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Cheapest ways to enjoy Kauai?

San Francisco...
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Cheapest ways to enjoy Kauai?

`Already booked my flights, hotels & car rental for our trip in November. Now all I need is to find the cheapest way to enjoy Kauai.

We are family of 3 (2 adults + one 5 year old).

Is there a coupon book for activities, restuarants etc?

We are on budget and I need to know the best way to enjoy all the major attractions within this isalnd.

Thanks in advance.

We were at Alaska and they had a coupon book - Northern Lights, which saved us tons of $$$. Thanks to tripadvisor. Is there any thing similar to those.

Danville, California
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1. Re: Cheapest ways to enjoy Kauai?

Yes, there are coupon books where you pick up your luggage at Lihue airport. We are a family with 3 kids and try to eat breakfast in, picnic lunches on the beach and have an early dinner/ late lunch for better prices (and less crowds) or have a big breakfast out with picnic lunch on the beach and bbq at night...

There's a few places with free hula shows & entertainment so those are great too. The beaches are free and the best! I'll post a trip report in August to let you know if there are any more great, inexpensive places to try out.

Tucson, Arizona
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2. Re: Cheapest ways to enjoy Kauai?

The best part about Kauai is that you don't have to spend a lot of money to enjoy the island. You might have been better off in a condo rather than a hotel in order to save money on meals, but if it's too late to change that, you can still cut down on meal costs with the suggestions that huladolz gave you.

For the most part, you can get the best deal on paid excursions by booking directly with the vendors - often a discount by booking online. In the past, we've usually booked one paid excursion each trip and then done things that cost little or nothing the rest of the trip, Now that we've done pretty much everything, we didn't do any paid activities the whole two weeks this year and still had plenty to keep us busy.

Edited: 11 July 2011, 01:43
Kaua'i, HI
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for Kauai, Poipu, Lihue
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3. Re: Cheapest ways to enjoy Kauai?

Aloha from Kaua'i!

I'm a great believer that you don't have to do all the high-priced activities here in order to enjoy Kaua'i - we are known mostly for our natural beauty as the oldest of the main islands with the most dramatic landscape, and you don't need to take boat cruises, helicopter trips, ATV tours, ziplining, lu'au shows nd other activities to enjoy this beauty - unless you want to and can afford to of course!

And yes, there are coupons for minimal amounts off in the "This Week Kaua'i" booklet you can pick up at the airport and just about everywhere. There are also lots of "Visitor Activity" booths with discounted and/or free activities/dining - I don't have any experience with these, but I'd be cautious when using them, some I believe require attendance at some type of presentation - whether for time shares, or other things they are trying to get you to purchase.

Our beaches are beautiful, plentiful - and free! Beaches such as Po'ipu Beach Park, Lydgate Park, Baby Beach (there are two) are specifically geared towards little ones - as well as adults.

You can watch the honu (turtles) feed along many oceanside areas just by walking along the ocean path (Ho'onani Rd. for instance here in the Po'ipu area).

If you enjoy hiking - there is hiking for every level and ability and age - everything from nature trails designed for keiki (children) up in Koke'e Park/Waimea Canyon and everything inbetween all over the island.

I am not meaning to discourage you from any of the activities I mentioned earlier - many, many people do these activities and some people feel that for instance, seeing Kaua'i from a helicopter is the "only" way to really appreciate the island. I've lived here for over 13 years now and visited for about 15 years before that - I've never yet done a helicopter tour and personally don't feel I have any less appreciation for the beauty all around me because of it. But there is no denying that it is a wonderful thing if you can afford it - many people here will testify to that.

Honestly if you haven't been to a lu'au - I would recommend one that isn't very expensive comparatively and is very family-geared. This would be Smith's Family Lu'au - which is over 50 years old now, put on by the same ohana (family) and in the same location as in the 1950's. Great,

"Kaua'i-style" lu'au IMO - and one of the least expensive ones also.

Just depends on you and what your tastes run to - and, as mentioned, there are "free" hula or Tahitian dance shows here also - at the Grand Hyatt Kaua'i as well as at the Po'ipu Shopping Village - the one at the Hyatt is a "keiki hula show" put on by young (5 to 13 yrs old) dancers from a local hula halau (school) who do Hula, Tahitian and Maori dances 2 nites a week. The one at Po'ipu Shopping Village is at 5pm on Friday evening and I believe at least one other nite (sorry, I'm not sure of the nite) and features Tahitian dancers from a local award winning Tahitian dance troupe.

