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 Post subject: Hawaii Dreaming
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 12:38 pm 
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Brain Made of Raw Seitan
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Me and the hubby are debating about going to Hawaii this summer and are at a complete loss on what to expect price wise and how to figure out where to stay. We haven’t really been anywhere before, so planning this seems a bit overwhelming. We’re both just looking to relax, do some snorkelling, hiking and swimming.
I’ve narrowed it down to North Maui (although I’d be up for staying in the South as well) and Kauai. Has anyone been to these places and have any recommendations on where to stay? We’re looking for places that have a kitchen (so hotels are out) and we don’t want to go overboard on the spending, I know it’s going to be pricy, but I don’t want to rent a $300 a night room and find out that we could have gotten something just as nice for $100 a night.
Also, has anyone island hopped? If we decided to stay in Maui and then go to Kauai, would it be crazy expensive?

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 Post subject: Re: Hawaii Dreaming
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 3:14 pm 
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Havent been to Maui, but Kauai was forking amazing. Its small so you can see the whole island in a few days and then spend the rest of the trip going back to where you enjoyed. Theres not much nightlife so if thats a factor Maui might be better. I loved how beautiful it was, how untouristy it is, and how kick back.

Farmers markets are killer there. New weird fruits. Amazing avocados and if youre lucky youll go during pineapple or mango of passion fruit season. Theres also a great little health food store on Kapa'aa that has really good prices on stuff (for Hawaii, way better than the shitty Safeway next to it) plus they have a small kitchen.

Id recommend getting a place with a kitchenette, as vegan options are hard to come by.

Hike some of the Napali Coast Trail...its the most beautiful hike I have ever done.

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 Post subject: Re: Hawaii Dreaming
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 4:52 pm 
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I've been to Maui but not Kauai. It was gorgeous and I loved it. I was on the southwest side. I'd recommend airbnb or vrbo for a vacation rental. They're cheaper than hotels for sure and you'll have a kitchen.

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 Post subject: Re: Hawaii Dreaming
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 5:18 pm 
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The Real Hamburger Helper
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I went to Maui, Hawaii, and Oahu last year. The most expensive part was the flights and restaurants. I went for a month and spent about a grand. We kept costs down by camping and picnicking. You don't have to pay to go to any of the beaches, buy your own snorkeling gear, and hiking is usually free to or minimal at national parks. I would really recommend renting a car and camping, especially if you already have gear. Otherwise see if you can find a house to rent or a room in someone's house because hotels on the island are so expensive. We loved Maui. I thought Paia and the road to Hana was the best/cheapest. The north had a lot more resorts. The east side rains more. The thing is though, if you have a car it is really easy to see everything on the island. I didn't get to go to Kauai but it seemed like it would be more expensive, thats the biggest reason we didn't go.

If you can go to a bookstore or library they will have the Hawaii lonely planet, they have prices in there for everything and I found it to be most accurate if you make sure to get the most recent version. That should help you make a budget. The LP told us to rent a car which isnt something i normally do on trips and I'm so glad we did because we got to see so much cool stuff.

I never wanted to leave Hawaii. It's the best place ever and totally worth the expense.

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 Post subject: Re: Hawaii Dreaming
PostPosted: Wed May 23, 2012 5:48 pm 
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I went about 10 years ago and visited Oahu, Maui and the island of Hawaii. Hawaii was my favorite, followed by Maui and wasn't a fan of Oahu. I think I would've liked Kaui a bit more. The snorkeling in Maui was awesome. I loved the plentiful fruits and I liked the lack of doors and how everything was open.

Having said that, I love to travel and Hawaii was my least favorite trip I've ever taken and I have no interest in going back. It is very touristy (especially Oahu, which you aren't going but just noting that). In certain ways, it was like visiting any other parts of the US to me, which isn't necessarily bad. I guess flying 5 hours to fairly isolated island area, I didn't expect things to be so similar :) Also, it felt like the Polynesian culture was heavily commercialized. I grew up with quite a few Polynesian friends and I guess the over-commercialized aspects I saw in Hawaii turned me off a bit. I understand taking advantages of what people may come to Hawaii to see but it just seem played up a bit much.

