Wednesday, August 06, 2008

How to travel to Hawaii on a budget>

So I had mentioned before that the hubs and I were planning a trip to Hawaii. We were throwing around alot of ideas, with varying degrees of expensiveness. This trip is probably the last big trip for awhile so we really wanted to make the most of it and do it right. Now I have been to Oahu before, for a family reunion (my aunt and one of my cousins live there), and I definitely wanted to at least spend a week on Oahu to see my family. We were throwing around the idea of going to another island as well and had settled on Kauai as our second island. So we set off to planning with that intention.

The thing I've realized about planning trips is that you really need to decide what type of vacation you want to have right from the get go. We really wanted to just relax and have a good time. We went to Europe together and did the "see everything you can possibly see in 10 days thing", seriously 3 country's in two weeks! So ultimately we decided to stick to Oahu since I'm not going to Hawaii without visiting my peeps! Which thankfully also decreases our total price by about $300 bucks for airfare.

I love traveling and I'm pretty good (if I do say so myself) at getting a good deal. We found airfare from Sidestep. Sidestep is a service that you enter in your information and they search all the travel sites to find out the best value then you complete your transaction on the site with the best value. This time we found our best price was with Northwest Airlines and it cost us about $650 a piece (from Philadelphia). We have one layover in Minnesota so I'm hoping that there might be a possibility to see my sister and her kids even if its only a few minutes.

Once we booked our flight I settled into trying to find a place to stay. I had the luxury of experience with this and was able to remember what each of the parts of the Island were like. If we went with a hotel they really are mostly located in Waikiki, while there was a really nice one near my Aunt called Ihilani. The hotels at Waikiki are nice but it is very much a city type atmosphere and the beaches were very crowded there, it really didn't seam like the best choice for the hubs and I. Ihilani was a gorgeous resort with a really beautiful beach but if we booked there we really wouldn't have been able to afford much else. I then started looking into Bed and Breakfasts to see if this might be a better option. Turns out there are some awesome B&B's in Oahu and we found one that really fits our budget that is right on the ocean!!! We were able to do this for about $130 a night. Since beaches are public property we probably will take a trip to Ihilani's beach one day as its my aunts favorite beach.

We then turned our sites to a rental car, I found most rentals for compact cars were about $25 while the convertibles were about $50. The hubs and I were toying with the idea of a convertible but couldn't justify $50 a day. I was a step away from booking on Sidestep when I thought to check one other website, Hotwire. I was able to find a convertible for $25 a day, which completely rocks my socks off!!!

So thats where we stand now, we have the big stuff out of the way and now we are starting to investigate some of the things to do on the Island. More on that later :)


*shell* said...

Hope you have a blast...sounds like fun! said...

Ooooooooooo Hawaii. My favorite Place. (-; We had a compact car. It was great. We didn't upgrade.(-: We liked Maui better than Kauai only because there is much more to do there. If you are looking for relaxation Kauai is the place to go. There really is not night life. Everything closes early. Its all about relaxation there. (-: You will enjoy it. (-;