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Hawaii in 6-8 days - 3 islands. Itinerary Draft

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Hawaii in 6-8 days - 3 islands. Itinerary Draft

Hi - Thanks in advance for all your help! I'm planning a trip for my 7 family members. My parents,2 sets of husbands and wives, and my brother. We are not sure when we are going yet. Need to figure out how many days to go, but we won't be able to do more than like 6-8 days. Our priorities are the beaches, snorkeling, and the volcanoes. We aren't too keen on visiting Honolulu and learning about the Hawaiian culture (that'll have to be another trip). Heres my first pass at an itinerary.

Day 1: Travel day. Arrive around midnight.

Day 2: Wake up early to go see Pearl Harbor. Then the afternoon snorkeling in Hanauma Bay and seeing the blow hold. Dinner at Dukes

Day3: Wake up early to go to the north shore. Possibly Waiki beach. Then catch the afternoon flight to Maui.

Day 4: Drive to Hana/Hana Highway. Visiting the Oheo and the 7 secret pools. Attending a Luau in the evening.

Day 5: Day trip to the Big Island:

Wake up and catch the 9 am flight to Hilo to arrive by 10 am.

Drive to The hour to the black Sand Beach. Only spend about 30 minutes here

Drive the 30 mins to Volcano park, spend the majority of the day here.

Drive back to the airport to catch the 8 pm flight back to Maui.

*Disclaimer: I know the BI is beautiful and theres so much more to see, but we really want to see just the Volcanoes this trip and spend the majority of our time on Maui.

Day 6: Beach/lounge around Maui.

Day 7: Beach/Lounge around Maui. Maybe check out hookipa park to see the wind surfers. Or check out the halekala national park.

Day 8: Travel home.

My main questions is, I know this is packed, but is it doable? Am I forgetting anything?

Also, what's the best advice on airports? SHould we fly in and out of Honolulu to save on money? Or into Honolulu and our from Maui? Any and all advice is much appreciated. Thanks!

New York City, New...
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1. Re: Hawaii in 6-8 days - 3 islands. Itinerary Draft

LOL crazy plan. Let the experts take a shot at this one.

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2. Re: Hawaii in 6-8 days - 3 islands. Itinerary Draft

Most recommend one island per week. I wouldn't do less than 5 nights per island and 8 for the big island. When you go between the islands it will eat up 5-6 hours of your day due to security, baggage,rental car returns, etc. Stay put on one island and go back again for the others. Or do two in 10 nights....Just my two cents.

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3. Re: Hawaii in 6-8 days - 3 islands. Itinerary Draft

One island, one island only. What you are proposing is a grand tour of airports, TSA lines and the insanity of herding 7 people through them.

Please step back and take a breath. With 8 days I woud suggest you stick to Oahu with a possible day trip to the BI for a helicopter tour of the volcano.

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4. Re: Hawaii in 6-8 days - 3 islands. Itinerary Draft

Is it doable sure will you enjoy it or get to really appreciate Hawaii doubt it.

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5. Re: Hawaii in 6-8 days - 3 islands. Itinerary Draft

You're messing with us, right?

If you have one week, you have time for one island. OR...take the NCL cruise that departs Honolulu every Saturday afternoon and touches the major highlights on Kauai, Maui and Big Island. You can reserve rental vehicles at each port instead of taking every ship's tour.

"Your" island doesn't have to be Oahu. You could through-check luggage to another island; sit at HNL for two hours on arrival; push on to that other island immediately on arrival; same on return. If you want to do this, you need to have both your mainland and interisland flights on a single ticket to avoid claiming and re-checking luggage -- or dispense with checked luggage and just do carry-on.

I suggest you take one of the widebody aircraft nonstop from the East into HNL and home again. Be aware that your first day will be playing catch-up with the time change. You'll wake early. You'll fade early.

Heed Mamma's words about NOT trying to island hop as you outline. You WILL have a grad tour of airports, car rental agencies, and highways.

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6. Re: Hawaii in 6-8 days - 3 islands. Itinerary Draft

Doable...yes...enjoyable...no. I like ChiSue's idea of a cruise...sounds better thenTSA lines and you can accomplish what you want to see.

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7. Re: Hawaii in 6-8 days - 3 islands. Itinerary Draft

Is this a script for a new reality show?! Honest, there is no way you can do some of it. For example, your Road to Hana day combined with a luau--that ain't gonna work unless you make no stops, no hikes, but just drive to and from. Snorkeling in the afternoon on Oahu is prob going to be crappy, since the water gets choppier. Re the Big Island, you may not even see any "live" lava, one never knows.

