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Thread: Possible trip to Hawaii - West Coast and Hawaii folks

  1. #1
    Senior Member Veronica87911's Avatar
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    Possible trip to Hawaii - West Coast and Hawaii folks

    We are thinking of going to Hawaii for a week to relax; neither of us ever having been there ...If you could possibly guide us, it would be much appreciated.
    1) Is it better to book separate flights to LA and then Hawaii, or book all the way through?
    2) Which island is better for relaxing and doing some sightseeing?
    3) Any hotel recommendations, restaurant recommendations? We are looking to be on the beach or as close to it as possible.
    4) Do we need to rent a car? Is there a central area that has everything where a car rental is unnecessary?
    We are open to ideas and suggestions from all...thanks guys.
    Serge
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  2. #2
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    If you’re a Costco member check out their vacation packages. Many include a car rental. On an island like Maui, a car is needed to see the sights. If you’re not a member, the cost of membership will be more than offset by the savings.
    Tony

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  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Veronica87911 View Post
    We are thinking of going to Hawaii for a week to relax; neither of us ever having been there ...If you could possibly guide us, it would be much appreciated.
    1) Is it better to book separate flights to LA and then Hawaii, or book all the way through?
    2) Which island is better for relaxing and doing some sightseeing?
    3) Any hotel recommendations, restaurant recommendations? We are looking to be on the beach or as close to it as possible.
    4) Do we need to rent a car? Is there a central area that has everything where a car rental is unnecessary?
    We are open to ideas and suggestions from all...thanks guys.
    Serge
    1) It depends on a few things. If you have FF miles that get you to LA but not HI, you may want separate bookings. Or, if you collect FF miles on an airline that has good schedules to LA but doesn't go to HI, you may want separate bookings. Some of that also depend on which island you go to. Connections to Oahu (Honolulu) are the most plentiful. Connections to the other islands may not match up very well with your flight to LA. If possible, though, I'd do all the flights on one booking.

    2) Ask five people, get six answers. But, if this may be your only trip to Hawaii, I'd recommend Oahu, specifically the Kahala Resort. It's only 10-15 minutes from the chaos of Honolulu, but is in a very private and quiet neighborhood with a great beach. It's a tad expensive but worth it. Free hourly shuttles take you to Honolulu for the requisite big city shopping and eating. From there, circle the island counterclockwise for site seeing to avoid the traffic. Do NOT stay on the southwest corner of the island (near Disney's resort) unless you really enjoy traffic jams. Also, one of the more important reasons to visit Oahu is to see Pearl Harbor. It is one of the most moving, humbling experiences you will ever have. I consider it mandatory.

    3) I already mentioned Kahala, but there are also nice, less expensive rooms at Turtle Bay Resort. It's a bit removed from the offerings of Honolulu but you did say that you want to relax. As far as restaurants, you'll find anything in Honolulu. Certain traditions include shaved ice in Haleiwa and acai bowls at Bogarts in Honolulu. The one restaurant that I always return to, and this may surprise some, is the Top of Waikiki. Our first visit reminded us of walking onto a Lawrence Welk set, and we nearly turned around, but the food has been among the best that I've eaten anywhere, and the view is spectacular.

    4) You will want a rental car. Compacts are actually pretty cheap there. The downside is that the hotels overcharge for parking. Important tip: When you ride from the airport terminal to the rental counter in the shuttle bus, have your spouse/friend manage your luggage while you sprint, unencumbered, to the counter. You do not want to be in a long line at the rental counter...locals tend to take things pretty casually in Hawaii and your trip to the rental counter will be the first test of your patience.

    Other comments: Rent some snorkel gear and check out Hanauma Bay. Get there early as parking is limited. If you're lucky, you'll bob around with turtles the size of your dinner table (or so it seems), an otherworldly experience. Also, if you're not keen on crowds and humidity, I'd avoid the summer months. My favorite times are early November and late March. Good luck!

  4. #4
    Senior Member karlusmagnus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Veronica87911 View Post
    We are thinking of going to Hawaii for a week to relax; neither of us ever having been there ...If you could possibly guide us, it would be much appreciated.
    1) Is it better to book separate flights to LA and then Hawaii, or book all the way through?
    We are open to ideas and suggestions from all...thanks guys.
    Serge
    You could transfer miles from Amex or Chase into Singapore's Krisflyer and get R/T from US for 35,000 miles on UA ...
    "You can also use the KrisFlyer program to book Star Alliance partners online. Redeem just 35,000 miles to fly round-trip on United from the mainland US to Hawaii — the same trip would cost 45,000 United miles. KrisFlyer considers Hawaii and Bermuda to be in the same zone along with Central America and the Caribbean. All flights within this region cost 35,000 miles round-trip, and you’re permitted one stopover. There are plenty of itineraries you can plan to take advantage of at this redemption price, so it’s definitely worth considering when you think about how to use your Ultimate Rewards."
    https://thepointsguy.com/guide/redee...maximum-value/
    Karl: E911SR #792 ; RG #420 ; GS #7

