Big island, Hawaii
Replies: 29 - Last Post: Oct 8, 2012 10:16 AM Last Post By: Kahua
Jan 27, 2012 5:02 PM
Jan 27, 2012 6:31 PM
Jan 27, 2012 8:47 PM
2Thanks for the response
I was hoping to find a tour package before I got there. I used to see real nice deals for 5 to 7 days with flight, hotel and car rentals included in local papers. I don't live in that area anymore and I don't find anything like that in those papers online.
I'm gonna check the web. But I was hoping others may know travel agencies that have frequent packages for Hawaii.
How was the driving around the Island. I'm considering that once I get to the Island.
Edited by: Seasight
Jan 28, 2012 8:01 AM
3What exactly are you looking for? A guided group tour where you get driven around sites in a bus? Air, hotel, car packages?
Most any guidebook, like the one LP publishes, will have lists of some tour companies to contact
www.kayak.com, www.expedia.com, www.costco.com will all be able to provide packages
However, February is a very popular month and car rentals are really expensive. If you want to rent a car, don't arrive without a reservation.
Jan 28, 2012 8:15 AM
4Driving around the island was easy, the roads are very good and traffic isn't too bad in most places, although rush hour traffic south of Hilo and around Kona got pretty heavy sometimes. It is a pretty big island, it would take about 8 hours to drive completely around the island, excluding stops. Two weeks to explore the island would be good a month would be better. Lots to see and do there.
Jan 28, 2012 9:42 AM
5Just to be specific - you will need a rental car to see the island unless you are going to sign up for bus tours. The only public bus is geared for hotel workers and is very inconvenient and poorly-timed for tourist purposes. Taxis are very expensive and not at all useable for someone on a budget.
As johnsang mentions- it's very easy to drive to all major sites. Traffic in Kona gets a bit much, but is certainly doable..
Jan 28, 2012 11:59 AM
Jan 28, 2012 8:36 PM
7I'm in Kona now and rental cars are quite dear. I booked mine months ago and got it for the month of Jan. for a pretty good rate ($900 total). My mom flew in for a visit and waited until the last minute to book a car and was left with a couple choices, the cheapest at $100/day for a week. My brother showed up a few days ago and the only vehicle available on the island (for three days rental) was a full size ford crew cab work truck from Harper's rentals ($140/night).
My guess is the rental shortage in Kona is due to car supply cycles from the recession not responding to a more recent uptick in tourism.
Book your car now if you plan to get one.
I've also noticed a lot more Hele-On buses (the public bus) all over the island, way more frequently and in new places than when I lived here. If I was on a super budget I would look into that option.
Jan 28, 2012 10:11 PM
8Thank you all for your responses.
I'm looking for air, hotel, car discount deal. I'll check the web sites Kahua-thanks.
I'm taking a class for the fiirst four days north of Kona and since it's my first time In Hawaii, I was planning to rent a car for driving around the island. I'm thinking about staying 2-3 weeks.
My hotel room is expensive and as I was looking for flight and rental car, I remembered the adds in paper for a whole week -everything included for half the cost of my hotel room for 4 days. It was a few years ago and they may not exist anymore or not on their website. I'll keep looking.
I'm pleasantly surprised by comments on driving around the Island. I'm checking for places to visit. I was also considering renting an RV after my class. I'm not sure how easy it would be to park it and what the restrictions are. I've heard it's not safe to drive off the main roads.
Section 8, do you happen to know how far north the Hele- on buses go?
Jan 28, 2012 10:38 PM
Jan 28, 2012 11:54 PM
10I've seen the buses up around Hawi and Honoka'a, and also down in Kau and Puna, so they do get out there.
I can't remember seeing a bus near the airport and I seem to recall a thread recently where somebody was going to sleep at the airport and then walk up to the Belt road in the morning to catch the bus to Hilo...I'd call or email Hele-On to get a straight answer. It would be dumb to not go to the airport, but sometimes dumb is what you get.
Jan 29, 2012 8:25 AM
11Not difficult to find Hele-On by googling:
You really need to read the schedules. They are not regular like an hourly bus. They are geared towards the hotel workers, so there are big gaps in the middle of the day and such. You really need to plan and pay attention to get transfers right.
There is a bus that goes from the airport into Kona, but if you look at the links, it gets there too late for the Kona-Hilo bus, so you would end up staying overnight to get to Hilo by bus. For a short time, you are going to compromise a great deal of flexibility by relying on the bus. It's not impossible, but you will have problems getting to and from some places without having to find an overnight accomodation, which will be really difficult or expensive.
You aren't allowed to sleep in an RV unless it is in a designated campsite. The state campgrounds are not very well maintained and some are not at all safe to stay in because of theft or violence.
Here is some camping information from another forum:
It would also be useful to get a guidebook, such as the one Lonely Planet publishes to give you more advice.
Jan 29, 2012 10:37 AM
Jan 29, 2012 10:40 AM
Jan 29, 2012 10:43 AM
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