OT: Hawaii help

GemParty

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#1
Considering a trip in the Summer of 2019. 4 adults, a 7 year old & a 13 year old.

1. Pro/con travel agent?
2. Ideal/reasonable amount of nights to sleep over for once in a lifetime visit.
3. One or two islands? Which. (We like like beaches, none of us hike)
4. Any must see suggestions?
5. Any hotels you loved?

Thank you.
 
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#2
Considering a trip in the Summer of 2019. 4 adults, a 7 year old & a 13 year old.

1. Pro/con travel agent?
2. Ideal/reasonable amount of nights to sleep over for once in a lifetime visit.
3. One or two islands? Which. (We like like beaches, none of us hike)
4. Any must see suggestions?
5. Any hotels you loved?

Thank you.
The native islanders hate white people. Be careful.
 
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#3
The native islanders hate white people. Be careful.
?

I've only been to Maui. Did the road to Hanna and drove back when it got dark. DO NOT DO THAT!.

Absolutely loved it. The drive up Mount Haleakala is quite an experience. Beaches were all beautiful but beware of the waves...powerful. in the road to Hanna you can see a botanical garden where they shot the opening scene of Jurasic Park, a white sand beach and a black sand beach. Kihei was a cool little town to experience the local vibe.
 

Dove

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#5
Obviously Oahu. Much to do there for sure. Pearl Harbor, Daimond Head, Honolulu. Perhaps do a catamaran.

If you're not a hiker then maybe not the Big Island. But I would still do the big island.

Maui is my 3rd pick.
 
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#6
Kauai is Beautiful. Although it’s very small so would only consider if you want to park your butts on the sand at the beach. There’s also amazing kayaking and hiking there but as you said hiking is not something you’re looking at. Otherwise Oahau and with kids the Disney Resort ( very adult friendly as well) is amazing and it’s called Aulani. Everything you could want at that resort, and you’re just short drive to Pearl Harbor and all the other sites
 
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#7
Obviously Oahu. Much to do there for sure. Pearl Harbor, Daimond Head, Honolulu. Perhaps do a catamaran.

If you're not a hiker then maybe not the Big Island. But I would still do the big island.

Maui is my 3rd pick.
They may not like Diamond Head because of the ascent to the top. I second Pearl Harbor, worth it. Do a Luau. Go whale watching.

Definitely snorkel. Oahu has Hanauma Bay which is coral reefed protected and controlled so its quite safe. Kids will love it. I'm going to the big island for the holidays and we're doing a snorkel tour off Kona and night Manta Ray snorkeling which is supposed to be great. We're also visiting the volcanoes which may amount to some hiking but I think you can see lava without.

Oahu also has Waikiki Beach (main touristy beach), Ko'olina (man made lagoon resort style beaches) and Haliewa where the surf area is. We saw the Eddie, big wave competition, which is very rare and only happens once a decade or so. Also Dole pineapple plantations.
 
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#8
No knee for travel agent. Search the web for the best deals. Remember, you save alot of money with non-ocean views. The hotel has resort fees in addition to the room and tax. The two island are no doubt Oahu and MAui. The best play in Oahu if you have kids is Hilton Hawaii village. The beach is right there, calm waters and you don't need a car. If you want to go see the west of the island. Rent a car for a day. Would avoid the Polynesian Cultural center or Dole plantation touist trap. Yes to Pearl Harbor and the North Shore beaches, the water is calm in the summer. The 2nd island is Maui without a doubt. Drive to the volcano and see a sunrise. Stay at Kannapalli Westin. Everything is there. Need to be an okay swimmer in Maui. Beach has deep drop off and waves are rough. Would go to Old Lahaina Luau. Big Beach at Makena. The food is very good and relatively inexpensive if you eat at the Paia Fish house. Enjoy, we go to Maui every winter. Too bad you don't get to see the whales
 

CL82

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#9
Maui, Oahu. Maui is beautiful. Haleakala is very nice. Can ride bikes down if you aren't hikers. Dinner at sunset at Mamas Fishouse spectacular. Road to Hana is gorgeous.

Oahu, Pearl Island is must see. Very moving. Diamond Head has a great view.
 

jbdphi

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#10
I’ve been to four of the islands and it all really depends on your personal preferences.

