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Need help planning for Hawaii 9 nights (Aug 3-12)

Need help planning for Hawaii 9 nights (Aug 3-12)

Old Jun 18, 10, 1:41 am
  #1  
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Need help planning for Hawaii 9 nights (Aug 3-12)

We are planning for a 9 nights trip. This is our first trip to Hawaii. We did some research and decided to choose Oahu and Big Island. Actually we prefer Kauai more than Oahu because we are not very interested in crowded place but this is our first trip so we decided to choose Oahu and save Kauai for our next trip.

We will arrive KOA first around 1pm on the first day and then leave HNL at 3pm on the last day. Please give us some helps planning for our trip. How many days should we stay in each island and where should we go in Oahu and the Big Island?

appreciate very much ....
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Old Jun 18, 10, 7:27 am
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6 nights on the Big Island and 3 nights on Oahu. The reason for such a split is: 1). Big Island is big and you need time to explore 2). Oahu as you said is crowed (really only Waikiki) 3). You can hit the highlites on Oahu over your short time there and still have time to relax. One recommendation I have, do one activity a day. It could be 2 hours or a 6 hour activity but only do one. What is the point of traveling many hours, getting stressed out and not enjoying yourself. One example would be go to Pearl Harbor early, then the USS Missouri and maybe the Submarine Museum one day. It would take about six hours but you could be back at the hotels pool by 2 pm.

I don't know your budget or plans but I would consider staying at a condo on the Big Island for all or part of your stay. You could stay all 6 nights in a condo or you could do a luxury hotel the first 3 nights and then a condo the last three. Alot of my reasoning for this is you can do your laundry at your leisure thus having to bring less on your trip. Think about it. My experience while staying in a hotel and laundry is that you need to get up early to wash and dry your clothing because washer space/dryer is very limited. In a condo, you can wash clothes at your convience. While on Oahu, you could stay in a luxury hotel for the final three nights.

As for things to do, sit down and decide before you go. There is so much to do. I could offer something for you to do, you do it and you hated it.
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Old Jun 18, 10, 7:42 pm
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6 Big Island / 3 Oahu is OK.

7 Big Island / 2 Oahu is even better. After one visit to Oahu four years ago, I have no desire to return. Since then, we've done Maui or Maui/Kauai every year.
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Old Jun 18, 10, 9:39 pm
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Since you're not going to Kauai I can't offer any help.

With regard to the above information, however, you might have difficulty renting a condo for three nights. I think most have a five night minimum.
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Old Jun 19, 10, 7:02 am
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Controller and ILuvParis both have valid points. From the research I have done regarding condo's, some are a two night minimum others are three nights. On the Big Island my wife and I have stayed at the Kanaloa at Kona complex. We go through Outrigger and use the Entertainment Card to get 50% off. There was only two of use traveling this time. We could have stayed in a "Fairway View" one bedroom unit for $135 a night this past May. But because I wanted an "Ocean Front View" I forked over $178 per night for the 2 bedroom/2 bath unit with washer/dryer. They also charge a silly fee of $15 per day for A/C, so in reality your nightly rate is $193 per night. This was the third time we stayed in this complex, three different units. All of the units have similar layouts but are decorated differently. No beach but ocean front.

There are plenty of condo's on the Big Island, some are really nice. Depends if you want views, amentities, price, etc. As for Oahu, controller apparently has the same attitude toward Oahu as I. That said, there is still something about Waikiki that drags me in at times. We have traveled to Hawaii eight times in sixteen years. We have stayed on Oahu 5 of those trips. The last two trips my wife wanted something from a particular store so we opted to stay on Oahu. If you do stay on Oahu, stay on the beach if you can afford it. Also, get a room with a view of Diamond Head.

Don't view a trip to Hawaii as just a vacation. Learn the customs, learn the traditions, learn the history, be friendly to the people and respect it all. Also, when you get there, RELAX. Don't get uptight if someone cuts you off, don't get upset if your Mai Tai takes alittle longer to arrive at your table, don't get upset if someone at the cash register is fumbling alittle too long in thier pocketbook. Too many visitors go to Hawaii and treat it as a Disney World. It is not Disney World. You can love vacationing in Hawaii or you can love Hawaii because you have truly learned about Hawaii.
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Old Jun 19, 10, 8:10 am
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I'd say either 6/3 or 5/4. I also went to Oahu on my first trip and haven't returned on 3 subsequent trips and have no plans to in the future. But, on that one trip, we did spend 4 days and kept plenty busy.

Going to see the Arizona, Big Mo, etc. consumes most of the day and is something everyone should do on a first (maybe only) trip. Diamond Head, Hanauma Bay, Dole plantation (if you have kids), North Shore, etc., etc. - there's certainly enough to fill 4 days.

