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Hawaii trip planning questions
Old 08-27-2016, 04:58 AM   #1
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Hawaii trip planning questions

Am planning to spend 6 nights in Maui and 6 on the big island. Should we pick one place to stay on each island or split stays at 2 hotels for bases on each island? We enjoy hiking, kayaking, bicycling, and my husband enjoys snorkeling.



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Old 08-27-2016, 05:35 AM   #2
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One spot on Maui should work well. We stayed near Lahaina and it did not take too long to get around. On the big island, I think it depends on where you want to go. If you have points all around the island you might benefit from 2 hotels to reduce driving time.
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Old 08-27-2016, 08:20 AM   #3
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One spot on Maui should work well. We stayed near Lahaina and it did not take too long to get around. On the big island, I think it depends on where you want to go. If you have points all around the island you might benefit from 2 hotels to reduce driving time.
+1 for Calvin and Hobbes

Thanks for the input. One place on Maui and maybe two on the big island may be the way for us to go!



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Old 08-27-2016, 08:50 AM   #4
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.................................. I think it depends on where you want to go. ......................................
Take a map and see...........if you plan to go to Hana on Maui (basically at the end of a long twisty road) you might not want to return to home base the same day. Hawaii (the Big Island) is not called that for no reason.....basically you could consider that a big circle ..........Kona and Hilo are on opposite sides
(tho the new bypass road connects them more directly) and you might have more time to do stuff instead of driving if you split home bases.
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Old 08-27-2016, 09:54 AM   #5
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Probably just one place for the whole time. Can swim or kayak between the two islands. 😄
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Old 08-27-2016, 10:03 AM   #6
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Thanks for the input. One place on Maui and maybe two on the big island may be the way for us to go!....
We have been to both and if we were to return that is what I would do.

The mistake we made when visiting the big island is to stay at one place... if I were to do it again I would stay at 2-3 places on a trip around the island. IIRC car rentals on the big island were very expensive when we were there... $100/day or more IIRC... so we stayed the entire time at the Hilton Waikoloa Village. Really interesting place and we got a good rate for the room in a package with airfare, but the pricing at the restaurants there was outrageous. We ended up going to the nearby mall and restaurants there as they were much more reasonably priced. That said, I would stay at Waikoloa Village for one or two nights as it is a unique property and it would be easier if you have a car.
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Old 08-27-2016, 10:14 AM   #7
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Take a map and see...........if you plan to go to Hana on Maui (basically at the end of a long twisty road) you might not want to return to home base the same day. Hawaii (the Big Island) is not called that for no reason.....basically you could consider that a big circle ..........Kona and Hilo are on opposite sides

(tho the new bypass road connects them more directly) and you might have more time to do stuff instead of driving if you split home bases.

Thanks for the input!
Would one night in Hana be enough and then 5 nights at resort by Lahaina?



There’s never enough time to do all the nothing you want.
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Old 08-27-2016, 10:15 AM   #8
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Probably just one place for the whole time. Can swim or kayak between the two islands. 😄

Probably a little too challenging after our swim over from california😜



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Old 08-27-2016, 10:18 AM   #9
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We have been to both and if we were to return that is what I would do.



The mistake we made when visiting the big island is to stay at one place... if I were to do it again I would stay at 2-3 places on a trip around the island. IIRC car rentals on the big island were very expensive when we were there... $100/day or more IIRC... so we stayed the entire time at the Hilton Waikoloa Village. Really interesting place and we got a good rate for the room in a package with airfare, but the pricing at the restaurants there was outrageous. We ended up going to the nearby mall and restaurants there as they were much more reasonably priced. That said, I would stay at Waikoloa Village for one or two nights as it is a unique property and it would be easier if you have a car.

Thanks for the input! We were thinking about staying at the Hilton Waikoloa village. Any suggestions on a second location to split our stay?



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Old 08-27-2016, 11:58 AM   #10
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We were on the Big Island for 8 nights last year. We rented a car for the week via Costco Travel and we moved around the island.

2 nights at Volcano village -- hiked in the park, drove down to the ocean, visited the sea turtles at the black sand beach

2 nights in Hilo -- toured the north east coast, visited a vanilla grower, drove up to the Mauna Kea visitors center

2 nights in Waimea -- ate at an excellent restaurant called Merrimans, did some more hiking and star gazing, visited the national park sites on the west coast (saw lots more sea turtles)

2 nights in Kona -- went to a bee keeping / honey company, hung out at the pool, went back to Volcano Nat'l Park because the lava had risen in the crater to where you could see it from the visitor's center

It sounds like a lot, and I might not have moved as much if we had young children with us, but it was actually a very relaxing trip.
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Old 08-27-2016, 12:42 PM   #11
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We were on the Big Island for 8 nights last year. We rented a car for the week via Costco Travel and we moved around the island.

