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Planning birthday trip to Big Island & Kauai - advice!

Planning birthday trip to Big Island & Kauai - advice!

Old Mar 16th, 2014, 11:24 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 2
Planning birthday trip to Big Island & Kauai - advice!

So I've spent a lot of the last three days reading threads on Hawaii, and such great advice and love for the place on these forums, that I thought I'd post my current holiday ideas for advice!

My partner and I have just booked tix to Hawaii in mid-November, for my 40th birthday. We're Australian, and we usually holiday in far north Queensland, near the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest. - we're lovers of rainforest and endless beaches. I've dreamed of going to Hawaii ever since I was a kid, and cheap airfares were the last push we needed to commit to going this year. We'll have 14 nights clear on the Island - we're flying in and out of Oahu as that was the airfare deal.

We want a romantic, low-key, low-energy holiday. Our idea of romantic is being together in beautiful places - lots of privacy and scenery. Both of us have jobs which are kicking our backsides at the moment, and we have a major European trip impending, so I also want this holiday to involve lazy days rather than lots of activity, more time for spontaneity and less scheduled activity.

We have a reasonably substantial budget (assuming the interest rate holds up!).

Current ideas:

From browsing here and elsewhere, it feels like we should split our time between Kauai and Big Island.

DP is a geology enthusiast, so checking out VNP is a given, and it seems as if there is relatively unique, lush rainforest in the volcano area. I've been looking at a B&B called Volcano Mist Cottage that looks like our definition of perfect. The area looks like it has a wealth of walking through different habitats opportunities?

We could head to other side of the island for a couple of days for snorkeling/seeing how the island changes. We're pretty keen snorkelers, although we've never snorkeled outside of Australia!

Kauai also seems to suit our general agenda of less people/more scenery/wetter and more rainforesty. I'd be keen to stay near a beach there if we are going more inland on Big Island.

I guess i'm thinking something like 6 nights Kauai north shore; 3 nights Big Island Kona side; 5 nights Volcano area.

The questions (finally getting to the point!)
* Does this plan seem to suit our interests well? Is it doable?
* DP has mild asthma. Is staying in Volcano for 5 nights risky for breathing problems?
* Our last night is Thanksgiving. As a non-American, I didn't even think about this until we booked. Will it cause complications?
*Any advice for booking island-hopping flights?
*Any advice on where to stay on the west coast of Big Island? I've read a ton of threads on this and it just left me feeling more confused. It seemed like the northern area was prettier, but very tourist enclave-like. We're *really* not resort people or gated community people. But we do like a nice view....
*Any advice on how to look for accommodation in Kauai? I'm not radically keen on a condo, and have looked for self-contained houses or areas that might be more remote, but so far without success. These forums convinced me that the north shore is absolutely where we want to be, it seems pretty popular as a beautiful spot.
*Any other advice/suggestions or ideas to get me more excited? (ok, I'm pretty excited, but still - I have a lot of months to be excited for!)
*Snorkeling advice in particular would be welcomed. I've noticed a lot of kayak+snorkel options, but I have arthritis in my hands and kayaking isn't possible Is this likely to be an issue?
**wow, apologies for the length of this. I promise to write a really good trip report in payment...****
sojourner77 is offline  
Old Mar 17th, 2014, 03:20 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
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I think you will like the north shore of Kaua'i. Some of the beaches in the Hawaiian Islands are probably not quite what you are used to in Nth Queensland (they have black sand beaches, green sand beaches etc on the Big Island) but definitely around Princeville and Hanalei on Kaua'i you should find the type of beaches you are looking for. Places like Tunnels Beach, if memory serves.

Kaua'i is a beautiful place and has some spectacular, rugged coastline with cliffs. I'm thinking of the Napali Coast. We enjoyed taking a helicopter ride over Kaua'i and that might be worth considering.

I believe there is sea kayaking that you can do off the Napali Coast, though we did not to this.

We also spent 3 or 4 days on the Big Island in 2009 on a separate trip. We stayed in the VNP area and explored the park as well as driving down to Chain of Craters Rd and also down the the place where the lava runs into the sea and makes for nice viewing at night as it boils into the sea with bright orange flare and lots of smoke.

I can't remember all the regions of the Big Island, though we did drive around it from Hilo to the Kona side, via Tropical Botanical Gardens, Akaka Falls etc as well as Paniolo (Hawaiian cowboy) Country up in the hills in the center of the island. The Kona side (west of the island) has miles and miles of old lava fields. For the last bit of the trip we were driving along through desolate lava fields for maybe the final 30 minutes into Kona.

