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Oahu and Kauai - changed my itinerary - need help AGAIN!

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Feb 15th, 2014, 07:49 AM
  #1
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Oahu and Kauai - changed my itinerary - need help AGAIN!

After reading and re-reading everyone’s posts on my other thread, I’ve decided to change my itinerary. I originally wanted to spend 1-2 days in Honolulu (skipping the north shore) and the majority of our time on Kauai (splitting our time between north and south).

I have since decided to spend some time on Oahu’s north shore and stay on the north shore of Kauai for the entire time we are there. It might mean a little more time in the car (getting to south shore for sightseeing) which my husband isn’t crazy about. But after trying unsuccessfully to get him to put in his 2 cents on the trip planning, I decided he’ll have to deal with my plans.

I want to spend part of my time in a condo or apartment but also want a few days in a resort. I had my eye on the Sheraton in Poipu, as it was the only one I could come close to affording. After reading some reviews on Yelp and checking out the property some more, I suddenly lost interest in paying over $300 per night for just an OK place with OK pool, etc.

So I started looking at Turtle Bay on Oahu. Hmmm…...it’s about $100 less per night and gets fantastic reviews! And when I found out it was the setting for the movie “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” I was sold. Every time I see that movie I think the hotel seems so very “Hawaii” and the type of place I’d like to stay if I ever go there. And I guess I was short changing the north shore of Oahu. Now my husband can get a sense of two islands. The savings of $100 per night for several nights will pay for my Hawaiian Airlines flights between the two islands.

I’m really just looking for your thoughts (again) on an itinerary as you are the experts and have probably done the islands in a variety of ways.


Day 1: Arrive Honolulu - have dinner and get some sleep.

Day 2: Tour of Honolulu (including Pearl Harbor). I found a tour company that covers the main sites of the city and includes a full tour of the Arizona Memorial. I think it’s the best way to cover Honolulu in one day rather than doing it on our own. Back by 2:30. Hang around Waikiki rest of the day.

Day 3: Here’s where I’m stuck. I feel like we should fly to Kauai in the morning and spend the next 6-7 days on the north shore, then fly back to Oahu and spend the next 4-5 days at Turtle Bay.

OTOH, we could spend the first part of our vacation doing Honolulu and Turtle Bay, and spend the rest of the time on Kauai. On our day of departure we would have to fly from Kauai to Honolulu late in the day, get our luggage from Hawaiian Airlines, go through security again for USAirways, and then take 3 flights home.

Your thoughts are appreciated. With your help I’ll nail down my itinerary and make my condo and hotel reservations. Thanks in advance and sorry for driving you crazy with my constant questions!
BuffaloGirl is offline  
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Feb 15th, 2014, 09:46 AM
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I think you should stay on Oahu for the first few days, and then spend the rest of your time in Kauai. That way, you would have less time waiting on planes.

When you're on the north shore of Oahu, be sure to get lunch one day from one of the shrimp trucks -- delicious!!

Kauai and the Big Island are my two favorites of the four major Hawaiian Islands, but I really love them all.
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Feb 15th, 2014, 10:33 AM
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I agree with samsaf that the less plane flights the better.
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Feb 15th, 2014, 03:13 PM
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IMO there's little point in staying north shore Oahu if you're going to north shore Kauai. You *could* also turn that around -- well almost -- and question spending money and time to fly to Kauai if you're also staying Turtle Bay. (Remember please, the deluxe *cottages* featured in the movie are not the same thing as the hotel rooms in the main building -- and you are limited to sort of meh food at the hotel because there's *nothing else* nearby. Maybe a short stay there?)

Do you have two weeks in Hawaii? I'm getting lost in your count of days. (List nights, please.)
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Feb 15th, 2014, 03:17 PM
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Sorry, hit 'submit' too fast. IF you want to stay Turtle Bay for a night or two (preferably in a cottage), do it before you go to Kauai. Then, on your return you can just fly Kauai-HNL-Home without leaving HNL security. If you check out of T.B. in the a.m. and don't depart HNL until night...long, homeless day, followed by long flights home.
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Feb 15th, 2014, 05:19 PM
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Thanks ChiSue...I was hoping you'd show up!

Using FF miles, it's 3 flights to Honolulu - no getting around that. Buffalo, Charlotte, Phoenix, Honolulu. I don't think we can handle a 4th flight that day (or can we?) and go on strait to Kauai! It will be evening by then and we'd have to crash at a hotel near Lihue. Or, we could spend our last day on Kauai, catching a late flight to Honolulu, then home...for a total of 4 flights home. OR....I break it up Honolulu for a day or two, fly to Kauai, fly to Honolulu and spend a few days at TB before departure.