2 nights at Volcano village -- hiked in the park, drove down to the ocean, visited the sea turtles at the black sand beach

2 nights in Hilo -- toured the north east coast, visited a vanilla grower, drove up to the Mauna Kea visitors center

2 nights in Waimea -- ate at an excellent restaurant called Merrimans, did some more hiking and star gazing, visited the national park sites on the west coast (saw lots more sea turtles)

2 nights in Kona -- went to a bee keeping / honey company, hung out at the pool, went back to Volcano Nat'l Park because the lava had risen in the crater to where you could see it from the visitor's center

It sounds like a lot, and I might not have moved as much if we had young children with us, but it was actually a very relaxing trip.


Great info thanks! We are traveling empty nesters, so no kids in tow. Have been looking at using Costco to book the trip. Have never done that before. Was ur experience with Costco travel good?



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Old 08-27-2016, 02:34 PM   #12
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Check here (FAQ archive) E komo mai Hawaii! for more resources.

Not an expert on Maui or Big Island though I have been to both. Curious why you are avoiding Oahu? Have you already been? I always suggest including Oahu if it's your first trip to the Islands. It's more compact, often less expensive and there are enough things to do (history, "tourist" adventures, nearly deserted beaches, out-of-the way places to explore, surfing or watching, hiking, snorkeling, restaurants, people-watching, resorts, etc.) to keep you busy for 2 weeks if you desire. If you get away from Waikiki and to a lesser extent, Honolulu, Oahu is not nearly as "spoiled" as you hear about. I live in Honolulu and never get tired of it, though I make a trip to the mainland every year to avoid rock (Island) fever.

If you have already seen most of what Oahu has to offer, by all means See Big Island and Maui next. For me, Kauai is sort of a distant third (good for a few days at most - but that's just me.) In any case, enjoy!
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Old 08-27-2016, 04:12 PM   #13
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When we were on the big island, we stayed in one place... we drove the main roads on the whole island...


If you know what you want to do and you do not get a cheap rate for staying longer (like we did) then doing a west side, moving and doing an east side might be best... we did have a few late night drives back to our hotel... no big deal for us as we do like to drive, but not everybody does...

The other consideration is flights... I really did not check, but are you going to fly out from where you flew in? Is the cost of flying from a different airport more than a round trip? Again, not sure about the big Island, but other places charge a fee when you drop off a car at a different location...
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Old 08-27-2016, 05:36 PM   #14
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Great info thanks! We are traveling empty nesters, so no kids in tow. Have been looking at using Costco to book the trip. Have never done that before. Was ur experience with Costco travel good?
I've used Costco travel a few times and have always had good luck and felt we were getting a good deal. I can't think of any time we've needed more than basic service though. Our most recent trip was a mid-week stay in Vegas and they had a steal of a rate at The Venetian. Much cheaper than was available on the hotel's website and it included a Costco cash card.

For Hawaii last year, the only thing I got through Costco was the rental car. I booked hotels, flights, etc, directly with the providers. In Volcano we stayed in a B&B, and in Hilo it was a self-service hotel where they just email you the code to the door lock.
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Old 08-27-2016, 05:46 PM   #15
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The other consideration is flights... I really did not check, but are you going to fly out from where you flew in? Is the cost of flying from a different airport more than a round trip? Again, not sure about the big Island, but other places charge a fee when you drop off a car at a different location...
I did a lot of research on this last year, and it was definitely cheaper to fly in and out of Kona than to try to do a triangle trip with Hilo. Even though it's the "big" island, it's still not that far from anywhere to the airport in Kona. Many people live farther from their "home" airports.
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Old 08-27-2016, 06:27 PM   #16
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On Maui we always stay at a condo in Elua Village. Great snorkeling without crossing a road direct from condo.
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Old 08-27-2016, 06:36 PM   #17
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We will be visiting the Big Island in November. We used to stay in hotels, but there are so many brand new homes and condos available now on VRBO that we realized what a rip off the hotel rooms are. We are renting a brand new 2,100 square foot home for less than $300/night. It comes with a full sized kitchen and a private back yard/lanai area. And it's inside a master planned community with similar amenities to the big hotels (multiple pools, hot tubs, beautifully landscaped land). And it's right by the beach too.

But if hotels are your preference, the hotels at Waikoloa Beach are nice, and of course the Four Seasons is amazing, but expensive.

Try to make it to the Volcano National Park. It's an all day drive but well worth the visit.
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Old 08-27-2016, 06:56 PM   #18
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I have done a one-full-day excursion to Volcano National Park from Oahu, flights included. It was a blast because of the people on the tour and the guide.

I think all these things can be found at tripadvisor.com and/or viator.com.
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Old 08-27-2016, 06:58 PM   #19
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The other consideration is flights... I really did not check, but are you going to fly out from where you flew in? Is the cost of flying from a different airport more than a round trip? Again, not sure about the big Island, but other places charge a fee when you drop off a car at a different location...
I can't imagine picking up a car at one airport and dropping it off at another airport unless you take a ferry.

Of course, one doesn't have to pick up a car at the airport, but can get the car in town.
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Old 08-27-2016, 07:23 PM   #20
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Actually, I'd love to see the look on the agent's face when you pick up your car and let them know you would like to drop it off on a different island.


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