Big Island, we had 4 days last time, and could have easily filled one more day, but I think 5 full days wouldn't have felt "too short". We certainly could keep busy for 6 days, but 5 would do.
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Old Jun 19, 10, 9:11 am
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Regardless of how many nights you spend on Oahu vs the Big Island (or Maui or Kauai), spend your time in Oahu at the beginning of your trip. That way, your trip will only get better. My disappointment with Oahu was it was not the post card image I had of Hawaii in my mind.

Traffic, high-rise office buildings, interstate-type highways, concrete everywhere. That was my initial impression of Oahu. Yes, a trip to the North Shore area helped, but when I returned to Waikiki I once again was reminded of the things I wanted to escape.

IMO, one must do the Pearl Harbor / Arizona tour and it will take up most of a day (at least 3/4 of a day). After that, again IMO, what Oahu has to offer can be seen/experienced on other islands that have that post card image of Hawaii that's in my mind.

Just my two cents worth.
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Old Jun 19, 10, 5:42 pm
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If you're set on BI and Oahu for 9 nights.. then I would recommend 6 nights on BI and the balance in Oahu.. I would concur that you want to spend your last moments on the best island.. so you'll have to choose which is the best, and lasting memory you want to take with you.

I would recommend staying over a Saturday night at BI if you can help it and take in one of three attractions (there may be more)that happen only on Saturday night. First, Gathering of Kings at Fairmont Orchid, Second, Clambake at Mauna Kea, or thirdly, Surf, Sand & Stars at Four Seasons Hualalai. My choices having attended all three over the years is, Surf Sand & Stars, and the other two is a tie.. depending if you like a show.. or all you can lobster. As well Kona Village Luau is on Wed or Fri.

More ecological phenomenon on BI.. active volcano, observatories, Rain Forest, Desert, skiing. Lots of interesting stuff to do.
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Old Jun 20, 10, 12:03 am
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Originally Posted by Bishope2 View Post
6 nights on the Big Island and 3 nights on Oahu. The reason for such a split is: 1). Big Island is big and you need time to explore 2). Oahu as you said is crowed (really only Waikiki) 3). You can hit the highlites on Oahu over your short time there and still have time to relax. One recommendation I have, do one activity a day. It could be 2 hours or a 6 hour activity but only do one. What is the point of traveling many hours, getting stressed out and not enjoying yourself. One example would be go to Pearl Harbor early, then the USS Missouri and maybe the Submarine Museum one day. It would take about six hours but you could be back at the hotels pool by 2 pm.

I don't know your budget or plans but I would consider staying at a condo on the Big Island for all or part of your stay. You could stay all 6 nights in a condo or you could do a luxury hotel the first 3 nights and then a condo the last three. Alot of my reasoning for this is you can do your laundry at your leisure thus having to bring less on your trip. Think about it. My experience while staying in a hotel and laundry is that you need to get up early to wash and dry your clothing because washer space/dryer is very limited. In a condo, you can wash clothes at your convience. While on Oahu, you could stay in a luxury hotel for the final three nights.

As for things to do, sit down and decide before you go. There is so much to do. I could offer something for you to do, you do it and you hated it.
Thank you. So, I'll plan to go to Pearl Harbor, the USS Missouri and Submarine Museum on the first day. I will go to North Shore on the second day. But not sure about the third day? I like snorkeling, should I do it in Oahu or in the Big Island?
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Old Jun 20, 10, 12:08 am
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Originally Posted by controller1 View Post
6 Big Island / 3 Oahu is OK.

7 Big Island / 2 Oahu is even better. After one visit to Oahu four years ago, I have no desire to return. Since then, we've done Maui or Maui/Kauai every year.
We also think that we will not like Oahu. But it's too famous in Hawaii so we decide to try it first

Is 7 Big Island too long? I just think of the Volcanoes National Park, Maunea Kea and the green and/or black sand beach. What else should we go in TBI?
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Old Jun 20, 10, 12:10 am
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Originally Posted by Bishope2 View Post
Controller and ILuvParis both have valid points. From the research I have done regarding condo's, some are a two night minimum others are three nights. On the Big Island my wife and I have stayed at the Kanaloa at Kona complex. We go through Outrigger and use the Entertainment Card to get 50% off. There was only two of use traveling this time. We could have stayed in a "Fairway View" one bedroom unit for $135 a night this past May. But because I wanted an "Ocean Front View" I forked over $178 per night for the 2 bedroom/2 bath unit with washer/dryer. They also charge a silly fee of $15 per day for A/C, so in reality your nightly rate is $193 per night. This was the third time we stayed in this complex, three different units. All of the units have similar layouts but are decorated differently. No beach but ocean front.

There are plenty of condo's on the Big Island, some are really nice. Depends if you want views, amentities, price, etc. As for Oahu, controller apparently has the same attitude toward Oahu as I. That said, there is still something about Waikiki that drags me in at times. We have traveled to Hawaii eight times in sixteen years. We have stayed on Oahu 5 of those trips. The last two trips my wife wanted something from a particular store so we opted to stay on Oahu. If you do stay on Oahu, stay on the beach if you can afford it. Also, get a room with a view of Diamond Head.

