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brandie346 Nov 23rd, 2009 04:45 PM

Hawaii - Your Fav Threads?
Hi all, long time no talk! That's 'cause I haven't been anywhere, but that's about to change!

Heading to Hawaii for my b'day and Xmas - it's the big 4-0 in the 5-0 (I just made that up!).

Anyway, flying in and out of Honolulu, otherwise, nothing planned and am open to anything, even tourist-y things.

I wanted to know if any of y'all have a favorite Hawaii thread/trip reviews? I'll do some searching, of course, but if you've got any suggestions, lemme hear 'em!


hulajake Nov 23rd, 2009 05:45 PM

Somethings that many may do their first visit are Pearl Harbor, hike Diamond Head,snorkel Hanauma Bay and try the beaches. Kailua-Lanikai are two of the most popular and Sunset and Waimea Beaches on the Northshore along with Haliewa town.
Shopping at Ala Moana, Aloha Tower Marketplace, Ward Center or in Waikiki at the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center.

brandie346 Nov 23rd, 2009 05:46 PM

I found Dusty's AWESOME thread! Amazing stuff!

Thought I'd add a little more info:

I arrive on a Wednesday afternoon and depart very late the following Wednesday night. Only want rent a car when absolutely necessary.

Traveling solo.

After a very brief amount of reading, here are two things I'd really like to do:

1. The Sunrise/Bike Trip on Maui.

2. A Lava Boat Tour on the Big Island.

Seems like the rest of my time can be spent on Oahu seeing the Pearl Harbor memorial, hiking, snorkeling. Happy to make use of Oahu's public transport to see stuff.

Things I don't care about: shopping, bars/nightlife, golf, fancy hotels.

I really am OK doing 'drive-bys' of Maui and the Big Island just to do those big events. I know there's no way I can see everything in 6 days. I'll just jam-pack those days!

And if I have the courage and money, maybe I'll do a shark dive. :scary!:

Ok, time for some more research. Please share any thoughts you have on this little trip.

Oh... any special Xmas events that I should know about?

dusty56438 Nov 23rd, 2009 07:04 PM

sf7307 Nov 23rd, 2009 07:28 PM

You plan to go to Oahu, Maui and the Big Island in SIX DAYS? I really think you have to start by reassessing this plan. Most people would say to stick to one island only in 6 days. Are you planning to make these day trips? If not, you have to check out of your hotel, get to the airport, go through security, fly, arrive, somehow get to the other hotel, and then repeat the same thing the next day? Phew - I'm tired just reading this!

brandie346 Nov 24th, 2009 06:52 AM


:) hahaha! What? Too much? :)

Just getting my planning started, it's all flexible now. But since I'm traveling solo, I'm fairly nimble and can move about as I like.

But we'll see! I have friends who did multiple islands in a week, so I know it's possible. :)

suze Nov 24th, 2009 07:18 AM

I just got back from a solo trip to Oahu for 10 days last week & I didn't even leave Waikiki! It was a fabulous trip. I don't have a trip report (other than my restaurant reviews thread) since I didn't "do" much, but am happy to answer any question you have. I've been to Waikiki 4 times now, have not rented a car, just use airport shuttle, The Bus, or walk everywhere.

Sure I guess it's possible to do what you describe, 3 islands in 6 days, if for some reason you just have to ride down Haleakala on Maui and try to see a live volcano on BI.

But it's not cheap when you start island-hopping. Plus you will spend a LOT of time going to & from airports, riding in taxis & checking in and out of hotels, etc. instead of enjoying where you are. You need to really think about what you want from a vacation. For me it was some sun and relaxation, enjoying the aloha atmosphere. Certainly Oahu has plenty to do to fill a short 6 day trip.

brandie346 Nov 24th, 2009 07:43 AM

You're right, I should have been more clear about that as well:

I like to JAM-PACK my vacations! I won't be lying around on a beach if I can help it. I want to see and do as much stuff as possible and if that means 5am inter-island flights, that's ok with me! I'll sleep later :)

montereybob Nov 24th, 2009 07:46 AM

I agree with suze when she warns against the not-fun aspects of too much island hopping verses "enjoying where you are".

montereybob Nov 24th, 2009 07:48 AM

Although from reading brandie's last post, she may be an exception to this rule.

brandie346 Nov 24th, 2009 08:01 AM

Hahaha, thanks Bob!

