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Help me plan my Hawaiian honeymoon: How should I divide my days and which islands for a first-timer looking for romance, adventure, and relaxation?

Help me plan my Hawaiian honeymoon: How should I divide my days and which islands for a first-timer looking for romance, adventure, and relaxation?

Old Nov 3rd, 2003, 02:37 PM
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Help me plan my Hawaiian honeymoon: How should I divide my days and which islands for a first-timer looking for romance, adventure, and relaxation?

Hello,
I have been reading these boards for MONTHS now, trying to come up with an amazing honeymoon destination. I have been focusing on Hawaii, the Caribbean, and Mexico, as my fiance and I are big beach people. I have also read guide books, although I don't know if any are as informative as these threads!! We are getting married in Aug. 2004, and because I am OBSESSED with travel and learning about different places (and my fiance is a "go with the flow" laid back type,) we decided to turn the honeymoon into a game in which I plan and surprise him with a week before the wedding! (I actually read a few posts here about people surprising their spouses with trips and that sounded fabulous!)
So, after all my research, I am really, truly hoping to pull of Hawaii. We are East Coasters, and I think this would be a trip of a lifetime -- plus the flights aren't really that much more expensive than the flights to the Carib. islands we were interested in before (St. Lucia, Aruba, Nevis, Anguilla, etc...) BUT, we cannot afford to spend a ton, and I want to go for the max. time possible, for us 11-14 days. So, I will be checking our priceline, hotwire, affordable condos, b&b's, etc...And I will be posting a bunch of questions here as I go along, so thanks in advance!! Here I go.....
1.) How should I divide our days?? I know I want to spend the majority of the time on Maui (6-7 nights), but would also like to hit Oahu (to see the North Shore, Waikiki, and Pearl Harbor) and the Big Island (mainly for the volcano, but also for great snorkeling, black sand beach, Akaka Falls, Waipaio Valley, maybe Hapuna Beach). If we did 12-14 nights, would 3 islands be too much coming from Logan Airport in Boston? Was thinking something like 3 nights Oahu, 3 nights BI, 7 nights Maui. Would you spend more time on Oahu or BI? Or, should we just do 2 islands? (We want to explore and sight-see, but also have plenty of time for relaxation and being lazy at the beach.)
2.) What are good flight prices? Right now, I am coming up with about $729 in Aug., flying into HNL and out of OGG. Is this decent? When should I book this?
3.) For accomadations, need $200 or under per night (with the exception of a couple of nights at the end which I might be able to splurge on.)Want to be on (or VERY near) a swimmable beach, have a pool, clean, pretty room and restaurants within walking distance in Maui or Oahu. Looking for a mix of resorts, condos, and Bed and breakfasts on the islands.
Thanks so much for answering my first batch of questions here!
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Old Nov 3rd, 2003, 03:43 PM
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Aloha beachgirl,

I would suggest that you do a search for the Hawaiian islands, each island specifically, and also read the trip reports already posted.

Quite possibly the reason you haven't gotten much response is that your questions have been asked and answered MANY MANY times. If you look up the old threads you'll find everything you're looking for.

Happy hunting
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Old Nov 3rd, 2003, 05:34 PM
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$729 is a good price. I would grab it. You'll have one less thing to obsess over.
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Old Nov 3rd, 2003, 09:26 PM
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My Maui trip report from July has lots of details about romance, adventure, and relaxation, AND a great, inexpensive condo on Keawakapu Beach and an awesome bamboo villa in Hana. It's at http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...1&tid=34436140.

Let me know if you have any questions.

love
roxy
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Old Nov 4th, 2003, 07:14 AM
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It's your honeymoon and you will probably want to relax some. I would suggest only two islands. You won't regret it! You lose too much time traveling when you change islands and you won't need the added stress. You will love Maui. You can relax as much as you need and be as active as you want. Try www.vrbo.com for condos. You can get a nice condo on Kaanapali beach for under $200.00 per night.
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Old Nov 4th, 2003, 07:45 AM
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I agree with going to two islands instead of three.

