Topic Wiki

Kauai Overview/DansMeals:
http://www.dansdeals.com/archives/39185

Trip Reports:
Dan 2014
Dan 2009, Auntiemus, Benarroc, Westman812, Hudi, Yellow, Lechaim2life, DanFan2010, Jmansour, Something Fishy, Rivky, chuchem, dealvr, Amusch,
Tzadik Nistar, an613, @Yehuda, @Ygygold

Dan's concierge packet.


Related DDF Threads:
-Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
-Kauai Master Thread
-Maui Master Thread
-Oahu Master Thread


Before you go:

How long should I go for?
You could spend 10 years on Kauai and not get your fill. That being said, the bare minimum to enjoy your stay is 4 days on the ground. A week is ideal.

It's possible to do a short trip by leaving early Sunday morning, getting there in the afternoon, and then leaving Thursday night and being back home for shabbos.

Do I need a guide book?
Very definitely. Sure you could find most info online, but nothing compares to a good, written-by-a-local, guide book. Kauai Revealed is by far the best option, and will possibly be the best $16 you spent on your trip.

What about Shabbos?
Some authorities hold that there's a dateline issue with Shabbos.
The local communities keep shabbos on Saturday.
Definitely ask your LOR before you go - some hold simply that Shabbos is on Saturday, some hold that you have to keep Shabbos on both Friday and Saturday, and some hold that you have to keep D'oreisas on Friday and full Shabbos on Saturday.

If you must keep 2 days, remember that there are many questions that could come up (such as when to light Shabbos candles, how to warm up food, etc.), so make sure to discuss it all with your LOR.

There have been books written about the Chabad opinion of keeping shabbos only on Saturday. Rabbi Aharon Dovid Gancz gives an absolutely fascinating pilpul on the topic, if you get a chance to attend one please record it (with permission) and upload the video online.


Getting there and getting around:

Air:
The main airport is in Lihue, and is designated LIH.
You could fly directly from the mainland to LIH from
DEN (UA)
LAX (AA, DL, HA, UA)
OAK (AS, HA)
SAN (AS)
SEA (AS)
SFO (UA)
SJC (AS)
PDX (AS)
PHX (US)
YVR (WestJet)

There are no direct flights from the East coast, so you will stop in one of these cities.
Alternately, you could fly directly to Honolulu (HNL) and continue to LIH from there.

Hawaiian, Go, and Island Air fly interisland to LIH from HNL and OGG. There are no direct flights between LIH and the Big Island (ITO/KOA).

You can also use 5K AA or, 6k UA, or 7.5k HA miles each way to fly interisland. United allows a free stopover on a round-trip, so for instance you can fly HNL-LIH-OGG-HNL for just 12K miles.

Car:
A car is necessary on Kauai. All major companies have branches, mostly at the airport. There are also some local companies.

National has Executive Aisle/Selection at the airport, but Hertz doesn't have Gold Choice. Avis also has a desk at the Grand Hyatt Kauai. Check out www.discounthawaiicarrental.com - they book from the major brands, and are worth a try.

There's nothing like a convertible on Kauai, but a 4WD is better (sometimes even necessary) for certain places such as Polihale Beach or Milolii Ridge Road. Taking a convertible for most of your stay and a 4WD for a day or two is a good idea.


Where to stay:

There are 3 major areas where to stay. The South side is drier so good weather is more or less guaranteed. The North side is far prettier, with sheer cliffs and a backdrop of lovely green mountains. However, the weather in winter could be rainy and it can be buggy as well.
The rain typically doesn't last long, and is usually accompanied by numerous rainbows, so it's usually not too bad. However, it's something you should take into account. The East side has the cities of Lihue and Kapa'a, alone with countless hotels and resorts. This area isn't as beautiful and the North or South side.

When choosing an area also consider how far it is to your chosen activities, not just the weather, For example, it takes about an hour from the Grand Hyatt to Waimea Canyon, but over two hours from the St. Regis.  On the other hand the St. Regis is much closer to north shore activities.

