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Holiday with 2 year old in early July

Santa Monica...
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Holiday with 2 year old in early July


We will be moving from New Zealand to Los Angeles for 3 years in July and will be taking a much needed break for 2 weeks en route in Hawaii. The flight from NZ gets in quite late so our current plan is to stay in a hotel near the airport for one night and to then fly to Kauai the next day.

We then intend to go to Kauai for 8 to 10 days and then back to Oahu for 4-5 days.

Initially our focus will be on rest and then we will be up for some adventures (well as much as you can with a 2 year old boy).

We do intend to hire a car.

We don't need luxury (on a bit of a budget) but do want something easy, with kitchen and access to laundry if not part of the accommodation.

A few questions:

1. Where do you recommend that we stay for our stop over night on Oahu.

2. Getting to Kauai - How often do flights leave for Kauai - do we need to book in advance or can we just turn up. What will give us better deals?

What is the local airline - can we book online or can you recommend a travel agent?

3. What is the easiest way to book a car on Kauai - ideally to pick up at airport. Are car seats included?

4. Where do you recommend we stay on Kauai? We would like easy access to beaches safe for our boy, playgrounds, supermarket. We're not big shoppers so don't need that so much.

5. When we head back to Oahu, where do you recommend we stay? We'll be ready to do a few more things by then (once again though we're happier to be in a more relaxed environment and we will hire a car).

6. Anything else you think worth knowing?

Many thanks

Santa Rosa...
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1. Re: Holiday with 2 year old in early July

You need to book your interisland reservation now. Just showing up doesn't work anymore. Flights are more limited now and the price will be higher if you just show up and hope to get on a flight. Book now to get the flight you want and the best price. You will surely have a wait and it might be the last flight out or even the next morning.

Hawaiian Airlines is the main interisland carrier. You can book directly online. Do this quickly as you're only a little over a month off and the most popular flights, noon to mid-afternoon, go fast. Here is the link.....


You'll see flights are abuot every hour from about 5 am. to 8-9 p.m.

Ditto with a car rental. Do it now. Yes, you can request a car seat when you book and yes all car rentals are at the airport. It's a quick 2 minute ride in the shuttle vans over to the car rental offices where you pick up your car and handle your paperwork.

Just try the obvious ones online - Budget, Alamo, Thrifty, Dollar, Hertz and Avis. The first 3 seem to be the most popular on this forum. My favorites are Alamo and Thrifty, for the better deals. I can't stress enough that you need to book now. Cars have been in shorter supply this year and you're going high season. If you don't have luck there, try ths online wholesaler who is also very popular with many who have posted about it on this forum....Discount Hawaii Car Rental...


Discount Hawaii pre-negotiates rates with the major rental companies. You'll receive a confirmationfrom both Discount and the car rental company. Otherwise, it's the same as reserving directly with them. Discount Hawaii just receives a 'cut', just like with a travel agent.

On where to stay on Kauai. The options are too numerous to even list here without knowing more details. You should decide on what part of the island you want, for starters. What price range? You're going to get a number of suggestions here from folks with their own favorites that may or may not work for you personally so I would urge you to do your own homework first and narrow down some choices. Come back with those choices and ask for help with them. Your options are going to go well beyond a handful of recommendations you'll get here so leave yourself open and do some research.

Most importantly, welcome to the United States, albeit for a short 3 years. I'm sure that you'll fall in love with Hawaii and will find yourself making the quick 5.5 hour flight over from Los Angeles more than once during your stay in the U.S. Good luck.

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2. Re: Holiday with 2 year old in early July

<<We don't need luxury (on a bit of a budget) but do want something easy, with kitchen and access to laundry if not part of the accommodation.>>

Check out Craigslist for last minute ideas on places to stay, VRBO or this website:


I might recommend looking at places on the North Shore for July. The waters are calm that time of the year, but you could also check out Islander On The Beach for being close to Lydgate Park, a fun playground area for kids. That is located on the East side of the island.

<<1. Where do you recommend that we stay for our stop over night on Oahu.>>

There are hotels right near the airport. That might be the best idea. Ask this question on the Oahu forum.

You do need to book in advance for interisland. Hawaiian, Go and Island Air are the ways to get to Kauai. I like Hawaiian.

Napaguy gave good recommendations on rental cars and car seats cost extra.

<<When we head back to Oahu, where do you recommend we stay?>>

Gosh there are a zillion places to stay on Oahu. Go to the Oahu boards and see what are the top places to stay. A friend of mine just stayed at an Aqua property and thought she got a good deal and liked it. I have never stayed there. I think Aqua has 3 or 4 small hotels in the area.

