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Better to book early or late, packages or ala carte?

Beaverton, Oregon
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78 posts
43 reviews
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Better to book early or late, packages or ala carte?

I have decided to take my daughters (14 and 12) to Kapalua next year, either end of May or right after school is out. Am I better off making reservations and buying tickets as soon as possible (airline schedules just beginning to open), or should I wait until later? This will be my first visit to Hawaii; are the vacation packages (Hawaiian Air, Alaska Air, Costco, Orbitz, etc) a good choice, or am I better off booking each element (air, condo, rental car) separately?

Thank you for your help!

United States
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131 reviews
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1. Re: Better to book early or late, packages or ala carte?

I'm a planner but personally I'd start looking now. I've found that expedia.com has great car+ hotel deals. Usually in the form of a 24 hr sale. Take a month to research where u want to stay and which combo of package/not is cheaper.

Costco has some good deals but not always cheaper.

Don't know if expedia has condos if that's what you're looking for.

By about end aug maybe have your plans firmed up.

We fly using miles and or buy companion fare so thats why not included in package. Might be a good deal for u though.

California
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for Oahu
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42,802 posts
19 reviews
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2. Re: Better to book early or late, packages or ala carte?

No magic bullet. Costco, AAA, Pleasant Holidays are all popular and reliable - as are the packages offered by the airlines.

Building your trip in pieces, flying out of Portland, watch for sales with Hawaiian Airlines and Alaska Airlines. Be mindfull of cancellation and/or change policies. I would not jump on the airline booking yet unless you are sure of your dates and the airfare is super cheap.

Where in Kapalua are you staying ...?

washington
Destination Expert
for Maui
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22,048 posts
15 reviews
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3. Re: Better to book early or late, packages or ala carte?

Once school is out prices go up, end of May would be better...are you looking for a hotel or a condo? With kids I highly recommend a condo for more space and that wonderful kitchen.

You can and should book accomodations earlier rather then later. If booking seperate.

Packages from Portland COULD be good with either Hawaiian or Alaska I would see what they are offering and do a little side-by-side comparison.

Outside of a package I would wait on the airfare, sign-up with Alaska and Hawaiian for fare alerts...we normally book 4-5 months outa but if you find a good fare jump on it!

California
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5,830 posts
45 reviews
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4. Re: Better to book early or late, packages or ala carte?

Generally, summer airfare prices to Hawaii start mid to early June. If your schools get out in May you have the luck of getting lower prices. Being from Oregon you might find the best airfare with Alaska. You can always buy your Kapalua property and rental car from Costco Travel.

Oregon
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4,363 posts
22 reviews
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5. Re: Better to book early or late, packages or ala carte?

Yes, those 2 weeks at the beginning of June will be the time to go. Check the airfare prices now but I am gonna bet that they go down as we end the winter months. I would set up a car rental through Costco/Alamo now and then make a new reserve and cancel the old one if the price drops. If you are renting a condo, check VRBO for pricing.

Maui
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for Ka'anapali, Haleakala National Park, Maui
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18 reviews
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6. Re: Better to book early or late, packages or ala carte?

Aloha,

Not that I don't think Kapalua is beautiful--I do--but are you sure you don't want to be in Kaanapali? You and your girls will have more "stuff" right at hand in Kaanapali versus Kapalua. There's also a bigger selection of condos and resorts.

United States
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2,507 posts
131 reviews
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7. Re: Better to book early or late, packages or ala carte?

Ka'anapali is probably a ~little~ cheaper than Kapalua as well.

Beaverton, Oregon
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78 posts
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8. Re: Better to book early or late, packages or ala carte?

To answer some questions: I definitely want a condo, if for no other reason than to save a bit by eating in for some meals. Having a properly outfitted kitchen is important. Currently, I am focusing on May-end, hoping to beat the out-of-school rush and increased prices. We prefer relaxation and peacefulness over a lot of bustle and crowds; my impression is that Kapalua is better suited to us than the "busier" areas of Ka'anapali (correct me if I'm wrong) and Napili. Based on reviews, I have checked out VRBO, and have a couple prospects there. A huge thanks to all who have contributed their thoughts!!! Your perspective will help make this a wonderful, memorable trip for us.

United States
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2,507 posts
131 reviews
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9. Re: Better to book early or late, packages or ala carte?

Napili is less busy than Ka'anapali. I don't know your budget but the Honua Kai is on a quieter stretch of Ka'anapali but closer to more dining options.

Maui
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for Ka'anapali, Haleakala National Park, Maui
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10. Re: Better to book early or late, packages or ala carte?

Aloha,

That helps! If you go just north of the "main drag" of Kaanapali, you'll find it much nicer and more peaceful. Look at Maui Kaanapali Villas, Honua Kai, and then on up to Napili Kai perhaps.