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Should We Add Honolulu

Mishawaka, Indiana
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Should We Add Honolulu

My husband and I visiting Hawaii for the first time and are having a heck of a time deciding on which island to visit. We really wanted to visit two island as we don't know when or if we will make it back. However, the BI is a major draw to us because of VNP. We are thinking of spending a week on the BI but maybe adding a couple days at the beginning to visit Honolulu, since we have to fly through there anyway. So we would spend Wed-Sat in Honolulu then head to the BI on Saturday until we fly out the following Saturday. Thoughts or suggestions on this itinerary? Our other option is to visit the Hilo side of the island then head to Kauai for a few days as well and skip Honolulu all together. Advice would be greatly appreciated!

California
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1. Re: Should We Add Honolulu

You're talking about 10 nights ... and your draw to the Big Island is VNP. I would spend the first 4 nights in the Hilo area and then fly to Honolulu and spend the balance of your trip on Oahu.

Both Oahu and the Big Island, as you have discovered, could easily consume your entire trip. But since you are OK with a VNP focus - a portion of the Big Island - this time ... split the nights 4 Hilo and 6 Oahu.

Kauai is great ... as is Maui ... but you will run into the same headache: not enough time this trip.

And please tell us what time of the year you are traveling.

Edited: 21 October 2013, 19:20
Healy, Alaska
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2. Re: Should We Add Honolulu

What is most important to you - as far as activities go? When are you planning this trip?

Chicagoland
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3. Re: Should We Add Honolulu

Big Island requires a minimum of a week and staying in two places if you want both VNP and sunny, beach-y Kohala Coast. You'd fly into one side at out of the opposite side. If you only want to visit VNP, there are daytrips out of HNL, or you could do an overnight. (*I* would feel it a waste of airfares and time not to plan to see more of this unique island.)

If you have ten nights, you could stay on two islands -- maybe Oahu plus Kauai (if you're coming in summer). You could even feel as though you'd been to a second island by staying on Waikiki and on the north shore of Oahu.

We fly ORD-HNL and on to OGG (Maui) without leaving security at HNL. I look for a nonstop on a widebody aircraft and avoid west coast connections and the 757's the fly those routes.

Mishawaka, Indiana
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4. Re: Should We Add Honolulu

Most important to us is being outside and enjoying the beautiful landscape. We enjoy snorkeling a great deal and are looking forward to that. We don't plan to spend a lot of time laying on the beaches as we could do that in the caribbean for a lot less money! Instead we really want to see some of the spectacular sights I have heard Hawaii has to offer!

Big Island, Hawaii
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5. Re: Should We Add Honolulu

A lot of times people make the mistake of thinking the Big Island is just about VNP when it is a great island to visit for a lot of other reasons, so I agree with Chi Sue and would probably suggest spending around 7-8 nights on the BI and two-three on Oahu. It would help us to know more about what you like to do as well as time of year. If you're coming in winter or early spring, for instance, it would not be recommended to spend several nights on what is often a soaking wet east side of the BI.

Edited: 21 October 2013, 19:41
Mishawaka, Indiana
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6. Re: Should We Add Honolulu

We will be going mid-September for out 10th wedding anniversary. As I mentioned snorkeling and hiking are things we are both looking forward too. Overall Kauai and Maui appeal to us more as a whole but VNP keeps pulling us back the idea of the BI. We'de hate to go all that way and skip something so spectacular. My husband keeps saying to leave it for next time but what if there is no next time?! It VNP in and of itself worth a trip to the BI if it means skipping Maui & Kauai???

Healy, Alaska
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7. Re: Should We Add Honolulu

I didn't get to Honolulu/Oahu until maybe my 5th trip to the islands?? You just can't do everything in Hawaii on one trip unless you had a few months. You could do as others have suggested - a few days on Oahu and then on to the Big Island. Kauai would be good for scenery & hiking as well - but the Big island takes more time and I love Kauai too much to say to only do 2-3 days there. :)

California
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8. Re: Should We Add Honolulu

Here's the deal: you are going to see spectacular things on any of the major Islands. Looks like you have made the VNP priority #1 - which is cool. Spend 4 nights on that side (Hilo side) of the Big Island. Then chose another Island for the balance of your nights.

Give yourself some time ... and make a pact with yourself to not let this decision make you crazy. The time you have is the time you have - and there are no bad choices. Just limit yourself to two Islands or you'll burn up way too much time in airports and standing in rental cars lines, etc.

And you may be able to fly directly to your first Island. Flying in to Honolulu is not a must.

Great time of the year for Kauai ... Oahu is an amazing blend of rural and urban - lots of cultural activities. Maui is, sigh, Maui.

I say shelve this until January, then make your plans.

Big Island, Hawaii
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9. Re: Should We Add Honolulu

I disagree with BLBL, why switch islands when the Big Island has more of what you want to do? The snorkeling is by far the best on the BI and poor on Kauai. We have one of the premier marine animal experiences in the world with the manta ray night snorkel. Great hiking not only in VNP but also the valleys and historic shoreline trails of north Hawaii, the quietest beaches, and most accessible and well preserved heiaus and historical parks.

Also I think four nights on the east side is too long, regardless of island allocation, if snorkeling is a trip priority. You likely won't even be getting in the ocean on the east side and if you were to spend four nights there and then take a half day or more to travel interisland, that's almost half your trip.

Maui is my least favorite island, others love it. Regardless of what you choose, I wouldn't get too wrapped up in thinking this will be your only trip. Many people start out thinking that way and then end up returning over and over!

Edited: 21 October 2013, 21:01
California
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10. Re: Should We Add Honolulu

Shea, she has time for two Islands if she doesn't try to tackle all of the Big Island. Perhaps 4 nights on the Hilo side is too much ... so how about three? Sure - we would all love to spend the whole trip on any one of the major Islands - Maui, Oahu, Kauai or the Big Island. Who wouldn't? But it's great that gracie is thinking strategically to work in two Islands with the 9 or 10 nights she has.

So many options... Great snorkeling on Maui, as well.

But gracie, I do agree with Shea ... that you will be back.