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Is luggage safe in the trunk?

Crested Butte...
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Is luggage safe in the trunk?

On our last day of our trip, we thought we'd spend the afternoon driving from the Kohala Coast to Hilo along the Hamakua Coast with stops along the way including Laupahoehoe Point and Akaka Falls, plus botanical gardens and dinner in Hilo. Our plane doesn't leave until 10:30 p.m. Having read about the recent car break-ins, I'm now wondering if our luggage will be safe in our trunk of our rental car. What do you think?

Atlanta, Georgia
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1. Re: Is luggage safe in the trunk?

No one can say if your luggage will be safe in the car, but I personally would not assume that it will be. As a general traveling rule when sightseeing in a rental car, I do not take any more with me than I absolutely need for the day (usually cell phone, wallet, keys, maybe a small day pack if I plan to do any hiking). Usually everything goes with me whenever I leave the car. If that's not practical then I stuff it in the glove box, trunk, or under the seat out of sight. If I do have to take luggage, it always goes in the trunk. However, if I have the option of leaving my luggage at the hotel (after checkout) for pickup later before my flight, then I would usually prefer to do that.

Petty thieves are lazy and opportunistic. Most of the time if you do not look or act like a target of theft, then you will not become one.

-JimG

Island of Hawaii...
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for Hilo, Island of Hawaii
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2. Re: Is luggage safe in the trunk?

When we talk to people who are still planning, we discourage this type of touring on the last day, for this reason. As you are committed to it, you can make the best of it so that you donʻt worry.

Do keep it all in the trunk, and never open the trunk when you stop. Get anything you need on the prior stop.

Donʻt put anything perishable in the trunk such as medications or toiletries, unless you have it in a cooler.

Donʻt walk away from the car if you see sketchy looking people loitering around. People have no good business loitering in parking lots.

Botanical Gardens parking lot, no worries.

Akaka Falls -- do not leave the car alone if the parking attendant is gone. Late afternoon is not a good time there.

One issue with your plan is that Hamakua coast sites get most of their daylight in the morning. They are on the east side of a very tall mountain. What month are you coming?

Be sure to roll up your windows, lock and alarm your car, and donʻt leave sunglasses, iPods, phones, or anything like that in view when you leave the car.

I donʻt anticipate you would have a problem if you follow these guidelines for not attracting attention. Most all the break-ins of late were triggered by temptations left in plain view.

FWIW, although I have had my car pillaged in Hilo, it happened at night, in my driveway. I donʻt worry at all in the various parking lots around town, and Iʻve never seen the signs of a break-in such as a police car and broken glass around town. The main problem is the trailheads for waterfalls and nature walks, and beaches.

Crested Butte...
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3. Re: Is luggage safe in the trunk?

Thanks so much for your help. We're coming to Hawaii next week, leaving the third week of April. Another option would be to leave our luggage where we're staying, and spend much of our last day on the west side, just driving back in time for dinner and plane, but it will be our only chance to see the Hamakua Coast so I'm tempted to lock the luggage in the trunk and not open it while we're stopped. Maybe we can take turns walking up to the falls if the parking attendant isn't there. This would be on a Sunday, if that has any bearing.

Island of Hawaii...
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4. Re: Is luggage safe in the trunk?

Hi Amelia, youʻre welcome!

You do want to check the Hamakua weather the day you leave. If it should be very rainy, you wonʻt enjoy the tour of it. Donʻt use weather.com

Here is a good link for Hamakua weather.

Center of coast, Laupahoehoe:

forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php…

Botanical Gardens:

forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php…

Donʻt be put off by 30% showers, thatʻs about as good as our forecast gets, and often it is sunny. (Today is overcast and I do expect some rain soon.) If it says 70% rain or more, or heavy rain, itʻs probably not going to be a nice day for this area.

You will be shocked at how the weather shifts as soon as you get to the wet side of Waimea, so donʻt judge by the west side weather.

I would just play it by ear. I think your plan is fine. Sunday doesnʻt make a difference, other than it is a nice day to drive the coast, no road work (but right now they are not doing road work). Sunday will mean the beaches are more crowded. I might skip Laupahoehoe and leave it to the locals. They really donʻt want rental car traffic down there in any case, and Sunday is a busy day. Go to the Botanical Gardens instead, and plan to spend a couple hours.

