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First time visitors; suggestions?

Mobile, Alabama
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First time visitors; suggestions?

My husband, two daughters and sons-in-law, and our two grandchildren, by then ages 2 months and 20 months, hope to head to Kauai on Dec. 30 for 10 days. Both daughters honeymooned there and adored it, but dh and I have never been to Hawaii.

We plan to base ourselves in or near Princeville and are interested in renting a 3-4 bedroom/3 bath condo/townhome. I've been looking at some great looking and very reasonable places (Nihilani) and am open to other suggestions.

We hoped to rent a minivan, but it seems that none show up as available. We'll likely just rent two cars then. What are the most reputable local car rental agencies?

This will be a very low-key visit; we plan to just explore, relax, enjoy the natural beauty and some good food. I'd welcome reasonably priced restaurant (child friendly) suggestions, and ideas for anything else that is just not to be missed (though hubby may, I have NO intention of getting into a helicopter.)

All suggestions are welcome! Thanks.

Moorpark, California
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for Kauai, Catalina Island
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1. Re: First time visitors; suggestions?

For a rental car, check out http://www.discounthawaiicarrental.com/

Not sure why you are not seeing mini-vans though that is a busy time of year. We have one reserved for our upcoming trip in June.

Any particilar reason for choosing the north shore in December? The seas will be rougher on the north shore and you will most likely experience more rain.

kauaiexplorer.com/guides/beach/seasonal_surf…

Edited: 21 May 2012, 21:56
Hawaii
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2. Re: First time visitors; suggestions?

Have you considered renting a house? We stayed at this place a few years ago, it's absolutely perfect for a large family with kids and very affordable:

http://goo.gl/pO1yo

If you're 8 people I think a mini van might be too small. All the car agencies are fine. I've had very good experiences with Alamo, but give discount Hawaii car rental a try, they'll get you a good deal with any of the big agencies.

The Garden at Common Ground in Kilauea is very family friendly. Kids can run around the gardens while waiting for food.

A few nice family activities - one of the botanical gardens, Kilauea lighthouse, mini golf, building sand castles at the bay, zip lining..

pzp
Kauai, Hawaii
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for Kauai, Kapaa
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3. Re: First time visitors; suggestions?

Is there a particular reason for staying in Princeville? In December you're more likely to have good weather on the south shore.

Mobile, Alabama
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4. Re: First time visitors; suggestions?

We're looking at Princeville because our kids loved it so much on their honeymoons. I will look into the south shore, however, for the weather.

Actually, with the two little ones, a minivan will likely be one seat short! (Baby #2 won't arrive until late October, so I am not yet used to counting him!) I guess we'll have to look at two cars; not a bad idea, with the baby stuff we'll be lugging.

We'll certainly consider a house if it's reasonable enough. We're footing the bill for the accommodation and cars, and I found some lovely townhomes at great prices. The research continues!

Moorpark, California
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for Kauai, Catalina Island
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5. Re: First time visitors; suggestions?

In December, the north shore will be rougher and likely more rain (OK, I said that already). Do you have a budget in mind? There are some lovely homes in Poipu that will be close to a swimable beach for the little one. We rented a Ford Expedition from Budget one year that had three rows of seats (seated 8) with a large area for luggage in the back (just lilke my Yukon XL at home).

Oregon
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6. Re: First time visitors; suggestions?

We have been to Kauai 6 or 7 times, have never stayed in Princeville. Mostly because it is not centrally located. Road does not go around Kauai. Princeville sort of at one end, 60 or so miles to Waimea Canyon.

We prefer Poipu, though have also stayed in Kapaa. both more centrally located,

And in Dec Poipu likely to be better weather. Though we were in Poipu one Dec with two days of downpour, but northshore was worse

Edited: 22 May 2012, 04:38
San Diego...
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7. Re: First time visitors; suggestions?

You may wish to check out the Top Questions threads on many of those subjects. Check out the list on the right hand margin. The Search Function will also lead you to older threads on specific questions.

I don't think there's enough difference in the rental car companies to matter much. Price is the main driver for most.

Princeville Dec 30 to Jan 10? You're playing with fire. It might be nice or you may be in need of an ark. It's much drier on the south side in winter. The odds of a washout are low, but they're not zero. Princeville also has poor beach access. You'll be driving to the beach and the waters are often very rough on the north shore in winter. You may well be driving all the way to Poipu to be able to let the little ones in the ocean.

Denver
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8. Re: First time visitors; suggestions?

You also have to account for the fact that most kid carseats take up about 1 1/4 car seats (unless they're Radians, which are narrower), so two car seats will take up most of a row of 3 seaters.

Two cars will be a better option anyway to give you the flexibility of seeing the island while others attend to naps or go a different direction. We've traveled with our littles and their grands to Kauai a couple times now and always rent two cars.

Both sets of grands did heli tours (one doors on with Blue Hawaiian, one doors-off with Jack Harter and all four loved it, even if some were apprehensive ahead of time).

Check out my trip report blog at http://kauaiflamingos.blogspot.com - we traveled last April with a 7.5 month old and 2.5 year old. I also added a tab called Kauai Activities with Kids.

Do you have a Costco membership? Go to costcotravel.com for car rental deals at all the major rental agencies - there was a time when they had the best rates, then they didn't, and now I think they've got good rates again.

Denver
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for Poipu
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9. Re: First time visitors; suggestions?

Also, many rentals (both condos and houses) have baby gear available - pack n' plays, high chairs, etc. If not, check out www.readyrentals.com, www.kauaibabygear.com, or www.kauaibabyrentals.com.

Feel free to PM me if you have specific questions about traveling with the little ones!

Mobile, Alabama
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10. Re: First time visitors; suggestions?

So much great info!!! Glad to know about the availability of baby gear.

We're locked into the late December/early January time frame because of work and grad school responsibilities. It's then or never next year.

I'm definitely looking into Poipu!!! We'll just have to make Princeville an excursion.