No matter where I spend my last day (day of departure flight leaves at 11:00 p.m.) I will pay for an extra day and just check out late in the day so we won't be homeless!

I won't be staying in the cottages at TB (I wish). I would just really like a few days in a resort with a pool bar, people serving me overpriced drinks while I lounge, etc. I can't really afford that on Kauai (unless I spend a few nights at the Sheraton in Poipu and skip north shore Oahu altogether - which was my original plan).

I think I'm overwhelmed with all the flights and that's why I can't seem to make a decision. That's why I'm here. Thank you all!
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Feb 15th, 2014, 05:45 PM
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ChiSue -

Leave Buffalo on Saturday, 10/11 early morning - arrive Honolulu around 5:00 p.m.

Depart Honolulu around 11:00 p.m. on Thursday, 10/23.
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Feb 16th, 2014, 07:53 AM
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B-girl...What you are missing is the sense of what Hawaii is as an overall experience... That will hit you when you get there... Let me try to explain...

First of all, almost all of resorts are of much higher quality than on the mainland... so most name brands are lush, well prepared, customer pleasers... but don't be afraid to explore... look for bargains for your "lounge and Drunk"

The north shore is best known for the big waves and surfer vibe, but those waves are not year round and are a winter phenomenon... Turtle Bay is great, but you are somewhat isolated from the exploring... its worth a daytrip...

Sheraton Poipu is very nice and would be perfect...

Then, keep in mind these are small islands that are fun to drive... add a few stops for a plate, fruit stand,candied coconut, shaved ice, or an attraction to really feel the culture... its not like driving to a place on a highway...

Kauai is like a massive tropical park... make sure you spend the money on a Helicopter tour ... its more nature and much less tourist... I always feel that Kauai is where you go to relax after you have seen the rest of Hawaii...

So, I always recommend Oahu first, Maui second, Big Island only for the Volcanos,Coffee, and black lava, and Kauai to relax... a minimum of three nights is a must on any island...

And most importantly of all, no matter where you are and whatever schedule you pick,...YOU ARE IN HAWAII!..so Relax...
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Feb 16th, 2014, 10:56 AM
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OK, you have 13 nights in Hawaii, arriving and departing HNL.

I'm not suggesting that you push on to Kauai on arrival. Best to go from 'more action' to 'less action' in Hawaii, IMO.

Arrive HNL and stay Waikiki for a few nights while you take in that scene and do the historic stuff. Fly to Kauai and stay Poipu OR Hanalei for the remainder of your trip. Fly Kauai-HNL and sit in the airport until your flight leaves for the mainland.

IMO Big Island and Kauai are the most 'old Hawaii' of the four major islands. You can find plenty of peace on any island, but these two are less developed than Oahu and Maui.

I'm thinking about your desire for a little 'posh'. You could do a third of your time Waikiki, then longer in Hanalei or Princeville, ending with a night or two at the Grand Hyatt in Poipu before departing for HNL and home. (You don't want to go from *wow* to something less.
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Feb 16th, 2014, 11:25 AM
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Are you looking for a hotel or condo?
Try discounthawaiicarrental.com for your rental cars.
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Feb 16th, 2014, 03:43 PM
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I would spend a couple of night in the Waikiki area when you arrive - and the morning of the 3rd day - pack you suitcases (you really only need one small suitcase apiece for the islands and we carry on now) - and go snorkeling at Hanauma Bay - maybe picking up some snacks at the Hawai Kai shoping center.

Then continue around the bottom end of the island and up through Kailua and the eastern shore to the Turtle Bay for a couple/three nights. A very pretty drive - and from there - over through Haleiwa and down to the airport should only take an hour or so.

Stay at the beautiful north shore/Bali Hai view of Kauai - and driving down to Poipu and over to the Grand Canyon of the Pacific/Waimea Canyon - and back to the North Shore - can be easily done in a day.

If you want to go back and do some more exploring on the south side, easy to do.
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Feb 16th, 2014, 04:30 PM
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gary...chi...jamie...tom - THANK YOU!!!

I'm normally a very good planner, and I have no idea why I am so stuck on planning this vacation. Your advice is greatly appreciated.

I know I'm over thinking, and it will all be good no matter what I decide. It's Hawaii, right? I think I have enough information to help me make a decision.

Off to Florida for a few days next week - life is good!
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Feb 16th, 2014, 04:37 PM
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garyt22 - thank you for your explanation. It really helps!!!
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Feb 17th, 2014, 03:01 AM
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You really can't go that wrong in Paradise. Just check ahead of time for your various options around where you will be staying - and then have a blast.

And the islands are not that big - even "Big Island - Hawaii.

