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Please help with honeymoon planning.

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Please help with honeymoon planning.

Hi folks,

Back in May, with the help of the fine TA folks, I proposed to my girlfriend down in Turks & Caicos Islands. The wedding is going down in less than 2 months. Now, we're back looking for some help with our honeymoon in Feb ’12. We're postponing our honeymoon until Feb due to work scheduling and the proximity of holidays.

We’re from Chicago and in our mid-to-late 30’s. I’m tasked with planning the honeymoon. But the soon-to-be Mrs has final approval, of course. :) Problem is, I’ve never been to Hawaii. The amount of information is overwhelming to me. Here’s what we’d like to do on our honeymoon:

- Split 10 nights on 2 islands. Tentative Feb 11 – Feb 21/22. We thought maybe Oahu and Maui. Is one or the other better to fly in/out from Chi?

- Hotel budget is around $200-$250/night. Is that do-able for a decent hotel? We’re looking for quieter more “honeymoonie” hotels. :)

- Visit Pearl Harbor

- Take a couple of tours, maybe Jeep tour (if there’s such a thing) and a helicopter tour of the waterfalls. We have no clue which island has these tours

- Sit on the beach and relax

Some questions we have:

- Is it better to fly into Oahu or Maui? Are there local flights between the islands or do we need to book that when we book the trip?

- Which island would be better to visit first? Are there other islands that is quieter, more romantic than Maui or Oahu?

- Does anyone know which airline is preferred to fly non-stop from Chi ?

We would appreciate any tips and guidance.

Thank you!


Kihei, Hawaii
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1. Re: Please help with honeymoon planning.

whatevers cheapest is best but make sure it works with you, arriving/departure. easy to travel between Maui and Oahu.

have rooms at these rates try Kayak.com for flights and rooms (rooms will look like spam when u open it but its ok) flights are much easier here.

Kauai is the most romantic island and great for couples and honeymoons.

you can catch helicopters on most major islands. Maui Kauai and big island Hawaii are the faves here.

you will be here in whale season so make time for them. Eat some poi 8 )

East Coast
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2. Re: Please help with honeymoon planning.

Pearl Harbor is on Oahu so if this is a must you will have to land there.

Maui is a quick flight over if you do 2 islands.

Healy, Alaska
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3. Re: Please help with honeymoon planning.

Gee - what other activities are you interested in? Are you into nightlife, shopping, fine dining? How quiet do you want it? Just wondering - trying to get a better picture of your needs. Planning to rent a car?

Okay - the islands most popular for honeymoons are Maui and Kauai. I also find Kauai to be the most romantic.

Winter - whale season, so you would see those probably best from Maui.

Often you can fly into one island - like fly into Oahu and then out of Maui, and then do an island hop btw - I prefer Hawaiian Airlines for that. Good luck with the rest of your planning. :)

ON, Canada
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4. Re: Please help with honeymoon planning.

Re flights: You can do it in either order, fly from Chicago to Oahu and Maui to Chicago, or vice versa.

Inter island flights: Hawaiian Airlines. You'll get a better rate and more options for flight times if you book ahead. Once you confirm your hotels, you can book your inter island flight.

I would do Oahu first ... and then Maui. Honolulu is a busy city and you'll likely be spending some time there to see Pearl Harbor, Waikiki, Diamond Head and Hanauma Bay. I think it's nice to end your vacation somewhere quieter. I don't think you can go wrong with Kauai or Maui ... and whatever you miss on this trip, you'll likely get to the next time you come back to Hawaii ... it's pretty much a given that once you visit Hawaii, there's going to be repeat visits :)

ChiSue (a regular poster here) flies from Chicago, so she'll be able to advise on flights.

Good luck with your plans & good wishes on your upcoming wedding !


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5. Re: Please help with honeymoon planning.

Great advice! I'll book the inter-island flights before-hand then. I wasn't sure if that' something I just do after we get there...

We will be renting cars on the islands. Pearl Harbor is not a must-do. Just something that we'd like to go visit.

Other interests, we're not much for nite life. We like spending quiet evenings instead of at a nite club or bar. We enjoy discovering local foods/cuisine vs eating in places like Ruth's Chris' Steakhouse or other similar elegant venues. I guess we're foodies, now that I come to think about it.

In terms of quietness, it would be nice if we don't have to get up a the crack of dawn to get a spot on the beach, or have to avoid tripping over little kids all the time. We love kids but on this trip, we'd like it if there's no yelling/crying kids within earshot all the time. A little bit is ok. :)

Most of our vacations do not have agendas. We like to do nothing and then if we feel up to it, go snorkeling or a half-day tour of some sort. We can't handle the go-go-go vacations as our daily lives are so hectic already.

I forgot about whale season. That would be awesome to do a whale watching tour as I've never seen a real whale other than Shamu years and years ago when I was a kid.

Thank you!!!

Burr Ridge, Illinois
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6. Re: Please help with honeymoon planning.

