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Rental Cars at MUE Airport

Dallas, Texas
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Rental Cars at MUE Airport

Because of flight times, I was considering flying into MUE (Waimea) Airport instead of ITO (Hilo) Airport. However, I can't seem to find a rental car at this location. Any ideas or suggestions? BTW, we arrive at 8:00pm on a Thursday night. Sorry, but arriving earlier is not an option.

Thank you.

Brujay

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Waimea
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Island of Hawaii, HI
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Big Island, Hawaii
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1. Re: Rental Cars at MUE Airport

There are no rental cars at or anywhere near the tiny Waimea airport.

Edited: 09 November 2013, 06:40
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Waimea
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2. Re: Rental Cars at MUE Airport

I just figured it out..............fly into Kona! That was easy. I really must be tired tonight.

Thanks for responding, Shea.

Brujay

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Kailua-Kona
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3. Re: Rental Cars at MUE Airport

I didn't think that little Airport at Waimea had commercial flights??

ITO and KOA only two options I know of......sounds like OP is on the right track now.

Brujay, .....given your question and your after dark arrival.......and consideration of various Airports....where might you be staying....South Kohala? If so, the resorts at Waikoloa Beach and Mauna Lani are a straight shot up the hwy from KOA....no worries.

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Waikoloa
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4. Re: Rental Cars at MUE Airport

Surprisingly, it did with Mokulele Airlines. They use over-size Cessna's..........puddle jumpers to me.

Regarding our lodging, we haven't gotten that far in our planning. I was more concerned about the flights and rental car. This is a last minute trip to de-stress from a difficult year before we hit the ground running after the holidays.

Since I don't have actual lodging arrangements in place (I'm doing that this week), I was going to look into Airbnb just for grins..............not to mention the economics. My wife and I have never been to the Big Island, only Maui and Kaua'i; and therefore, we are looking at all the options.

I'm certain we'll have more questions to ask in this forum before the end of the week(end). As always, I really appreciate the help we get from fellow travelers and local experts.

Thank you.

Brujay

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Mokulele Airlines
Mokulele Airlines
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Island of Hawaii, HI
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5. Re: Rental Cars at MUE Airport

Mokulele was flying inter-island out of Waimea when I moved here (2002), and before that, so it is well established. It has been bought and retooled more than once in that time, including by go! for a period.

I has friends from North Kohala who flew out of Waimea is how I heard about it. I would not enjoy taking off and landing there, as that spot has strong crosswinds much of the time.

You should have your plan set before booking the air, for sure. Expensive to change.

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6. Re: Rental Cars at MUE Airport

That's good to know KK about the inter-island service out of Waimea....

It's just out of all the years here on Trip Advisor, I don't recall anyone inquiring as to that option.(I am aware of the Airport)

There would be a serious restriction on baggage due to weight issues ....I would imagine.

The vast majority of folks with a west side visit would select KOA for it's central location, visitor amenties(rental car).....and route options.

Yeah, having all the flight/car rental in place prior to accommodation can have it's downfalls ....but the OP does mention it being a last minute trip....

Look to vrbo within the resorts of either Waikoloa Beach Resort, or Mauna Lani Resort for a number of lovely upscale condo choices. Is there a nightly accommodation budget? Time and length of visit?

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7. Re: Rental Cars at MUE Airport

Exactly, Wanderlust, no one ever mentions it.

I think it is because there's no compelling reason to take the small plane on this island. On Maui, JHM is convenient for west side travel and served by smaller planes. Lana'i is only served by small planes, and Moloka'i, and Hana.

But here, we have two international airports on the island, and Waimea doesn't offer anything significant unless maybe you work for Keck Observatory. Plus it's for people who have someone to pick them up or maybe left the car there on the outbound. Good for residents.

My friends who used it regularly lived up past Kapa'au and did not want to deal with KOA or the extra hour to get there. But for a visitor, not too convenient.

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8. Re: Rental Cars at MUE Airport

Many house/cottage/ohana rentals on the west side are illegal and/or poorly located. I'm not at all impressed with the location of most of the listings for the island on airbnb. In general for the west side you're better off with a condo in South Kohala unless you can afford a beachfront or oceanfront rental at Waialea Bay or Puako.

Do read through the lodging Top questions and get feedback here before pulling the lodging trigger.

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9. Re: Rental Cars at MUE Airport

Re air BnB, I think it is an interesting alternative for saving money, but you want to make sure you will save.

Staying a distance from where you want to be during the day can easily add $30 a day to your costs for gas, and I'm not talking a long distance, which would add twice that. So if that is the case, you could add that to your budget and save two hours of your vacation day that you spent driving as a vacation commuter.

When I first visited here, I was a B&B lover and went that route, and the vacation was given to a daily commute of sorts. I wished I could have afforded hotel so as to stay near the snorkeling and beach/ shoreline.

There were no condos in good location then, and the hotels cost more than they do now, so I would not do that now that there are such fine choices. Do compare the options.

It may be tempting to think you won't spend that much extra in gas, but you will.

Dallas, Texas
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10. Re: Rental Cars at MUE Airport

Thanks everyone for all the great feedback and suggestions.

Since we are flying on mileage and only have our flights on hold, I'm thinking to come in one day earlier than originally planned and fly directly to Kona out of LAX instead of my original plan to fly in and out of Kahului (OGG) direct from Dallas. This would have us arrive late on December 11th and we'd then stay for 7 nights before heading to Maui for 5 nights at the Westin Ka'anapali Ocean Resort Villas. There is so much to see and do on the Big Island having that extra day will help even if we arrive around 9:15pm.

I'll take a hard look at the condo options and will read the lodging section's top questions before making any decisions. My budget for this portion of the trip is somewhere around $125-150 per night more or less. I have some Marriott reward points I might be able to utilize them here.........say like the Courtyard King Kamehameha's Kona Beach Hotel. But I'm not committed to anything.

The question in my mind is do we stay put in one location and commute around the island or is it better to stay on the west side for 4 nights and then move over to the east for the balance of our stay before flying out of Hilo?

I realize it will depend on what we want to see and do but I still need some time to absorb that information before finalizing the lodging component of the trip. I'm just happy to be coming back to Hawaii for a much needed vacation.

Thanks again!

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