Kauai and maui budget and camper options

Nov 21st, 2018, 10:31 AM
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Kauai and maui budget and camper options

We're spending our honeymoon in Hawaii this Dec/Jan and would love some suggestions! We're in our early 30s and we land in Maui Dec 26, and fly to Kauai on Dec 30. Then we head out of Kauai on Jan 5. We would like a mix of relaxation (some beach, walking around interesting towns, nice places to eat/coffee shops) and activity (hiking, surfing, etc), and looking for a budget friendly trip. Would love advice on camper vans on the Island (although most of them seem booked already), and other budget friendly options. Not hostel-level budget friendly, but not luxury resorts. We're planning on doing the drive to Hana -- is this a 1-day thing or more? Any other suggestions for places to see or sample itineraries are extremely helpful! Thank you!

Truth be told, I'm posting for my daughter. She knows I love this forum.

stoweflake is offline  
Nov 21st, 2018, 10:56 AM
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Maui Volkswagen (VW) Campervan Rentals

... no experience just googling around at the office on your behalf but they really don't seem all that budget friendly for a lodging option aloha
suze is offline  
Nov 21st, 2018, 01:09 PM
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Here is a list of regular campgrounds for Kauai - note that the road (and thus campgrounds) are closed past Hanalei due to flood damage this past spring and will not reopen until sometime next year. You do have to have permits and cannot just park and stay wherever you want (rangers do check and will roust folks with no permits).
Why not rent an inexpensive condo, you could save some money by cooking a few meals. My mind boggles at the thought of spending my honeymoon in a camper van with no shower or flush toilet. Sounds like hell to me.
jamie99 is online now  
Nov 21st, 2018, 01:28 PM
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As far as the van idea i'm sure there are places to camp with showers and toilets, I just don't think this is the bargain price they are thinking this style of travel in Hawaii is.

For "regular campgrounds" wouldn't they need to somehow provide their own camping equipment? Tent, sleeping bags, a rental car to get there, etc. And move that equipment between the two islands. I agree with the idea of finding a decently priced condo or apartment or budget hotel instead.

Not hostel-level budget friendly, but not luxury resorts.

Do they have a budget set? If you can give us an actual price range in USD helps so we can make recommendations. There are some nice reasonably budget-friendly places to stay around Lahaina. Plus you can walk that town so not tied to getting into the car everytime you want to go anywhere.

I could help with Oahu but don't know Kauai at all... but maybe these ideas will help them get started?
suze is offline  
Nov 21st, 2018, 02:21 PM
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Their honeymoon is just a month away and they have chosen the busiest and most expensive time of the year to go to Hawaii. Even if they wanted luxury resorts, they might well find everything booked up (many places book up a year in advance for Xmas/NY). So if they are intent on going to Maui and Kauai, they need to get on it right away. Look for condo rentals. Check with rental agencies in the towns. The north shore of Kauai will be quite wet in Dec/Jan, so I would suggest the south shore or the Kapa'a area. They may have success with AirBnB or VBRO, but they need to make sure the rental is legal. They need to set a budget. Hawaii is not an inexpensive destination. And they will need to do enough research to determine whether they can afford a honeymoon in Hawaii.
Kathie is offline  
Nov 21st, 2018, 03:08 PM
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Are the plane tickets already purchased?

Because much of what they describe wanting to do, and availability of accommodations, it sounds more like Oahu (Honolulu/Waikiki) to me. More flights, good public transportation (rental car not a necessary), more lower priced apartments and hotels, etc.
suze is offline  
Nov 21st, 2018, 05:15 PM
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Jamie99 you are cracking me up, but I'm just the mother and sort of agree with you.
Suze, thanks your suggestions but we've all heard Honolulu is more commercial than Maui or Kaui. I think the condo idea is good one, Kathie and I'll pass that on.
stoweflake is offline  
Nov 21st, 2018, 08:28 PM
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The Christmas / New Year period is really REALLY REALLY popular on all of the islands and they have left it really REALLY REALLY late. Accommodations will be easier to find on Oahu but even there it is the most expensive time of the entire year. One can stay on Oahu and not be in Honolulu/Waikiki - though there is nothing wrong with staying there. Do they have to go then? People have been known to delay the honeymoon for scheduling, budget, work, weather, whatever reasons. Just something they might want to consider . . .

A camper 1) might not be available, 2) would cost a lot, and 3) really doesn't seems 'honeymoon worthy'.
janisj is online now  
Nov 25th, 2018, 10:20 AM
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Suze, thanks your suggestions but we've all heard Honolulu is more commercial than Maui or Kaui.

Well I've been there, and personally think that's a huge generalization that is not 100% accurate. Oahu is the island, Honolulu is only one city on it. There are parts of Oahu way less "commercial" than parts of Maui, for example.

But that all said... my suggestion is because it's so late in the game to be arranging any kind of Hawaii trip over the Christmas holidays for this year, as in only a few weeks away (!!) and especially on a lower budget. And Waikiki/Honolulu has by far the widest selection of lodging options available.

Has anyone actually priced a camper on Kauai or Maui? Do you know they are available? Can they afford it?
suze is offline  
Nov 25th, 2018, 01:01 PM
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I just priced a camper van rental on Kauai, they cost $165 per day not including taxes and surcharges. They are refurbished VW Westfalia and the newest ones date to 1990. A LOT of places are sold out for dates starting Dec. 30 but Islander on the Beach in Kapa'a still has rooms open, it is a decent place with pool and a nice bar, small parking lot. If they plan on traveling THIS year, they need to get cracking.
jamie99 is online now  
Nov 25th, 2018, 02:40 PM
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Skip this. Rental campers are the pits. Book one condo -- if you can find all nights in just one. Stay on ONE island. I'd stay Maui. It's Whale Season. Why spend over $100 pp and 4 - 5 hours (door to door) to fly between islands if budget is tight? It's winter. The northern part of Kauai will be wet, with rough ocean conditions. The far NW part still has roads closed from LAST winter's floods. A rental car is a must.
ChiSue is offline  
Feb 2nd, 2019, 06:26 AM
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Just to let you all know. My daughter did go to Maui and rented a camper van during the Federal shut down, last week in December. They loved it (crazy kids) an promise to post a trip report.
One morning they woke up in the van at the beach to see little heads bobing in the water. Turns out it was turtles which invited them to swim!

The rest of the time in Maui went like that, folks were camped out in the Federal park and used the showers there. They later flew to Kaui and stayed in two different hotels due to late booking, spent New Years Eve on the beach and missed their camper for when they needed a sweater or other things.
They had a great trip. Thanks all for your suggestions.
stoweflake is offline  
Feb 7th, 2019, 12:05 PM
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i'd love to hear the details... like where they rented the camper and how much it cost.
suze is offline  
Feb 10th, 2019, 11:03 AM
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Sounds great stoweflake!
One thing to remember is that Christmas and New Year is the most expensive time of the year to vacation anywhere in Hawaii. Costs for everything (camper rentals, activities, restaurants, hotels) will be about half if you go any other time of the year.
nanabee is offline  
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