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Recommendations for best value Hawaii trip

12 replies

Sakurasnail · 24/03/2018 00:48

Our extended family will be going to Hawaii next year on holiday, ages range from primary school age to 70s.
We have a primary age and pre-teen, not too worried about making the most of the lovely beaches, and not into expensive dining or shopping, but would like to see some of the culture and landscape we wouldn't see ordinarily.
It's probably a once in a lifetime trip, but we'll def need to keep it as good a value as possible, as we'll be budgeting hard to afford it.
Which island/s would you recommend to get the best family experience? (Would love to be able to Island hop/cruise them all, but that would rack up the cost beyond what is sensible.)
Any experiences and advice welcome... ThxSmile

OP posts:
DawnMumsnet · 26/03/2018 09:26

Hello, we're moving this thread over to our Longhaul travel topic at the OP's request.

Sakurasnail · 26/03/2018 14:01

Thank you Dawn. Hope there's a few knowledgeable ppl there Smile

OP posts:
offtocatchatrain · 26/03/2018 15:45

Hawaii is expensive especially with exchange rates the way they are. We did two weeks last year.
We found everything expensive but it was amazing. Depends on what you want. We went to Oahu and Maui. Maui was more amazing scenery Imo. We want to go back and see big island at some point as that’s also got amazing scenery.
Oahu was also beautiful. Go on their respective tourist sights. Oahu has the most commercial tourist bit ie shops and tourist beaches but was very easy to get away from that but interesting to see at the same time, also pearl harbour was interesting.
We weren’t on a budget but we did stay at a hotel with free breakfast in Waikiki Hyatt place and that massively reduced food costs over two weeks. It was expensive everywhere we went even just for snacks.
How long are you planning to go for? We were two weeks mostly in Oahu and couldn’t possibly pack everything in.

Sakurasnail · 26/03/2018 21:01

Thanks off. I think dh would only have a week off, so not long at all. We'd also be trying to keep it on the cheaper side of expensive, as far as possible, so not too much Island hopping.
We're not v interested in the beaches, as we have some lovely ones where we live, and I think the only scenery which would interest the kids would be volcanic. The only one of our nuclear family interested in Pearl harbour is dh and I think he's been there before, but I think the older members would like to see it. What is it like for kids?

OP posts:
NotPennysBoat · 26/03/2018 21:07

Hawaii is amazing but it's really not worth it for a week. Because of flight timings you'll have to stay overnight on the way out in either LA or San Fran, plus it's a full day travelling each way which doesn't leave very much time at all.
I've been to Oahu, Maui, Kawaii and Big Island and they're all wonderful in different ways!

BritInUS1 · 26/03/2018 21:09

I've only been to Maui and it is beautiful but eye wateringly expensive, and I live in Northern California !

Everyone drives the Hana Highway, though you need to be careful as some hire car companies doesn't allow their cars up there, so you may need to book a tour.

Other than that most people seem to stay and in around the resorts, or the local beach, or drive to the further out beaches.

There really aren't any cheap dining options, so if cost is an issue you might want to look at self catering.

The cost of a trip from Maui to Pearl Harbour was hundreds of dollars, so if you want to visit that check out the prices before you book accommodation.

Personally, I like Hawaii, but we only went because it's a 4 hour flight from where we live. I much preferred the Caribbean. Does it have to be Hawaii?

Sakurasnail · 26/03/2018 21:30

Hawaii was chosen by the person wanting to arrange the get together as a central ish location for family travelling from around the world. It's a lot of wishes to accommodate for an expensive holiday though, and we'd be the only family paying three adult prices and a child, so it's already expensive before we've sorted activities. Hence I'm wondering where would have the best family experience without a lot of travelling around.
The week could be restrictive too, as mentioned. Dh has only ever been able to take a week at that time of year, maybe he'd be able to stretch it.

OP posts:
offtocatchatrain · 27/03/2018 00:40

A week?! That’s a lot of travelling for a week. We went with a primary age dc and decided against the volcano as apparently the air pollution isn’t good for your lungs and so we felt irresponsible taking a young child anywhere that’s might upset their health. Not 100% how bad it is but we just ended up not doing it.

I would say you’ll not see much in a week and that much travelling just wouldn’t be worth it for me. I mean that kindly, the journey was hard in itself (assuming you’re coming from U.K.) we did 11 hours to LA, 6 hour stopover and then think was a 5.5 hour flight from LAX to Honolulu. The Honolulu flight was full of turbulence and I’d never dream of doing it for one weeks holiday!
To give you an idea of price, we paid £6k for two adults and a child for two weeks in hotels plus domestic return flights to Maui in the middle, we then spent £2k on trips and food. We had no idea it would be this expensive.

Everywhere just seemed expensive and car hire (which for us was a must to be free to explore) was expensive and excursions were also very expensive. Go see what kind of excursions you might be interested and try to find quotes.
Also we found the weather unpredictable and this might be something you might want to consider as you can easily have a week of rain on some of the islands. It’s not that great in the rain as we found out ourselves. (There’s a reason the islands are so green)

Sakurasnail · 27/03/2018 04:18

offtocatch I know, it would be a lovely holiday, and was suggested by another family member, but from what I've seen it's going to be super expensive.
We're not going from the UK, but still seems to be 19 hours travelling /stopover time from what I've seen. We don't want to disappoint the others if at all possible, hence looking for best value island and options, but we're a bit restricted with work and obviously don't want to get into debt for such a short holiday. Perhaps dh could stretch to slightly longer, but he's got to take the majority of leave at xmas, so that would be all his annual leave gone.
Interesting about the volcano pollution. I'd not thought of that.

OP posts:
AttilaTheMeerkat · 27/03/2018 04:35

No one island is cheaper than the other.

The air is thinner at the top of the volcano so that is more of an issue for young children and the elderly. Polution therefore is not an issue and the skies are clear. I seem to recall that young children are not encouraged to visit the observatories because of the thinner air.

Sakurasnail · 27/03/2018 05:02

No, but I was thinking that there would be more family friendly activities on one or two particular islands, rather than having to island hop and therefore spend on more airfare. As mentioned, I don't think the kids are going to be impressed by spending a lot of time admiring scenery, and we have loads of nice beaches at home, so want to appreciate something different.

OP posts:
offtocatchatrain · 27/03/2018 14:35

Just looked it up and it was the volcanic fumes that are bad for the lungs especially in more vulnerable groups such as young children/asthmatics etc. Obviously do your own research, we decided against taking our young dd as a result and there are reports of children feeling unwell and we are pretty laid back about dragging her everywhere with us! We’ve been all over the world with her since she was born and had some very strange looks at some places we’ve taken her but the vog and potential lung issues that can result from some of the gases put us off.
I would say definitely do your research re prices of trips, you can easily email companies and get quotes for how much each trip would be.
Gohawaii.com was a useful website for us. We were also not bothered about beaches etc and were going to see the scenery, we thought Maui was beautiful and big island is supposed to be stunning in terms of scenery and is the one to go to for a volcano, we plan to go that island next time we go. (Yes it’s so beautiful we are definitely going back when we can)

We did drive around Oahu and went on several long hikes to see a lot more of the scenery of the island, there were some lovely viewing points around the island. We found Maui a lot more ‘raw’ in terms of scenery ie less touristy and that was nice. We had to change our plans to drive around Maui though as we had flash flooding when we arrived!!
I hope you get to go, it really is beautiful.

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