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caro_tabi Mar 10th, 2011 06:39 PM

Need help for itinerary Big Island 2 days and Oahu 7 days
I will be going for my first vacation to Hawaii at the end of June. Flight and hotels are already reserved thru expedia (coming from Montreal). I am a 25 years old female travelling solo looking to see the most I can of Hawaii and do the best activities the Big Island and Oahu have to offer.

Would really appreciate any comments you guys have about my following itinerary I am planning (like if I'm missing out on some must do activities, or any suggestions at all....)

Thursday 23rd arriving at 8h30 pm at Waikoloa Marriott beach resort on the Big Island
Friday 24th: am: Beach / Pool
pm: 11h -11h pm Volcano twilight adventure with Hawaii Forest Trails

Saturday 25th: am: Activity at the Beach
pm: Waikoloa shops for lunch
night: 3h-11h Mauna Kea Summit Adeventure with Hawaii Forest Trails

Sunday 26th: am: pool and flight to honolulu, checking in at Waikiki Parc Hotel
pm: 2h30-5h beach with surfing lessons (looking into either Hans Surfing or Waikiki beach services
night: 7h30-9h Magic Of Polynesia show

Monday 27th: am: 6h30-8h30 Diamond Head Hike
pm: 9h30-2h30 Hawaii Food Tour + Beach
night: dinner and relax

Tuesday 28th: am: mopped tour to kailua beach
pm: 12h30-6h30 north shore tour
night: relax or shop around waikiki

wednesday 29th: am: 8h30-11h makani sail
pm: waikiki trolley, see city highlights palace, etc
night: 3h30-9h30 shuttle to shop waikele outlets

thursday 30th: am: 9h-13h hanauma bay snorkeling
pm: beach
night: shopping around waikiki, supper at alan wong's, course at local gym

friday 1 : am: 8h-11h waterfall hike
pm: 1h30-3h stand up paddle lesson
night: shopping around waikiki and Hilton Fireworks show

saturday 2 : am 8h30-11h Catamaran Sail
pm: Beach
night: 7h30 Flight back

thanks for your imput, really appreciate it!

dusty56438 Mar 11th, 2011 07:20 PM

Forget the Hawaii Food Tour It is basically a $100 tour of Chinatown that includes some sampling of food.

Something you can do on your own including food for $20 each.

Link to self walking tour of Chinatown/Aloha Tower.Historic Honolulu:

Lots of info:

caro_tabi Mar 12th, 2011 06:29 AM

thanks any other reviews about my itinerary?

suze Mar 12th, 2011 06:52 AM

WOW. It sounds REALLY busy! I've been to Oahu solo a few times, but I take a much more laid back pace. There's nothing wrong with your plans I guess. Just for me I would hate to wake up every morning knowing I had 2-3 planned activities in front of me every day.

Is this stuff paid for and booked in advance? Or could you change it up a bit once you get to Oahu?

nanabee Mar 12th, 2011 07:12 AM

caro tabi
you've given a lot of information that might not be in your best interest to have posted to total strangers on the internet. As a parent of two grown daughters I say this with your best interest at heart.

Don't advertise the exact time you will be at certain places especially if you are a young woman and are traveling alone.

caro_tabi Mar 12th, 2011 12:32 PM

thanks for the advice nanabee....actually i am travelling on my own but will be meeting up with several friends for those activities staying elsewhere in hawaii

i havent yet booked any activities except for the volcano adventure, so you think i should reserve less things in advance and wait till I get there?

MelissaHI Mar 12th, 2011 02:07 PM

Hi caro_tabi,
Dusty is right, the food tour is pricey. since you're young, you may want to check out this site for things to do/eat:
Every Thursday, Tracy Chan does a blog/gallery called "Do This!"—which has all the hottest events going on around Oahu. She distills it down to 12-20 of the best things for young people to do.

The other thing I'm kind of iffy on is your Magic of Polynesia show. It's a bit touristy.

As for shopping at the Waikele outlets....I've never thought of shopping there at night, although i will admit it gets hot during the day. Still, getting out there at 330 on a weekday may get hairy with traffic. I think most people go out there in the day so they can be driving against traffic.

caro_tabi Mar 13th, 2011 07:11 AM

thanks for your help,
even if the food tour is pricey, is it worth it??? i dont mind paying if i'm gonna get my money's worth

would i be better off skipping magic of polynesia for a luau? if so which one?

Giovanna Mar 13th, 2011 10:18 AM

<<The other thing I'm kind of iffy on is your Magic of Polynesia show. It's a bit touristy.>>

We were hesitant about this show, feeling it might be less than great, but we were wrong. We went without dinner which was less expensive. When the show started with an Elvis impersonator I thought "what have I done," but the magic, dancing and costumes were excellent. We thoroughly enjoyed the show. Truthfully I can't imagine this show any more touristy than a luau.

Kailani Mar 13th, 2011 10:50 AM

I'm familiar with the Big Island, and for such a short trip, you are doing the two most memorable activities, and Hawaii Forest and Trail has a good reputation.

I recently went to the volcano on my own, and thought that the people who were there with guides were getting a lot of great information.

Have a wonderful time!

dusty56438 Mar 13th, 2011 12:28 PM

The food tour is absolutely not worth it.

Reviews on TripAdvisor are good, but only because the company solicits reviews.

After the tour, the customers are asked if they liked the tour.

