Join Early Retirement Today
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
First trip to Hawaii in December
Old 03-31-2008, 08:14 PM   #1
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Houston
Posts: 1,435
First trip to Hawaii in December

My wife and I are going to Hawaii for 7 days later this year, we've never been. Thinking of spending splitting the time between Oahu and Maui.

Can anyone comment on the new Superferry service between the islands? Should we take our rental car on it or return and re-rent?

What's a reasonable budget for the trip (excluding airfare)? We are thinking a decent hotel will run about $175/night, are there any better price/value options for lodging (such as B&Bs)?

Any other recommendations or must-see activities that might not be in the travel guide? Looking to avoid the uber-touristy crap. We're in our twenties and game for anything.

Appreciate your advice!
__________________

__________________
soupcxan is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that Early-Retirement.org is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 03-31-2008, 09:02 PM   #2
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 284
1.Conventional wisdom is that you do one island in seven days. Packing and going to the airport/arriving/unpacking can take up more than half a day. If you are going for seven days, you have only 6 nights accomodation. One day flying in, one day flying out leaves only 4 free days. Don't waste one of them in another airport.

2. As I understand it, rental cars are not allowed on Superferry.

3. In early December, $175 a night would get a decent, but not perfect place. In later December, the Christmas holidays are going to really bring the prices up. And, remember there is an 11% state tax on accomodations. I checked on Expedia.com - Upgrade your browser and see the world for Maui hotels the week of December 6, as an example. There are rooms, but you'd get a nicer place for $200 a night. For the week of Christmas, many of the big hotels are already sold out.

4. The price of meals will shock you, especially if you are dependent on your hotels for meals. A condo can save you money if you eat simple breakfasts and lunches, and maybe have a modest dinner out.

5. If it were me, I'd spend the entire time in Maui. I had a friend who just came back from Maui and really loved Lahaina shores condominium.

6. If you are on Maui, you will need a rental car. Don't wait too long to reserve the rate. Last December, there were no rentals available for the last week. And the last ones rented were unbelieveably expensive.

7. Cheap Flights, Airline Tickets, Cheap Airfare & Discount Travel Deals - Kayak.com is great for comparing airfares/hotels/car rentals.

8. ..VRBOŽ is Vacation Rentals by OwnerŽ Vacation Homes Rentals by Owner can give you an idea about condo rentals.
__________________

__________________
A854321 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2008, 09:52 PM   #3
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,619
Quote:
Originally Posted by soupcxan View Post
My wife and I are going to Hawaii for 7 days later this year, we've never been. Thinking of spending splitting the time between Oahu and Maui.
(FAQ archive) E komo mai Hawaii!, especially Hawaii Vacations - Hawaii Travel - 101 Things To Do in Hawaii - Hawaiian Island Information -

Quote:
Originally Posted by soupcxan View Post
Can anyone comment on the new Superferry service between the islands? Should we take our rental car on it or return and re-rent?
The travel agents & dealers are much better set up to offer you a fly/drive package. It's such the custom that it can be tough to separate the car price from the airfare.

What A8 said about rentals. The SuperFerry just got back in the water after a few weeks in drydock, so the Kahului run may not be as controversial as it was. But it had a nasty habit of getting canx by weather or pier damage and stranding people... perhaps to sleep in their cars. Don't even get us started on the politics and protest controversy-- it's easier to build a nuclear power plant in Diamond Head crater than to run the SuperFerry.

Plying the Maui-Oauh route in December is serious open-ocean and mid-channel weather. The ship is a SWATH but it still had to cancel an occasional run due to high (20-foot+) seas. Seasickness complaints were common and it's a three-hour route.