You currently have 3 interisland legs--which will be around 75.00 EACH. So that's another 150.00 per person on top of your mainland flights. Each flight and associated items ( car rental get and return, TSA, etc) will add time, as others mentioned.

Check in times for hotels here are normally 3-4 PM, and check out is 11-12 noon. What will you do with luggage during the 'in between' times?

Mamma did the cruise a few months ago and enjoyed it. It would be the best option for what you seem to want, and far less expensive as well. It's not super fancy, but it is decent and a floating hotel. Rent a car at each port and do your own thing to save money.

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8. Re: Hawaii in 6-8 days - 3 islands. Itinerary Draft

Dear me -- this is bad! (Welcome to TripAdvisor, where we will be brutally honest with you!)

+ Count your nights, not your days. Pin down exactly how many you will have before moving ahead with your planning.

+ 5 nights? 6? Even 7 nights -- you only have time for one Island ... so choose an Island that has "Beaches, snorkeling, volcanoes." I would choose Maui.

+ You arrive at midnight. Get settled in your hotel around 1:30 or 2:00 a.m. Do you realize what time your body clock will be telling you? You may wake up early ... and then roll over and go back to sleep. If you head out to Pearl Harbor early, you'll run out of energy before Hanauma (which is nowhere close to Pearl Harbor).

North Shore is an hour from Waikiki. And you need to be at the airport 2 hours before your flight.

+ Please understand that transitioning between Islands will consume at least a 1/2 day. You plans indicate a HUGE amount of time hanging out in airports. You will encounter the full security process at each airport.

+ The pools at Oheo are neither secret nor sacred. Understand that the trip along the Road to Hana is a long one. You will not have time for a luau that night, nor will you have the energy.

+ You would probably have to leave your hotel around 6 am to catch a 9 am flight to Hilo. Day-trip flying is very expensive. If you really want to day-trip to Hilo/Volcanoes National Park - you should do it from HONOLULU. More flights, more direct flights, easier access to the Honolulu Airport.

+ You are forgetting a TON of things ... of course. But you have no time. You have crammed way to much in. You'll spend way too much of your precious time standing in lines, checking cars in and out, hotels in and out ... waiting for planes. Choose Maui OR Oahu. And if you want to day-trip to Hilo/Volcanoes National Park - that's up to you. I wouldn't do it with such a short trip. Consider a commercial day-trip with Roberts Hawaii (tour company).

+ Do you have a good map of each of these Islands? Take a look at the topography. Your timeframes for travel to activities is way off.

+ One more thing - I love Volcanoes National Park .... but if you think you are going to see flowing lava, odds are slim to none.

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9. Re: Hawaii in 6-8 days - 3 islands. Itinerary Draft

This is way way way too much, especially coming from the East Coast. It would leave you all completely exhausted and spending way too much time at airports and rushing from site to site. It sounds like you are most interested in Maui, so I would just stick to one island and fly into and out of that island. Each island has so much to do and you can easily fill up a week or two on any one island.

Do you realize that the Big Island has the best snorkeling in the State though? If snorkeling is a big priority and if you have closer to 8 nights, the Big Island could be an option, but the Big Island is larger than all the other islands combined, so will definitely need 7-8 nights minimum if you want to see both sides (the best snorkeling is on the West side, but the Volcanoes National Park is on the East side). Also, most people recommend splitting your stay on the Big Island between East (a couple of nights), and the rest of your time West.

If you have less than 7 nights, then stick to Maui, which has the second best snorkeling in the State.

Are you flexible on when you can come? I would suggest either May or September (after Labor Day) as two good times when prices will be slightly better and kids will be back in school, so it will be less crowded. Also the weather is generally nice at these times of year and the ocean is generally calmer than in the Winter (so a better chance of calm oceans for snorkeling).

One other thing, why do you say you would arrive at midnight? ... Most flights from DC would leave in the morning and arrive in Hawaii by mid afternoon to late afternoon/ early evening (by 6 pm or so).

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10. Re: Hawaii in 6-8 days - 3 islands. Itinerary Draft

Whoa there! You're doing way too much island changing. With 6-8 days you really have time for only one island. Understand that each interisland transfer will eat up about 4 hours, which may not be at a convenient time.

Pick one island and redo your wish list.

Edited: 06 April 2014, 20:30