View Full Version : Who has been to Hawaii?

04-16-2006, 07:02 PM
We are *planning* on going during June and for each of us for hotel/air fare it is going to come out to about $2000 per person JUST for that. We are planning on staying for perhaps, 9 days.. that does not include food, souvenirs, or anything extra.

Anyone have any tips on ways to save money on food, air-fare, hotels, etc.. and sight seeing we should definitely do there? Thanks. ANY help from anyone who has been to Hawaii would be great.

DVC Sadie
04-16-2006, 07:58 PM
There is another thread here called Hawaii on a budget that has tons of information.

wide awake
04-16-2006, 08:26 PM
I'll second the other thread, but tons of things on Oahu are free. The Arizona, Missouri, Diamond Head, Waikiki...and if I had nine days I'd be spending lots of that on the beach. Shangri-la is cheap, $25/person, and well worth it. I don't have much budget help other than that...we stay at the Hale Koa, the food is cheap and wonderful, best hotel in Oahu, I don't worry too much about bargains. The one tip...if you're in Oahu you don't need a car...there is a cheap airport shuttle to almost all the hotels...$14/person roundtrip, and you can walk or take the great bus system anywhere else. Just go down to ground transportation and look for shuttle services...they're a big bus.

04-16-2006, 08:43 PM
My best tip would be wait a year or two so you can do your planning early. We are also going in June, but I started planning two years ago. That let me get frequent flyer tickets for four of us and a really cheap fare for a fifth. My oldest son decided very late that he wanted to go and fares are double what they were a few months ago.

On the other hand, there are often last minute deals on lodging, so stay flexible and be ready to change arrangements if something better comes along.

If you are doing more than one island, there is an interisland fare war because of Mesa Air starting to fly there 6/8. We did pretty well on booking these, though we still spent about $1300 on them.


04-16-2006, 10:14 PM
If I could, I would sign up for all the airlines email thing and watch for specials. If you are able to be flexible, it can really save a lot. I took my family of 5 last year for around $3500. That includes the Luau, a dolphin swim, the Polynesian center, and tons of other stuff. We live near LA though so that made it easier on airfare.
We stayed in a small house we found on VRBO on the north shore and stayed away from expensive Waikiki. The beach that was about 50 yards from our home was never crowded and we rarely saw any other people. The surf on the NS is strong though so it was not too easy to swim in. We saw turtles everyday there. It does take some planning, but we planned our trip in only 2 months, so it can be done.

04-17-2006, 06:18 AM
I also agree with searching for the other Hawaii on a budget thread. Lots of great advice. We have been 4 times. Each time we did it a little different from the time before. Watch for airfare specials. They come up frequently. We were able to go to Hawaii for $2900 for 3 and that included airfare and hotel from Atlanta. In addition, there was a promotion going on that included triple miles so we were able to get enough miles from that one trip to go back the next year and only pay for hotel. I am not sure where you live but another option is to fly to California and then fly from there. Airfares are sometimes as cheap as $199 from major cities in California to Hawaii. Then you can check out hotel prices and book them separate.

04-17-2006, 08:22 AM
DD (24) & I went to Honolulu for a girls only trip in Nov 05. We had a great time. You did not mention which island(s) you will be visiting but I'm sure my tip applies to each one. Friends that had been to HI before gave me free tour guide coupon books they picked up. I loved them and knew when I got to HI I just had to find current copies of these books. There was a large display of them at the luggage pick up area. I picked up all the ones that looked interesting to me about 6-8. Our first afternoon at the hotel DD and I sat by the pool and looked through the books and circled things we wanted to do. I tore out coupons and carried them with me as we set out on our adventures. The books also listed an affordable ticket place in town. We checked them out and their prices were great, but there was a catch. Cash (CC with a service charge) and for some things you could only get same day tickets, so it would be wise to get there first thing in the morning. I wish we had looked into that place earlier in our stay. It would have saved us some money.

Hope this helps Keane Fun and have a great trip to paradise.


