resorts, condos, houses, etc.?

I know there are a lot of people here that are experts on Hawaii, so I thank you very much for your opinions and expertise!
BTownJ is offline  
Old Apr 3rd, 2007, 11:06 AM
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Now is too early to get price for July 2008. You can start around end of Nov/Dec 2007. Just remember, June to mid-Sep is busy travel time in Hawaii (summer vacation).

If you do not like night life: Oahu will not a good choice for you
If you love beaches and love to relax, Maui and Kauai are the best choice for you.

IF you have 1 week vacation, 2 islands are max. If you have 10-12 days, 3 islands max.

I have a good web site for you to visit: www.gohawaii.com This web site will give you all the island information.

Mahalo and Welcome to Hawaii.


YalingHAY is offline  
Old Apr 3rd, 2007, 11:31 AM
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If you don't have to vacation around school schedules, April / May, Sept. - November are I think the least expensive times to visit. We traveled to Maui once in September without our son and it was wonderful. We went again in June with our son and it was again wonderful, but more expensive and more crowded. Food for thought . . .
sherrie is offline  
Old Apr 3rd, 2007, 11:33 AM
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While Oahu has lots of areas that are pretty quiet, the fact is most of the accomodations on the island are clustered down in Waikiki - which is a section of Honolulu (a LARGE city) so any stay there is probably going to be a bit of an urban vacation.

So, if you want a quieter experience then yes indeed Maui or Kauai may well suit you. The Big Island would probably be a good choice too, but I've not been there so there's not much I can say about it. Personally, if you go for a week I would just go to one island. For 10 or more days, 2 islands would be OK.

Keep in mind that each island has lush green side (the wardward (north or east)) and a drier, sunnier side (leeward (south or west)). The lush green sides are in my opinion more beautiful and more "Hawaiian" looking (ie the fit the image that most folks have of Hawaii more closely) than the drier, sunnier side - but of course the sunnier sides have the best weather and generally calmer beaches (though during the summer months the windward side usually have very nice weather as well).

Kauai - The most beautiful of the islands (by most peoples opinion anyway), this is where many, many movies have been made - protraying everywhere from south-east asia to King Kong's Skull Island. This is the place for "down time". It is much quieter overall than Oahu, or even Maui, with mush less to do in the way of man-made attractions or dining and entertainment options. The plus side is that for those into the outdoors, it's a tropical wonderland. For July, I would stay somewhere on the northshore.

Maui - Though not nearly as scenic as Kauai, Maui is indeed still lovely - but just not as breath-takingly beautiful. Of all the the islands, Maui perhaps has the best mix of things to do, places to see, wide range of accomodations, great beaches, etc, etc etc. It is in my opinion the most well-rounded of the islands, offering something for nearly everyone - which probably accounts for it's huge popularity.

So, in chooseing between these 2 island you need to decide where your priorities lay. Do you want the ultimate in quiet, scenic spendor - or does a good balance of everything matter more to you?

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Old Apr 3rd, 2007, 11:44 AM
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Kauai is best in the summer. If you have the time, put it at the top of your list then probably Maui, although Maui is becoming more crowded and dominated by tourists. The big island is quite varied with rain forests on the Hilo side and stark lava fields on the south/southwest side. There are however, top drawer resorts and condos on the Kohala coast which are like large oasis. It can be hot/humid in the summer so I find Kauai to have the best weather then. Maui also has many top resorts and great condos, particularly in Wailea area. There is excellent dining on all the islands, maybe a bit more on Maui and Oahu however. The big island has the active volcano (Kilauea). If you want to see it, I suggest flying directly into Hilo and staying at a B&B in Volcano Village. That way you can drive down to the end of chain of craters road at sunset and easily see the glowing lava (assuming Kilauea is still erupting next summer). So while I would suggest Kauai and Maui, note that Maui is very busy with heavy traffic especially during peak tourist times - summer is one of those times. Maui has tons to do, Kauai is calmer, smaller, greener and the Big Island is the most varied in environment, biggest and basically has all you would want (sans nightlife) but it is more spread out. You didn't mention if you are a golfer. If so, take your clubs (club rental is generally in the range of $30 - $50) there are fantastic golf courses on all the islands.

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Old Apr 3rd, 2007, 11:46 AM
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Kauai and Big Island are more quiet. Maui has development in some areas but less in other. Any of these three would be good for a first trip.

Oahu is great but if you are not interested at all in the city of Honolulu, I would probably skip it and go with 2 of the 3 mentioned above.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2007, 11:59 AM
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...and to live and eat like a local always consider a vacation home/condo/cottage.
Sites like:
have so many listings (with great pictures) that it's probably very hard to choose from.
Enjoy your planning!
travel_tomato is offline  
Old Apr 3rd, 2007, 12:01 PM
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July is a peak travel time for Hawaii because of school vacations. Airfares, hotels, etc are all more expensive. An economical time is in October and November. The weather is still great then and the water has not yet started to cool a bit. Of course, Hawaii is really great anytime. If you had 3 weeks, I would recommend all 4 major islands. With 2 weeks, you could do 3, but you have to miss out on something. I love beaches (Maui), food ( anywhere), the Volcanoes National Park ( The Big Island), so I'd say that Maui and Hawaii were a must. But others would have different recommendations. Best you get a guidebook, figure out how much time you can do, then figure out a budget. I could spend a month in the islands and still not have enough time.
Old Apr 3rd, 2007, 12:13 PM
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If you want something calm, low-key, and quintessentially Hawaii you should seriously consider spending a few days in Hana, Maui. The famous (infamous) road to Hana is 50 miles of some of the prettiest lushest scenery you can imagine - but most tourists kill themselves driving there and back the same day. Spending a few days there to hike, swim, and enjoy the scenery would likely be the highlight of your vacation. Your dining choices are limited to a couple local "plate lunch" spots, a bbq takeout window, and overpriced fancy food from the big Hotel Hana. But all three are worth trying. And though rental car companies try to dissuade it you should keep going past Hana to return to "civilization" around the other side of the island. That drive is a whole other kind of memorable experience, especially when you round the corner from the windward side to the much drier leeward side.
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Old Apr 3rd, 2007, 12:57 PM
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More to see & do on Oahu than any other island. Outside of Honolulu/Waikiki, Oahu is rural much like the other islands. There are a lot of beach houses & condos all over the island:


www.visit-oahu.com free brochure There are over 400 websites for lodging, restaurants, attractions in the brochure & on the site. Click on: OVB Yellow Pages


www.visitmaui.com free brochure

www.bigisland.org free brochure

www.kauaidiscovery.com free brochure


Get all of the brochure & decide where you want to go. Whatever island(s) you choose will be great.

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Old Apr 4th, 2007, 07:29 AM
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We flew to Maui, rented condo for 4 days, rented jeep, did road to Hilo, Haleakala bike ride,did Hawaiin Luau,dived at Molokini, caught 7 day cruise in the islands - saw all the others, did things ashore, and never unpacked but twice. ( As 60 yr old never had desire to do Hawaii, as we travel frequently, but this trip was a great way to do it and reasonably priced.) Be sure to get a balcony room, and check the ships travel direction for the best side for views - port or starboard.
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Old Apr 4th, 2007, 07:57 AM
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Sorry- make that road to Hana on Maui. And booking on a cruise now would not be a problem. We did our trip in may - ahead of most schools being out.
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Old Apr 10th, 2007, 06:02 AM
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Thank you all very much for your help! These are some great ideas.

Any additional suggestions?
BTownJ is offline  
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