It sounds like a visit to a travel agent might be a good idea. You have a lot on your mind. Good luck with the move. What a big change you are in for.

Healy, Alaska
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for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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3. Re: Holiday with 2 year old in early July

Let's see - are you more beach people or pool people? Northshore will have the calm waters during July. You could get a condo or cottage . . . if you want to be right near the water, then look at Hanalei, Haena or Anini. Princeville has lots of great condos, but it is on a cliff.



Would you share what your budget would be as that would help people in recommending specific places to share.

I would try to stay the maximum time on Kauai - full 10 days or more. It is the perfect island to decompress on.

For your one night stay in Oahu, I would use hotwire.com or priceline.com to book a hotel near the airport since you are just looking for somewhere to lay your head for the night.

Happy planning! :)

Edited: 25 May 2010, 21:58
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4. Re: Holiday with 2 year old in early July

Car seats are generally not included in the price of a rental car - it will run you about $10/day, which can add up VERY quickly. Also, I absolutely do not trust that the car seats were installed by a car seat technician (it is very easy to install a car seat incorrectly) and who knows how well the seat was cleaned before you got it? Ewwww.

You should be able to check your carseat for no additional luggage charge, but won't you need it on the plane?

We stayed on the south shore with our 9 month old but drove up to Anini and just loved it. I dream of renting a little house there and just parking my butt on the lanai for a week while my boys (dad and kiddo) frolic in the gentle surf.... sigh...

Have a great trip - Kauai is the perfect place to unwind!

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5. Re: Holiday with 2 year old in early July

Yes, Napaguy pretty well covered all of the specifics.

Book Hawaiian Airlines without delay.

Agree about using your own carseat....assuming you are travelling with one...they are not included with the car hire.

You will LOVE Kauai.

The Airport Hotels at HNL at quite depressing...just kinda ...get in and out kinda places...if you can plug on through to Kauai...all the better. name of a place??? I think Ohana has the least offensive reviews of late.

Yes....really need to know your nightly accomodation budget in order to recommend a place to stay. There is a pretty wide price choice..... roughly$150- $$300/night I would say... as an average. I suspect you want something fairly decent with the wee one in tow?

Moorpark, California
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6. Re: Holiday with 2 year old in early July

Napa pretty much covered the details, book inter-island now, book car now and I would recommend using your own car seat, if possible.

We took a long trip to New Zealand and Australia when my son was 3 and we rented the car seats with the car. They were fine. All were clean and I "installed" the car seat myself. But you will need one in LA and I assume you have one in New Zealand so you can bring your own.

I will jump out and recommend two places I really like in Poipu. They are walking distance to a great beach for the little one. Nihi Kai and Poipu Kai have very nice, reasonably priced condos. They both have heated swimming pools. We rent from Parrish Kauai http://www.parrishkauai.com/kauai-condos/

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7. Re: Holiday with 2 year old in early July

Just to chime in on the car seats, no rental agenies that I know of will install the seats for you due to liability concerns. You should expect to get the lowest quality seat with minimal cuhioning. I paid $8/day from Alamo on a recent trip to Kauai and it worked out just fine.

East Coast
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8. Re: Holiday with 2 year old in early July

If you must stay overnight in Oahu the Ohana Honolulu Airport Hotel (Fromerly the Holiday Inn) as mentioned is fine. They have a free airport shuttle. You are probably better off breaking up you questions into different topics for better clearer resonses.

Santa Monica...
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9. Re: Holiday with 2 year old in early July

Thank you for all of this great information. You guys rock. I am onto the interisland travel and the car hire.

I've done a bit more research on the accommodation now - our budget is in the approx $1000 per week category. It would seem that north, east or south are all good options and I haven't managed to narrow that down yet.

The key thing that has occurred to me is the safety aspect associated with a 2 year old. It would be nice to have a contained indoor / outdoor space where he can potter around outside without me having to worry about him ending up on a road, in a pool or some other major hazard. It's hard to get a gauge on this aspect at the sites I have looked at so far so any comment on this would be appreciated.

On the car seat front - we hire our car-seat here in NZ (at $35 for 6 months why buy one as they are nearly $300 for a good one!). We will need to get one when we are in the States or prior to going. We will be in LA this week so thinking of getting one then and bringing it back to NZ so that we have one meeting US standards.

I will post separately on the Oahu list for that part of our trip.

10. Re: Holiday with 2 year old in early July

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