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Help! Kepp getting conflicting advice regarding which island and how long?

Help! Kepp getting conflicting advice regarding which island and how long?

Old Jul 15, 10, 4:40 pm
  #1  
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Help! Kepp getting conflicting advice regarding which island and how long?

Wife and I have either 8 or 9 days for Hawaii. This will be our first time. We want to see all of Hawaii at some point but realistically I can't see us going more than every 3 or 4 years. We have time and money for 1 trip per year and also like to do Europe pretty often and would like to make trips to central america, brazil, australia, and a few places in asia. Basically we can not go to hawaii more than 1/3 or 1/4 trips. That may even be generous because I just thought about how I want to see the rockies, british columbia, and alaska too.

We are pretty active and really into nature and beautiful places. We also like to hang out on the beach if its relatively uncrowded and pretty. We are not interested in shopping, restaurants or nightlife. I am pretty sure we have zero desire to visit honolulu.

In general we move at a pretty fast pace. We have never spent more than 5 nights anywhere and that was one place on our honeymoon last year. Otherwise we have spent no more than three days anywhere. To give you an idea of us, consider our trip last year. This was about the right pace for us and most would probably consider it to be pretty hectic.

Day 1: Geneva
Day 2-5 Avignon area hitting avignon, orange, les baux, arles, st. remy, point du garde, nimes, aix en provence.
day 6-grand canyon du verdon
day 7-9: Cannes, Nice, st. rafael, antiibes, grasse, gourdon
day 10-12: Monaco, Cinque Terre, Milan
Day 13: Lugano
Day 14-16: Jungfrau region

I have already redeemed a one way award to kauai. I got the date I wanted and was pretty sure I wanted to go to Kauai so I just booked it. I could cancel but it would cost $100 to redeposit.

So I was thinking that we should do two islands with 8 or 9 days. These days are full days and do no include flights to the mainland. Total days gone from home will be 10 or 11. Have not decided if I want to burn the last day of vacation.

So my brother has basically steered me away from oahu. Thought it was too comercialized and says its like California. Nothing special about it. My buddy was telling me that it does have some really good beaches away from HNL that I might enjoy.

My brother and his wife really love Maui. He says that he has seen more awesome sights there than anywhere and that there are so many places to see. I was originally thinking kauai and maui but my brother and sister inlaw made me take out Maui. They basically led me to believe that there are more sights there than anywhere and that I should spend more than 4 days there. They led me to believe that I want to spend a week there. I don't know why but neither of them really enjoyed Kauai.

I was kind of thinking that we will make two trips in the next few years for 8-9 days each. So i was thinking one trip with kauai and big island for four days each and then one with maui and oahu split like 6 and 2. But I am really not sure when the second trip is going to happen and for how long. I am pretty sure that if we have two weeks to work with though we are going to Asia or Australia and anything under a week we are unlikely to go to Hawaii.

So I was going along with the idea of kauai followed by big island for 4 days each. I am running into the problem however that there is really no good flight from LIH-KOA. The last flight of the day I want (2/23) is at 5:40pm. It requires a connection. I am just pretty annoyed at the connection and the fact that the flight is so early. I am wondering if a schedule change is likely to result in a later flight. I kind of feel it takes a good portion of the day and ruins half of it. If I could fly at 8pm or so I would then feel like the day is not ruined. Only dinner is spoiled which I don't care so much about.

So it started crossing my mind that maybe kauai and big island should not be mixed. They are the only two islands that require a connection. I then asked my wife's sister and her husband and they have basically told me the opposite of what my brother said. They think I can easily spend 8 days in kauai alone. That we will not get bored. They also think that if I do another island it should be maui. In there opinion maui has less to see and deserves less time then the big island. They also think that I should spend two nights in Hilo for the volcano and I was thinking day trip from Kona.

So now I am totally confused. I was hoping to use the week around presidents day. I already have saturday 2/19 booked from ORD-LIH. It will cost me $100 to cancel it. I have KOA-LAX-ORD on 2/27 late night held until tomorrow.

Coming back from maui looks difficult right now as first available flight is 3/1 and that is probably too late. ORD-OGG on 2/19 is available. 2/27 and 2/28 are ok to come back from LIH, KOA or HNL. If I don't book the KOA-ORD flight on 2/27 that I have held I am pretty sure it is going to dissapear, but 2/28 should be OK.

I don't know whether I should book the 2/27 KOA-LAX-ORD I have reserved, book 2/27 HNL-ORD nonstop or 2/27 LIH-LAX-ORD or wait and see what's available later.
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Old Jul 16, 10, 2:35 pm
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Chill out, don't over think this.

Each Island has many nice attributes. Just make the mainland connections and fill in any one way travel. I have enjoyed all four islands over the years and have not been bored by revisiting them. We are returning to Maui later this summer for the first time in about six years.

Life is too short to worry about this kind of stuff. just know that you'll have a good time on whichever island(s) you choose!
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Old Jul 16, 10, 3:14 pm
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Everything stops in HNL to connect because its more efficient.

With only 4 days per island, I would suggest Maui with Kauai. Both are smaller and more manageable with only 4 days.

I would recommend 8-9 days just for the Big Island alone on a separate trip. There is so much to see & do here for an active vacation that less than 7-8 days is a guarantee you will miss out on several good things.