04-17-2006, 08:35 AM
It has been a number of years since I lived there (I was in the Navy, stationed directly across from the Arizona Memorial) but they used to have a flea market that went all the way around the stadium in the parking lot, 3 rows deep, every weekend. The selection was awesome (new and used goods everything from oriental carpets to clothing..HUGE!!). I'd also include a trip to the AZ Memorial and don't forget to hike up Diamond Head! The mall across the street from Waikiki is really kewl (expensive!!!) A local fav and one of our favs to eat was a diner-type restaurant right near the Pearl Ridge mall...I forgot the name but you wouldn't be able to miss it...best diner food on the island (their Peanut Butter pie is to die for!!). I would personnaly rent a car...just taking an afternoon to drive the highway completely around the island is worth the time (there are stops along the way to visit, like the blow hole and beaches that each offer a 'certain something') the beauty is awe-inspiring (this is all on the island of Oahu). Hope you like spam as you will find it on the menus everywhere! They eat more spam per person there than anywhere in the world! You can get it on a bun like a burger, stir-fried, etc..you wouldn't believe what they can do with it! I miss Hawaii!!! Have fun! edited to add: I forgot what the place is called, but there is a cove (hale..something or other) where you can wade in the water to your knees and drop a few pieces of food and the fish will literally SWARM all over you!!..sounds gross but was really kewl!

04-17-2006, 09:02 AM
We are going next month and also staying at the Hale Koa. We also like to rent a car since we have young children. Definately go snorkel at Hanama Bay. But, get their very early, it fills up fast. I also agree that planning is everything.

P.S. For those of you that have stayed at the Hale Koa, what did you think? This will be our first visit there. Would you reccommend their luau?

04-17-2006, 09:21 AM
You will have a great time. We always rent a vacation home using www.vrbo.com-- we are going again in September :cool1: and we are renting a 4 bedroom vacation home on the beach North Shore for 300 a night--Make sure they show pictures of the home you are renting to make sure it will work for you. I know that there are a lot of condo's for rent (around 100- 150 a night) as well. We also rent our snorkel gear (from Snorkel Bob's) for the whole length of stay-- cheaper than renting at each place we visit-- but we also snorkel a lot while we are there. Buy or check-out from the library a good guide book. Look for tide pools you can explore- If you are on Oahu-- Shark's cove is an excellent place. Rent a car- it's fairly cheap and you can get around easily, however, the bus system on Oahu seems to be pretty good. Local farmers markets are fun to go to. Look on gohawaii.com and see if there are any festivals taking place-- that can be some free fun. Remember that all beaches in Hawaii are public, just look for the public access signs.

04-17-2006, 09:22 AM
We're going in June also and the OP's costs seem about what we are paying PP for air and lodging. The flights were a little under a thousand PP back in December, and are now over $2500 for the same flight, so in this case booking early did pay off.

04-17-2006, 10:03 AM
Hawaii is expensive, but beautiful! We went summer 2004 and got the entertainment.com book. Although we only used it about 6 times we still saved about $300, it was so worth it. Also, if you have more than three in your party I would buy two since they are know half price. If you do that then you can use two coupons for dinners instead of one and save even more. Most of the restaurant coupons are 2 for 1 dining. Have a great time. We are going in June 2007 for two weeks (maui), I can't wait! :)

04-17-2006, 11:43 AM
P.S. For those of you that have stayed at the Hale Koa, what did you think? This will be our first visit there. Would you reccommend their luau?

The Hale Koa is great! The resort is beautiful and has one of the best sections of beach in Wakiki. You can easily go next door to the Hilton Hawaiian Village for additional dining/recreation options. It has been several years since we've done their luau but the food was wonderful, as was the entertainment. It is a typical luau with banquet tables...it is almost impossible to find a traditional luau with beach seating (unless you're willing to spend big bucks). Make your reservation as soon as possible as your seating is based on when the ressie was made.

04-20-2006, 10:20 PM
hey guys thanks for all your help. i will be reading that other hawaii thread.. i just found it =)

04-20-2006, 10:26 PM
We are going to Hawaii next month too, staying at the Hale Koa!! I'm SO excited!! Just thought I'd share. I need to reread the big Hawaii thread and take notes...

