Hawaii planning help please.

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bunnybear05 Posts : 157 Registered: 1/7/09
Hawaii planning help please.
Posted: Apr 19, 2009 2:00 PM

Hi,
I have a couple questions. My fiancee has been saying he would like to do Hawaii for our honeymoon. I don't know to much about it, but that its pricey. Everytime we vacation, we go someplace that is all-inclusive. I was thinking maybe Kauai? From what I have been told, Hawaii doesn't have any of those resorts. On average, would anyone be able to tell me how much we should plan on spending on a 10 day stay? Food and drink ?
We also would like to go about a week after our wedding. We marry on Nov 14th and I finish student teaching the week after that as well as there is another family weding planned the next weekend. So maybe the Nov 22nd-Dec 2nd? I am not sure. I'd prefer not to be gone over Thanksgiving, but maybe that would help cost? Also when is Hawaii's not so great weather? I am totally out of my element when it comes to planning trips. Any advice would be appreciated!!

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CatStandish Posts : 2,766 Registered: 6/20/08
Re: Hawaii planning help please.
Posted: Apr 19, 2009 8:18 PM Go to message in response to: bunnybear05

Go to http://www.hawaiiweb.com for a lot of useful information about the Islands. You can also go to www.visit-hawaii.com

You'll find a lot of information there. I went to Oahu. Depending on what you do and where you go and what you eat, your costs will vary.

Misty

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bunnybear05 Posts : 157 Registered: 1/7/09
Re: Hawaii planning help please.
Posted: Apr 20, 2009 7:18 PM Go to message in response to: CatStandish

Thanks! Ill check out those links. My fiancee is also bring home some info today from a travel agent at his work. I just keep hearing people say that its $25 for a cheeseburger there. Now, I totally wouldn't be eating a cheeseburger in Hawaii ! I'd want some authentic Hawaiian meals when we are there. But I do love tropical drinks, so that may be our wallets downfall !!

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CatStandish Posts : 2,766 Registered: 6/20/08
Re: Hawaii planning help please.
Posted: Apr 20, 2009 8:54 PM Go to message in response to: bunnybear05

I didnt find the food there to be any more pricey than anywhere else. We did have a few splurges -- and I will give this one as a MUST.

If you are on one of the islands that has Atlantis Submarines, DO IT. It was absolutely the highlight of my trip to Oahu. It's an opportunity to see a part of Hawaii you normally would not.

Misty

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BreAnn Posts : 600 Registered: 11/28/07
Re: Hawaii planning help please.
Posted: Apr 20, 2009 9:30 PM Go to message in response to: CatStandish

My DH and I honeymooned on Oahu. We stayed at Turtle Bay on the North Shore, loved it there!! However, I didn't really find the food all that expensive either. I will say this though, if you spend some time on Oahu and get the chance go to Valley of the Temples. It is like $2.00 a person to get in, but is sooo pretty. Not very big, but it is a replica of a Buddist temple and georgous!! That was my favorite thing we did our whole trip!! I also must say go to the Dole Plantation. Fresh pineapple sobert (sp??)! Awesome stuff!


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We2Heart Posts : 452 Registered: 10/11/07
Re: Hawaii planning help please.
Posted: Apr 20, 2009 10:30 PM Go to message in response to: bunnybear05

DH and I honeymooned on Kauai and Oahu. I used get2hawaii.com it packaged all the flights, hotels, and car rentals for us. I believe it also has ability to reserve a number of activities. We didn't know what we wanted to do at the time, so we figured we would just sign up when we got there. Turned out fine. For flights, hotels and car rentals we ended up with a package under $4000 for 8 days (3 on Kauai, 4 on Oahu and a day for travel) so it's not that bad. We probably spent $5000 in the end for food and everything else. Food is going to be expensive, as is gas so just expect that no matter what you get it's going to cost you more than you think.

I would be weary of anytime around the holidays. We left on Labor Day. It wasn't any cheaper than leaving on Saturday or Sunday, it was a holiday so it was busy. I would imagine the same to be anytime the week of Thanksgiving for all those who are on break that week. I would definitely wait for an off peak time to go.