As for airfare, and possibly accomadations, I would give Pleasant Holidays a call. When I was looking into airfare on the internet and found the prices to be high, they quoted me a price around $200 less than the best price I could find (I ended up using FF miles though). They might be able to put together a nice package including condos and car rental.

For resorts, you could also try Priceline if you are not concerned about the room category. Go to www.biddingfortravel.com for Hawaii hotel lists and bidding tips.
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Old Nov 6th, 2003, 08:18 PM
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The New Otani Kaimana Beach Hotel
http://www.kaimana.com/
on the quiet south site of Waikiki. Great restaurants The Hau Tree Lanai Restaurant and the Miyako Japanese restaurant. Best place to watch a sunset in the Sunset Lanai Bar. Stay in a Moderate Room and enjoy an American Breakfast for two at the award winning Hau Tree Lanai Restaurant
$140.00.

Waikiki Beach Marriott http://www.marriottwaikiki.com/
$60 million modernization with panoramic views of world-famous Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head. Paradise Plus package includes a City View room and your choice of breakfast for two in either Kuhio Beach Grill or room service, or the use of a rental car, the price begins at $179 per night.

Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel http://www.astonhotels.com/
The ASTON Waikiki Beach Hotel recently completed US$30 million renovation that transformed the hotel into an upscale, urban-Hawaiian themed hotel. Located on the most scenic end of Waikiki, directly across the street from world-famous Waikiki Beach
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Old Nov 7th, 2003, 03:20 AM
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Mikepmcm: Thanks for the suggestions! Have you stayed at any of these hotels?
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Old Nov 7th, 2003, 05:15 AM
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Returned from a trip to Oahu Sept.28. We actually stayed at the Marriott KoOlina timeshare on the west coast of Oahu which was outstanding but would probably be out of your price range. We did spend some time looking for a hotel in the Waikiki area for a return trip & thought that the hotels mentioned where some of the better hotels on the quieter end of the beach. I've seen several good posting on the Marriott and had meals at the New Otani's Hau Tree Lanai. The Aston was nice but very crowded due to the lower priced room offerings. If I were to choose one I'd pick the Marriott its walkable to shops and restaurants, the beach is across the street (it has a break water to make that area very swimable), I've never had a problem with thier properties.

We traveled from New York and were dead tired when we arrived. I would try to get as much sleep on the plane then when you arrive try to stay up as late as you can so that you won't be awake at 5am every day. In the future I'd probably spend a day or two in SanFrancisco on the way out. (flights from SF to Hawaii go around $300 RT). Plan on not being able to get to sleep until 2-3am after you return.

I would only try to do two Islands probably Oahu for the History & Night life & Maui for relaxation & water. Prices on everything will be cheaper in Waikiki will be cheaper due to competition (vast numbers of great restaurants and shopping). Maui will be pricier for just about everything.

I personally would stay on Oahu for 4-5 nights and 6-7 on Maui. Remember that after your first visit the magic of Hawaii will force you to return (willingly of course) to visit the other islands or perhaps to return to a favorite area.
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Old Nov 16th, 2003, 01:21 PM
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I agree with two islands. There is plenty to do on all the islands and this being a first trip is is nice just to relax a bit. I loved the contrast between Waikiki with lazy swimming and free movies played right at the beach on a big screen and the BI where I hiked miles through volcanic craters and stayed in the rainforest. You really can't go wrong.

Also, we were not on Honeymoon so did not spend too much time in our room (LOL). However we got great rates on Priceline. Stayed at the Royal Hawaiian Garden Room for $100 a night, Stayed in more humble lodgings in Hilo that were still great (Dolphin Bay) @ $79 a night, and ended the vacation with an Ocean Front Room back on Oahu at the Pacific Beach Hotel. We had an incredible view of the Ocean from a corner room at $185 a night (12th floor). No complaints about any of the accomadations.

