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First Time Visit- Need Help

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First Time Visit- Need Help

We have been kicking around the Caribbean for the past 20 years and have decided to do something different in 2012 to celebrate our 20th anniversary. We are thinking Maui and maybe one other island. We can go for 7-10 days. We are interested in beautiful scenery and beaches and snorkeling. We like quiet and lack of crowds is a plus. So my questions are-

1) what other island would you add?

2) where do i want to stay on Maui?

3) what time of year might be best? (i'm thinking April after Easter or maybe May before Memorial day would be quieter/less crowded but might we still get to see some whales?)

I am going to order some books from Amazon and hit my local library but thought I'd start here since I've had such good luck planning Caribbean vacations on trip advisor.

washington
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1. Re: First Time Visit- Need Help

May is a glorious time to visit...crowds,and costs, are down. Unless you can book at least 10 nights stick to 1 island. If you have the time then add Kauai.

If you want quiet check out the Napili and Kapalua areas on Maui.

Find a copy of "Hawaii for Dummies"...I know sorry title...great overview of the islands.

SoCAL
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2. Re: First Time Visit- Need Help

Well, I would say get the books and start doing some more research. I think Maui is generally the first time visitor's best bet. Has the things above you asked for, but then all the islands have beautiful scenery, even Oahu, but you can't avoid the crowds there. 7 days I would stick to one island. 10 days, you could do two. Might want to consider whale season (but then prices are higher)...

Resort preference? Condo ok? Rental cottage? Any ideas there what you'd prefer? Price/budget? These can help you decide.

Personally, my favorite is the Big Island. But I like snorkeling and it has the best snorkeling...it's big though -- 7 days easily here alone isn't enough time to both relax and explore for your first visit.

Maui
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for Ka'anapali, Haleakala National Park, Maui
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3. Re: First Time Visit- Need Help

Aloha,

It looks like you're from the Chicago area? If so, consider trying to get flights into Honolulu, although the airlines have cut the nonstops a lot. I'd spend a few days on Oahu-visit Pearl Harbor, Waikiki, maybe the Bishop Museum, I'olani Palace, the North Shore, etc.

Then hop over to Maui or Kauai for the remainder of your stay. Try to book you air so that you fly out of your neighbor island without going back to Oahu. If you do have to go back to Oahu, it's not a big deal, but it's nice to not have to change there, too.

Burr Ridge, Illinois
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4. Re: First Time Visit- Need Help

Hawii will be the perfect place to celebrate a 20 year anniversary.

Consider Maui and Oahu as they offer variety for a traveler.

You may want to look into the big island with Maui, but for a first timer my thought would be the Maui/Oahu pair.

Read about your options online or in any of the popular Hawaii travel books to get more in-depth information on your options.

Have fun celebrating.

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5. Re: First Time Visit- Need Help

Thanks, everyone!

Yes,, I am from the Chicago area. Today's weather has prompted me to start planning this vacation in earnest! It is cold and damp here.

I am going to order the Dummies book. Is Maui Revealed worth getting too? It puts me into free shipping on Amazon. All the Fodors, Frommers, DK , Lonely Planet books as well as Big Island Revealed are available from my library. I already have a stack I picked up.

As far as where to stay, just looking at a map I thought maybe Wailea, but I am open to suggestions. My husband hyperventilates when I find something over $400 a night.

We usually rent condos in the Caribbean but are open to a hotel. Costco has a deal for the Ritz that doesn't look too bad though the dates on the brochure are 8/21 to 12/14/11. They have 5 nights with a car , all taxes and a $500 resort credit for $1300 per person. If they have something similar for May I might bite. What do you think?

Maui
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for Ka'anapali, Haleakala National Park, Maui
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6. Re: First Time Visit- Need Help

Aloha,

The Ritz is a lovely property, and in May, can't be beat. They may well have deals for May later.......you're about three months too early right now for ANY lodgings. Prices will fluctuate depending on demand between now and then-and often they will drop about 2 1/2 to 3 months out from your date.

You might want to look at condos like Honua Kai too. Lovely new condo-resort on the north end of Kaanapali.

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7. Re: First Time Visit- Need Help

Thanks! Should I book my air now and do the hotel or condo later? I am definitely thinking April after Easter or May before Memorial Day. Is there any reason to go on the early or later end of that range? Is the water warmer/clearer in May? Might we see whales in April?

I'll check out condos because I think my husband would prefer that. He likes the extra room and kitchen. We actually haven't stayed in a hotel since Jamaica Inn in 2003. That's how much more he likes his extra room! I'm happy with either.

Maui
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8. Re: First Time Visit- Need Help

Aloha,

What kind of prices are you seeing for air?

Later April, you'll prob see a few whales, but they won't be "thick" then. The water temp between April and May is about the same.......our temp doesn't change that much here.

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9. Re: First Time Visit- Need Help

I'm seeing around $930 roundtrip when I check May 6 to May 13. It's a tad higher for April but not enough to affect my decision. That's on United round trip from Chicago stopping in SFO on the way out and LAX on the way back. I still need to check Kayak. I'd kind of like a non-stop if I can find it. Is that a good fare?

Maui
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10. Re: First Time Visit- Need Help

Aloha,

That's high........a good fare would be around 700 or 800 max. The fares for April may not come down too much, but it's too early still to buy. I'd def sign up for fare alerts with Kayak etc and keep an eye on it.