You're right, there are no all-inclusive resorts in Hawaii, but there are some that come pretty darn close. So just do your research on the different hotels. And do some real serious research. For instance, DH and I ended up in an old hotel on Waikiki that was just kinda creepy and dirty but ok. If we had done more research, I would have gone 1 or 2 blocks in from the beach (all is walkable anyway) and we could have had a really nice room in a newer hotel. I wanted to go to Lanai and stay in the Four Seasons (I heard amazing things about that place and island) but it was a lot more to stay there unfortunately. But I ended up loving Kauai so there was no regret what-so-ever.

Have fun! We had an amazing time!

Oh, I wanted to comment on the Dole Plantation. I agree, the pinapple sorbet is amazing. :-P


~~~~~~~~
together is a perfect place to be because it's there that you can be delightfully imperfect. and there's nothing closer to perfection than being loved just because you are.



Edited by: We2Heart on Apr 20, 2009 10:31 PM

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BreAnn Posts : 600 Registered: 11/28/07
Re: Hawaii planning help please.
Posted: Apr 21, 2009 10:59 PM Go to message in response to: We2Heart

Since we stayed on the North Shore, everytime we went towards Honolulu, we stopped at the Dole Plantation EVERY time. DH loves fresh fruit and is extremely sad that he can't get it that fresh back home!


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mizbex Posts : 40 Registered: 1/10/07
Re: Hawaii planning help please.
Posted: Apr 22, 2009 12:19 PM Go to message in response to: BreAnn

I have family in Oahu, and have been going every year since I can remeber. But it is very pricey, most things have to be imported - so food and drinks are pretty expensive. Unfortunately I havent heard of any all incluisve resorts there., but I have seen alot of Hawaiian cruises - which would be all inclusive and let you see the various islands.

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Destinationtrav... Posts : 1 Registered: 5/25/09
Re: Hawaii planning help please.
Posted: May 25, 2009 1:07 PM Go to message in response to: bunnybear05

You can rest assured that if you decide on Hawaii, there are Resorts available covering a wide range of prices. At the time of year that you are planning there are some great packages form the Hyatt in Kuaii in Princeville. Check out the websites of all the Major Chains, and you will be pleasantly surprised at what you can do with a modest budget.
Destinationtravelpro

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elitegrp Posts : 1,048 Registered: 9/12/06
Re: Hawaii planning help please.
Posted: Jun 3, 2009 5:12 PM Go to message in response to: bunnybear05

Congrats! Before you finalize any details.. let us see what we can do for you.. as an American Express Agency we get alot of deals you cannot find anywhere else.. Heather, Ruth, Judy, and Frank from our office have been there numerous times and can give you updated information. Love to help and hear from you,

Tammy Levent
Elite Travel
google me

 

Cool Have a great day! and Congrats to you

 

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MaunaLaniBride Posts : 631 Registered: 3/31/06
Re: Hawaii planning help please.
Posted: Jun 30, 2009 8:16 PM Go to message in response to: bunnybear05

Hi bunny - I'm not sure if you are still checking this post since you posted a while ago but I thought I'd add my two cents :)

There are some great resources to help you figure out which island is perfect for you...all six have unigue personalities and different things to offer. I'm not sure why you chose Kauai but if you haven't done so yet, I'd do a little research into the different islands to make sure that you've picked the one that best suits your interests. Here are two great resources:

1) Free travel planner from the State of Hawaii at gohawaii.com

2) Take FI to Barnes & Noble (or a bookstore near you) and flip through the Revealed books by Andrew Doughty. There are Revealed books for the four most popular islands to visit: Kauai, Oahu, Maui and The Big Island of Hawaii. The book for whichever island you end up choosing is the only guidebook you'll need, they list nearly every attraction/activity so it's great for making sure that the island you pick has the activities you want to do. Here's the website for the books: wizardpub.com

