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Honeymoon Help :)

Toronto, Canada
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Honeymoon Help :)

Hi there!

First off, thanks for reading this! My fiance and I are trying to plan a 3 week honeymoon to Hawaii from July 8th to July 29th. We're hoping to stay a week on The Big Island, a week on Oahu, and end off with a week in Maui.

I was hoping to get a little bit of insight from people who have been :) I've been to see a travel agent but his prices seem to be on the high end, and we'd like to be as sensible as possible.

First off, is Hawaiian discount car rentals online the best and most affordable place to rent a car? Also, how much is overnight parking typically? On some islands we could use the car for the entire week, on Maui I feel like we wouldn't need it as much. Could we just wait to arrive and rent a car for a day or two from a nearby place?

Secondly, I was looking into a place to stay on the Big Island that's central, but I've read a lot of conflicting information between staying in Kailua-Kona or Hilo. We basically want beach time (because it's the beginning of our trip) but we also want to get out and see the sites. Does anyone have any recommendations? As for a budget, we'd like to keep it as low as we can, but it's also our honeymoon and so we want a nice place to stay - we're thinking of around $150/pn but we don't know if that's reasonable. I've read a lot about people renting condos for reasonable prices, and we certainly wouldn't mind cooking for ourselves during the trip to keep costs down.

As for Oahu, I'm assuming Wakiki is the place to be, but any suggestions with this place or Maui would be greatly appreciated.

For our Maui stay I would like something a bit nicer - it doesn't have to be grand, but we'd like to end off on a majestic beachfront note.

As for what we hope to be doing: historical sites, snorkeling, surfing, beach time, and volcanoing :)

Thank you SO much for reading!

Dallas
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21,444 posts
69 reviews
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1. Re: Honeymoon Help :)

First, you will need a car the entire time on Maui and the big island. You can rent for a day or so on the island of Oahu.

Waikiki is the area on Oahu that most of the hotels are and although there are places available for $150 a night, none of them will be on the beach and most will not be "honeymoon worth." Or, my wife would not say so anyway.

On Oahu, Kaanapali and Wailea are the two main areas and lots of hotels all over the island.

I suggest that you go to the individual island forums with questions about each island as different people respond more on islands where they have the most experience.

So, congrats and welcome to the Hawaii forums. Lots of nice people on here will try to help you in every way they can. Don't be afraid to ask your questions but also read the forums as well for lots of things you might not even have thought of.

Also, on this forum and the individual island forums, there is lots of good information if you look at the top right hand side of each forum and read down through those items for some thoughts, ideas, suggestions, etc.

So, hope we can help you have a great trip and great honeymoon.

Aloha

washington
Destination Expert
for Maui
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22,174 posts
18 reviews
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2. Re: Honeymoon Help :)

$150 is a low budget...yes, it can be done but, especially at a very busy time of year, and if you mean THIS year, may be problematic.

Have you checked out the flight prices between islands for your time? You will spend a lot of money, and time, in airports, with your plan. Would you consider just doing 2 islands and transferring that savings to a nightly budget on each island?

First of all check out if you can fly into one island and home from the last one. Then check the inter-island flights and see what I mean, most inter-island flights involve time at Honolulu.

Yes, you need a car anywhere outside of Waikiki, and, yes, discount Hawaiian is a great outfit, check Costco too if you are a member for your car rental, yes you need a car.

At this late date I would take a look at packages with Hawaianair, and even expedia. You can do it without a travel agents charges.

Good luck and congrats!

Healy, Alaska
Destination Expert
for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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38,930 posts
44 reviews
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3. Re: Honeymoon Help :)

I agree with placebets - you would probably get the most help posting on each specific island forum. If I were you, I would probably steal a day or two from the other islands so that you had at least 9-10 days for the Big Island, which requires more time. And to really maximize your time there, you should spend a day or two on the east side or Volcano to see that side of the island, and then the rest on the west side to enjoy the beaches, etc.

Condos are great even if you never cook a thing - they can save you $$ and actually give you more room than most hotels.

If you are going this July, you need to get cracking on everything - Summer is a busy time on the islands. Good luck - Hawaii is a great honeymoon destination, though I would probably only visit 2 islands for the ultimate in relaxation and taking it slow. :)

Toronto, Canada
13 posts
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4. Re: Honeymoon Help :)

Thank you so much for your responses! I am talking about this upcoming July which is why I sought help immediately! We had been waiting to see the schedules of out-of-towners coming to our wedding before we booked a honeymoon and now the time is slipping away quickly!

I'll definitely look into all of your suggestions! Thank you again for taking the time to read and respond - this frantic bride certainly appreciates it!