I think you are right that the Kohala Coast (northwest of the island) is probably where the best beaches are on the Big Island. From memory there are some pretty upmarket resorts in this part of the island. We stopped briefly at one place which apparently was known for celebrities staying there.

If it is snorkelling you are looking for, perhaps don't dismiss Oahu. A lot of people assume that Oahu is pretty much all built up and highly developed like Waikiki (which would probably feel a little familiar to you - a bit like the QLD Gold Coast in some ways. Outside of Waikiki, there are plenty of unspoiled areas of Oahu, with nice beaches and nothing like the crowds in Waikiki.

It is fairly cheap to fly between the islands with Hawaiian Airlines - around $90 to $120 one way from Honolulu to the Big Island, which is probably the longest interisland flight (45 minutes or so I think).

You'll need to rent a car I think on all the islands except Oahu, which has a public bus system that runs all around the island.

I've added links to our blogs for the Hawaii trips below - my memories are fading a little now, but there might be some useful info in there for you.

I'm sure others can advise you re the 'Vog' and any risks for asthma sufferers. I have mild asthma myself and had no probs at VNP. They do give forecasts there about the vog, its intensity and wind direction etc.


DominicKelly is offline  
Old Mar 17th, 2014, 04:51 AM
Join Date: Nov 2011
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There are other great places in Volcano Village - and I have to look up the one where I visited but my wife and mother stayed at. A former artist's retreat they have enhanced even more.

Also check out the Mauna Kea resort north of Kona - about half an hour. The best beach on the BI.

At Princeville - I think the Hotel St. Regis is the best choice - other than getting a house on the beach at Hanalei - or staying in a condo overlooking the ocean up on the Cliffs.

And our second favorite snorkeling place in the Hawaiian at the end of the road - at Ke'e beach - where they also have a lifeguard - but check to see if the local conditions are safe.

Our favorite place is on Oahu - Hanamaua Bay - a worth see for sure if you have a layover in Honolulu.
Tomsd is offline  
Old Mar 17th, 2014, 05:04 AM
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Check out the Volcano Village Lodge. Knew the prior owners and they did a real nice job building it out.

Also check out the Hanalei Dolphin restaurant on the North Shore - one of our favorites.
Tomsd is offline  
Old Mar 17th, 2014, 06:26 AM
Join Date: May 2005
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RE: Big Island
5 nights in VNP is probably a bit much (both for the asthma and things to do up there): I'd suggest staying at the Volcano House hotel within the park, recently reopened after renovations: //www.hawaiivolcanohouse.com/?cm_mmc=Google--Volcano+Hotel+-+Broad-_-adword-_-%2Bvolcano%20%2Bhotel
Chain of Craters Road, the crater hikes (although I would eschew that, given the asthma), Thurston Lava Tube (cave) are all easily accessible from there, and the restaurant is good (and has the best views imaginable). (Also within the park, if you want a budget hot breakfast or meal, the U.S. Army camp cafeteria is open for visitors and has cool historical photos.)
There is no lava to see flowing right now (unless you luck out on a helicopter ride) but if go to the crater viewpoint at night, the glow is otherworldly (and with the stars, makes for memorable photos). http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/activity/kilaueastatus.php (check the "viewing summary")
Chain of Craters is a must-do for geology geeks and volcanologists; the variety of flows is incredible (a few miles from the start of C of C road, take the left to the Mauna Ulu hike (bathroom sign), park and go for a short walk down the trail (just past where the road ends due to a lava flow); you'll see deep frozen-in-time vents with orchids clinging to the sides, awesome formations, terrific views of Pu'u O'O vent, well worth a brief detour).

The "Place of Refuge" south of Kona is interesting, and has wonderful snorkeling (at "Two-Step" just outside the park); and a boat ride from Kona into Kealakekua Bay (Captain Cook monument is there) offers some of the finest snorkeling anywhere.
sylvia3 is online now  
Old Mar 17th, 2014, 06:42 AM
Join Date: Oct 2013
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Last May, my husband and I spent 10 nights on the Big Island, splitting our time evenly between a VRBO house rental north of Hilo and a small guest cottage in the hills above Kailua-Kona. From each of these vantage points, we were able to essentially see a good part of the island, althought that meant that we drove a lot. Short of moving every few nights, it was hard to avoid that. But I'm so glad that we saw all that we did. The island is remarkable for its diversity, among many other things.

