Live Talk Transcript: Aloha Hawaii Writer Matthew Link answered your questions on the Hawaiian islands Budget Travel Tuesday, Oct 19, 2004, 12:00 AM Budget Travel LLC, 2016


Live Talk Transcript: Aloha Hawaii

Writer Matthew Link answered your questions on the Hawaiian islands

Hawaii: you may think of it as travelers' heaven, or tourist hell. One of the first and most highly commercialized mass market tourist destinations in the world, somehow the 50th State still retains its timeless allure and its spiritual sense of "Aloha." I lived on the Big Island of Hawaii for five years, and published my own guidebook to the islands, Rainbow Handbook Hawaii. So fire away about travel to "paradise," and mahalo for your questions!

Matthew Link answered your questions on Tuesday, October 19, at noon ET.

Matthew Link is Editor in Chief of The Out Traveler magazine (, the world's first upscale gay and lesbian travel glossy publication. Matthew was destined to be a travel writer, having grown up on his father's 52-foot sailboat during his teenage years, cruising around Southeast Asia and the Pacific. He has at various times called Hong, Kong, the Philippines, Micronesia, Papua New Guinea, and New Zealand home (not to mention more hum-drum spots like San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, and London). His last stint was on the Big Island of Hawaii for five years, where he wrote and published his own guidebooks to the islands, Rainbow Handbook Hawaii. Link has produced award-winning social documentaries which have shown in film festivals and on PBS stations, and he is also an avid kayaker, hiker, snowboarder, and skin diver. Africa is his all-time favorite travel destination, and he has visited Botswana, South Africa, Zambia, Egypt, and Ghana.

Matthew Link: Aloha! I see a number of questions here, so let's jump into it. Looks like Hawaii is a popular as ever from the number of inquiries . . .


Detroit, MI: Matt -- We are a family of 4 (2 adults, 2 children 17-year-old boy & 15-year-old girl). We are staying in Maui from 3/27/05 departing for Oahu 3/1/05 through 3/1/05. Any ideas on activities and accommodations (low cost) for this short stay in Oahu? Do you recommend the Queen Kapiolani Hotel? Any special activities that you recommend for the children?

Matthew Link: There are plenty of reasonably-priced hotels in Waikiki (Outrigger being the best-value chain), but a smaller-known fact are the bevy of cheap vacation rental condos in the area. Aloha Waikiki Vacation Rentals (800/655-6055, should be your first stop, since their units in a large number of high-rises scattered throughout Waikiki go for as little as $59 for two people a night, $413 a week, are within walking distance to the beach, and often include a separate bedroom.

If you'd rather be out of the city and by the beach, try Beachside Bungalows (877/640-0990,, a collection of six rentals, from one-bedroom, one-baths at $695 per week, to two-bedroom, two-baths starting at $850. The best part is that they are only one block from gorgeous Kailua Beach on the Windward (eastern) Coast of Oahu -- and use of snorkels, fins, boogie boards, and kayaks is included.

And what could be more Hawaiian than taking the kids to the world's largest pineapple maze?? The Dole Plantation in the rich red earth of Wahaiwa in Central Oahu is a fun, free-of-charge destination. Started as a roadside stand in 1950, the large center has history displays, gift shops, free samples, demonstrations on how to properly cut pineapples, even the said maze (according to Guinness) for just $5 a head. $7.50 gets you on the two-mile train ride through the plantation. Info: 808/621-8408,


Conyers, GA: Can someone traveling solo find a great deal to Hawaii? Are there some islands better suited to solo travelers than others?

Matthew Link: I travel along a lot, so I "feel your pain." I actually prefer traveling alone -- you can do what you want when you want, and you're more open to adventures and meeting people.

The dreaded single supplement is a way of life for nearly all Hawaiian air/hotel packages, I'm sorry to say. Thus, I would recommend getting a cheap flight ( is good, although they only leave from Oakland and Denver) or using miles (although many mileage programs charge more for Hawaii than for other states), and then book your own hostels as you go. They make great places to socialize and hang out, and some have private rooms and baths so it's not all bunk-bed hell. Go to for a complete list.

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.

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