Healy, Alaska
Destination Expert
for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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38,930 posts
44 reviews
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5. Re: Honeymoon Help :)

You may wish to post on the specific forums for the quickest help with lodging etc. :)

Big Island, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Island of Hawaii
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25,809 posts
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6. Re: Honeymoon Help :)

If you want beach time on the BI, you'll want to stay on th Kohala Coast, not Kailua Kona, and you'll also want to split your time with a couple of nights in Volcano on the east side, so flying in one side and out the other. There's no one base that's central as it's just too large.

I would also change the allocation a bit so you spend more like 8 nights on the BI and 6 on each of the much smaller islands.

$150/nt will get you a nice condo on the Kohala Coast, walking distance or a short drive to the island's best beaches. For around $200/nt you can probably snag the Hapuna Price if you want a hotel, which has very large rooms and is on a great beach. All the rooms are ocean facing so you won't wind up with a parking lot or dumpster view even at the lower category.

In Volcano you can find a nice place for $150 or less.

The Top Questions on the Island of Hawaii forum cover lodging in depth and will help you a lot. While you're a little late to the planning party, I checked your dates on vrbo and there are still options in your budget. Look at the Fairways at the Mauna Lani, Fairway Villas at Waikoloa Beach, Waikoloa Colony Villas...just make sure you're looking at Waikoloa Beach and not Waikoloa Village.

Washington DC...
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1,972 posts
11 reviews
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7. Re: Honeymoon Help :)

Have you booked your flights to and from the mainland yet? If not, I'd try to fly into your first island and out of your last island.

I think your overall plan is good, but you might want to spend a little longer on the Big Island, than the other islands since it is so much larger. I would try to do 8 nights on the Big Island, split between 6 nights on the Kohala Coast (for beach and snorkeling time) and 2 nights on the East side in Volcano Village to be near to Volcanoes National Park. Also, it really helps if you can fly into one side of the Big Island and out of the other (so into Kona and out of Hilo to your next island).

I would take a night from Oahu to add to the Big Island.

We rented through Discount Hawaii Car Rental and found them very reasonable. If you have a Costco membership, I've read that their prices can also be good for car rentals (and for gas near Kailua Kona).

I agree that $150/ night may be too low for a nice honeymoon worthy condo in July, which is high season and just around the corner. You can sometimes find good deals on condos on vrbo.com or Flipkey.com , just make sure to check in with the forum on the condo location first and to call the owner (don't just e-mail) and ask lots of questions, and don't forget to factor in the cleaning fee, if they have one for the condo (I thought the cleaning fees were surprisingly high for some of the condos I was looking at on the Big Island).

Definitely post on the individual island forums for more detailed help with accomodation choices!

Saint Cloud...
Destination Expert
for Oahu
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26,519 posts
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8. Re: Honeymoon Help :)

I recommend that you rent a car the entire time on Oahu.

You will waste many hours trying to save a few $$.

Take your time touring Oahu just as you would any other island.

On the Oahu forum (also the Top Questions on the Maui forum & the Island of Hawaii forum), read the Top Questions on the right side of the page. Driving tours, websites, maps, etc.

On the Oahu forum, use the search: trip report

Read 15-20 trip reports. They will give you a good idea what others see & do

Do the same on the Maui forum.

The Top Questions on the Island of Hawaii forum has a couple for trip reports.

Order the free travel planners for Hawaii & the islands of Oahu, Hawaii and Maui. You can also read them online. The online planners have hyper link websites throughout the pages.

http://www.gohawaii.com/visitor-guide

or

1-800-GOHAWAII

Order the free Air Maui map. It is really nice.

http://www.airmaui.com/FreeMap

Nanaimo, Canada
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24,028 posts
85 reviews
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9. Re: Honeymoon Help :)

If you are flying through Vancouver, then WestJet does fly into each of the islands you listed, direct. But it flies into Kona, not Hilo. But you could start with the west side, and enjoy the beaches and relax after the wedding, then enjoy a couple of nights in Volcano, and fly to the next island from Hilo.

Note: The first post, from placebets, it was meant to say that on MAUI Ka'anapali and Wailea are the two main areas.

If you have the time, head to your public library and pick up some travel books too. I like the Lonely Planet series. Fodor's and Frommer's may also be helpful.

Congratulations on your upcoming wedding. I hope you can make it work for you, so that you find some nice places for your honeymoon.

Dallas
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21,444 posts
69 reviews
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10. Re: Honeymoon Help :)

J0an123 - thanks for correcting that about Ka'anapali and Wailea being on Maui and not Oahu.