04-21-2006, 06:00 AM
I got the HI Entertainment book and was pretty disappointed. We're going to Kauai and there are virtually NO coupons for the island. The only thing we'll be able to use is a $5.00 Safeway Grocery coupon. If you are going to Oahu, get the book. Kauai....don't bother!

04-26-2006, 04:13 PM
We went to Hawaii in 2004 and stayed a week in Wailea, Maui using Marriott reward points ( VISA credit card) and then 5 days at the Kapalua Bay Hotel which was in the Concierge Collection with DVC at that time. For airfare, I watch for lowest fares using Travelocity. This year we are going for a week in Oahu using our Marriott points again. I also bought the Entertainment week which you can get at half price beginning in March. There are coupons in there for the Polynesian Cultural Center, Atlantis, sunset cruises, and dining which should save us some money. Next year we plan to go to Kauai but are going to use our DVC points for that exchange if we can. Otherise, I'll wait till I have enough Marriott points again. :banana:

04-26-2006, 05:14 PM
We're leaving this Sat. for the Hilton Hawaiian Village! Sorry, I don't have any good tips for you. We use miles for our airfair.

04-26-2006, 07:19 PM
We went last June and rented a house for $400 or $450 a night. It was in Kailua which is great....didn't look like being in a cement city! The house had 4 bedrooms, an extra room with a pool table that could had a futon in it, 4 baths and a pool in the yard....that is the way to go....grill if you wanted to cook, etc.

04-28-2006, 06:52 PM
Hey guys it turns out we just bought plane tickets last night ($1K/person.. =( i wish we would have booked MONTHS EARLIER!!!) and we are staying at Napili Kai Beach Resort in Maui.

My friend told me that Maui is just a "honeymoon" place.. is that true?

04-28-2006, 07:06 PM
we've been to Hawaii 3 times and Maui is everyones favorite.

(my parents take our whole family on a trip every other year theres at least 18 of us!!!)

we were on Maui twice and Kauai once.

Maui has so much more to do then Kauai

we stay at Embassy suites which was great-it has 1 bedroom big LR with pull out couch kitchenette, nice balcony, cook to order breakfast and cocktail hour every nite these are both included.

we could snorkel right from the hotel which has a beautiful beach, we also went whale watching, luau ocean center,

the high point of the whole trip was DS got married while we were there!!!

HAwaii is a wonderful place!!

have a great time--

we paid (or should I say my parents paid :teeth: )

1300 per Adult (kids under 17 were free :thumbsup2

and that included air hotel and car for 6 nites

this was 2 years ago we booked through AAA and everyone got a $30 voucher good towards an activity we all used them for the luau.

04-28-2006, 07:10 PM
Airfares to/from Hawaii in June have been running very, very high this year for some reason. I keep pretty close track of these as I have family on the West and East coasts of the USA. What you could get for some where in the $400's range, on the low side, to $600, on the higher side, is easily going for the upper $700's to $800's ..... and its not fuel prices. It has been this way for some months now.

The Hale Koa is the best bargains, and one of the classiest hotels in Waikiki. Its on the the largest pracel of open land in Waikiki. Lots of open space, well cared for gardens, great rooms and building. Also, the luau there at the Hale Koa is a great deal.

Oh yeah, why you don't see coupons for Kaui in the Entertainment Book is because there isn't a lot on Kauai. They are lucky they got a Home Depot there as the population is very much below the market size Home Depot's will usuall open up in - in fact, i think it is the smallest market any Home Depot is in ...

04-29-2006, 08:22 AM
I know this is the DIS boards, but I thought I'd throw this out. We are going to Hawaii next year. We are trying to decide whether we want to take the Norwegian Pride of Hawaii 7 night cruise then stay a week at Maui, or take interisland flight from one island to another for 2 weeks. The cruise is appealing since we only have to unpack once for a week, we get to see all the islands, we won't lose days traveling, checking out of the hotel and checking into the new one. However, my travel agent said that Norwegian has had many complaints on their Hawaii cruises last year. When checking cruisecritic, they said they have improved. I pretty confused! :confused3
In short, does anyone have any info. or comments! THANKS!