Replies: 11 - Last Post: Jun 27, 2012 11:31 AM Last Post By: homerjhomerj
Jun 26, 2012 7:32 AM
Can someone make some suggestions about time frames?
Jun 26, 2012 8:14 AM
1Too much in too little time generally but a week on Oahu, Maui and Kauai are fine but you need at least two weeks for the big island. Tighten up by two days on Oahu, three days on Maui and two days on Kauai, spend six days on the Hilo side visiting Volcano on your way over to the Kona side for the rest of your stay.
Jun 26, 2012 9:37 AM
2Generally one week per island, but 10 days would not be too much for The Big Island. From your wish list, I'd prioritize time on TBI and Kauai. Oahu has lots to see, including some great museums that will help understand Hawaiian history.
TBI: The petroglyphs on the Kohala coast are in a resort area and on an asphalt walk not far from the parking lot. There are far better and many more petroglyphs in the Hawaiian Volcanoes National Park. I prefer to stay a couple of nights in the town of Volcano, because it is so convenient for the park and it is such a different environment than the dry western coast and the rainy eastern one.
You should get a guidebook or two if you have that much time. Also research the National Parks and Monuments in Hawaii:
I'm going to assume you are renting cars on all the islands other than Oahu, where there is good public transportation. If you are not able to rent a car, you will really need to rethink your itinerary. I assume you also have budgeted very generously for Hawaii. It ain't cheap. Especially during the prime winter holidays, mid-February, spring break and other family holiday times. It is especially important to get your rental car resrvations when you make your flight arrangements, as rental cars will sell out during peak times.
What is your nightly accomodation budget?
Jun 26, 2012 11:20 AM
3Kahua, for a first time visitor to Hawaii, I think Maui is the most tourist friendly.
You've got kapalua, the hana hwy. excellent snorkelling out near the ( i dont know what you call it the original village place) its on the way to the road that cuts through the lava field were that town got buried.
Probably the best resto's in all Hawaii, and probably the prettiest beaches.
I too highly recommend the BI, and certainly would spend time in Kauai (the canyon, hike the napali coastline), but I would spend less time in Oahu and increase my time in the other 3.
Jun 26, 2012 11:33 AM
4I agree with your comments about Maui, hjh, but OP did specifically mention 4 Big Island activities in their original post and only 1 Maui activity
It would be very helpful to know what month this was planned for, as it might affect some of the recommendations for Kauai.
I think we'd agree that even 5 weeks could be too little for all the major islands.
Jun 26, 2012 11:53 AM
5Yup...also agree that Kauai can get very wet, and windy.
I'm assuming with your handle you live there (whereas I've only visited 5 times), so i will bow to your info as a local, but as a tourist I can let them know what we enjoyed most.
I'm also pretty sure if they want to go to the observatory in the BI they need a 4WD to access that road.
Jun 26, 2012 1:14 PM
6Heck, I always recommend Maui for the gorgeous beaches, usually better than those on Kauai, Hawaii, or sometimes even Oahu. Depending on the season and how many people you like on your beaches.
However, OP's comments are very TBI-centric, so I didn't make a fuss about Maui.
This site has very pretty beach pictures:
Jun 26, 2012 4:01 PM
7Wow, thank you for all those helpful responses. As I was looking through the guide book and websites I, too, realized that even a whole month would not do Hawaii justice. We actually have three or four things we want to do on Maui, even though I didn't mention them......Haleakala, Hana, Lahaini, snorkeling. I'm going to print out your responses and share them with my husband. To answer your questions, yes we are renting a car for each island and will be going sometime in the fall or winter. We don't have a budget, as such, for accommodations but need to keep costs down since we will be away so long.
Jun 26, 2012 6:28 PM
8You will need to develop a budget.
Your cheapest accomodation would be a condo where you might get a discounted rate by booking for an entire week or two.
Avoid Thanksgiving week and the last two weeks of December. High season and big demand means high prices everywhere.
I think you might be able to find a non-waterfront, non-view condo for $120 a night. Earlier in September or even October, you might need air conditioning and because electricity is expensive, a condo with A/C can add $50 a night. Best time to go might be early November.
Jun 26, 2012 11:17 PM
9We just got back from a Hawaii trip. We were there for 12 days - spent 4.5 on the big island and 7.5 in Kauai. I would have reversed these times if I could. Kauai was beautiful, amazing scenery but The Big Island was our favorite. We loved Kona, even though it is a little touristy, it has a good vibe. We spent two nights at this amazing place in Volcano: http://www.halehubner.com/photos and wish we had been there longer. It is a relaxing spot and a great point to explore volcano national park. Check out kilauea at night in the park. There are lots of short yet amazing hikes in this park. Snorkeling is awesome on the Big Island, less impressed with the Kauai snorkeling.
We stayed here in Kauai and also liked it a lot - http://bookings.kauai-vacations-ahh.com/Unit.mvc/Details/44419. Close to Hanalei town and snorkeling and cool beaches and hikes. Our favorite beach was secret beach. I recommend this guidebook series: http://www.hawaiirevealed.com/books-apps/kauai-revealed
it was really helpful and well written.
It is nice to stay in a condo, some are really cheap if you browse through the alii kai ones. You pay more for ocean view. Eating out is expensive so it is nice to be able to cook in when possible.
For some reason, driving around Kauai seemed to take FOREVER. The road around the island doesn't connect, so if you stay in Hanalei area and want to see the canyons, you have to drive 2.5 - 3 hours and then reverse and loop back around to come home. We wish we had done less driving - it felt like we spent a lot of time in the car because we wanted to see everything. Even though the big island is much bigger, it felt easier to get around.
We didn't go to any other islands but I definitely recommend more time on the big island!
Jun 27, 2012 9:27 AM
10Hawaii is NOT for the budget conscious.
Hell I think we paid $600/night at the St. Regis Princeville in Kauai.
I don't think the Royal Hawaian in Oahu or the Westin in Kaanapali were all that much less.
I have seen some less expensive places in Kehei (Maui) and in Poipu (Kauai) and the BI isn't that costly (last time we were there it was about $139/night for the Sheraton).
Try airbnb.com or vrbo.com for condo rentals by the week, then you maybe able to get in the $100-150/night range but don't expect waterfront for that except in the BI.
Be aware camping isn't always safe as there is a big homeless population in Hawaii.
We met some folks who camped in Napali national park (I think thats the name) in Kauai and they said there were lots of undesirables hanging around and packed it in after one night.
My suggestion is to not try and do a budget vacation when in hawaii, as you will miss out on lots.
Now you dont have to spend $600/night like we did but I give this same advice to everyone, if you think this is a once in a lifetime visit treat it as such.
if you have a month then another cost savings idea is to sit through a time share presentation.
You will get fed and possibly meet and deal with some very oily people, BUT, its only 90 minutes of your life and in return you can get great deals on lots activities.
For sitting through one we saved 60% on our helicopter trip (excellent with blue hawaii by the way), 75% on out luau (wasn't as cheesy as I thought it would be), 80% on a zipline experience (fun) and 80% on a whale watch (very good, but hell if you go in the late winter/spring you can see the damn things everywhere), and 80% on a snorkelling trip to Molokai (snorkelling was just so so, but the ride out was excellent, scenery beautiful and a pod of dolphins rode back with us).
Yes I know its a vacation but since you have a month, my guess is we saved $800-900 on the above activities and so for 90 minutes I felt it was worth it.
Jun 27, 2012 11:31 AM
This is quite a good deal if u are interested.
(3 star Hotel)
From US$212.85 per night
(2 star Hotel)
From US$169.33 per night
(0 star Hotel)
From US$32.00 per night