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10 day 3 island trip need ideas

10 day 3 island trip need ideas

Old Nov 11, 16, 12:29 am
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10 day 3 island trip need ideas

Hi FT experts,
I'd like you to critique my travel plan.

First off, it has been more than 4 years since I last travelled for vacation, so it is quite possible that I missed something very basic. Please don't hesistate to point out anything I missed.

I am traveling to Hawaii with my wife and 4 year old son. My friend and her husband may join us at Big Island, but that is not confirmed.

About us
I am more a nature person and I don't like bustling city that much. My wife loves both city and nature. My son is very active for his age and loves to do 2-3 mile hikes. We chose to skip pearl harbor and other historic structures. We also chose to skip wet and wild water park, since it is not different from a water park near my home. We are hoping to do some beach time, possibly swim with him in the hotel pool, since my son loves swimming. Also, we'd love to go to falls where my son can swim. We also want to get ideas to reduce "lets take turns taking care of kid" for activities and see which can be done by all together.

Travel Plan
Jan 10th- Flying to Honolulu (landing around noon) - staying at Waikiki Trump (we found it to be the only upscale hotel with kitchenette). Check-in hotel and laze around at beach and dinner.
Jan 11th - Morning no plans - need advice on a 1-2 hour activity. 1p to 3p Atlantis submarine.
Jan 12th - do plantation tour in morning and hike manoa falls trail in the afternoon.
Jan 13th - Flight (to KOA) at 2 PM, so lunch and fly/checking till 4/5PM. Checkin at CY King, Kona.
No other plans for 13th, may be will go star gazing later in the evening. Will probably take turns with wife while son is asleep in room.
Jan 14th - Zipline at Akaka falls morning. Lunch somewhere in Hilo and probably will drive back around 2-3PM.
Jan 15th - Circle Island tour - my friend couple may join us for the tour - it is 12 hour 6 AM to 6PM. So probably done for the day.
Jan 16th - Morning need ideas - Afternoon 1-6 water adventures - banana boat, jet ski etc, taking turns with wife but it will be great if anyone can suggest activities where a 4 yr old is allowed.
Jan 17th - Morning need ideas - Afternoon flying to OGG at 2PM. Will be checked in around 5PM. Checking at wailea marriot. Will probably walk around wailea beach.
Jan 18th - Will be snorkeling for few hours. Maybe take surf lessons after that.
Jan 19th - Molokini island turtle watching - but may be something else. Suggestions welcome.
Jan 20th - Fly back to honolulu morning 8:45 and starting home afternoon 12:33 pm.

Cost (USD)
Flight - 1,450
Inter island flight - 890
Honolulu room + car - 1450
Honolulu car park - 105
Big island room + car + circle tour - 1350
Big island park - 60
Maui room + car - 1100
Maui car park - 75
2 bags main flight checkin - 105
2 bags interisland checking (with hawaii miles card) - 105
Food (in all places) - 1000
Atlantis submarine - 250
Zipline - 200
Water adventure - 400
some activities I haven't booked yet.
Is there something I completely didn't budget for?

Thanks!
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Old Nov 12, 16, 11:39 am
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It may be just me, but why are you going all the way to the Big Island and not touring VPN or the active lava flows? Assuming the lava is still meeting the ocean when you go, it's worth the hike to see it, even if from afar.
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Old Nov 12, 16, 11:58 am
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Hi slippahs,
the grand circle tour has volcanoes national park in it. Is there a separate tour just for lava flow that I should do instead? I am doing with polynesian tours and they do volcanoes national park as part of circle tour. They don't guarantee active lava flow, but I was thinking that they would still show the volcano.

What do you recommend?


Thanks!
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Old Nov 12, 16, 12:34 pm
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On Jan 11, early in the morning (before 9am), I would recommend the Diamond Head Hike. I believe the parking fee is $1 for inside the crater, and then it's all uphill to the top of Diamond Head with a great view of Waikiki and Honolulu. It's actually not as hard as some say - I've seen women in heels on that trail

On Jan 13, right next to the KOA airport is a Seahorse farm. I don't know their prices or age requirements for this, but seahorses are cool!

I also recommend the Kona Brewing Company for a meal. Your 4yr old likely precludes a tour, but the restaurant there is a good place for a casual meal.