Here are some places that are discussed in this thread:

NameAreaMore InfoComments
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Grand Hyatt KauaiSouth sideWebsiteGenerally considered to be the top hotel on Kauai, and countless DDF'ers have stayed there. The weather is perfect year-round, it's right by Poipu beach, and you drive through an awesome tree tunnel to get there. There are countless pools and exotic birds all around.
St. Regis PrincevilleNorth sideWebsiteAnother beautiful hotel, this is an SPG category 7. The setting of the SRP is absolutely breathtaking, with the ocean crashing on the cliffs below and the waterfall-filled mountains in the background. The views from the rooms are unparalleled, but most rooms have no balconies.
Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas North sideWebsiteSPG category 6.
Sheraton Kauai Resort South sideWebsiteSPG category 5.
"Get your own place"AnywhereWebsiteThere are countless condos, timeshares, or villas available to rent on the island. The advantages are that you get more for your money - a couple of bedrooms, living/dining rooms, and a full kitchen. There will usually be a pool, sometimes even a private one. Additionally, they're often cheaper than a hotel. There are many places to find them -
 HomeAway Kauai
VRBO Kauai
Airbnb Kauai, etc.


What to do:

Beaches:
There are countless beaches on Kauai, and all are public. Most offer amazing snorkeling. The East and South side beaches are safe for swimming / snorkeling year round, while some North and West beaches could be deadly in winter. Here are some popular ones, in no particular order:

NameAreaComments
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
PoipuSouth sideThis beach is right by the GHK. Full amenities (lifeguard, showers, etc.). Snorkeling is amazing here, especially in the morning. Sea turtles and the critically endangered Hawaiian monk seal are commonly seen here. Gorgeous sunsets.
Ke'eNorth sideThis beach is the gateway to the famous Kalalau Trail. The view from here is amazing, looking out over the majestic Na Pali cliffs. Great snorkeling, with a large fringing reef. This beach could be deadly winter, when 20-foot waves crash onto shore. However, at times it's perfectly calm. Use common sense. The beach is part of Hāʻena State Park
TunnelsNorth sideBeautiful crescent beach, with a lovely view of "Puff the Magic Dragon" mountain. Great snorkeling, and beautiful sunrises. May be dangerous in winter.
LumahaiNorth sideVery pretty beach, where they filmed South Pacific. Extremely dangerous winter.
PolihaleWest side17 solid miles of uninterrupted sand. Fairly remote, and accessible only via dirt and sand road, so 4WD is preferred. Unswimmable most of the year, but the area called Queens Pond is safe all year round. Since it's so huge, you could easily find a secluded spot. Great view of the south side of Na Pali, with amazing sunsets.
Queen's BathNorth sideThis is a rocky beach by the cliffs under Princeville. Very cool during the summer, when you could swim in a rock pool with the fish, but absolutely deadly during the winter (people die there all the time).
KalalauNorth sideOne of the most beautiful beaches in the entire world. Unfortunately, it's only accessible via one of the most difficult and most dangerous hikes in the world, the Kalalau Trail.
HonopūNorth sideAnother one of the top ten beaches in the world. The only way to get there is by swimming - from Kalalau beach :o!
Hanalei BayNorth sideA beautiful crescent beach with wonderful views. Mediocre snorkeling, but safe even in the winter. Very predictable waves, so this is the top spot for learning to surf or paddle. Breathtaking sunrises and sunsets.
SecretNorth sideRelatively secluded beach, and needs a bit of a hike to get there.
LydgateEast sideA fully protected beach, with pretty good snorkeling. Great for little kids, but is usually very busy.
NawiliwiliEast sideBoring beach, but the park of the the side is a nice place to stop for lunch and watch the kitesurfers.
Kapa'aEast sideAnother relatively boring beach, but a nice place to have lunch if you're in Kapa'a.


Hiking:
There are a tremendous amount of great hikes on Kauai. Check the Kauai Revealed book for detailed info on all of them, with maps, difficulty ratings, etc. These are just a few which are discussed in this thread:

NameAreaComments
___________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Hike 1Area 1Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat. Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tation ullamcorper suscipit lobortis nisl ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.
Hike 2Area 2Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat. Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tation ullamcorper suscipit lobortis nisl ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.


Other activities:

ActivityComments
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Helicopter toursEasily the most expensive activity on Kauai, and easily the most amazing. You get to see otherwise inaccessible places - among others, you fly into Waimea Canyon, along the stunning Na Pali coast, and into the crater of the extinct Mount Waiʻaleʻale, now the wettest place on earth. It's an experience that could simply not be matched. Blue Hawaiian is the most popular and usually recommended. Jack Harter also flies amazing doors-off tours, which are wet, windy, and exhilirating :D.
Powered hang glidingThis is a unique flight lesson (counts a flying time for a pilot's license) in what's basically a motorized tricycle with wings. Supposed to be tremendous fun. Offered by Birds in Paradise.
Waimea CanyonLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat. Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tation ullamcorper suscipit lobortis nisl ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.
Kalalau Valley overlookLorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat. Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tation ullamcorper suscipit lobortis nisl ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat.
Hanalei Valley overlook
Kayaking
Biking
ATVing
Horseback riding
Ziplining
Cruises
4 Wheel Driving


Shopping:
  • Costco in Lihue has some kosher food, as well as the cheapest gas on the island
  • Wal-Mart, also in Lihue, also has some kosher food

« Last edited by jj1000 on September 12, 2017, 11:02:23 PM »

Author Topic: Kauai, HI Master Thread  (Read 238820 times)

Offline sam28

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #750 on: December 19, 2013, 12:14:36 AM »
Maybe u can also add what u can do with a kids and what not ? Since I am planning to go with kid and baby.