If you like resorts (do relatively little outside the resort itself) then Maui is right for you. There are some attractions as previously mentioned (Haleakala, road to Hana, waterfalls, golf, etc), but the best part about Maui is pampering yourself at a world class resort. If you like that, then you just need to pick the Wailea side versus the Lahaina / Kapalua side (I recommend the latter as there are a few more options and variety of pricing) plus Lahaina is one of the few towns with any sort of night life.

I’ve also been to the Big Island which is awesome if you like volcanoes but otherwise I wouldn’t prioritize as it a bit less of the traditional Hawaii experience especially if you want beaches that aren’t black.

Kauai is amazing and lush (Jurassic Park was filmed there) and is pretty secluded and is more of an active hiking kind of place unless you spend big bucks to stay at a place like the Princeville on the north side. South side (Poipu) is a bit more like Maui in that it is more consistent weather (sunnier) and more resorts.

I’ve spent the least amount of time on Oahu / Honolulu and it makes sense if you like being in a city on a tropical island. Pearl Harbour is obviously there as are beautiful beaches but it is also more crowded (downside) and with a ton more night life / entertainment options (positive). Traffic sucks there too.

Total time to spend depends on what you want to accomplish / what resources you have. Coming from CT, it’s a ~12 hour trip with a five hour time difference so don’t short change yourself if you don’t have to. Adjusting to time zone / jet lag might take a few days in itself.

Best of luck - I got married and honeymooned in Hawaii and its a very special place (if you can afford it).
 
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#13
I’ve been four times and here’s what I’d say.

Go more than a week. Target 10 days. You lose a day or two with the travel and jet lag on the way there. The six hour difference wipes you out early.

I didn’t like Oahu. I thought Pearl Harbor was boring. Same for the Dole plantation tour and the luaus were a little cheesy there. Super touristy and canned experiences. I’d probably suggest flying into there, staying 2-3 days to get acclimated then going to Maui for a week.

Kauai is my favorite island but you said you didn’t like the hiking type activities so that eliminates it for you. You might want to still check it out online since it’s the most beautiful island I’ve been to.
 

HuskyNan

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#14
Considering a trip in the Summer of 2019. 4 adults, a 7 year old & a 13 year old.

1. Pro/con travel agent?
2. Ideal/reasonable amount of nights to sleep over for once in a lifetime visit.
3. One or two islands? Which. (We like like beaches, none of us hike)
4. Any must see suggestions?
5. Any hotels you loved?

Thank you.
I haven't been to Hawaii but on the topic of travel agents - we took a trip to Europe this year when my oldest graduated from college. We went to France, Switzerland, and Italy and since it was so intimidating to arrange the hotels and transportation (we didn't rent a car), we used a travel agent. It was fabulous. We told him what kind of hotel rooms we wanted and how much we wanted to spend for the entire trip. Drivers picked us up at the airports and train stations, the hotels were nice and in perfect locations for us to walk everywhere, and gave us masses of suggestions on side trips/excursions. He even followed us from the States and knew when we missed a train connection, which was nice, for peace of mind.

We used an agency in Wallingford, Custom Travel. I recommend them 100%.
 
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#15
I've been to three of the islands: Oahu, Maui and Kauai.

Maui is probably my favorite as it seemed to have the best variety of things to do. Nature/hiking, beaches, snorkeling/diving, shopping, dining, golf, fishing, whale watching, sunset cruises . Heck, we even shot sporting clays there. Some of everything.

I have friends who like Oahu best,,,,,for the shopping. Well, I don't fly halfway across the globe to a tropical island for touristy shopping but to each his own. I'm one who found the Pearl Harbor Memorial very moving but besides that I preferred the calm, laid back vibe on the north shore of the island. Having seen Pearl Harbor once, if I was to go back to Hawaii I probably wouldn't go back to Oahu. Nothing there I need to see/do a second time.

Kauai is definitely beautiful. In December it rained for a while pretty much everyday. If you can swing it, we did a helicopter tour that was great. Just being on a helicopter was a cool experience but it takes you to isolated canyons and beaches that are gorgeous. You'll also go over some of the shooting sites from Jurassic Park and can still see some of the props. This is great place for hiking. We did just a little but it isn't really our thing either. People were coming back from the Na Pali coast with torn clothes and bloodied. We were there in winter when the water is too rough on the north coast but in the summer it might be great to kayak to Na Pali. The beach looked awesome from the helicopter. We also went 4-wheeling through old sugar cane plantations here too. That was pretty fun.

I've never been to the big island but am very interested to see the volcano(es). Someday.