Other than that, I think it is a beautiful area, you can get some nice hiking and snorkeling. For me, I'd rather go visit other places.

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 Post subject: Re: Hawaii Dreaming
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 11:56 am 
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Adam Crisis wrote:
Havent been to Maui, but Kauai was forking amazing.


Man, the more I look into Kauai the more I want to go there. If you don’t mind me asking, where did you stay while you were there? The cheapest I’ve come across so far for a condo is $125 a night (although I haven’t been looking too hard yet).

LazySmurf wrote:
I went to Maui, Hawaii, and Oahu last year. The most expensive part was the flights and restaurants. I went for a month and spent about a grand.


Whoa! You only spent a grand? That’s impressive. So did you just bring all your camping gear with you on the plane? I know we’ll want to rent a place for a few days but camping on a beach sounds pretty sweet.

I hate places that are overly touristy, does North Maui tend to have a few less people then the South? It seems like almost everyone I talk to goes to the South side.

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 Post subject: Re: Hawaii Dreaming
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 12:15 pm 
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I didnt pay for where I stayed since my Dad had a timeshare he used, so I just covered the rental car in return. They have a hostel in Kapa'aa if thats your thing.

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 Post subject: Re: Hawaii Dreaming
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 1:37 pm 
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Maggie Muggins wrote:

I hate places that are overly touristy, does North Maui tend to have a few less people then the South? It seems like almost everyone I talk to goes to the South side.


Well there aren't a lot of people on the actual northernmost part of the islands but those roads are supposed to be really bad. The northwest, like around Lahinia is the most touristy, that's where the cruise ships come in and where all the resorts are. It is the only area I went on the island that was filled with people and knick knack shops and stuff. When people say "South" they mean down by Kihei and that is all resorts too, but there were a lot less people on the beach and there were more public beaches. That is where I swam with my first sea turtle! Big Beach and Secret Cove and the park below it is so beautiful and we hardly saw anyone all the way down there. The east side is everything from Paia down to Hana & past and that was the part I liked the most for staying and restaurants. Paia is where Willie Nelson lives and there were cheaper rooms in houses to rent and no big hotels. We stayed at Waianapanapa at the end of the Hana highway (which takes like 4 hours to drive down because you have to stop at every waterfall.) and we were the only people in the whole state park. We were almost the only people in the Oheo Gulch too which is just past Hana. Hana had barely any tourists and was mostly Hawaiians and people passing through after driving the Hana highway. The highway itself can get really busy but it's all people just driving and as soon as you get off the road you will mostly have things to yourself. Here is my Maui blog post.Driving around Haleakala was amazing and totally sublime. We came across a craft fair and it was so lovely.

Like I said before, I have never been anywhere before that I loved as much as Hawaii. Almost everyone we talked to were just so kind. I loved reading the paper there and talking to the people and listening to island radio. Their politics are so interesting and the culture is fascinating. See some live local music too if you can, just read the paper and see what people are going to.

And yeah, we brought a tiny tent, a sleeping mat, a sheet sack, and that's probably it for camping. I'm used to traveling super light though. Bring something warm! It can get pretty cold on top of the mountains. We would camp for a few days and then stay somewhere for a few days because I sleep a lot better in a bed. Reserve your state park passes well ahead of time if you are going to camp because it can be really tricky to do it otherwise.

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 Post subject: Re: Hawaii Dreaming
PostPosted: Thu Jul 24, 2014 3:24 pm 
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Did you end up going? I'm looking into it and I think it'll cost about $1K for the flight and another $150 a night for hotels. Plus rental car, entertainment, and food I expect the trip to be about $3K for most of a week. The package deals seem to actually be cheaper than booking flight and hotel separately on my own, but I'm just now exploring this.


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