We loved the Korean BBQ, shrimp trucks, and Japanese Ramen houses so much we only ate a couple fancy $$$ meals the whole trip.

So you could easily do this and stay on budget.
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Old Nov 16th, 2003, 01:24 PM
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By the way the Pacific Beach Hotel was reserved on Cheaper Tickets.com, only the Royal Hawaiian (and rental cars) were reserved via Priceline.

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Old Nov 16th, 2003, 05:39 PM
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Hi,
Thanks for the great reponses and suggestions! We have booked our airfare and have 13 nights -- flying into Oahu on Aug. 7 and out of Maui on Aug. 20. SO, we will definitely be spending time in Waikiki and on Maui, and we do also want to get to the BI to see the volcano. We are on somewhat of a budget, so pairing Oahu and Maui was the cheapest combo, flight-wise. And we are both first-timers to HI, so I think it will be amazing.
I'd like to spend more time on the BI (maybe next time, paired with Kauai!), but for this trip, maybe only a night or 2. We are still trying to figure out how to split that up, we know we want the last 7 nights on Maui. I will be posting more questions before we leave, and thanks for all the help!!
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Old Nov 16th, 2003, 06:43 PM
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Beachgirl,
You sound like a bright person who has done their research.
I wouldn't tamper with your plan.
You know who you are and you know what you want.
I hope he's up to it.
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Old Nov 20th, 2003, 08:37 AM
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The two islands is plenty! My husband and I hopped from Maui to BI when we were there. Who would have thought... a 20 minute plane ride would take you the whole day to travel between packing, rental cars, and airports! If you could take a day trip via some charter to the BI to see the volcano, I would recommend that. The rest of the BI was just a LOT of driving to go anywhere. We booked our hotels thru hotwire and were thrilled with the 4 and 5 star hotels under $200. Have fun!
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Old Nov 20th, 2003, 02:20 PM
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JP693: Thanks for the advice! I know 2 islands will be plenty, but we both REALLY want to see the volcano, so I am hoping to get to the BI for a night or 2 between Oahu and Maui. Out of curiousity, which hotels did you get off Hotwire?
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Old Nov 21st, 2003, 04:51 AM
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beachgirl, i really wanted to see the volcano too, which is why we spent a few days on the Big Island as well. And we did see lava from about 10 feet away - very cool! We stayed on the Kohala coast - if you do 5* that should be the Hapuna Prince (where we stayed) and/or Makena which is its sister hotel. We picked the Kohala coast because its the sunniest, and we spend most time on the beach - but... it isn't near anything except miles and miles of older lava fields, and at least 2 hours from the volcano. And after seeing the lava at dusk/dark (best time!), then having dinner it was a loooong drive back in the dark. I think if I did it again, I might base myself in Maui, forfeit the $160/night there, then just take a backpack overnights worth of supplies and go stay AT the volcano overnight. There's a lot more than the lava to explore, and you don't realize the size of it all. Maui 4* Kaanapali was Sheraton, very nice and walking distance to a little mall with restaurants along the beach. Cheers!
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Old Nov 24th, 2003, 09:19 AM
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We just got back 3 weeks ago from our honeymoon. I too would limit the islands to 2, maybe 3 if you absolutely want to see Pearl Harbor. We did 5 nights in Kauai & 6 in Maui. We stayed at the Hyatt in Maui which was more than $200 a night (unless you could get it on Priceline). We stayed at the Radisson on Kauai for $130/night & we loved it there (used our Entertainment book for a discount). We lost most of a day with interisland travel so keep that in mind. We left our hotel by 9 am, had terrible lines at the airport, took an hour for the flight, they lost our luggage, had to get the rental car & go back to the airport for the luggage that MIGHT come on the next flight. No luck so we left & they dropped off the luggage at the hotel. Seems that Aloha airlines has a big luggage problem - there were tons of lost bags. We flew out of Detroit in Oct for around $650-700. good luck!
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