I don't think you need a travel agent. With all the information at your fingertips via the internet, with just a little research you can arrange everything yourself quite easily. Also, the concierges at any of the hotels can set things up for you too. Remember, you're far away from home but its still the US which is comforting if anything were to go awry.
 
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#16
Been twice. First time 12 nights (Oahu 2, Kauai 5, Maui 5), Second time 10 nights (Oahu 3, Maui 7). If once in a lifetime do at least 10, and any of the islands are great. Kauai is my favorite and definitely more native Hawaiian and rural than the others. Maui probably the best for beaches and general touristy things with the best luau in Kaanapali as are a lot of upscale hotels and restaurants. There's also a day long catamaran trips to the island of Lanai. Oahu is primarily Honolulu and Pearl, but does have some neat sights if you tour the entire island. Loved the South shore for the beaches and as mentioned above snorkeling. Enjoy !!
 
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#17
Considering a trip in the Summer of 2019. 4 adults, a 7 year old & a 13 year old.

1. Pro/con travel agent?
2. Ideal/reasonable amount of nights to sleep over for once in a lifetime visit.
3. One or two islands? Which. (We like like beaches, none of us hike)
4. Any must see suggestions?
5. Any hotels you loved?

Thank you.
I lived in Hawaii up until last year. I don't want to get too into detail here or else I'll be writing a book, but from a mainland perspective this is how most of the "accessible" islands play out:

Oahu - Very crowded, touristy, but will have most everything you need/are familiar with. But also gives you the feel for the Hawaii culture if you venture out a bit. You have more food options, and there are some great beaches, most are crowded, but if you choose this island, let me know and I can point get you to some less crowded spots that will blow your mind. Places to stay - Waikiki endless options, Ko'Olina (west side) with Disney resort available, Kailua (best area for that Hawaii feel but will be paying for it). Someone else said the Luau's are a bit lame, I can agree, but will say its pretty much like that anywhere you go, its a fun little tradition the people of Hawaii put on for tourists. If you find one that features more fire dancing, that's where the magic really happens. BTW, for as much traveling as Ive done and combined with the friends world travels, not one of us can say we have found a better place to watch the Sunset than West Side Oahu.

Maui - Has every bit of greatness Oahu has, but without the crowds. Seriously, you can walk up to great restaurants with no waiting lines where as Oahu you could be waiting an hour or more. Its quieter on the south side, which can lend to more of the intimate feel of Hawaii. If you choose to stay in a resort type, the Lahaina area has everything you'll need without venturing too far. Great Snorkeling and an opportunity to go night snorkeling with Manta Rays - out of this world.

Big Island (Hawaii) - Best island in terms of balance with things to do and places to see. Choosing this island for your main area of stay, you can't go wrong. You will find things to do, and you will see Hawaii in all its wonders, and certainly not as crowded as Oahu, but can be tight in certain areas.

Kauai - My favorite island, and its not even close. However, I am a hiker. This island will be more of the wild hawaii side, hence why it's known as the "Garden Island". If you want adventure, you come here. Without hiking you can take helicopter tours over the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, the Jurassic Park Waterfall (recommend open door helo ride), and the Na Pali Coast. There is a massive double waterfall that you can drive to, no hiking involved. It has a resort area on the east side, so if you want the comfort of that, its there, but in all honesty the beauty of this island rests with its mixture of jungle areas, open canyons and wildlife. It does however have an ridiculously awesome water float ride through an old sugar cane factory, sounds like a kiddie thing to do, but I can personally attest that adults have just as much fun - book early tho, it has grown in popularity.

There are a few other islands that are less accessible, but if you want more info, let me know. Wherever you decide to go, if you decide against a travel agent, I can help point you in a general direction of fun things to do and great food options (seriously, want to swim with dolphins in the open ocean without paying $150 to do so?) Either way, you will have a great time!

Oh and a note on the native islanders not liking whites - while it may be concerning to most, this is mostly false. You should be careful, just as you would traveling to any other place in the world. yes, it's technically a US State, but they have a different culture. As long as you respect their culture, respect the land and don't be stupid or act like a jerk, you'll be fine. I've met some of the best people camping on the beaches with Hawaiian's. Haole is a real term they use for whites, even to your face, but I've only been called that by friends, not out of disrespect. Honestly, I've left my truck in some real shady places, surrounded by real shady looking people, overnight while hiking in the mountains of Oahu. Not once was it messed with. I moved to the suburbs of San Antonio and within a week, someone breaks into my truck. Take out of that what you will.