This is where we stayed outside of Kailua-Kona, as it might appeal to you. http://www.nancyshideaway.com/

The upcountry outside of Kailua-Kona is quite tropical, as compared to the Kona and Kohala coasts. The cottage itself was very peaceful and nicely appointed. Nancy is a very friendly and helpful host. We liked it immensely, as neither of us are the "resort" type. From the cottage, we went snorkeling twice, once at Kahalul'u Beach Park and once with Sea Quest snorkeling tours. We did their deluxe tour that stopped at three different spots, The Place of Refuge, Captain Cook and one other location. We loved it. We brought our own snorkeling gear at home, so it was pretty convenient to just snorkel whenever we found a good spot (we snorkeled a couple different places on the Hilo side, too).

While on the west coast, we also toured Greenwell Farms,a coffee plantation, and drove up to the Kohala coast another day. We spent the morning at the beautiful Hapuna Beach Park and then drove further up the coast for lunch and back through Waimea on our way back to the cottage. I'm glad to have seen the Kohala coast, but I'm glad we didn't stay there. While the beaches were lovely, I otherwise found it too barren.

Most nights, we ate dinner in Kailua-Kona. It was about a 15 minute drive into town, but it was still pretty convenient, and we never had trouble with parking.

I'd really encouarge you to consider Nancy's as an alternative to the more resort-type options. We'd happily stay there again.
indyhiker is online now  
Old Mar 17th, 2014, 08:26 AM
Join Date: May 2005
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If you go north of Kona, you'll find the gorgeous beaches I gather you are looking for: Hapuna (Hapuna Prince hotel is often less expensive than other resorts, sometimes
sylvia3 is online now  
Old Mar 17th, 2014, 08:38 AM
Join Date: Jan 2005
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The north shore of Kauai is beautiful, and there are great beaches on the north shore. It might be nice to rent a house on the beach in Hanalei. The St. Regis in Princeville has amazing views, too. But the beach is very small.

On the Big Island, ditto, Sylvia...great snorkeling at Kealakekua Bay and Two-Step near the Place of Refuge. We have friends who stay at this bed and breakfast at Captain Cook and love it:


You'd be close to great snorkeling if you stayed in Captain Cook.

The nice beaches are in the Kohala area. But I think if I were spending time on the North shore of Kauai, I'd probably focus my beach time there and then stay closer to the great snorkeling on the Big Island.
kureiff is online now  
Old Mar 17th, 2014, 08:50 AM
Join Date: Dec 2011
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You have 14 nights in Hawaii the last part of November, arriving and departing HNL. Will you need to be in Honolulu the night prior to an early morning departure to home? In November the oceans will have 'turned' to be calmer south -- more impact for stays on Kauai, Oahu and Maui than Big Island.

Each interisland change will eat almost half a day door-to-door, due partly to TSA inspection rules. TSA suggests you arrive at an airport two hours prior to boarding. When you arrive on an island you need to pick up your rental vehicle and find your lodging. (Give some thought to Island Time; it can be *slow going*.)

Do you plan nothing on Oahu? This is a typically tropical island -- with a medium-size city on its' southern shore. The east and north shores and the interior are lush. Surf will be building up north, where championships are held Nov.-Dec.

Kauai's most gorgeous north will have begun to have rougher seas. It's unpredictable how early or late one can snorkel or swim, or take boats around the Pali. Kauai is small and feels even smaller because so much of the terrain is *vertical* -- seen only by boat or air. It has the least good sea life.

Big Island is indeed BIG. Best lodgings -- and the beaches -- are in the Kohala Coast area. This area is also largely free of vog from the volcano. (I am asthmatic. I would not be spending time again around Kona Town or at the volcano, although we have stayed above Keauhou in the past.) North-western Big Island is moonscape. Eastern is lush, but largely agricultural (Hamakua Coast). You could easily spend your entire ten nights on Big Island if you stay both sides. (Two-three nights are enough for VNP.)

Do you see where I'm going with this? I think you are moving around too much. Honolulu, Kauai, Two locations on Big Island, Honolulu again. It sounds more 'expedition' and less 'relaxation'.

Oahu is a given for you. Unless you move on to another island immediately on arrival at HNL, you'll have two stays on Oahu anyway. You'll have two boring trips from the airport and back again. Now you're down to ten nights.