When I priced a three-day package between Oahu & Kahului with airfare against the SuperFerry, the fly/rental price was actually cheaper. Since then the SuperFerry's fuel surcharge is probably even higher. The SF also left Oahu early in the morning (which would have meant an even earlier showtime to avoid rush-hour traffic) and didn't offer near the flexible flight times that the airplanes offer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by soupcxan View Post
What's a reasonable budget for the trip (excluding airfare)? We are thinking a decent hotel will run about $175/night, are there any better price/value options for lodging (such as B&Bs)?
You're in & out pretty quickly for a weekly rental but you may find a better deal with a vacation rental from VRBO.com. The challenge is that December is high season, fully booked, and last-minute availabilities may literally be that.
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-31-2008, 11:19 PM   #4
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
clifp's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 7,451
An update to the interisland travel. The #2 airline in the State Aloha just filed for chapter 11. This is their 3rd trip into bankruptcy in the last decade or so, and there is a decent chance they may shut down entirely.

Nords is right, as promising as the Superferry looked, it has had some major problems. My roommate took her car (complete with surfboards) to Maui during Xmas and had very good experience. But, reliablity has been an issue.

I'd book interisland flights sooner rather than latter because I think the days of $70 flights will soon be replaced with $200 between the islands.
__________________
clifp is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2008, 12:36 AM   #5
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,619
I sure hope none of the Aloha execs are related to or even know anyone associated with this weekend's Merrie Monarch. That whole abrupt shutdown, just before one of the Big Island's major annual revenue events, seems like an awfully convenient coincidence. No wonder the govt is ticked at them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by clifp View Post
I'd book interisland flights sooner rather than latter because I think the days of $70 flights will soon be replaced with $200 between the islands.
Heh, remember the dire predictions of that a few years ago before go! airlines started to shake things up? This history seems to put Aloha on the verge of bankruptcy or consolidation since the 1950s:
http://starbulletin.com/2008/03/31/n...atimelineb.jpg

In a few months $200 may be just the amount of the fuel surcharge...
__________________
*
*

The book written on E-R.org, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2008, 01:16 AM   #6
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 260
You're gonna need about $600 for the cool plumeria gold bracelet that your wife is gonna want to have......
__________________
virginia is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2008, 03:29 AM   #7
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 75
We live on the Big Island and when we vacation in Hawaii we go to Waikiki and stay at our favorite hotel, the Moana Surfrider. It's a great old hotel that's right on the beach. We stay in the historic section, which is very nice.

We've looked into going to Kauai or Maui, but have found that overall it's more expensive. But, it depends on what you like to do and how you would rather spend or save your money.

For instance, we pay a little more for a hotel we like and spend very little on food. Since the Surfrider is in walking distance to lots of different types of places to eat, you don't need to depend on the hotel for your meals.

The ABC markets are on practically every corner and they sell enough food that you can get inexpensive snacks. Sometimes we get some tuna and make our own sandwiches, or we go to McDonald's, or to a place that has sushi, rice and teriyaki chicken. All of those are really inexpensive options. Then we usually go to the Cheesecake Factory, which is mid-range in price. We typically have cereal and milk in our room for breakfast(purchased at an ABC market) and don't eat at the hotel since it is way more expensive. There's a little coffee shop that has pastries and ice cream that is right by the entrance to the hotel.

There is a small shopping mall nearby and if you like shopping there is the large Ala Moana Shopping Mall. I'm not much of a shopper, so would rather sit on the beach, or go for a walk. There's a zoo within walking distance of the hotel, too.

Of course, Waikiki is more of a city destination, rather than remote resort, so if you want a slower pace, then you might prefer another destination. Since we live in an area that has a slower, small town feel, it's fun for us to go to the city once and a while. What I like about the Surfrider is that when you are in the hotel it's calm and restful. So, we go out and about for a while and then come back to the hotel to take it easy.

