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What to expect regarding crowds, pre-booking tours, etc.

Mission Viejo...
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What to expect regarding crowds, pre-booking tours, etc.

My friend just got back from Maui and said that the hotel occupancy rate there was about 10% of normal so it wasn't crowded at all. What do you local experts think it might be over 4th of July weekend? We are arriving June 30 and leaving July 6, staying at the Outrigger. Will the snorkel tours, for example, be all booked up or can we wait until we get there to book? Ditto for the helicopter over the volcano? We are flexible re days to do either. Any suggestions to avoid crowds (if there are going to be crowds)? Driving--loads of tourists or are there fewer nowadays that make the driving easier to go places. It seems that a lot of people are going to the Big Island on this site--but of course that's why they post here! Is tourism down on the BI? Thanks for any guidance you can give me! I have gotten so much good information from this site, many, many thanks to the regulars!

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Island of Hawaii...
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1. Re: What to expect regarding crowds, pre-booking tours, etc.

Lots of locals go to the neighbor islands and even intra-island for the 4th of July and the Outrigger Keauhou Beach Hotel is a well known favorite of the locals, so expect close to full house. Most of these people don't go on excursions though, so they might not effect the tour availabilities. However, waiting for the last minute to book a tour is like taking a chance, especially if you will be here just for five days.

MA
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2. Re: What to expect regarding crowds, pre-booking tours, etc.

We will be in Kona July 2 - 9 and have already booked our activities. I'll admit my friend and I enjoy planning (well, we're a bit obsessive) and feel better having everything in place. So far we've booked: helicopter tour on 7/3, golf for the guys (Waikoloa Beach Course) on 7/4, morning snorkel with Sea Paradise on 7/6, Mauna Kea Summit Tour on 7/7 and Waipio Valley horseback ride on 7/8. We plan to go to Vocano NP on 7/5.

Yes, it's a busy week, but we really want to see everything and we'll be on Maui the following week to relax. This way we were able to get the exact dates and times we wanted. We just have to hope that the weather cooperates!

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Kailua-Kona
Kailua-Kona
Island of Hawaii, HI
Waikoloa
Waikoloa
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Mauna Kea Summit
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Maui
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Mission Viejo...
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3. Re: What to expect regarding crowds, pre-booking tours, etc.

Thanks for the heads-up! I will book ahead ASAP.

Mission Viejo...
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4. Re: What to expect regarding crowds, pre-booking tours, etc.

Which company did you book your helicopter ride with?

Island of Hawaii...
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5. Re: What to expect regarding crowds, pre-booking tours, etc.

Last year the recession was as bad or worse, but still on the 4th there were lots of people. It is THE holiday of the summer. I expect that Hawai'i resident addition to the numbers will mostly be Fri--Mon, July 2-5th. Monday is the holiday this year, but people barely work on Fridays anyhow.

Your first two days and the last will be best for less crowded beaches. That's where residents tend to go -- as TT said, not on tours.

The roads are typically quieter on holidays as a fair amount of the traffic is work-related, trucking, construction workers. Where you'll see traffic issues is around any special events -- Waikoloa and Mauna Lani and Mauna Kea all have something going on at some point of the day, and Kona surely has a parade or party of some sort.

Hilo will have no parking on the Bayfront that weekend, because of the fireworks, and there will be a parade putting traffic to a halt.

In general, with the drop in tourism and in building, the traffic has eased up in the last few years, but there's still more than there was in 2004 and earlier.

Edited: 07 June 2010, 05:35
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Waikoloa
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Kailua-Kona
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Hilo
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6. Re: What to expect regarding crowds, pre-booking tours, etc.

I would book snorkel and helicopters for the holiday weekend. Helicopter will depend on if you are flying from the east or west side.

MA
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7. Re: What to expect regarding crowds, pre-booking tours, etc.

We booked the helicopter tour with Blue Hawaiin - Circle of Fire & waterfalls - out of Hilo. Our flight is at 11:00 AM, so we'll leave around 7:00 AM. Have lunch in Hilo afterward, then go to the Botanical Garden and make our way back to Kona. Hopefully the timing will work out.

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Hilo
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Mission Viejo...
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8. Re: What to expect regarding crowds, pre-booking tours, etc.

Thanks for posting your helicopter plans. I was thinking of that same timing!

9. Re: What to expect regarding crowds, pre-booking tours, etc.

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