I would choose to explore some of Oahu, then stay on ONE second island. (Actually, *I* would choose one of the two 'ends' of Maui, and the 'home away from home' comfort of a condo. Maui has walk-in Haleakala, Iao Valley, Road to Hana.)

Would the NCL cruise that departs Honolulu every Saturday be of interest? It's the only sane way to see the major sights of three islands in a short time -- more room, board and transportation than luxe cruise. You can reserve rental cars at ports for DIY touring away from 'herd tours'. Then you'd have another week on "wherever" -- probably Oahu. This is also a nice 'sampler' of where you'd like to return.

There are 'day trips' out of HNL to Kauai or to VNP. No luggage. No lodgings. Rent a car and tour.
ChiSue is offline  
Old Mar 17th, 2014, 12:33 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
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Here's a good website for all things Big Island.

Here's a good website about the vog with maps that move.

Here are some places we've stayed and enjoyed on the Big Island [we usually stay in Kapoho in the east (about a 45 minute drive from Volcano) and south Kona on the west side--we are on the island now - our 23rd trip here].

in south Kona

http://www.hawaii4two.com/ lovely cottages, great view of the ocean-remote
http://www.vrbo.com/293127 Middle Ke'ei studio-- clean, has a nice lanai, 10 minutes from Kealakekua Bay
http://www.vrbo.com/141871 pali hale on a private estate with a great view of the coast--close to good snorkeling

http://www.lagoonhouse.com/ in Kapoho --close to the tidepools in Vacationland (see below)


My husband says the best snorkeling spots in south Kona are in Kealakekua Bay (put in at Manini Beach in Napoopoo), at the area called Two Step (though no sign says that) in Honounou Bay right by Place of Refuge, and off the little village of Ke'ei on the south end of Kealakekua Bay. There are no signs for Ke'ei but I can give you directions if you are interested. He says magnificent coral canyons and lots of fish.

He likes snorkeling the tide pools in Puna--beautiful coral and go at high tide http://www.tropicalsnorkeling.com/sn...ide-pools.html

If you have any other questions about the BI, I'd be happy to help.

Oh and the fact your last night is Thanksgiving should cause no problem-except some restaurants may be closed.
martym is offline  
Old Mar 17th, 2014, 12:49 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
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Look for a house in Hanalei (try Suite Paradise or Parrish Kauai for rentals, these are realtors with a good rep) or maybe look at Hanalei Bay Resort (they are condos though but very nice and two nice pools and the time of your visit the Happy Talk Lounge and restaurant will be open).
For car rentals, try discounthawaiicarrentals.com - they are brokers.
Ocean may or may not be calm in November, boat tours to Na Pali from the North will probably have stopped running then but you can take a Na Pali trip out of Port Allen on the West Shore.
If the ocean is too rough at Tunnels, drive south to Poipu Beach Park or Lawai Beach near Beach House Restaurant. Anini on the North Shore might be calm since a reef protects most of it but the snorkeling there is not very good.
jamie99 is online now  
Old Mar 17th, 2014, 01:16 PM
Join Date: Nov 2011
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Simple for Big Island and Kauai in two weeks.

When you arrive in Honolulu - just walk over to the Inter-Island terminal next door and take a flight to either Kona or Hilo (you may have to go thru Maui to get to Hilo - but the view of the east side of the Big Island is amazing).

If you fly into the Hilo airport - you are within a half an hour of Volcano Village - or Volcano House by the Visitor's Center. No problemo.

And never have I/we ever had to arrive two hours early for an Inter Island flight. The outer island airports are small - and the lines do not get backed up - except perhaps occasionally at Maui.
Tomsd is offline  
Old Mar 17th, 2014, 02:31 PM
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"outer island airports are small - and the lines do not get backed up"

Tom, how long has it been since you were in one of those airports?! The lines can be very bad, and the TSA are very diligent about making each and every soul remove their flip flops.
sylvia3 is online now  
Old Mar 17th, 2014, 03:27 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
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Our experience with the Kona airport is usually 2 hours is enough, although a couple of times the lines were really long and we got though security with no time to spare (i.e., our flight was boarding). Not sure what makes the difference.
martym is offline  
Old Mar 17th, 2014, 05:23 PM
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Thank you all so much for so many helpful replies! Will take me a while to sort through them all....