Is it you, or are you an impostor? Okay, Impostor, The best rates out of Chicago recently have been on US Air connecting through PHX. If you want to do nonstops out of ORD then you basically have United flying their gigantic 777 cattle planes to HNL and OGG. Depending on the price I suggest considering a nonstop flight as it makes the travel easier both directions.

I prefer American from ORD to HNL but they don't fly it everday anymore and they no longer do the ORD to OGG flight which limits you on nonstop choices. American requires a change at DFW or LAX to get you to OGG.

As I always warn, make sure you are careful about your seats on United as the 777 is configured 2-5-2 so you really want to be on a 2 side and not stuck in the middle.

Most people I meet in Chicago think Waikiki and Maui when they think Hawaii and that is fine if that is what you want to do.

Have fun planning your trek to the Hawaiian rocks.

Healy, Alaska
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7. Re: Please help with honeymoon planning.

Oahu is wonderful, but if you are looking for quieter all the way around (not that you can't find quieter places in Oahu as it isn't all Waikiki), I would think about a week on Maui and then a week on Kauai. Just a thought. :)

Also, most kids will be in school in February, so I don't think you have to worry about that too much.

Edited: 07 September 2011, 22:03
Kapaa, Hawaii
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8. Re: Please help with honeymoon planning.

February on Maui is a very popular time due to the whales. If you are coming anywhere near Valentine's Day or Presidents Day, get those accommodations nailed down quickly, this goes for the rental car too.

Kauai and Lanai are what most people would consider the more "quiet' islands. Both beautiful.

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9. Re: Please help with honeymoon planning.

Oh, my, Mr. Bridegroom, you need to Get Busy! This is High Season! Some people book a year in advance. First on your list will be reserving a rental car or cars.

We fly AA #73 and #72 to and from Honolulu, then hop to OGG on Maui on Hawaiian. I try to avoid any mainland connections, especially if they use a 757 on the ocean leg. Actually, I don't want a west coast connection at all. No fun sitting in a dirty airport at 1 a.m. with another long leg back to ORD.

Hawaiian has just started flying a nonstop from Oakland to Maui on a good wide-body plane; I'd consider that outbound.

You don't sound as though you'd enjoy Waikiki, and in February Turtle Bay on Oahu's north shore won't have ideal weather. Add in Whale Season...I'm sending you right to Maui. You can slip through HNL as we do, or you can fly AA's route ORD-DFW-OGG.

With ten nights Maui you could split time between South Maui (more convenient for touring and better ocean in Feb.) and West Maui (tour around that part while you stay there).

You can get a nice resort condo for $250/night or an OK hotel. You might even save on a condo for one week and splurge on a top hotel for the grande finale! This site has carefully selected condos in South Maui: www.mauiownercondos.com I don't know what you will find that still has your dates, but maybe...

As Epicurean has stated, many Chicagoans have the mind set that Waikiki and Kaanapali ARE Hawaii, but not ME...and I think not you either.

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10. Re: Please help with honeymoon planning.

Well, first off - Congratulations! I'm sure your Hawaii honeymoon will be terrific.

American and United both have direct flights to Honolulu. Both offer additional one stop flights (as do most of the other main carriers) that stop in Los Angeles or one of the other west coast cities. You might also want to give Pleasant Hawaiian a look as they buy seats in bulk and sometimes you can get a good deal on flights through them. Hawaiian is the main inter-island carrier but you might also check other smaller carriers like go! for any hot deals.

Splitting your time between two islands is a great idea and Oahu would be a great place to start. Honolulu offers much more by way of nightlife and shopping than any of the other islands and has,of course, an urban feel. But definitely get outside of the city and explore the more rural areas and beaches. I expect my Oahu DE friends might disagree with me, but I'd suggest splitting your time 4 nights Oahu and 6 nights Maui.

February is prime travel time in Maui, largely because of the presence of the migrating whales, and because of all the snowbound folks from your part of the country seeking a break from the winter. That translates to high demand and higher prices. And you'll need to get on making your reservations for both your room/condo and your rental car.

Do you want to have direct access to a beach from your room? If so, you may need to stretch your budget just a bit. If you're willing to drive 5 or 10 minutes to get to a beach, your budget may work for you. During the winter months you'll find the most consistent ocean conditions in South Maui. Here's a web site that may help you narrow down your choices...


Simply click on an area on the map and then on a property, and you will see an aerial photo with review and rack rate prices (you can do better) and also a link to the property's web site.

West Maui is still a great option, though a bit busier and less laid back than the Wailea and Makena resort areas. Activities abound on both Oahu and Maui. Check out the Top Questions and the Itineraries boxes on the top right of both this and the Oahu Forums. You'll definitely want to do an ocean excursion to experience the whales close up. And of course there are Helicopter tours, Luau's, Zip-lines, Golf, Snorkeling, Hiking and and of course many awesome beaches to explore and enjoy.

Hope this helps. Happy planning... but don't delay too long.

Edited: 07 September 2011, 22:57