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #751 on: December 19, 2013, 11:21:45 AM »
DansDeals Concierge Kauai Trip Information: 11/01/11:

This report is adapted from my Kauai trip notes which you can read and see pictures from here:
http://www.dansdeals.com/archives/6088

Kauai Revealed is a goldmine of information on Kauai, is fun to read, and I highly recommend it: http://www.amazon.com/dp/0981461085/?tag=cl03f-20

Kauai useful addresses:

Lihue (Airport area):
Costco: (Roughly the same prices as Costco on the mainland.  The cheapest gas on the island can be bought here) 4300 Nuhou St. Lihue HI 96766  808-241-4000 M-F 10:00am - 8:30pm Sat 9:30am - 6:00pm Sun 10:00am - 6:00pm

Walmart (Roughly 25-50% higher prices than Walmart on the mainland): 3-3300 Kuhio Hwy Lihue, HI 96766 (808) 246-1599 6am – 11pm Everyday

Kmart (Roughly 50-75% higher prices than Kmart on the mainland): 4-4303 Nawiliwili Road Lihue, kauai, HI 96766 (808) 245-7742. 7am – 10pm Weekdays, 8am-10pm Weekends.
Star Market: (Grocery Store with a small kosher section and roughly 100% higher prices than mainland prices) 3-2600 Kaumualii Hwy, Suite K Lihue, HI, 96766, (808) 245-7777, 6 am - 11 pm Daily

Jamba Juice: (Ask your LOR about all kashrus concerns but you can order fresh squeezed orange juice which is done in a dedicated squeezing machine, you can also request to have any smoothie made with any real fruits (Strawberry, banana, blueberry, peach, and mango) and fresh squeezed orange juice and no other fillers.)
3-2600 Kaumualii Hwy #A7 Lihue, HI 96766  808.241.7042, M-T 7am - 8pm, Fri 7am-10pm, Sat 7am-8pm, Sun 8am - 7pm.

Kapa'a (North)
Safeway: (Grocery store, prices for regularly priced items are 75-125% higher than on the mainland.  Weekly sale items are a good buy though and can be about equal to mainland prices)  4-831 Kuhio Hwy, Kapaa, HI 96746, 808-822-2464 Open 24 Hours   

S. Regis Princeville Resort 5520 Ka Haku Road, Princeville, Kauai, Hawaii, 96722 (808) 826-9644

Poipu/Koloa (South)
Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa 1571 Poipu Road Koloa, Hawaii, 96756 808-742-1234
Sheraton Kauai Resort 2440 Hoonani Road Koloa, Kauai, Hawaii 96756 (808) 742-1661


Welcome my personal favorite Hawaiian island!  It’s hard not to gush about Kauai. The air is deliciously fresh with greenery abound. Kauai just a stunningly beautiful island without any of the touristy kitsch that permeates Oahu and to a lesser degree Maui. From the depths of Waimea Canyon to the awe-inspiring cliffs of Na Pali it’s hard to not lose your breath…

A convertible will be lots of fun in Kauai, but a 4WD vehicle may also come in handy for trails up in Waimea Canyon and for driving on the dunes of Polihale Beach.

Kauai Trip Suggestions: 
1. Waimea Canyon.  Duration: 3-10 hours.
-Drive north from Poipu to the Kaumualii highway, west to Waimea Canyon Dr and north on Waimea Canyon Dr.  Nicknamed the Grand Canyon of the Pacific, drive up slowly and take in the beautiful and changing scenery.  Come here early in the day before the clouds set in and block the views.  Bring a sweater!  Drive to the top and stop off at the scenic viewing points to see the canyon on the one side, and the sheer cliffs of the Na Pali coast on the other.  You can also view the forbidden island of Ni'ihau from up here.   