Your plan does have you driving to Hilo from Kona twice - and this is 60-90 minutes each way on it's own without spending time doing anything else. If you time it right, a stop at the Mauna Kea visitor center after sunset (about 6pm) when many people setup their telescopes for public viewing can be fun. But - 4yr old! I don't know if I'd drive up here during the day, as there isn't much to see until it gets dark (and it's sometimes cloudy at this level too)
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Old Nov 12, 16, 1:11 pm
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I've been to Oahu 3 times with wife and 2 kids. We like to stay at Ko Olina, and there some great deals on VRBO, however most owners want more than 3 nights. The Ko Olina Beach villas are very family friendly.

I've also been 3 times on the snorkel boat tour, which kids of all ages love! Friends I suggested, returned and say it's the highlight of their Oahu trip

http://koolinaoceanadventures.com/dolphin-snorkel/
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Old Nov 12, 16, 7:34 pm
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Originally Posted by CRAZ8 View Post
On Jan 11, early in the morning (before 9am), I would recommend the Diamond Head Hike. I believe the parking fee is $1 for inside the crater, and then it's all uphill to the top of Diamond Head with a great view of Waikiki and Honolulu. It's actually not as hard as some say - I've seen women in heels on that trail
This is a great idea. Thanks I'll do this. It does not seem like hard one either. 1.6 miles is perfect for me.

Your plan does have you driving to Hilo from Kona twice - and this is 60-90 minutes each way on it's own without spending time doing anything else.
If you time it right, a stop at the Mauna Kea visitor center after sunset (about 6pm) when many people setup their telescopes for public viewing can be fun. But - 4yr old! I don't know if I'd drive up here during the day, as there isn't much to see until it gets dark (and it's sometimes cloudy at this level too)
I am guessing you mean driving once from K->H and H->K. I see what you mean, it is 3 hours of activities wasted if spent with sun overhead. I'll try to return around 7 after checking the visitior center. A great suggestion. BTW, is it okay to drive late in the night around 7 or 8 PM from Hilo to Kona? I saw people say that the road is winding. Is there any precaution I should take?

Originally Posted by Phil Level View Post
I've been to Oahu 3 times with wife and 2 kids. We like to stay at Ko Olina, and there some great deals on VRBO, however most owners want more than 3 nights. The Ko Olina Beach villas are very family friendly.

I've also been 3 times on the snorkel boat tour, which kids of all ages love! Friends I suggested, returned and say it's the highlight of their Oahu trip

http://koolinaoceanadventures.com/dolphin-snorkel/
Will keep this in mind. Thanks a lot! I'll skip the plantation and do snorkel instead.

Last edited by FlyinHawaiian; Nov 13, 16 at 8:28 am Reason: releasing from moderation queue and merging consecutive posts
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Old Nov 13, 16, 12:21 am
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Originally Posted by CRAZ8 View Post
On Jan 11, early in the morning (before 9am), I would recommend the Diamond Head Hike. I believe the parking fee is $1 for inside the crater, and then it's all uphill to the top of Diamond Head with a great view of Waikiki and Honolulu. It's actually not as hard as some say - I've seen women in heels on that trail.
Diamond Head opens at 6 AM. $5 a car inside crater or $1 per walk in person. Plenty of time to catch sunrise at 7:10 AM.
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Old Nov 13, 16, 1:14 am
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Originally Posted by vsound View Post
This is a great idea. Thanks I'll do this. It does not seem like hard one either. 1.6 miles is perfect for me.



I am guessing you mean driving once from K->H and H->K. I see what you mean, it is 3 hours of activities wasted if spent with sun overhead. I'll try to return around 7 after checking the visitior center. A great suggestion. BTW, is it okay to drive late in the night around 7 or 8 PM from Hilo to Kona? I saw people say that the road is winding. Is there any precaution I should take?
There are three ways to travel between Kona and Hilo: (i) the Kohala Coast route; (ii) the Saddle Road route; and (iii) the back route that will go past Kealakekua and near South Point. The fastest is Saddle Road, which used to be a not so safe drive (I almost lost my life on it many years ago) but is much improved over the last few years. All roads are one lane in both directions, no street lights, and some twists and turns (e.g., from Kamuela down to Kawaiahe. Just take your time, heed the speed limits, and don't be intimidated by the faster drivers.

Don't know if there are organized tours to see the lava flow; but I would definitely build it into your plans if the lava is still flowing when you get there.
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Old Nov 13, 16, 2:28 am
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Just a personal suggestion, stay at Marriott Waikoloa instead of King K. Or anywhere in Waikoloa. The King K is fine, except no decent beaches, more of an adult pool, farther driving to the things you want to see, and especially, VOG.