Don't hesitate to message me direct if you need info, enjoy!
 

GemParty

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#18
Lots of great ideas to consider. Thank you for taking the time!
 
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#19
@spudzj6 is probably the one to lean on. Great info!

I haven't been in a while, but here is what sticks out in my memory. I did two trips that were very different. My honeymoon and another trip with two other extended families. Never traveled with kids under 25 though.
  • For my honeymoon we did Kauai and Maui. We loved Kauai. Very quiet and very green. Stayed at the Hyatt which was really nice. The beach wasn't swimable, but beautiful. We did some canoeing and hiking. I know you said it's not your thing, but find something calm. We went in the winter and were treated to breaching whales while eating breakfast every day.
  • Maui is the best of both worlds to me. You can be remote like Kaui (the road to Hanna is an experience), but also more "American" like Oahu. We did Maui for both of our trips. Stayed at the Hyatt Kaanapali. Big, loud place in a good location. We liked dining in Lahaina.
  • Oahu was cool. You feel more like the Hawaii you know from TV (Magnum, Hawaii 5-0). Combination of big city, but still the ability to get out. Some great beaches. We stayed at the Halakulani (I'm probably misspelling). Awesome place. It's in the corner of Waikiki, so you're right there, but very isolated also.
  • We got jeeps both times. Tried to offroad a bit in Kaui and I'm not sure how I didn't flip the thing. The convertible part is great, but maybe just go with a convertible car.
  • Shave ice is awesome. Every time I see someone claim to have shave ice, I try it. It's always a disappointing chopped ice snow cone. The names should be reversed. Shave ice really is like eating flavored snow. So much so, I wouldn't do lemon.
  • Some of the best restaurants are in unassuming strip malls. Do your research, and get away from the resorts.
  • We did a "fancy" luau. I think it was part of "Pacific O" or something like that. It was cool because we were with a big group. The giant luaus at the resorts look miserable. The people working there and the patrons come out looking beaten down.
  • I had no issues with the natives. They seemed to me to just be a more reserved culture. Definitely proud. I'm sure there are problem people (like any where), but give respect and you get respect.
  • We did a snuba trip. Saw some cool stuff that you don't see out here in the east. Lots of sea turtles, which are so cool.
  • There used to be a guide book that was fantastic to help you find off the beaten path stuff, including the best fresh banana bread at a random stand on a rural road. I'm sure everything is no published on line, but look for that kind of stuff. You don't have to hike to get to it, and sometimes the drive is the best part.
 
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#20
Go more than a week. Target 10 days. You lose a day or two with the travel and jet lag on the way there. The six hour difference wipes you out early.
I didn’t like Oahu. ... I’d probably suggest flying into there, staying 2-3 days to get acclimated then going to Maui for a week.
I can second this. We only spent 3 days in Oahu (just staging from our 3 weeks in AUSNZ). I didn't think it was all that great and would hit the other islands if we ever decided to come back. We did go to a poke place that we saw on Triple D. I was a bit hesitant but I gave it try and have to admit that poke is pretty great.
 

jleves

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#21
I'll see if I can add a little as I've been out there twice.

First trip was for the 2005 Maui Invitational in Maui and then a few days in Oahu for a Hawaii/Wisconsin football game as I went with three guys who grew up in Wisconsin. My Maui experience is limited as our days went something like this: Wake up, eat, golf (on some amazing courses), go watch UConn basketball (where they won every game!), go back to the hotel and start drinking until you couldn't see straight. Rinse, repeat. We didn't do any sight seeing and in November, it's cloudy a lot. We did spend about an hour on the beach one day. Oahu was a similar experience, wake up, eat, drink, wait to go to the football game, drink. Obviously not something that is going to help a lot for a family vacation. But it was still a blast.

