We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

12 days in Hawaii - one island or two?

North Carolina
2 posts
Save Topic
12 days in Hawaii - one island or two?

We are traveling with our 2 kids (ages 11 and 8) to Hawaii in April and planning to spend at least a week in Maui. We are trying to decide whether to spend 5 days on the Big Island or just stay put in Maui the whole 12 days. The volcano on the Big Island sounds great but I know we can't be assured of lava flowing when we are there. Any thoughts would be aprreciated.

Lodi, California
Destination Expert
for Cabo San Lucas
Level Contributor
24,352 posts
53 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: 12 days in Hawaii - one island or two?

Personally, if this is your first trip, I would suggest doing the two islands. While having to spend the better part of a day traveling, it would be a great treat to see Hawaii. Even if the volcano is quiet, there is a lot to see, and it is such a diverse island. The Parker ranch might be something special for you all to see also, and it is just a wonderful place to visit. Lots of sightseeing and history!

Elk Rapids, Michigan
Destination Expert
for Lanai
Level Contributor
9,526 posts
53 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: 12 days in Hawaii - one island or two?

I would do the Big Island. The lava has been flowing for over 2 decades and is not likely to stop by April. You may not see it entering the ocean but if you go to the end of Chain of Craters road in the evening you will most likely see red lava on the Pali. Be sure to bring a flashlight and wear long pants, lava cuts if you happen to fall on it. There is a port a potty set up at the end of the road but nothing else so bring water and binoculars.

Saint Paul...
Level Contributor
1,337 posts
198 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: 12 days in Hawaii - one island or two?

I think Katd is right

12 Days is plenty time to visit two Islands.

Big Island (the volcano making more news again )

and Maui.

But WAIT (like those silly commercials)

from Maui you all can also SEE Moloka'i and Lana'i or

day tour them via (cant remember the good one)

or paragram or the ferry.

There another Island too

visible from parts of South Maui.

enjoy your stay

California
Level Contributor
29 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: 12 days in Hawaii - one island or two?

HI,

I personnally would not miss the big island! There is so much to see....we were surprised that it became our favorite island. The varying landscape, 'graffitti,' lava tubes and so much more will be 'cool' to your kids. I vote both islands. :)

California
Level Contributor
199 posts
26 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: 12 days in Hawaii - one island or two?

I too vote for 2 islands on your first trip. I'd do 4 days on the big island and the rest on Maui. There is a lot to see on Maui. The trick of more than one island it not to waste an entire precious day traveling. Travel early morning or late afternoon. You don't want a noon filght. That means the morning is shot packing, checking out and waiting in the crowded airport and by the time you check in at your new island it will be late afternoon. Fly early morning or late in the afternoon. If you are staying in West Maui fly into the Kapalua airport instead of Kahului. It is tiny and there is no line for rental cars and will save a 45 minute drive.

Have fun!

North Carolina
2 posts
Save Reply
6. Re: 12 days in Hawaii - one island or two?

Thanks for all your input!!! I think we have decided to do both islands. Now the next question is should be stay part of the time near the volcano and part of it at the Marriott in Wailkoloa (we're using points at the Marriott)? Is it too far to drive to Volcano Park and back in one day if we stayed the entire time in Waikoloa?

Keno, OR
Level Contributor
412 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: 12 days in Hawaii - one island or two?

You will want a day to spend around the volcano, and probably another to visit around Hilo, go to the Botanical garden, see some waterfalls, visit the black and green sand beaches, etc.--all on the south and east sides of the island. We have stayed near Volcano Village (we loved the 2 bedroom TeaPot Cottage) and there are lots of good accommodations up there, so that you can hike and sightsee near the Volcano quite readily. Now that the eruptions are gearing up again, you might have quite a sight to see! Have a wonderful time on the Big Island (it's our favorite so far) and be sure to get some snorkeling in--The Big Island Revealed is a wonderful resource guide.

York, Maine
Level Contributor
34 posts
43 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: 12 days in Hawaii - one island or two?

I agree with Oregon. You will find the Big Island really amenable to tooling around doing daytrips from where ever you stay there. We just returned from a fairly rainy week on the Kohala coast and if it weren't for our rental (jeep) we would've missed out on alot that this dramatic island has to see. The volcano just started flowing again, but unless you're avid hikers and can do a six mile hike over very rough terrain, the only way you'll get to see the lava is by plane or helicopter. Have fun! There's lots to see on the BI, and the people there couldn't be friendlier!