As far as cost, not sure if you factored in resort fee's, but they add up to a lot very quickly.

Last edited by tatterdema; Nov 13, 16 at 2:40 am
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Old Nov 13, 16, 10:44 pm
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Hi tatterdema, my original iternary had mauna kea beach hotel. I however read reviews (with scary photos) of bedbugs in TripAdvisor and changed my plan to the current one. There are not much reviews here about MK beach hotel. I have hapuna beach price hotel also available. Do you have recommendations? Marriot and Hilton waikaloa village are unavailable on these dates

Reg resort fees: I looked at King K and the reviews say no resort fee, the waikiki one does not have as well. The maui marriot has resort fee covered as part of the room cost.

Last edited by vsound; Nov 13, 16 at 11:28 pm Reason: updating hilton and marriot waikaloa
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Old Nov 13, 16, 10:51 pm
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Maybe it's just me, but even visiting two islands in 10 days is "pushing it"!!! Heck 7 days on the Big Island seemed short to me for my recent & 3rd visit to the islands, and I'm already plotting a 4th visit in the next year or so because there's still too much to see and experience!!!

You need budget time to relax on the beach or pool and enjoy the moment and take in the scenery and decompress! For me it takes a couple days to slow down! Keep in mind that doing the transfer from one island to another chews up a good half day to check out/in hotel, rental car, and airport nonsense!

Agreed on getting a better hotel on the Big Island maybe in the Waikoloa area, Hilton Waikoloa is huge and family oriented, but might not be your thing. I stayed at the Fairmont Orchid up in Puako and loved it! Pricey yes but well worth it! Check out the Mauna Lani, seemed like a nice place and a bit more reasonable in price. Also consider a night in VNP!

Last edited by Arthurrs; Nov 13, 16 at 11:05 pm
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Old Nov 14, 16, 11:53 am
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Originally Posted by vsound View Post
Hi tatterdema, my original iternary had mauna kea beach hotel. I however read reviews (with scary photos) of bedbugs in TripAdvisor and changed my plan to the current one. There are not much reviews here about MK beach hotel. I have hapuna beach price hotel also available. Do you have recommendations? Marriot and Hilton waikaloa village are unavailable on these dates

Reg resort fees: I looked at King K and the reviews say no resort fee, the waikiki one does not have as well. The maui marriot has resort fee covered as part of the room cost.
I would choose the Hapuna Prince any day over King K. It is a very nice property on a beautiful beach. Looks like King K dropped their resort fee, which is great. They also lowered their parking fee from what it was when I stayed there. It is a great little hotel if you do end up there, I just would never stay in that area again. Do pay attention to people that warn about the VOG (I didn't, and wish I had). I was there for a week, and the sun was gone by noon every single day. Every day I would drive out to Waikoloa area to find sun. I would especially be concerned having a child with me.
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Old Nov 14, 16, 8:43 pm
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I recently stayed at the Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, and wouldn't recommend it. We had a variety of service errors, and lackluster or non-existent service recovery. While the hotel itself is nice and the location is great, the service problems pulled the rug out from under their claims to be a world-class resort. My impression was that it used to be a spectacular place that is now living on reputation that has long since failed to be upheld, including guests who come back year after year solely due to long-past memories and an "emperor has no clothes" inability to see the decline.
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Old Nov 14, 16, 9:16 pm
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Originally Posted by tatterdema View Post
I would choose the Hapuna Prince any day over King K. It is a very nice property on a beautiful beach. Looks like King K dropped their resort fee, which is great. They also lowered their parking fee from what it was when I stayed there. It is a great little hotel if you do end up there, I just would never stay in that area again. Do pay attention to people that warn about the VOG (I didn't, and wish I had). I was there for a week, and the sun was gone by noon every single day. Every day I would drive out to Waikoloa area to find sun. I would especially be concerned having a child with me.
I've booked in Hapuna Prince. Thanks so much.
DJ_Iceman - Thanks for confirming my cancellation.

Arthurrs - I see what you mean and I am starting to share your concern. I'll see what I can bargain with my spouse for free days
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Old Nov 14, 16, 11:52 pm
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vsound: If you are seeking a tour of lava flows:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attracti...ii_Hawaii.html
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