Don't view a trip to Hawaii as just a vacation. Learn the customs, learn the traditions, learn the history, be friendly to the people and respect it all. Also, when you get there, RELAX. Don't get uptight if someone cuts you off, don't get upset if your Mai Tai takes alittle longer to arrive at your table, don't get upset if someone at the cash register is fumbling alittle too long in thier pocketbook. Too many visitors go to Hawaii and treat it as a Disney World. It is not Disney World. You can love vacationing in Hawaii or you can love Hawaii because you have truly learned about Hawaii.
Thank you for very helpful information. That helps a lot.
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Old Jun 20, 10, 12:27 am
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We booked the ticket before posting this. It's unlucky that we will go to KOA first and then come back from HNL. It's just because the fight is cheaper. I didn't think that HNL will be disappointed

It seems like Oahu is not very interesting to most of you. We start to think that we would go to Kauai instead of Oahu But this is our first trip, so we must give it a try

Could you suggest us more things to do in TBI, besides the volcanoes, Maunea Kea and the green/black sand beach? That takes about 3 days to do it, so what else for the 3-4 days left?

Should we drive from KOA to Hilo and then discover the volcanoes next day and then come back? or should we do it in one day? Or maybe should we stay in Hilo and take the fight to HNL from ITO? Which one will be the best?

Is snorkeling in TBI more beautiful than Oahu?

We are from a mountain place so we are not interested in skiing at all. We do it whole winter

Thanks a lot!
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Old Jun 20, 10, 7:45 am
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Oahu and BI

Aloha! You'll be heading over to Hawaii when my hubby and I are heading home (whah... I know we won't want to leave!).

We would have loved to do what you are doing because we wanted to see Oahu, too. I can only speak from the point of someone who has done extensive research over the last few months (this is also my first trip), but from what I read, it sounds like you would need much more time on the BI because it's so spread out, but you could easily enjoy yourselves on Oahu, too, for a few days at the end of the trip.

Don't be discouraged by the order in which you're doing things. Hawaii is Hawaii, period! Since my hubby and I live on the East Coast Mainland, going at all is a huge dream come true for both of us, and I'm sure you may feel the same way since it's your first trip. If we were going to Oahu, we'd do Pearl Harbor, Waikiki (not because we like crowds but because we just love beaches, and they show movies on the beach there at night, supposedly), and then the North Shore. We would have LOVED to have taken the Lost tour since we are huge fans of the show, but there is so much more to do there. Actually, you've got a great order in mind. You can do the more strenuous hiking and sightseeing, Mauna Kea, etc., on the BI and then hang out and relax on Oahu before you leave. We're not fans of crowds either, but it wouldn't stop us from enjoying ourselves on Oahu!

On the BI, we're planning to do all of the following: hike Waipio Valley, hang out at Kahalu'u and some of the other major beaches, do a few boat tours and a luau, take a tour or drive up to Mauna Kea to see the stars, and hang out in Volcanoes National Park. We may also check out Pololu Valley. We're going to spend two days alone in Volcanoes National Park so we can see lava at night if possible and also check out the Kilaeau Iki Trail. We've got a huge week planned, but it will really be fun! We're not even 100% sure we'll be able to do everything, but this is a trip of a lifetime to us, so of course we're going to do all we can do! (We're going for 8 days).

Hope you have a great trip! Sorry I can't offer much more advice, but it sounds like you're doing it right and should have a really nice trip!


Christina
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Old Jun 20, 10, 10:51 pm
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Fabulous Big Island

Originally Posted by hoantvn View Post
Is 7 Big Island too long? I just think of the Volcanoes National Park, Maunea Kea and the green and/or black sand beach. What else should we go in TBI?
7 nights on the Big Island is great....you will wonder where the time went.
You can do as little or as much as you want. Since you are flying into KOA....spend the first 5 nights in a lovely South Kohala condo. Many of them are newly built(Include A/C) in the Waikoloa beach Resort. 2 small shopping centers and retaurants nearby. This area is close to some of the best beaches on the Island...Hapuna and the beach fronting the Mauna Kea Resort. The South Kohala region is noted for it's sunny skies, no rain climate.
There are 11 different microclimates on the Big Island and exploring them is wonderful. There is Coffee country to the south of Kailu-Kona.
Snorkeling on the BIg Island is the best in the whole state. South near Kealakekua Bay...there are boat charters that will take you out.
Watching the Manta Rays at RKR at night
Explore Hilo town's famous Farmer's market and environs.
Suggest the last 2 nights be spent Hilo side...either in Hilo or in Volcano.
Fly out of ITO-HNL. Check when you rent your vehicle as to one-way drop off fees. Some agencies have them...some do not. I believe Alamo may not charge a drop off fee.
Enjoy!
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Old Jun 26, 10, 5:28 pm
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To the OP: I had too long of an entry to include here--check your private messages.
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