How much time and which islands

Old Aug 29th, 2003, 05:32 PM
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How much time and which islands

My husband and I are in the early stages of planning a trip to Hawaii next July with our two children ages 7 and 12. As we are traveling from the East Coast, this will be a really long trip for us and we would like to plan it well to take as most advantage of this trip as possible. We could probably spend 10-12 days. We need some advice on itineraries and "must do". We can't agree on one island but are trying to choose between Oahu, Big Island, Maui. We are even thinking of doing all of them, if possible through inter island flights. Though it seems tedious taking so many interisland flights (with our luggage and kids) in addition to the long initial flight. My husband hates small planes and the check-in/boarding process. Is it worth it? Have any of you done this? Also considered cruise to Hawaii, which stops at each island.

Our interests: We love beautiful beaches. Light snorkeling. My oldest is highly interested in volcanoes. My husband wants to see Pearl Harbor. We also like interesting towns/places that we can stroll through and do some shopping and take in local culture.

Suggestions please.
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Old Aug 29th, 2003, 05:43 PM
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The inter island flights are on jets (DC-9's the last time I was there a few years back). With 10 days I would suggest picking no more than 2 islands. Oahu and Maui are the most commercial or crowded islands and the Big Island is more laid back. If you want to see Volcanos and beautiful white beaches the Big Island is a great choice. The west side of the BI (Kona/Kohala Coast) is like a moonscape due to the volcanic activity, the east side (Hilo) resembles a tropical rain forest. it's neat to see the stark contrast between the 2 sides of the island.

I would pick either Maui/BI or Oahu/BI. If you go to the BI I highly suggest taking a Robert's Hawaii tour. I took the Grand Circle Island tour and really enjoyed it.

http://www.robertshawaii.com/roberts...CLP7R189H3D1S0
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Old Aug 29th, 2003, 07:09 PM
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Small planes are not an issue unless you're flying to a less visited island such as Molokai.

I agree that you probably don't want to stay on more than two islands in 10-12 days.

One year we visited four islands (can't remember how long we were there) and it was just too much packing and unpacking.

Interisland flights are pretty short - most are under 30 minutes if memory serves.

Of the islands you've chosen, I'd recommend the Big Island and Maui or the Big Island and Oahu (so hubby can visit Pearl Harbor). All the islands offer snorkeling, Maui has incredible beaches (as does Kauai, which isn't on your list) and the BI island is the place for volcanoes.

As the previous poster mentioned, the Big Island is very laid back and less touristy than the other two. If you include the BI in your plans, you'll get the best of both worlds, whereas Maui and Oahu are very similar in my opinion.
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Old Aug 29th, 2003, 07:30 PM
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The flights wouldn't be bad if you hit them on an off-time. So not early Monday or Friday afternoon or anytime of the weekend. And it depends on the level of security that day. It's not that big of a deal right now. Three hours at the most to check-in, get to the next island and get your car. On a good day we can hop through the lines, flight and in the car within an hour. Look into joining the Aloha Alii Club or online checkin with Hawaiian.

If you do go with 2 islands, because of the interests in your family I would suggest Oahu/BI. I prefer to drive rather than take a tour bus.

