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If we can only spare 8 days on our first visit.....

Chicago, Illinois
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If we can only spare 8 days on our first visit.....

We have an opportunity to move up our Hawaii trip by 9 months, to November of this year (rather than next summer). I like this change for many reasons - leaving icky Chicago weather, cheap airfare (crazy good sale right now) and simpy getting to Hawaii faster :-)

This will be our first visit to Hawaii, we are doing the Big Island Only. We are staying at Hilton Waikaloa because it is totally free for us. I think we'll double-book one night (or two) at stay near VNP as well.

Our kids are 6 and 9. In this schedule we would arrive 2pm Hawaii time in Kona on Thursday, then Depart 11:45pm the following Friday.

My husband is feeling like maybe it isn't "worth it" to go that far when we can only stay 8 days, but I think it might be a good length for a first trip, as we are doing one island only.

I know some of this is just our personal preference, but I'd love to hear from the experts whether 8 days will simply feel too short (and honestly I guess it is more like 7.5 days)

We know we want to see VNP and some easier walks (Akaka falls?) and do one snorkel or boating trip. We'd also like to visit cultural sites (I still need to do more reseach, my focus has been on our upcoming spring break trip, but now this opportunity arose) My kids also adore beaches (we know there aren't any at Waikaloa)

thank you!

Edited: 12 February 2013, 13:24
East Coast
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1. Re: If we can only spare 8 days on our first visit.....

8 days is fine. The kids will love the resort.

There are plenty of pools on site and a pretty good beach within the greater complex Anaeho’omalu Bay

with plenty of parking. Better beaches are just a short drive away.

Omaha, NE
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2. Re: If we can only spare 8 days on our first visit.....

You'll be the judge of whether it's worth the time. From Chicago, you are probably going to spend around 24 hours round-trip on your flights. So that's something to keep in mind. Personally, I think it's a little short, but that doesn't make it too short for everybody. And a full week in Hawaii when the weather starts getting less-than-desirable is still pretty good.

Island of Hawaii...
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for Hilo, Island of Hawaii
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3. Re: If we can only spare 8 days on our first visit.....

It's not really a question of one island as there is at least two weeks of exploring to see the major areas of this large island. It's more that the trip will feel all too short when you leave.

Even after 10 days per island, I was so sad to go home. I started feeling bummed about the end approaching a few days before it was time. So if you can possibly stay through the final weekend I'm sure you would be very happy you had done that when the time comes.

But yeah, a week is OK and you can do a decent itinerary as long as you don't get caught up in the idea of seeing the whole island. It can get away from people the list of things they want to do as the planning stage goes on.

Big Island, Hawaii
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for Island of Hawaii
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4. Re: If we can only spare 8 days on our first visit.....

I think it's just fine to come for eight days. I personally think 8 days at the Hilton is 8 days too many, but it's free, so what can you do :-) I agree you should double book a night, but probably just one, in Volcano.

There is no beach at the Hilton, but there is one just outside the property, Anaehoomalu Bay. Not great, but there are turtles and a chance for the kids to splash around. Plenty of other beaches within 5-10 minutes drive. Regarding cultural and historical interests, there are the Anaehoomalu petroglyphs in Waikoloa Beach and several other heiaus and historical parks around the Kohala districts, read the TQ on things to do which covers some of that, as well as the one on snorkeling. November usually has pretty good ocean conditions, but keep an eye on that of course.

The Kings Shops and Queens Marketplace in Waikoloa Beach often have music, hula, and other performances and demonstrations, so check the schedule when you come.

The Saturday farmers markets in Waimea are fun and have good food.

Denver, Colorado
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5. Re: If we can only spare 8 days on our first visit.....

If you have the choice to do the 8 free nights later and add some time on the HIlo/Volcano side it would be a better trip and worth the wait . If you miss out on the free time by waiting then I say grab it while you may.

If you do make the day trip to Volcano try to get the best weather forecast cay down there cause if fogged over and raining it won't be much fun.

pzp
Kauai, Hawaii
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for Kauai, Kapaa
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6. Re: If we can only spare 8 days on our first visit.....

I really don't think the travel time - approximately 11-12 hours, depending on layovers - is all that bad for 8 days in Hawai`i. Early to mid-November are usually quite nice, although it will be cold and probably rainy up in Volcano.

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7. Re: If we can only spare 8 days on our first visit.....

what flight deals did you find?? I am monitoring the web to book a June flight and I am not getting anything less than $1000..I'm also from Chicago...thanks!

Edited: 13 February 2013, 06:19
Paris, France
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8. Re: If we can only spare 8 days on our first visit.....

hope nice weather for you according to www.sunpreview.com for annual weather. it's just a global year weather but it's fine

Chicago, Illinois
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9. Re: If we can only spare 8 days on our first visit.....

eglee - for October 31st - November 8th and 9th we are finding $645 per person O'Hare into Kona (change in PHX) on U.S. Airways. Pretty good deal!

p a
unict
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10. Re: If we can only spare 8 days on our first visit.....

Yes, we would absolutely move a trip up 9 months earlier.

Good airfare price, too.