Since you are active folks, be sure to get up to Haleakala Crater on Maui. If you are into hiking then be sure to hike down into the crater. Awesome place.
There are also some great hikes out of Hana / 7 sacred pools area.
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Old Jul 16, 10, 3:23 pm
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Hawaii

JPat is correct. Each island offers so many different things to see and do. The worst thing you can do is spread too many islands into a trip if your time is limited to "see everything". You'll SEE, but not feel it...To really FEEL each island you need a min of say 4-5 days with your excursions spread out giving you time to relax in between to "dig your toes in the sand" sort of thing. A trip like that will get you wanting to come back for more and to visit the others that same way. I've been out there 5 times. Each time I keep extending the number of days. 2006-17 days, 2008-23 days, 2011-working on 28. Favorites: Kauai and Maui, but hey Oahu outside the tourist areas are cool too. Good luck in your planning !
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Old Jul 16, 10, 3:24 pm
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"I am pretty sure we have zero desire to visit honolulu." Don't forget the Arizona Memorial!
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Old Jul 16, 10, 4:15 pm
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Originally Posted by JPat View Post
Chill out, don't over think this.

+1

Each Island has many nice attributes. Just make the mainland connections and fill in any one way travel. I have enjoyed all four islands over the years and have not been bored by revisiting them. We are returning to Maui later this summer for the first time in about six years.

Life is too short to worry about this kind of stuff. just know that you'll have a good time on whichever island(s) you choose!
We spent four days on Kauai and Oahu each, and could have spent more time on both islands. Between hiking up Diamond Head, wandering around Oahu (going to Boots and Kemos for macadamia nut pancakes and the Rainbow Drive-in) there was a lot to do and see. If you liked Lost you can see some of the locations where the TV show was filmed. True, Honolulu is crowded, but once you get away from the city everything is relaxing and inviting.
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Old Jul 16, 10, 4:34 pm
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Thanks all,

I guess I have just decided to go ahead and book this return ticket to Chicago from Kona. I can't get a flight from Maui on the date I want and it seems like its not worth it to cancel my outbound to lihue and start from scratch. I read a bunch about big island last night and am pretty comfortable with 4 days there. We can always go back, but I guess I would prefer to do a little of each island at a time rather than focusing on one island at a time.

This reservation expires at midnight so I will do it in a couple of hours.
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Old Jul 16, 10, 4:40 pm
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Originally Posted by KenfromDE View Post
"I am pretty sure we have zero desire to visit honolulu." Don't forget the Arizona Memorial!
Just got back from HNL and did not go see either Pearl Harbor or the Arizona Memorial.

Wife nor child (4yrs) were too keen to see it so I missed it this time around.

But the North Shore is awesome and the drive from North to South is AMAZING. We stayed in Waikiki and it was too crowded for me.
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Old Jul 16, 10, 4:49 pm
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Well, based upon your travel style I was going to suggest Kauai/Maui but I see that the Kona flight worked out better for you. You won't get any argument from me - you can't go wrong. On the Big Island we really enjoy snorkeling and I prefer the tours that go to Captain Cook etc over shore snorkeling, but it's basically because I like starting out in deeper water and going into shallow water - a lazy snorkeler. You'll probably like the Kiluea Iki hike at VNP. Hiking is great on Kauai too - it's our favorite hiking island. Here's a link to some hiking info for Kauai: http://www.kauaiexplorer.com/hiking_kauai/ We liked the Pihea trail and the Kuilau trail. Both are fairly easy hikes (I see that they are rated moderate - I thought that the Pihea had "some moments", but Kuilau was pretty easy but not flat).

We once booked a four hour layover in Honolulu and hiked up Diamondhead. Since you have to connect, you may be able to see something interesting in Honolulu during a long layover.

Last edited by comesatime; Jul 16, 10 at 4:54 pm Reason: fix trail name
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Old Jul 16, 10, 8:47 pm
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Pick two islands and spend 4 days on each. My favorites are the B.I. and Maui. But any combo would be very enjoyable. Quit listening to all your relatives & just pick any two.
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Old Jul 16, 10, 10:06 pm
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Was just about to book tickets from big island and then saw that maui-ORD opened up on the day I wanted. However after talking it over with wifey, she says that we have many other places to go before we go to hawaii again. So we are doing the two islands that we want to see the most, not the two islands that fit the schedule best. Meaning we both seem the most into Kauai and big island so I guess that is what we are going to do.
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Old Jul 16, 10, 11:54 pm
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Originally Posted by hindukid
Was just about to book tickets from big island and then saw that maui-ORD opened up on the day I wanted. However after talking it over with wifey, she says that we have many other places to go before we go to hawaii again. So we are doing the two islands that we want to see the most, not the two islands that fit the schedule best. Meaning we both seem the most into Kauai and big island so I guess that is what we are going to do.
I think that's a good combo--the oldest and newest of the major islands. It'll be a good contrast. Enjoy--you won't know what you're missing on the other islands as you'll be too focused on the ones you're on.
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Old Jul 17, 10, 9:18 am
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It's hard to go wrong between Maui, Kaua'i, and Hawai'i. Each has plenty to see, and you could spend 8-9 days on one island alone (though I get bored after about 5)

We've been to the islands three times in the last six years that the count is Oahu - 1, Kaua'i - 1; Hawai'i - 2; Maui - 3. Next trip will certainly include Kaua'i and I think we will do 2 of the 3 each two week trip (excluding Oahu) going forward.

I'm glad we went to Oahu - we had to go to Pearl and see the Arizona Memorial, Big Mo, etc. - but probably won't be back for a while. Not that it's bad - it's like having a date with the 4th prettiest girl at the Miss Universe pageant, but the top three are waiting for you

If you're looking for active plans for a few islands, check under my history for a post from about 5-6 years ago. I posted an itinerary that got a universal "are you crazy, you'll be exhausted, just relax" response, but we did all but one of the items and it was perfect. Of course we always manage to put 3-00 miles/wk on a rental car on any of the islands, Aruba, Grand Cayman, St. Kitts, etc.
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