Second trip was my honeymoon in summer of 2009 on Kauai. I really love Kauai. We spent a lot of time on the beach at our hotel but pretty much drove around the island everyday. Ask the bell hops and maids who tend to be locals for where to get food, etc. We found some great restaurants where the locals ate and they were fantastic and super cheap. We went to several beaches around the island and they were all great. @Peacefrog mentioned a helicopter tour. If you can swing that (not cheap), it's pretty amazing. We did a 90 minute tour which is a long time and allows you to see just about everything. Two things about the helicopter tour. 1) remember to bring and wear black clothes - long sleeve shirts and maybe even light long pants. Everything reflects inside the helicopter so the darker you can make yourself the better. 2) Make sure if you have a good camera to use a polarized filter. You can correct for almost everything with post production camera software except reflections. A polarized filter fixes that before it's a problem. Finally, he also mentioned people coming back from the Na Pali coast bloody and bruised. I'm guessing those are people who hiked there, which you said you aren't into. We took a raft from Captain Andy's to the Na Pali coast and it was the highlight of our trip. We were told the rafts are the same that Marines use to get to beaches. It can be a little choppy and bumpy at times, but most of the trip is very calm. They stop in the middle of the ocean and let you swim around several hundred feet off the beach which is really cool. They bring you over to Na Pali and you get to see the coast from off shore which is something you obviously can't see from hiking in. It may be the most picturesque and beautiful thing you can ever see. Then you get to snorkel around the cove while they setup an amazing lunch on the beach. Obviously highly recommended. We spent about 12 days on Kauai and never really hiked but saw amazing stuff everyday. Super laid back and a great vacation destination.

That's all I got.
 
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#22
Spudzj6 pretty much nailed it. Probably because he lived there. Most of my comments mirror his. I think his comments are your best resource on here.

I've been to Oahu (brief stay), Maui, Kauai and the Big Island (Hawaii). I agree you need at least 10-12 days. It's pretty much a whole day there and more on the way back (you lose the 5-6 hours because of the time difference on the way back). We spent 5 days on Maui, 5 on Kauai and 3 on the Big Island. If I had to pick 2 islands I would go to Maui and Kauai. If you're going all the way out there I think you should check out more than 1 island. They make it really easy to take planes between the islands and they're not that far from each other (I think the flight from the Big Island to Kauai was about an hour and was the longest one). You'll need to rent a car on all the islands unless you're just planning to go to a resort and stay there. My family can't sit on a beach for more than 3 hours so we hung out at the pool or beach a few hours a day and did a bunch of outdoor things the rest of the day.

Oahu: Didn't really like it. Too commercialized and busy. We were told to spend 1 day there at the beginning of the trip or 1 day on the way home since you have to fly in and out of Honolulu anyway. Went to Pearl Harbor and checked out Honolulu. It was interesting and I'm glad we did it but also glad we only spent 1 day of our vacation there.

Maui: Best of both worlds. Natural beauty. Great beaches. Plenty of outdoor things to do. Enough restaurants and nightlife to have fun. Lahaina is kind of cool to hang out for a night. Do the biking thing down Haleakala, especially with the kids. Although 7 might be too young. We stayed at the Hyatt in Kaanapali. It was great but expensive.

Big Island: The black beaches are cool. We did horseback riding at some ranch in the northern part of the island. Took a helicopter to see the volcano and the lava coming out (not spouting out of the top, just oozing out the sides). The roads right through the lava fields were pretty neat to see. Hung out a few nights in the town of Kailua-Kona. We happened to be there during the Ironman Triathlon so the athletes were partying it up after the race was over. Don't remember where we stayed but it was just south of Waikoloa Village (looking at a map now).

Kauai: Spectacular natural beauty but very quiet. Beaches are nice but I remember the water being too rough to swim some days. The Na Pali coast was spectacular. We did a boat ride out there all along the coast. Checked out Wai mea Canyon one day (the Grand Canyon of the Pacific). The island is pretty quiet and not as developed as Maui. Drove a lot to go to restaurants. We stayed at the Hyatt at Poipu Beach. Very nice but expensive.

Have fun. Wish I was going with you!
 
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#23
I lived in Hawaii up until last year. I don't want to get too into detail here or else I'll be writing a book, but from a mainland perspective this is how most of the "accessible" islands play out:

Oahu - Very crowded, touristy, but will have most everything you need/are familiar with. But also gives you the feel for the Hawaii culture if you venture out a bit. You have more food options, and there are some great beaches, most are crowded, but if you choose this island, let me know and I can point get you to some less crowded spots that will blow your mind. Places to stay - Waikiki endless options, Ko'Olina (west side) with Disney resort available, Kailua (best area for that Hawaii feel but will be paying for it). Someone else said the Luau's are a bit lame, I can agree, but will say its pretty much like that anywhere you go, its a fun little tradition the people of Hawaii put on for tourists. If you find one that features more fire dancing, that's where the magic really happens. BTW, for as much traveling as Ive done and combined with the friends world travels, not one of us can say we have found a better place to watch the Sunset than West Side Oahu.