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  5. #5
    1) Is it better to book separate flights to LA and then Hawaii, or book all the way through?
    The two times I have dont it booked separate flights.
    2) Which island is better for relaxing and doing some sightseeing?
    Maui is a must
    3) Any hotel recommendations, restaurant recommendations? We are looking to be on the beach or as close to it as possible.
    merriman's for dinner and Aloha mix plate for lunch
    4) Do we need to rent a car? Is there a central area that has everything where a car rental is unnecessary?
    We are open to ideas and suggestions from all...thanks guys.
    You will need a car. Can rent from air port.

    Its my favourite place to travel to. Does not disappoint

  6. #6
    Senior Member Veronica87911's Avatar
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    Re-opening this thread with updates
    We are going to Maui in September , flying to SFO then to OGG Maui; we will be staying at the Hyatt Regency in Lahaina.
    So now, we are looking for recommendations for places to eat (nothing fancy, but good Hawaiian food), places to see and things to do. We have snorkeling on our list, a road to Hana tour, the volcano, and sitting on the beach drinking and relaxing. I'd like to do a bit of simple sailing, a la 12' Hobie or sunfish type.
    Go for it guys...we are listening
    Last edited by Veronica87911; 08-19-2018 at 06:29 PM.
    Serge

    City of Ben Franklin and Cheesesteaks
    Instagram: Truevisionmediaworks

    Early S Registry #2457, O#23
    Daisy: 1972 T with 2.7 engine and Webers
    LOOKING FOR 911 Engine # 6123044

    Rowlf: 2017 Volvo S60 with Polestar Optimization


    Mostro di Biscotti: 1975 Lancia Fulvia 1.3S Series 2

    Veronica: 1987 Carrera coupe - curves in all the right places...SOLD
    Lil' Blue: 2002 Subaru WRX Wagon SOLD

  7. #7
    Senior Member The chief's Avatar
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    You're in Kaanapali I believe, close to Lahaina. Nice beach, great snorkeling right there. Try the snorkles at Black Rock in front of the Sheraton. Lots of turtles. Drive up Haleakala before day break for the sunrise, it's worth it. And book the Annabelle's magic show in Lahaina, it's great (gotta book a couple of months in advance). I wouldn't do a tour to Hana, I'd rent a car or motorcycles if you're into it. An all day affair, stop where and when you want. Every little stream has water falls and artesian pools if you hike up a bit. Have fun!

  8. #8
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    I just got back from Oahu, I can recommend Turo for renting a car, think AirBnB for cars. Everything from a Corolla to a Tesla.

    andy
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  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Veronica87911 View Post
    Re-opening this thread with updates
    We are going to Maui in September , flying to SFO then to OGG Maui; we will be staying at the Hyatt Regency in Lahaina.
    So now, we are looking for recommendations for places to eat (nothing fancy, but good Hawaiian food), places to see and things to do. We have snorkeling on our list, a road to Hana tour, the volcano, and sitting on the beach drinking and relaxing. I'd like to do a bit of simple sailing, a la 12' Hobie or sunfish type.
    Go for it guys...we are listening
    Be prepared for traffic jams and plan accordingly. It will be one of the least anticipated and most annoying aspects of your trip. Traditional rush hours are the worst times, but the Lahaina-Kaanapali stretch can be slow all day.

    The Chief is right about the Road to Hana. If you are determined to do it (and many would tell you not to bother), drive yourself. I can't imagine being stuck on a bus, on that road, for an entire day.

    Regarding snorkeling, you may be tempted with tours that take you to Molokini Crater. The sea can be rough out there. You won't like it.

    Unless you bring your own snorkel gear, you will almost certainly rent from "Snorkel Bob", a vendor with dozens (hundreds?) of stores on the islands. They can steer you to great beaches that are free. Pay extra for a mask and snorkel with purge valves on the bottom. Use chapstick to seal the mask over any mustaches. "Bob" also has the best assortment of masks with corrective lenses. If you're near-blind like me, this will transform the experience from just ok to magical.

    If you like to fish, you can rent light gear and fish the reefs without a license. Catch-and-release feels right. There's an amazing array of fish that will strike a sand shrimp...frozen bait is readily available. I have never in my life seen a bobber scoot across the water as fast. My son and I will never forget it. It's all about making memories, right?

    Enjoy the trip!

  10. #10
    I would agree with renting a car for Hana - take your time - it’s a long and nearly all switchbacks, like 2.5 hours of switchbacks. Swim in the 7 Sacred Pools. If you enjoy aviation history, Charles Lindbergh’s body is buried a bit further past the Seven Sacred Pools. For me, it was an honor to see his place of rest.
    Have fun and relax!
    Bill
    Bill
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