And thanks everyone else. I really appreciate all of your suggestions!

I know it sounds ambitious, but heck, I have that looong flight back to Atlanta to catch up on my sleep, right?

suze Nov 24th, 2009 10:25 AM

Of course only you can decide what you want to do with your vacation. But to save money and time, I would do 1 island in 6 days. There's PLENTY to see on any one of them that you choose, you could stay busy 24/7 with activities on Oahu alone and never once lay around on the beach.

I don't understand why a short amount of time on 3 different islands is somehow superior to really seeing 1 island more completely, which also gives you MORE actual sight-seeing and activites time since you're not wasting it on cabs, airports, changing hotels, and flights.

But if somehow the 3 islands in 6 days is more exciting to you, what the heck!

Kailani Nov 24th, 2009 10:32 AM

There was a thread that discussed the lava boat tour, and I think the owner of the tour jumped in with some info (I can't find it now, though.)

Here's another one that discusses it:

I think if you fly into Hilo, and spend a night on the Big Island (so 2 days including travel) you'll enjoy yourself very much. The flights are quick, the volcano is dramatic, and a bit of sightseeing in Hilo will give you a nice flavor of the island.

The lava is more visible at night of course, but the boat tour must be during the day, so you could also fly back that night.

I would encourage you to go with your instincts, and see what you want to see.

brandie346 Nov 24th, 2009 11:00 AM

Suze, I'm not suggesting one itinerary is "superior" to another. I have 6 days. I want to see lava running into the water and do the sunrise/bike tour. Those are the two most important things to me, so I'm gonna bust my butt to try to do them.

Kailani, thanks for the link!

suze Nov 24th, 2009 11:28 AM

Maybe then just go to the Big Island & Maui? Skip Oahu?

sf7307 Nov 24th, 2009 11:35 AM

Look at it this way, if you were planning a 6-day trip to San Francisco, would you do day trips to Los Angeles and Reno? If you would, then your Hawaii schedule is doable, if you wouldn't, then it's probably not.

brandie346 Nov 24th, 2009 11:51 AM

Well, I'm flying into/out of Honolulu, so it seems logical to spend some time there.

(My flight was originally a Delta Frequent Flyer itinerary that I put together back in July. 60k miles plus $10 and voila, trip to Hawaii with a 2-day stop in Denver to visit my sister! Then my sister's company moves her to Raleigh and thus I had to spend another $185 to get home sans trip to Denver. Kinda sucks, but what are ya gonna do?).

suze Nov 24th, 2009 12:32 PM

Not really (does not necessarily seem logical to spend days on Oahu if you're more interested in the other islands just because you fly thru there). You could go directly on to Maui or BI on an interisland flight, without leaving the Honolulu airport to maximize your short amount of time in the places you most want to be.

brandie346 Nov 24th, 2009 12:41 PM

Hmmmm... intriguing... I'm intrigued. ;)

Kailani Nov 24th, 2009 12:46 PM

Maybe it's like going to Greece (where I want to go) where you want to see several islands.

You can use your time in the airport to shop for souvenirs, write postcards and people watch. The airports are a lot more low key than SF & LA.

Are you able to fly from Oahu to Maui to Hilo and back to Oahu? That wouldn't be so bad. Two days on each island would be fun as long as you limit exploring to that one part of each island, and don't try to do it all.

Oh, and don't check bags, just do carry-on.

Another choice might be tours from Oahu which include visiting those Maui or Big Island sites. I researched that once, and the cost was less than arranging a flight and car by yourself, but I don't have first hand experience.

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