Trip Coach: October 30, 2007
Sheila Beal, editor of GoVisitHawaii.com, answered your questions on Hawaii.
Sheila Beal: Aloha Budget Travel Readers! My name is Sheila Beal and I'm excited to be with you today to answer your questions about Hawaii. So, let's get started.
Winston Salem, N.C.: We will be on Kaui Christmas Day (arriving by cruise ship 8:00 AM -5:00 PM ) with 4 kids (15-20 yrs) and no plans. We are open to anything. Any ideas?
Sheila Beal: As you are probably aware, some restaurants and activites are closed for Christmas day, but Kauai has beautiful scenery that is never closed. So, my suggestion would be to rent a car and explore the Waimea Canyon and Kokee and State Parks. You'll find maps and tips here. I quickly checked with just one rental car company (Dollar Rental Car) and they are open on Christmas Day and they do offer shuttle service from the cruise ship dock to their rental office. You might want to check prices and services with Thrifty and some other major rental agencies as well.
After you see those State Parks, drive down to Poipu Beach and see the blow hole, Spouting Horn. There are several resorts in the Poipu area (Hyatt and Sheraton) where you could pop in for lunch. Resort restaurants will be open on Christmas.
If you have extra time, then see a couple of famous waterfalls on the East side. Wailua Falls is my favorite. It's located on the East side of the island near Lihue. (Take Kuhio Hwy (56) to Maalo Road (583)). Another pretty East side waterfall is Opaekaa Falls, located off Kuamoo Road near Wailua.
Temple Hills, Md.: My husband and I will be celebrating our 10th anniversary next year and we are going to Hawaii from May 2 to May 18. I've booked a one week resort stay and a seven day Hawaiian cruise (we are trying to get the most out of our time in Hawaii). In order to complete everything I need airline reservations, a one night hotel stay (the check out date for the hotel and the sail date for cruise did not overlap), and a car rental from May 2 to May 11. I've been checking all of the resources that I know of, but I was wondering if I can get the car, hotel, and air as a package or is there a cheaper solution? Most of the things I've seen require that I book more than one night for the hotel in order to get cheap airfare or a cheap rental car. I do not want to cancel the resort or cruise, because I got a very good price. Thank you for any help you have for me.
Sheila Beal: That's an interesting scenario. I think you are probably going to have to book some of your travel in separate transactions. For airline reservation, my suggestion would be to check with Kayak.com which is a travel search engine which searches all the airlines as well as the sites like Orbitz, Expedia, Travelocity, etc for the best prices. After you've shopped around online, it might be worthwhile to contact a travel agency to see if they can come up with something less expensive. Happy Anniversary!
Corpus Christi, Tex.: My husband and I are planning our first trip to Hawaii for mid April 2008. We are thinking of staying 1-2 nights in Oahu and then 4 nights in Maui and Kauai. Are there any sites that sell all inclusive packages of air, hotel and car rental as well as air between the islands. Or is it best to price these items individually. I am familiar with doing my own reservations via the internet but would be intrested in a one stop shopping to handle the many details of this type of trip. Any suggestions?
Sheila Beal: As you have probably already discovered, the major internet travel sites aren't really equipped for handling multiple destinations in one package. With Kayak.com you can package all your airfare together. Kayak.com will find the lowest price airfare across all the major airlines and travel websites. You are able to enter multiple destinations including all the inter-island flight needs as well as the flights to and from the Mainland. That will only cover the air portion though. You could then book car and hotel together by island.
Since Expedia.com allows you to have two destinations, another idea would be to skip the night or two on Oahu and add those nights onto Maui or Kauai. There is really so much to see and do on all the islands that you really wouldn't run out of things on Maui or Kauai.
From Kauai or Maui, you can take a day trip over to Oahu. Inter-island air is fairly reasonable at the moment (less than $80 roundtrip.) Alternatively, there are plenty of organized packaged tours you can take to see Oahu.
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