Two places I would not stop and leave the car are Kolekole and Honoliʻi. But Kolekole is small and you can see your car. Again though, Sunday is local families day, so not good timing (no big deal anyway).

I donʻt know when the attendant leaves Akaka Falls, but I would make an effort to get there by 1 PM or so, or you wonʻt have time for the gardens, which are past Akaka falls. Attendant should be there then for sure.

Sunday finds a lot of restaurants in Hilo closed, so do make reservations if they take them. Cafe Pesto and Kenʻs are two that are open. Pesto is much nicer; Kenʻs if you love diners and diner food.

idaho
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5. Re: Is luggage safe in the trunk?

really good advice, don't act like your luggage is in the trunk. have everything you need in the front. i remember being in countries abroad, and only looking at the maps in the bathroom. never see let anyone know you don't know where you are!

Maryland
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6. Re: Is luggage safe in the trunk?

We were planning to leave Kohala tomorrow (Friday) am, see sights along the way, stop in Hilo for an early dinner, and head to Volcano to our cabin. Is it ridiculous to drive straight to Volcano, drop off everything and head back up above Hilo to sightsee? It looks like it would be at least an hour to backtrack which wastes lots of our time. Is there anywhere near Hilo we can store our luggage since the airport no longer has lockers? We are SO looking forward to seeing Laupahoehoe park, Rainbow Falls Punalu'u and Lili'okalani Gardens. Are some of these safer than others? Thanks so much!!

Island of Hawaii...
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7. Re: Is luggage safe in the trunk?

Barbara, there is nowhere to store luggage, but you should be OK.

Laupahoehoe -- I donʻt know of any specific issues, kind of far from my scope. I do know that local residents never wanted tourists going down to that park because the road is narrow and local, and they even requested not to have it signed. I learned that recently. I am not saying not to go though. It is difficult to keep your vehicle in sight there if you walk far. Follow all precautions listed above.

Akaka Falls is not on your list? Well, there is a sort of security. Same drill though. Keep in mind the ticket taker is not a security guard, and has only been hired to take money, not to watch for crimes. itʻs probably more percepton than reality that is helping keep things safe there, but if it works, it works.

Rainbow Falls is a bad parking lot, and is not safe at all, but the area is so small that you will be in sight of your car, so just lock and alarm it. Use the restroom there in pairs. A Japanese visitor was mugged using the restroom some months back. Hold on to your backbacks. (This is how I always travel in a foreign country or anywhere shady. Be the person who is visibly holding the purse or back in a grip, so that the ones who grab them target someone else.) Yes I was told there were punk neighborhood kids grabbing packs off peopleʻs backs while they were looking at the falls, and escaping on skateboards. Hard to believe, I know.

That said, thousands of people go to Rainbow Falls without incident. It has rained hard in Hilo this last week, so the falls may be decent for this time of year.

Do not leave your car completely unattended to walk above the falls. It really is a bad area of town. Boiling Pots parking lot, same deal, you can see your car, but you couldnʻt get to it in time if someone did a smash and grab, so hide your stuff.

Liliuʻokalani Gardens are very busy, so it is hard for someone to pull anything off mid day, more of a problem in the pre-dawn and dusk or evening hours. Still hide your stuff.

Punaluʻu is after Volcano ...

So the mantra is, hide your stuff, and donʻt open your trunk at the stop, and walk away carrying purses, totes, or day packs to make it obvious that you are carrying your money and ID and valuables. If people walk away with nothing on them, itʻs pretty obvious that they are leaving goodies in the car.

As for Hilo town, take precautions in the old downtown, near the bus terminal, near Kalakaua Park, near the Farmerʻs Market area. I have never had trouble or seen trouble down around Walmart and Prince Kuhio, where I often forget to lock my car out of pure absentmindedness. (I go back and lock it.) The old downtown and the parks and beaches are where lowlifes expect to find tourists, careless tourists. I consider Hilo to be a very safe town in the parts where the locals shop.

8. Re: Is luggage safe in the trunk?

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