It just depends on what you like to do and what kind of Hawaii vacation you have in mind.
__________________
zoey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2008, 08:41 AM   #8
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
RonBoyd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Denver, Colorado
Posts: 5,280
Quote:
Originally Posted by soupcxan View Post
My wife and I are going to Hawaii for 7 days later this year, we've never been. Thinking of spending splitting the time between Oahu and Maui.
We have visited Hawaii's several islands many times (40+) over the past thirty years. One of the biggest mistakes you can make is "trying to see it all." Hawaii is so diverse that you would merely exhaust yourself during those seven days by visiting two islands rather than picking a single one and enjoying what it has to offer in a relaxed manner. In fact, after all this time, I still have a list of places to see for the first time.

I concur with the suggestion that you should start (well, after pursuing this thread) with the "Hawaii Vacations" website and follow your nose to other sites.

You should also be aware that tourism suppliers in Hawaii are very very experienced in separating you from your money, so keep your wallet hidden and chained up as much as possible. See, for example:

Time to say “aloha” to the resort fee capital of the world? | elliott.org

In any event, Hawaii ranks as the number one vacation destination in my mind. Just don't let it overwhelm the senses by trying to get too much out of it.
__________________
RonBoyd is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2008, 12:47 PM   #9
Recycles dryer sheets
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 284
Sadly, Aloha Airlines did shut down entirely. At least in part due to price wars instituted by Go! airlines when they got access to Aloha's business plans by pretending to approach a merger with them. They did the same thing to Hawaiian airlines, and Hawaiian won a $60million suit against Mesa (the parent company of Go!). Aloha also had a suit against Go!, but it got postponed so far in advance that Aloha could not keep it's cash reserves long enough to last until a verdict.

I'm telling you this because I believe Go! (and Mesa) airlines used unethical business practices. Also, they are the airline whose pilots fell asleep at 9 am and overshot the Hilo airport by 15 miles. This was after air traffic controllers tried for 15 minutes to contact them and couldn't raise them. The plane flew on autopilot at 21,000 feet for 15 minutes, out into the wide blue skies over the Pacific ocean. They could very well have come close to running out of fuel. They have a real problem with the schedule they put their pilots on and I think it is dangerous.
FAA Investigates Whether Go! Pilots Slept in Flight | KGMB9.com | Flight, Said, Pilots, Hilo, Foreman

I tell you this because I won't patronize Go! airlines for inter-island flights. And the fares will certainly increase by December.
__________________
A854321 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2008, 01:09 PM   #10
Give me a museum and I'll fill it. (Picasso)
Give me a forum ...
TromboneAl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 11,199
Quote:
What's a reasonable budget for the trip (excluding airfare)? We are thinking a decent hotel will run about $175/night,
Here's what we spent. I haven't gone over this yet, it's just what Quicken kicked out.


We got an airfare/hotel package -- I just estimated the breakdown between hotel and airfare. Airfare is much higher for us than most, since we fly from a small town.

No rental car, but about $165 for surfboard rental.

Last year's total cost was $3,100.
__________________
Al
TromboneAl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2008, 02:27 PM   #11
Full time employment: Posting here.
Calgary_Girl's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Calgary
Posts: 775
I love Hawaii and have been there a few times - Honolulu twice, Maui twice (once to get married ), Kauai and the Big Island.

I would not recommend visiting two islands within one week - there are too many things to see/do on each island that seeing two would be difficult. Last year, DH and I did this and went to Waikiki for 2 days (because DH had never been there) and Kauai for 5 days and we probably won't do this again.

Every island is unique and has something special to offer. Waikiki has all the touristy things - shopping, shopping, shopping. Hike up Diamond Head (the view at the top is worth it!) or drive to the North Shore to see the surfers or go see Pearl Harbor...

My favourite islands are Maui (since we were married there) and Kauai (simply beautiful and a lot quieter than either Honolulu or Maui). We took an ATV tour in Kauai and saw where they filmed some scenes for the movie Jurassic Park - stunning scenery.
__________________
I can only be nice to one person today! Today is not your day...tomorrow doesn't look good either.
Calgary_Girl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2008, 04:14 PM   #12
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 524
I agree that it doesn't make sense to try to visit Maui and Oahu within 7 days. In a week it would be difficult to get a feel for either place on it's own. Stay longer if you can.

