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Hawaii airport tips, first trip to hawaii

Six Lakes, Michigan
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Hawaii airport tips, first trip to hawaii


My husband and I will be traveling to Hawaii from the Midwest, in early April. This is a great expense for us, this may be the only time we are able to go, that is why we see squeezing in 3 islands. I hope the airport time doesn't take away too much of those island hopping days.

Any tips on surviving 10 hours on a plane would be greatly appreciated, also.

I am also wondering how much time it will take to get from Oahu to Kona, from check in to car pick up. How long before flight time should I get to the airport?

How long will it take to get my bags and rental car and be on the road?

I'm wanting to know the same info. when flying from Kona to Lihue from the Big Island.

We are flying into Oahu on a Tuesday, early afternoon. Doing Pearl Harbor half to 3/4 of Wed, and fly out at 12 for The Big Island. We will be there 3 nights and depart about 10:30 ish am, go thru Oahu of course, and arrive Lihue about 1:00pm on Sunday and depart 4 days later, in the late evening.

Any hints to make these transitions smooth and car pick on the Big Island and Kauai go smoothly are appreciated.

How much time will we have to enjoy Kauai on that last day, since we don't fly out until a couple of hours after dark?

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United States
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1. Re: Hawaii airport tips, first trip to hawaii

You may want to bring a plane pillow, eye mask, hand lotion, hand sanitizer (tray tables especially can harbor germs), and/or ear plugs. Buy some water or fill up a big water bottle before you get on the plane.

I also bring a sweatshirt because I get cold on planes. A good portion of the air is being pumped in from the outside so it is very dry. A lot of the coughing you hear on the plane will be because the air is too dry. Ayr Saline Nasal Gel can really help, I have found, as can drinking a lot of water. Make sure you stay hydrated.

Your feet can swell on a plane so a lot of people take off their shoes to be more comfortable.

I also bring my fully charged Kindle, fully charged iPad, charging cable, and an extra battery. I don't count on the flight having entertainment, wifi, or charging outlets, though it is nice when it does.

Get up and stretch periodically. Calf stretches when you're up and about. Ankle stretches while seated.

We usually try to return the rental car 2 hours before the flight. This gives us plenty of time to find where to return the car (sometimes signage is poor and you drive right past it and have to make a loop), return the car, wait for the shuttle, get off the shuttle, check your bags, go through security, use the rest room, buy some snacks/food, and find our gate.

The TSA line can get pretty long at Hawaiian airports dependent upon what time of day you are flying / what time of year you are flying. We were flying out of LIH during the holidays and it took 25 minutes to check a bag, 30 minutes to go through security. LIH only has 2 check points, and 1 of them is only open some of the time.

The time from when the plane actually lands, you taxi to the gate, wait to de-board, use the restroom, find baggage claim, wait for your checked bag, find your rental car shuttle, wait for the shuttle, get on the shuttle, get off the shuttle, and get your car can take up to 1 hour, we have found.

You can sidestep this a little by sending someone immediately to get the car while the other person gets the bag from baggage claim. Then person #1 picks up person #2 at the curb.

Edited: 28 January 2014, 16:11
Destination Expert
for Maui
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2. Re: Hawaii airport tips, first trip to hawaii

You will need to be in line at the airport 90 minutes before your flight add 20-30 minutes to get your rental car returned.

Drive times from your lodging will vary depending on time of day and traffic.

Healy, Alaska
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for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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3. Re: Hawaii airport tips, first trip to hawaii

I am a bit confused - how many days do you have for each island, and where are you staying on those islands? That would be helpful to know.

Sad to say, island hops do eat into your days . . . I would rather stay for 2 weeks on one island than hop around, but that is my preference. It is also cheaper to stay in your lodging and rent a car for a full week. Maybe think about that for your next trip. :)

Waikoloa, Hawaii
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4. Re: Hawaii airport tips, first trip to hawaii

If your flight to KOA is at noon, you will want to be at HNL at 10:30, 10 am if you have a rental car as a pp poster said. Allow 30 minutes to get to the airport from HHV, longer if your hotel is further away. That's from the time you get in a car, not allowing for checkout and getting a taxi. A noon flight will get you to KOA at about 1 pm. Allow 1 hour to get luggage and rental car, maybe longer. Allow another hour to get to your hotel and get checked in, assuming you're staying in Kailua-Kona or the Kohala Coast, longer if you're not. So, for a noon flight, from the time you leave your hotel room (9-9:30 am) until you are in your new lodgings, (3:00 pm), it will be close to 6 hours. Sunrise in Hawaii in April is roughly 6:15 am and sunset is roughly 6:50 pm. It doesn't take all day to change islands, but it's pretty darn close. Especially on the Big Island, when it gets dark, it's DARK. No such thing as twilight there, or streetlights for that matter.

Kauai, Hawaii
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for Kauai, Kapaa
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5. Re: Hawaii airport tips, first trip to hawaii

How much time will you have here? We usually recommend one week per island. Each interisland flight will eat up as much as 4 hours.

6. Re: Hawaii airport tips, first trip to hawaii

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