I appreciate ChiSu pointing out that we don't want to move around too much - this is one of our goals. We arrive early in the morning and leave in late morning, so yes, I had assumed we could avoid going in to Oahu at all, and instead just switch terminals, and Tomsd suggested. Hawaiian Airlines recommend 90 minutes for check-in - since we arrive at around 8am, a 9:30-10:30 inter-island flight seemed very doable, with arrival on Kaua'i or BI before lunch. The only issue I was a little worried about was driving (on the wrong side of the road!) after an overnight flight. But we've done it before, and none of the drives would be long.
The return may be more difficult - we fly out late morning. It would mean catching a 7am flight out, to give us the recommended 3 hours before departure arrival at Oahu. I'd been assuming we could get to the airport at 6am, based on flying domestic in Australia and inter-Europe, but maybe I have underestimated the TSA...

Lots of the accommodation suggestions looks great - Nancy's Hideaway might be just what we are looking for @Indyhiker. And all of Martym's suggestions look gorgeous, and seem well-located for snorkelling. Need to do some more systematic comparisons. The lagoon house looks amazing!

I've cut and pasted all the excellent snorkelling info from Sylvia3, martym and kurieff. I need to sit down with Google maps and the suggestions.

On the basics - we're not that worried about the "running out of things to do" factor. Partly why I'm fussy about accommodation, and we prefer isolated cottages if possible, is that we can spend half-days reading/playing checkers in the rainforest, and we are big short walkers. We do like to spend time in forests, get the feel and the sounds. Or alternatively, go back to the same snorkeling spot at different times, see what moves and changes. Part of what had attracted me to Volcano was the prospect of spending several days just wandering around the park, and hanging in the forest environment. (We usually spend a good 10 days at a rental in the Daintree on our Queensland trips - a place lots of people are happy to 'do' in two days).

Honestly though, the accommodation I mentioned was a large part of the attraction of Volcano - it comes with a sitting area and hot tub in the forest environs in a secluded spot. I'm interested no-one has commented on it - although, as I said, lots of the other suggestions were good.

On that, I like lots of the suggestions for the North Shore - Jamie99's suggestion of a house on the beach is probably what we are looking for I suspect (we'd much prefer that to a hotel, no matter how nice!) or the condo overlooking hte ocean on the cliffs sounds a little appealing (but again, freestanding house with private outdoor space better).

it appears we probably do have some choices to make. Based on all your info, I'm guessing that the rockier area around South Kona is more what we would enjoy - we do like nice beaches, but the idea of lovely beaches surrounded by not much except lush resorts is not really terribly appealing (we can always visit on our way). I think Kurieff's suggestion of focusing our beach time on Kaua'i and just doing a snorkeling trip to Western BI is a sensible one.

We're not surfers, so surf isn't of big concern.

BUT - I'm now quite worried about the asthma. I'm guessing that VOG could either be no problem at all, or a big problem, and we won't know until we get there. But from ChiSu and Sylvia's comments I'm guessing that planning 8 nights in possibly-VOG affected areas is dumb. Which is a shame, because i'd begun to see the plan above take shape more...

I guess an alternative is to cut our time on BI down, stay only on the East side, and add a couple of days at Oahu at the end of the trip, making the departure time less of a slog. I'm cheered by DominicKelly and Tomsd's comments that there is good snorkel spots at Oahu.

I don't want to let BI go entirely because of DP's interest in the volcano.

Still, that means three islands in two weeks, which seems like a lot. Any comments on whether the smog is really going to be a big enough problem to stop us spending a week in potentially affected areas? (I suspect no-one can really answer this!).

Thanks to everyone again, it was awesome to wake up to so much info, and so much to explore!
sojourner77 is offline  
Old Mar 17th, 2014, 06:01 PM
Join Date: Nov 2011
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I again say - IMO - 3 islands in two weeks is not a big deal - especially if you come back to Oahu a couple days early at the end - and take advantage of snokeling at Hanamau Bay - the best spot for that in the Islands.

When you first arrive at Honolulu airport - you should be someewhat stoked - so taking a couple more hours to get over to say Hilo on the Big Island is no big deal - plus you will have a scenic plane ride doing so.

The other site I mentioned at Volcano Village - the Volcano Village Lodge also has a hot tub in the outdoors/rain forest and cute cottages.That area is very cute and they had a good Thai restaurant in the Village.

What I would suggest you do first is get your Hanalei reservation put together - ideally a beach cottage beyond Hanalei town - or even check out the Hanalei Colony Resort- which is somewhat isolated - about 3 miles beyond Hanalei town. We stayed there the 2nd week of our honeymoon and loved it. Charo used to own the restaurant there- and it has a beautiful oceanfront setting.