Hey - different people like to do different things. For some - it's kicking back at the beach and slowing down - others like to explore more, whatever.

There really is no right or wrong way - but rather what U like to do!!
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Feb 17th, 2014, 05:06 AM
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BuffaloGirl certain trips "freeze" me and I get tripped up.... it happens.

I am taking it you have never been to Hawaii? It is magical... I call it my happy place... I hope you fall as in love with it as we have... there is truly just magic there.

We have been to Maui, Oahu and Kauai. We have not stayed at the Turtle Bay resort but have been by there a few times and on the property - We like the North Shore of Oahu and don't like to stay in Waikiki for any reason but go in on occasion. We have stayed on Ko Olina a few times due to using a time share but always drive up to the North Shore at least once (usually more!) and have rented a house on the North Shore before.

Re: your specific questions - I would spend the first part on one island and the second part on another - I know your flights are a beating but unless it will make you dread them too much - just deal on that last day (I might stress out too much leading up to it so I do get what you are saying!)

I am a little confused on your plans - are you planning on staying at Turtle Bay and going to the things in Waikiki? I do think that is a bit of a bad plan as it is a decent drive and the traffic can be a beating..
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Feb 18th, 2014, 12:17 PM
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I'm curious about the great reviews for Turtle Bay. Where are you reading those? I've never stayed there but reviews I've read over the years seemed more luke-warm. That people stay there because it's the only resort on the North Shore. As above, are you trying to see Waikiki/Honolulu stuff staying on the other side of the island? Or you're only going to do just the one day tour for Honolulu and leave it at that?
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Feb 18th, 2014, 07:39 PM
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Here's another vote for Turtle Bay Resort. DW and I have stayed at the hotel 6 times (first time was 1989, last time 2012), and we keep getting drawn back there. We have also stayed at the condos there, a few times.
Over the years, conditions deteriorated a bit, then renovations would bring it back. But we always found magic, and a fair degree of privacy, on that sprawling property.
We have never had any "service" issues. It suits us just fine! When vacationing in Hawaii, we always go for 2 weeks, generally Oahu and 1 other island. One trip, we spent a week on Maui and a week on Kauai, but felt we missed something, by skipping Oahu, and TBR.
While we do a lot of golfing (and TBR is great for that), we also love jumping into the car and exploring the North Shore. And we generally avoid Waikiki, it's just not us.
We have been to all the major islands, including Lanai and Molokai, and have spent a bit of time at most of the resort hotels. A lot of beautiful properties are on those islands. But, like you, Turtle Bay suits our budget better than many of the others, and further, we feel that we "belong" there. I hope that you will also.
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Feb 18th, 2014, 09:57 PM
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Just a bit of advice, never, never leave your suitcases or personal items of any value in your car when sightseeing. Even a quick dip in the ocean, or short hike is enough time for thieves to hit your car. Hawaii is generally a very safe place, but petty crime, especially those targeting tourists and their rental cars is a concern. Better to be safe than sorry.
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Feb 19th, 2014, 06:17 AM
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Have also been to all six/main Hawaiian islands - and the TBR is a lot like getting to an outer island.

Nice beaches and you can feel you are away from it all, yet your are more or less an hour from the airport - going down the center of the island route.

Also good advice about not keeping anything/valuables in the car - even the trunk - as if you are parked at a tourist site - cars do get broken into.
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Feb 19th, 2014, 08:32 AM
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Momddtravel2 – “Freeze” is a good way to put it. I spent 11 days on Oahu back in the 80’s. Husband has never been

Suze – I’ve looked at lots of reviews on different sites. Some are fantastic, some aren’t. My take was that overall it was a nice place with beautiful grounds.

Curious and Tomsd – I have duly noted your advice on not leaving anything in the car. Thanks.

In a nutshell, my original plan was to fly into Honolulu and spend a day or two there. My husband would like to see a few quick highlights and Pearl Harbor. Spend a few hours on Waikiki and take in the view of Diamond Head. And then head to Kauai. On Kauai the plan was to spend half our time on the north shore (in a condo or rental apartment), and the other half on the south shore staying in a resort. I would like at least a few days in a beachfront resort where I don’t have to cook and can have a drink delivered to me poolside. ((( We may very well stick to this plan))).

Then I caught wind of the Turtle Bay Resort. It’s less expensive than the ones on the south shore of Kauai, so I got to thinking that maybe spending a few extra days on Oahu would take care of my need for resort time, we could get a “taste” of two islands, and then we could spend all our time on the north shore of Kauai with a day trip to the south shore to see the canyon.

I have managed to decide to suck it up and do the “four flights home” thing and just leave from Kauai to go home. At least I have that down. !-).

There you have it!
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