My opinion is that cruises do not let you experience the islands as much.
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Old Aug 29th, 2003, 09:23 PM
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My experience is that the inter island flight was not that big of a deal ( jet,s not hoppers ) . Yes it takes 3-4 hours out of the day from one hotel to the next hotel. But seeing 2-3 islands was a plus to me ( i did Oahu 3 nights, Maui 5 nights, Kauai 5 nights. As for your time limit you can do oahu 3 nights , big island 4 nights , and maui 4 nights. Now for sure your visits are some what short, but really just enough time to explore all the highlights. Now some will tell you you cant enjoy the feel of the islands. Well mabey so to some extent but really it probally takes 2-3 weeks to really get the at home feel. As for most tourists we dont have the time or money.
Only you can say if you will ever return so in my opinion see all you can and rest when you get home.
The cruises are to much water time and not enough land time, also you must have passports or birth certificates, because you visit nawhill island, another country.
The airports check your carry on luggage like every airport, but it is for the most part fast. The time and hassle with airports and flights will fade away with the beauty that each island offers. And hint you could make Oahu your last island because most flights originate from there back home.And Oahu will fill all Hubbys desires and there is great strolling areas to shop and look at the beach hotels, and i have been told there are more native hawaiians on Oahu than any other island.
So in my opinion as one who has done the island hopping, it was worth it to me. nick
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Old Sep 6th, 2003, 05:26 AM
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We just got back from 17 nights at Hawaii, we live in NJ and this was a big trip for us. 5 nihjts Maui, 5 nights Big Island, 5 nights Kauai and 2 nights on Oahu. Im glad we went to the different Islands, I would not stay less than 5 nights on any island. If when we go back, we would spend more time Oahu, there are so many things to do there, and we stay at least 7 nights on the which ever island we picked. Switching islands took about 6 hours (give or take an hour) out of the day between packing, driving to the airport, returning rental car, waiting in the lines, the flight itself, getting your luggage, getting the rental car, drive to the hotel, check in and unpacking. As stated by someone else the planes are not small that fly between islands, they are regular jets, 3 seats on one side and 2 seats on the other. A cruise may be a good idea, this way you do not have to unpack and pack all the time, but, you may not get a taste of the local food if you stay on the boat to eat all the time.
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Old Sep 7th, 2003, 09:09 AM
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Question for Scott S. Was that many interisland travel changes worth it. Thinking of doing the same with one less day. Or just skipping Oahu except maybe coming back to HNL early morning for evening departure and using that time to see pearl harbor, drive around island etc. before departing flight back home. I have found it cheaper to fly round trip from texas to hnl then take interislands than to arrive and depart at first and last island. Which order in visiting these same islands do you perfer.
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Old Sep 16th, 2003, 07:08 AM
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Thank you everyone for your wonderful suggestions. We settled on 11 days split between 5 days in Waikiki and 6 days on Big Island. It was a hard choice to leave out Maui but it would have been too much with the plane transfers.

My only worry is that since we are going on frequent flyer miles the only availability to us was in August. Reading the postings here, it seems that August is the worst time to go due to crowds. I don?t mind noise but I dislike waiting in line to go into places. However, due to my children?s school schedules, I can only get away for that length of time during July or August. Is it really that bad?

Regarding hotels, I have narrowed it down to the Hilton Village in Waikiki and the Hilton Waikola on Big Island. I have heard both negative and positive on both. Mostly negative from honeymooners/couples without kids, so I assume that for those of us with kids this is a good choice as there will be lots to do and other children for ours to play with. However, in Waikiki, the Hilton comments were about the hotel being too crowded and the pool too small. I mean are you able to swim at all or is it standing room only. My other considerations are the Marriott Waikiki and the Kahala Mandarin. My kids absolutely love the pool and a nice beach and I love the idea of the dolphins at the Kahala. We usually don?t spend the entire day by the pool or beach but love to come back after a day of sightseeing and lounge for a while before going out to dinner.

Finally, is a car necessary in Oahu? I would like to go out to the Hanauma Bay, Peal Harbor and Diamond Head.


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Old Sep 16th, 2003, 10:59 AM
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lia b - You made a good choice with the islands. As far as the hotels in Waikiki - the HHV is great for kids - lots to do and the beach is right there. The Waikiki Marriott is nice too, and pretty new, but not with all the amenities of the HHV.

Be sure to check out the Paradise Lounge at the HHV if you're in Waikiki on a Saturday night. It's an open air lounge where a local recording group - "Olomana" - plays. They are very good and sing Hawaiian songs - in Hawaiian - and you get a great taste of local culture as the leader introduces each song and explains it origins. No cover, just a drink minimum, kids are allowed. Many times there are other entertainers there so you might get a treat to see a hula dancer or hear another artist.

As far as renting a car goes in Waikiki - you can get to many places on The Bus (as long as their strike is over by then!) but I would rent a car for a day or two in order to drive around to the windward side of the island and to the north shore - tour busses just don't cut it to being able to stop when & where you want to. But parking at Waikiki hotels gets expensive and is hard to find at many places, so a rental for the entire time isn't necessary or cost effective.

When you drive out to north shore, be sure to stop at Dole Plantation - let the kids go through the maze and then treat them to a pineapple ice cream cone.

Don't miss Boots & Kimo's in Kailua for the best macademia nut pancakes in the world!

You will have a GREAT trip!
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Old Sep 16th, 2003, 11:01 AM
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We stayed at the Hilton Waikaloa Village a few years ago and loved it. I had a 10 year old at the time teens. They thought it was awesome. We liked it so much that we are returning next summer. There isn't a beach there, but a man made lagoon and a pool that is quite nice. It is an ocean front property but it does not sit directly on a sandy beach. You can go a short distance however to A Beach, which is in front of the Outrigger Marriott, near by. My youngest swam with the dolphins and he loved it. We all snorkeled with the sea turles that live in the lagoon and come and go from there to the ocean. Beautiful grounds. The King Shops are near by, which is a good thing, the hotel food gets a bit pricey there.
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