There is one all-inclusive resort in the Hawaiian islands chain, the Kona Village Resort on the Big Island of Hawaii. It's meant as a complete get-away though...there are no TVs, no alarm clocks and no telephones in the hales (individual thatched-roof huts). It also does not include unlimited alcohol, only drinks at their special dinners (like their Friday night luau which is the best on the entire island, we've been three times!) and special receptions (like the Thursday night Honeymooner's reception). Kona Village Resort is extremely expensive, some of the hales cost more than rooms at the Four Seasons Hualalai next door - definitely not the right choice if you are on a budget. Plus, it's not the best choice if you want to explore the island...even though they will pack you a lunch and provide vouchers for restaurants, I think it would be worth it a bit more if you intend to lounge on the beach with a tropical drink for your vacations :)

For first timers to Hawaii, you can't go wrong with the island of Oahu. It's the least expensive island to visit for a couple reasons: 1) it's the aviation hub of the entire Hawaiian islands chain (Honolulu International Airport) so most flights go in/out of there 2) it has the most options for hotels of any island so lots of competition for your money 3) it has the most options for restaurants in every price range. My hubby is from Oahu so we visit at least twice a year, I love it...even after seven years, I still have not done everything that Oahu has to offer.

Instead of staying with family, we started staying at the Aqua Palms & Spa a few years ago...I really the line of boutique hotels by Aqua Resorts because they include lots of free amenities like free continental breakfast, free internet, free local calls, etc. All of their hotels are in Waikiki only a couple blocks walk to the beach (although we never go to Waikiki Beach, it's way too crowded, we take a short 5 minute drive to Ala Moana Beach Park - a lot less crowded especially Magic Island at the end). FYI, all beaches in Hawaii are public so even if they front a resort, it's still open to the public. Anyhoo, I also like the Aqua Palms & Spa because they have microwaves, fridges and sinks (like a wet bar sink separate from the bathroom) in the rooms.

Hawaii is as expensive as you want to make it. Sure, if you eat at your hotel then food will be expensive (but that's the same for any hotel) but a $25 cheeseburger is certainly not the norm. I think visitors forget that there are actual residents that live there, believe me, our family is not going out for a $25-cheeseburger-lunch - that's just silly. There are places to eat in every price point. They have the usual fast food joints that we have on the Mainland (although their McDonald's serves SPAM :). They also have their own version of fast food, something called a "plate lunch" that is served all over every island...it's a huge plate of food (usually a meat, a side of white rice and a side of macaroni salad) for about $5-$7. The most popular plate lunch chain is L&L Barbecue.

As pp mentioned, you'll notice that gas and food at the supermarket does cost more because it has to be shipped there. That's why I think it's not such a great value to buy your own groceries...for the same amount of money, you can just go out to a diner or get a plate lunch and the cooking is done for you :)

There is always good weather in Hawaii. You'll be going at the start of the rainy season however don't let that worry you. Every island has a wet side (or "windward" side) and dry side ("leeward" side) and often, if it's raining on one side then you either wait a few minutes for the shower to pass or you drive to the other side of the island. A great weather website for Hawaii is: hawaiiweathertoday.com - notice that you can click on different areas of the islands and get different weather forecasts...this is particularly good for the Big Island since it has 11 of the world's 13 climates!

If you are planning to go between Thanksgiving and Christmas then you should get a great deal on your travel since it's technically considered one of that off-peak times for travel there. If you want a little splurge, then check out the possibility of starting your trip in Lanai...it's a small island with only 3 hotels and two of them are Four Seasons properties. You can probably get a great price for rooms there this time of year (we usually go to Lanai before we head to Oahu for the holidays...like to get in a little R&R before the busy family time). Our fave is the Four Seasons Lodge at Koele, it's the mountain property...there's also the Four Seasons Manele Bay which is their beach front property (there's a shuttle that runs between the two resorts and you can take advantage of activities at both).

Good luck with your planning, you will LOVE Hawaii!

Knot planning bio:  http://tinyurl.com/2od5dr

Knot married bio: http://tinyurl.com/2zatxp

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