Maui - Has every bit of greatness Oahu has, but without the crowds. Seriously, you can walk up to great restaurants with no waiting lines where as Oahu you could be waiting an hour or more. Its quieter on the south side, which can lend to more of the intimate feel of Hawaii. If you choose to stay in a resort type, the Lahaina area has everything you'll need without venturing too far. Great Snorkeling and an opportunity to go night snorkeling with Manta Rays - out of this world.

Big Island (Hawaii) - Best island in terms of balance with things to do and places to see. Choosing this island for your main area of stay, you can't go wrong. You will find things to do, and you will see Hawaii in all its wonders, and certainly not as crowded as Oahu, but can be tight in certain areas.

Kauai - My favorite island, and its not even close. However, I am a hiker. This island will be more of the wild hawaii side, hence why it's known as the "Garden Island". If you want adventure, you come here. Without hiking you can take helicopter tours over the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, the Jurassic Park Waterfall (recommend open door helo ride), and the Na Pali Coast. There is a massive double waterfall that you can drive to, no hiking involved. It has a resort area on the east side, so if you want the comfort of that, its there, but in all honesty the beauty of this island rests with its mixture of jungle areas, open canyons and wildlife. It does however have an ridiculously awesome water float ride through an old sugar cane factory, sounds like a kiddie thing to do, but I can personally attest that adults have just as much fun - book early tho, it has grown in popularity.

There are a few other islands that are less accessible, but if you want more info, let me know. Wherever you decide to go, if you decide against a travel agent, I can help point you in a general direction of fun things to do and great food options (seriously, want to swim with dolphins in the open ocean without paying $150 to do so?) Either way, you will have a great time!

Oh and a note on the native islanders not liking whites - while it may be concerning to most, this is mostly false. You should be careful, just as you would traveling to any other place in the world. yes, it's technically a US State, but they have a different culture. As long as you respect their culture, respect the land and don't be stupid or act like a jerk, you'll be fine. I've met some of the best people camping on the beaches with Hawaiian's. Haole is a real term they use for whites, even to your face, but I've only been called that by friends, not out of disrespect. Honestly, I've left my truck in some real shady places, surrounded by real shady looking people, overnight while hiking in the mountains of Oahu. Not once was it messed with. I moved to the suburbs of San Antonio and within a week, someone breaks into my truck. Take out of that what you will.

Don't hesitate to message me direct if you need info, enjoy!
Up until this thread I never knew about the thing against mainlanders. Not being white probably played a role but I noticed zero animosity

There was a Wal-Mart on Maui we'd drive to the people were friendly but mostly stayed to themselves.

Oh spam was huge down there. Like spam sandwiches at McDonald's huge.
 

DaddyChoc

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#24
how much would it cost for 3 young adults to visit Hawaii for 7-10 days, average hotel, flight, regular food, no helicopter, no nightclubs, beaches and pools, and a site or 2 to visit.

I punched in close to 5k just flight and hotel from Connecticut, I'm sure I shouldn't bundle the 2 cause I should just say 1 room with 2 double beds (what I need). Im a Marriott member.

Which airline is best for getting their from Connecticut?
 

Fishy

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#25
I haven't been to Hawaii but on the topic of travel agents - we took a trip to Europe this year when my oldest graduated from college. We went to France, Switzerland, and Italy and since it was so intimidating to arrange the hotels and transportation (we didn't rent a car), we used a travel agent. It was fabulous. We told him what kind of hotel rooms we wanted and how much we wanted to spend for the entire trip. Drivers picked us up at the airports and train stations, the hotels were nice and in perfect locations for us to walk everywhere, and gave us masses of suggestions on side trips/excursions. He even followed us from the States and knew when we missed a train connection, which was nice, for peace of mind.
If you’re planning a big vacation, use an agent.

Aside from being invaluable during planning and handling the dirty work, if something goes wrong, you want a person to call who will handle it for you.

To hotels, cruise lines, resorts, etc., you are just a credit card number. If an agency whose job it is to refer business to these places is calling on your behalf, your leverage goes way, way up.

We like to go on certain cruises and vacations and to stay in certain rooms and we really have to book these things on the first day they become available. People spend hours on hold trying to make reservations on their own - we just tell the agent what we want and her office spends that day on hold for us and we get what we need.

Doesn’t cost us anything, she makes money and she generally arranges something nice for us while we’re away. Works great.
 


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