Hawaii - what island?

(14 Posts)
Screamqueen Sun 27-Oct-13 14:05:56

We had our dream holiday this year (as in planned for about 10 years!) to California, its been the only place int he world I had always wanted to go and I'm looking forward to going back to France next year like we usually do...however DH has surprised me by stating he fancies Hawaii so before I book France I thought I would do some research. I do realize its a long flight (we are in Glasgow) but I'm a complete novice as I didn't even realise it was made up of different island thlblush.

So my questions is what are the different islands like and when is the best time to go? It would be me, DH and DSs who would be 6 and 12. We like beaches, travelling around exploring a bit, things to do for the kids as well as relaxing obviously!

msrisotto Sun 27-Oct-13 16:19:36

You can look up the weather but it's steadily 30 degrees year round.

Hawaii sounds perfect for you because there is beach and fun stuff to do. I stayed on Oahu but only because I didn't know any better at the time. If i was to do it again, I would go to the volcano national park as well. They say to do one island a week at most, however it is a long trip so if you don't feel like travelling more then there is more than enough to keep you occupied on Oahu.You do need to hire a car otherwise you will miss out.
I recommend looking on Frommers website and trip advisor for tips.

Screamqueen Sun 27-Oct-13 17:58:41

Thanks msrtisotto, thats helpful! smile. Quite excited now looking into this!

Hawaii is indeed a chain of islands in the middle of the Pacific ocean.

It will involve two flights (or perhaps a third if you need to fly down from Glasgow to Heathrow) in each direction (there will be one from the UK to the West Coast of the US of around 11 hours and then a second separate flight from the West Coast to the Islands; this lasts around 6 hours). You will need to break up the journey each way due to flight connections (flights to the islands usually depart mid morning).

American and United to name but two fly from the West Coast to Oahu and Maui direct. If you wanted to go to Kauai and Hawaii (the Big Island) you would need to transfer at Honolulu.

Oahu is the main island and is it built up around Waikiki; this is where "Hawaii 50" is filmed. The northern part of Oahu is a lot quieter but mostly people stay in hotels in the Waikiki area.

Maui is also popular to visit (its very much seen as a honeymoon destination) but the beaches can have strong and dangerous currents. Hawaii the Big Island has 12 different microclimates and again is very quiet and peaceful. Kauai is known as the Garden Island and is very beautiful.

If you go, I would suggest going there for 2 - 3 weeks if time and finances permit. August is a good time to go there too.

Any other questions just ask.

Its not absolutely necessary to hire a car on Oahu as there are also coach companies who do not always use the big coach type bus to take people on tours. Also parking in Waikiki can be problematic.

Would certainly recommend a visit to the Polynesian Cultural Centre, the North Shore, the Sea Life Park and the Dole Plantation if you do visit Oahu.

specialsubject Mon 28-Oct-13 18:10:28

here's what I did:

a few days on Oahu in Waikiki (would do less next time). It is like Tenerife with a worse beach, entertaining to go 'wow, I'm in Hawaii' but gets dull quickly. Beginner surfing, not good swimming. Also watch for dark corners.

BUT do go up Diamond Head and go snorkelling at Hanamau Bay.

then fly to Hawaii, the Big Island. Stay at Hilo, visit Hawaii Volcanoes park, Waipio, then maybe over to the Kona Coast side for more beaches. (BTW you shouldn't take your kids up Mauna Kea, too young).

stupidly long journey and time difference but well worth it.

We've been to the Big Island - loved it, highly recommended! Would love to visit some of the other islands

Screamqueen Thu 31-Oct-13 14:53:06

Thanks so much everyone for your input, still havent made up my mind! It will involve a flight down from Glasgow to Heathrow and then another 2 yep. How do you go about arranging flights between the islands then and can these be booked as part of the holiday? Im assuming they can. We booked California through Trailfinders and was very happy with them so thinking of going back to them.

Trailfinders would certainly be able to assist with regards to flying to Honolulu. Honolulu to Kahalui on Maui flying time is around 40 minutes
Most people fly direct from the Mainland (i.e USA) to either Honolulu on Oagu or Kahalui on Maui.

Hawaiian is the airline that flies between the various islands. Most people fly direct either to Oahu or Maui.

Unfortunately as a UK resident you cannot book such flights online with them as they do not accept UK credit cards (they basically have their target markets as Japan, the US, Canada and Australia). Hawaiian do have and use an official agent in the UK and this company could organise all the flights.

specialsubject Thu 31-Oct-13 17:10:15

there are also small planes going between the islands - I used Pacific Wings. Contact them to see if they still take foreign credit cards.

be aware that these are SMALL planes, i.e. they weigh you to decide where you sit in the aircraft. Good fun, but not for nervous fliers. Memorable trip though, back into Honolulu over Diamond Head and then pedal to the metal to get out of the way of the big jet coming in behind.

msrisotto Thu 31-Oct-13 20:28:26

Trailfinders yep, I last used dialaflight and would really recommend them too. It's worth doing both for a little price comparison anyway.

SheldonLovesAmy Wed 27-Nov-13 09:05:40

We stayed at the trump international in waikiki oahu. Highly recommended!

Alexchallex Sat 01-Feb-14 18:15:36

Oahu. Honolulu is the main city there I think. Long flight so stopped off at Vancouver for 3 nights. In Hawaii we did a day trip to the big island to see the volcanoes. We booked a few trips while there with Polynesian adventures and they were great and v reliable. Stopped off at ny on the way back

May09Bump Sat 01-Feb-14 18:18:14

If you want un spoilt Hawaii - go to Kauai. Absolutely beautiful.

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