I recommend that you think about what you want to do, then decide where to stay and for how long. Oahu and Maui are very different. If you want access to urban areas and don't want to spend a lot of money, stick with Oahu.

Maui is becoming more difficult to do on a limited budget. The county has recently cracked down illegal vacation rentals in the upcountry area (where I live). These were ideal for people on a limited budget and those who wanted to stay away from the resort areas. So now, most of the relatively inexpensive options are condo rentals in Kihei but you'll pay much more than Waikiki.

If you decide to come to Maui post again and I can give you some ideas
__________________
JB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2008, 04:34 PM   #13
Full time employment: Posting here.
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 524
Quote:
The SuperFerry just got back in the water after a few weeks in drydock, so the Kahului run may not be as controversial as it was. But it had a nasty habit of getting canx by weather or pier damage and stranding people... perhaps to sleep in their cars. Don't even get us started on the politics and protest controversy-- it's easier to build a nuclear power plant in Diamond Head crater than to run the SuperFerry.
The community jumped into action when the coast guard decided to prohibit access to Kahului harbor during the hours that the superferry is docking. The harbor is very popular with surfers and canoe paddlers.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg sinkdaferry.jpg (116.9 KB, 110 views)
__________________
JB is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-01-2008, 04:35 PM   #14
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Rambler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 2,250
Quote:
Originally Posted by virginia View Post
You're gonna need about $600 for the cool plumeria gold bracelet that your wife is gonna want to have......
Yeah, and a couple hundred for the earrings, and a couple hundred for the accompanying pendant, assuming she already has the gold chain to hang it on. Been there...done that, got the T-shirt jewelry.

We love it there though, and usually go twice a year (using frequent flier miles) because we have to get back to the states at least four times a year (we go at least twice to the mainland). If ya gotta go, Hawaii is a good place to go to. Plan for it to be pretty expensive though.

R
__________________
Rambler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-04-2008, 08:39 PM   #15
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 4,898
You can do Maui and Oahu on a limited budget for $140 night if you go to VRBO.com and find an vacation rental or a condo. You can rent a studio in the Grand Champions condo development in Wailea, Maui for around $140 in December. Wailea Maui Condo Hotel Grand Champions - Condo - Studio
Wailea is a wonderful luxurious location with spectacular beaches that are great for swimming and snorkeling! you would have to walk about 15 minutes to beaches from Grand Champions or drive your car and park.

I doubt you'd enjoy any hotel on Maui for $175/night in December. But, I may be wrong.
__________________
Zoocat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-05-2008, 09:58 PM   #16
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
DangerMouse's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Silicon Valley
Posts: 1,812
I think it is possible to eat quite cheaply in Honolulu. We never eat at the big hotels, even though we stay there. There are plenty of cafe type establishments that there is no need to go bankrupt just to fill your belly. I think our last trip we never paid more than $20 for a meal for the two of us.

Try VRBO and Cyberrentals, we have never used either but intend to on our next trip.
__________________

__________________

I be a girl, he's a boy. Think I maybe FIRED since July 08. Mid 40s, no kidlets. Actually am totally clueless as to what is going on with DH.
DangerMouse is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Pictures and Video from our Hawaii Trip TromboneAl Other topics 38 03-18-2008 04:37 PM
Starting ESR in December !!! fisherman FIRE and Money 6 10-14-2007 01:10 PM
For men only: "May-December" marriages Sam Other topics 42 08-28-2007 09:32 PM
And yet another May-December marriage! tangomonster Life after FIRE 29 08-24-2007 12:23 PM
May-December marriage and ER PBAT Hi, I am... 4 06-05-2007 02:39 PM

 

 
All times are GMT -6. The time now is 05:08 PM.
 
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.