Those that said yes are asked to make reviews on TripAdvisor & other forums. They are told how to place reviews & what to say. If the answer is no or just OK, the customer is not given any info.

And it is not only this company doing it.

Take all reviews for attraction/tours with a grain of salt.

nanabee Mar 13th, 2011 04:48 PM

We made a big mistake relying on reviews on TripAdvisor when we took the advice to stay in an Eco-Lodge in the Great Barrier Reef area of Australia. It was a huge mistake that cost us $400/night for two nights.

nanabee Mar 13th, 2011 04:52 PM

Should clarify $400/per night minimum two night stay. For what we got it wasn't what the reviews claimed!

MelissaHI Mar 13th, 2011 04:55 PM

IF you decide to take in a luau on Oahu, I'd recommend Polynesian Cultural Center. I had pooh-poohed it a little when people on this forum recommended it because it was kind of expensive. But I went again recently (first time in decades) and was pleasantly surprised. It really is a comprehensive cultural tour of Polynesia. The luau food was great — in fact, it was the first commercial luau I've ever been to where I went for seconds. The "Ha, Breath of Life" show was surprisingly classy, too, for a commercial luau....It's not like other luau shows.

And I agree with Dusty, the food tour isn't worth it.

caro_tabi Mar 13th, 2011 05:28 PM

thanks for the info about the food tour, was not sure as to do it because it does take up a lot of your day!

so you think i should go to the outlets stores in the morning for fastest travelling time? is it even worth me going down there to the outlets (i do know in florida outlet shopping is really cheaper, not looking to buy tons of things, just a few outfits)?

also what do you guys think about a day tour to kaui or maui, feel like I will be missing out on some great things to see there, was thinking of taking a day trip to one of the 2 islands to see the must sees?

thanks a lot, you guys are great!

suze Mar 13th, 2011 05:56 PM

I don't think a "day trip" to Maui or Kauai is all that practical. It won't be cheap (plane ticket, rental car) and you really can't see much in only 1 day. Certainly it can be done, but each of those island are worthy of a week of their own imo. I don't think a single day is worth the expense of getting there.

Sure you are "missing out on some great things to see" but only because you only have 9 days for your trip, and seeing all of Hawaii would take a LOT longer than that!

dusty56438 Mar 13th, 2011 06:23 PM

"Take all reviews for attraction/tours with a grain of salt.

I should have also added hotels as nanabee mentioned.

2-3 years ago the top hotels, attractions and tours were actually the top ones.

Now with solicited reviews, poor or mediocre tours & attractions have become the top ones on each list simply of the solicited reviews.

In the past months many of the top hotels have started doing the same because they were losing customers.

So I do not put much faith in any of the reviews any more.

There is somewhat of an exception. Restaurants don't seem to have the problem as there are too many sites with restaurant reviews. Plus restaurants mostly rely on repeat customers & word of mouth. There are many restaurants in places like Waikiki that rely on tourists, but still word of mouth seems to mean the most.

suze Mar 13th, 2011 07:12 PM

I really like Trip Advisor but NOT so much the hotel reviews section.

If you want to know about a hotel just read & post your questions in the *destination forum*... TA has a similar format to here on Fodor's but broken down by specific destinations. The Waikiki/Honolulu people are very helpful with accurate information posted daily.

MelissaHI Mar 15th, 2011 01:07 AM

If you have the same outlets in Florida, I'd say you can skip Waikele unless there is something you specifically want to get there. IMHO it's the same stuff you can get on the mainland. It's about 40-60 minutes (depending on traffic) to get out there, so not sure if that cuts into your beach time.

A side trip to Kauai or Maui is probably not practical, you may want to do that another trip. Especially Maui! It's so huge!

caro_tabi Mar 15th, 2011 05:57 AM


i can get the food trip for a really good price because of one of my friends (probably about 30$), so price is not an option, but I would like to know if you think its a waste of 5 of my precious hours.

also, rather than directly connect from the big island to honolulu, i was thinking of taking a flight from big island to maui or kaui, and doing a small city tour and then a helicoptor ride or the island before getting back to honolulu, so i basically save a flight and get to see a helicoptor tour of amazing views.

what do you guys think?

suze Mar 15th, 2011 06:31 AM

5 hours on a food tour would be about 4 hours too long for me :-)

I personally would spend all the extra money to include Maui or Kauai. I can't think of a "small city tour" on either island for one thing. I'm not sure what you mwan "basically save a flight"? Aren't you adding an extra one instead?

caro_tabi Mar 15th, 2011 06:46 AM

theres a particular tour in maui from 12h30-6h that does a valley and city tour
i mean i would be saving a flight by going from big island to maui rather than flighing into honolulu and doing a day trip to maui after.

Giovanna Mar 15th, 2011 09:56 AM

I've never done the food tour, so can't speak from personal experience, but based on what the others have said it's pretty much a waste of time, even though you can get a discount.

I can appreciate you're wanting to "see it all" or at least as much as possible, but if it were me I'd prefer going directly to Oahu from the BI and spending my valuable time there, rather than on a whirlwind tour of Maui.

caro_tabi Mar 16th, 2011 05:16 AM

ok good so food tour is definitely off the list...
i have been reading carefully all your suggestions and think i will keep maui for another trip, may go directly to oahu or may stop by kaui for a helicoptor tour of the island and then go to oahu

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