Then you can turn to figuring out your options on the BI - either south of Kona (where you might risk encountering some VOG) or up at Volcano - or north of Kona.

You might even look into cute little Hawi - at the very north tip of BI - a cute little town with things to do around there too.
Tomsd is offline  
Old Mar 17th, 2014, 06:05 PM
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And if you can hike a bit - the best hike we had was about a mile from the Volcano Visitor's center - the little Ke Iki Hale volcano -where you walk through the rain forest to get to the edge of the small cauldron.

Then you hike down into the floor - about a mile across and then up the other side. Not terribly steep but a little climb.

It's unreal to be down in there - and have a lava vent hiss - and say to yourself. No - this has not erupted since 1959 - but it's only human nature to pick up the pace a wee bit.
Tomsd is offline  
Old Mar 17th, 2014, 06:40 PM
Join Date: May 2005
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Big Island, 3 nights in Volcano should be more than adequate. Do not take the crater floor hike Tom recommends, because there is a lot of gas venting there, and with asthma it will be problematic. (As I mentioned above)
The west side for the remainder, enjoy the beach scene. Best snorkeling!
sylvia3 is online now  
Old Mar 18th, 2014, 01:32 AM
Join Date: Nov 2011
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First of all - re: your concern about driving on the "other side" of the road. When I have been in places such as Antigua in the Caribbean - or in Scotland and Ireland - the first thing I did when getting into the driver's seat was to make sure I kept my outside/window shoulder to the center of the road.

Then - I looked at the traffic flow - and made sure I was going in the direction I wanted to go - again - after watching the traffic to make sure I was not either entering in the wrong lane or proceeding in same.

Everybody is different - but I had no problem at all driving in those places.

As for getting oriented after an all-night flight - if you do go from the Hono Intl airport right over to the smaller/inter-island airport (next door) and then on to Hilo - the Hilo airport is only about 27 miles from the Volcano Village turnoff - on a two lane road.

So once you get properly headed in the right direction/lane - all you do when you get to the turnoff to the Village (or the Visitor's center which is a couple miles further) is turn right, from the lane your are in. There are signs posted giving you a warning about the upcoming turns - and which way to go.

Even if you are tired/have a little jet lag when you arrive at the Village - or the Visitor's center if you go there first - walk around some in the sunlight to start re-orienting your body to the new time zone - and then - go take a nap a little later if you need to.

As for snorkeling on the Big Island - suggest you just take the fun cruise to Captain Cook's monument - where they will provide the equipment - and also have guides to help you if need be and watch over you to make sure everything is safe.

I have never had a problem snorkeling or diving all over Hawaii - but I am a strong/knowledgeable ocean swimmer - and always have my fins and study the ocean before entering.

Some people can occassionaly get in trouble even at what seems like a safe locale. Besides - when I went snorkeling by the City of Refuge - maybe it was just that day - but it didn't seem that great to me but Captain Cook's Monument is almost always good.

And as sylvia points out - if you think somebody might not like the sporadic volcanic gas hissing up from the vents in the floor of Ke Iki Hale (the little volcano) - then don't do it - but it wasn't like there was a layer of volcanic "gas" hanging in the cauldron when we did it.

As for the outer airports - I will say - so what if they make people take off their flip flops while claring security? How long does that really take to do that?

And last I was over in Paradise was a couple of years ago - and did stay on Ohau, Big Island, Maui and Kauai, without any great wait in any of the outer airports but Maui gets the most traffic/passengers.

And as far as when you come back to Oahu - assuming you plan to spend your last night or two there - you might consider staying in one of the hotels out by the airport which even though they are two star+ category - you are right there for your early morning departure.

Or even if you stay in Waikiki - you might just take a taxi/limo/bus - vis a vis driving on the busier roads there.
Tomsd is offline  
Old Mar 18th, 2014, 01:42 AM
Join Date: Nov 2011
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Uno mas - pack lightly - so you don't have to lug around a heavy suitcase. Besides - what do you really need in Hawaii?

A swimsuit (or two) and a couple of changes of clothes - and maybe something else for dinner if you want to dress? A good pair of walking/hiking shoes, another pair for "dress" - and some flip flops? It's not like it gets that cold there.

Plus - there are plenty of stores in the islands if you need to find something else to wear - or even want to go shopping
Tomsd is offline  

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