Just a few ideas, suggestions, thoughts.....I'm sure you'll have a great time here!

Malama Pono,

Janet

San Francisco...
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4. Re: Cheapest ways to enjoy Kauai?

Thanks a lot for all the details. My wife is pregnant and hence we are limited to doing very few things. Hence we can't hike or do adventurous activities. We love beaches and we enjoy the nature and from your replies, I can see everything for free. We don't mind spending few bucks on 'must to do activities'. Please let us know if we can do something. Thanks.

Kailua, Hawaii
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5. Re: Cheapest ways to enjoy Kauai?

About helicopter tours: You don't have to go on one to have a major portion of the experience.

Go to the Google video search page here:

video.google.com/?hl=&sourceid=navclient-ff

and put in Kauai. Several of the videos have portions taken on helicopter tours.

If you start to get air-sick, you just look away.

Edited: 11 July 2011, 15:30
Danville, California
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6. Re: Cheapest ways to enjoy Kauai?

Be sure to check out www.kauaifestivals.com which has a great list of things going on Kauai- many of which are free or cheap- concerts in the park, walking tours, festivals, farmers markets... events are listed month to month.

San Diego...
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7. Re: Cheapest ways to enjoy Kauai?

The one "don't miss" activity for us has always been the Na Pali coast tours. You just need to be sure you're going on a calm day if you and your family are prone to motion sickness. They stop and snorkel and swim, and the views are unbelievable. The boat trips out of Pt. Allen are easily done while pregnant (I've done it with both of my pregnancies). The hiking at Waimea isn't difficult either. I did that with both pregnancies, too. Just choose an easier trail. The one at the end of the road has some spectacular views.

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8. Re: Cheapest ways to enjoy Kauai?

The best parts of Kauai are free. Beaches, sunsets, simple hikes, taking photographs.

Louisiana
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9. Re: Cheapest ways to enjoy Kauai?

Hannapepe Friday night Art Walk, Hyatt torch light ceremony, Old Koloa Town, Kapa'a, easy hikes like the one past Shipwreck Beach to the lithified cliffs, Kauai Museum in Lihue, Kauai Coffee Museum. Surf watching, lots and lots of snorkel beaches and keiki beaches. Auto touring Waimea Canyon to the Kalalau lookout, Poli Hale Beach, northshore, Kilauea Lighthouse. BTW, there is a great sunset view on the road to the lighthouse. Seems to be a locals secret (not anymore). It overlooks the Princeville Stables pasture too, gorgeous. Opaeka Falls, drive up and gawk. If I were going to splurge on one or two things, it would be WOK and maybe a luau. You will never forget seeing the Na Pali Coast. It's a don't miss best viewed from above or a boat.

Cheap eats are all the great food trucks and fish markets. Most of expensive restraunts to me, while great for different reasons, could be skipped. We loved Brenneke's at Poipu Beach and it was very reasonable and the veiw can't be beat. Portions were large too. Three Mermaids in Kapaa was great street food and one serving could feed a whole family. We didn't get to do much down beach time and I wish we hadn't had so many of the "adventures" to do. Aninni Beach is a locals spot (with a food truck) and had lots of keiki (kids) for your little guy/gal to play with. The beauty of Kauai is all around, the beaches, the mountains, the people.

Santa Rosa...
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10. Re: Cheapest ways to enjoy Kauai?

I agree completely with Koloagirl. Tourists have enjoyed Kauai for decades before the likes of ziplining, ATV'ing, etc. even came into being by some very enterprising individuals. Some of these activities have nothing to do with Kauai and can be done anywhere.

The "must" that I always recommend though is a boat cruise of the Napali. The best ways to see it is either by boat or helicopter and I personally believe that seeing it by boat is the most natural and involves all the senses.

Other than that I also recommend a dance review. Not necessarily a luau but a show such as the one given by Smith's which can be seen without attending the luau portion for only $18 or so.

Edited: 12 July 2011, 18:22