The hiking in Waimea Canyon is second to none.  Stop in the visitors center for hike suggestions and maps.  If you're up for it try the Nu'alolo/Awa'awapuhi grand loop hike that we did on our last trip to Kauai.  Note that it is much warmer at the lower Na Pali side of this hike than it is at the beginning of the hike.   The scenery from this hike is too unbelievable to describe, but the hike can be grueling at 11 miles long and it needs to be started before 10am to finish it before 5pm. Not too worry, there are plenty of shorter and easier hikes up here!

The air up here is impossibly clean, breath it in and enjoy!   

If you have a 4WD and are feeling brave then don't miss Miloli Ridge Road which will open up to the most stunning view of Na Pali without the 11 mile hike.  You can also take the paved Makaha Ridge road in any car, but the end is blocked off by a government building.  Just before the building though we found a place to pull over and take in the view of Na Pali.  Best of all from the lower altitude at the end of this road you can put away your sweater!

2. Polihale Beach.
At the very west end of Kauai is a beach that stretches for as far as the eye can see.   Access to Polihale is via a dirt road, but any car should be able to handle it . The waters here are generally very rough, but there is a spot called Queen's Pond where there is a fringing reef that causes the huge waves to come crashing down before hitting the beach, creating a wonderfully calm area with rough seas all around.  If you've spent a day at Waimea Canyon warm up on Polihale Beach and witness the beautiful sunset as it goes down over the island of Ni'ihau to the northwest.  Drive to the very north of Polihale and watch the sun and rainbows bounce of the cliffs on Na Pali.

Sunset will also be beautiful from any other western-facing beach.

3. Helicopter tour of the island.  Duration: 1 hour
A Helicopter tour of Kauai with Blue Hawaiian is AWESOME!!! They have first class helicopters with comfy seats, 2 way noise canceling headphones, and huge windows for incredible views. The biggest problem with Kauai is that so much of it is inaccessible. With a helicopter tour you can go right up to sights that seem impossible…into the canyon, over Na Pali, and it ends of with Mt. Waialeale, one of the wettest spots on earth with some 500 inches of annual rainfall and dozens of waterfalls gushing down.  This is simply a must-do on Kauai.

4. Kayak the Wailua River.  Duration: 2-5 hours.
Kayak to Fern Grotto and Secret Falls.  Both sites are very impressive! It is a little tricky to dock at Fern Grotto and to actually find the beautiful Secret Falls with its swimmable pool…but well worth it.  Have someone take your picture while your under the fallls!  We started from the Kamokila Hawaiian Village (across from Opaeka Falls) where it’s just a short 5-10 minute kayak to either site, but you can start earlier on the Wailua River if you want t a longer Kayak . We ran out of time and couldn’t find Secret Falls before they closed, but they let us come back a couple days later and try again for free-and we made it! Bring "Off" or you may get eaten alive...

5. Snorkel or Dive!
You can't go to Hawaii without snorkeling!  Walmart sells snorkel gear and Costco may as well.  There's plenty of great snorkeling on the island but my personal favorite spot is along Poipu Beach just a few minute drive from the Grand Hyatt.  Every time I snorkeled here I've seen huge green sea turtles!  Plus monk seals often swim up and take a tan the beach here!  It's a big beach, so if parts are crowded just move further down!
Always try to snorkel in the morning before afternoon waves get too strong to enjoy the snorkeling.
Many hotels rent or even give free snorkel gear, but it's often unsanitary and it's always cheap junk that doesn't work well.  Go to Walmart and get some good snorkel gear (National Geographic makes an excellent set) which won't allow water to go into the snorkel.  If you're not happy with the gear you can always return it.

Walmart also sells diving gloves which are great for snorkeling.  Coral Reef can be difficult to avoid and can cut your hands badly, so wearing gloves will prevent that from happening.
If you have a mustache then snorkeling can be a challenge as it will be hard to create a suction to keep the water out.  Trim your mustache short if you can and buy pure Vaseline jelly and rub it over your mask and mustache to try to create a suction.

6. Hike
Hiking in Hawaii is incredible.  The weather is always perfect and you can hike through waterfalls and jungles with ease.  Consider going to Walmart and buying a pair of inexpensive Tabi shoes (near the snorkeling gear) to hike in streams and waterfalls.  They have a grippy bottom that will stop you from slipping and are also great as water shoes so your feet don't get cut up.

7. Drive!
Kauai is beautiful!  Roll down your windows, take in the garden fresh air and scenery, and just drive.  It will take about 2 hours to drive north to the top of the island (where you will find quaint towns, dry and wet caves near Hanalei where Puff the Magic Dragon once roamed, and 1 lane badges) from the Hyatt, and about an hour to drive from Hyatt to the Polihale west end.

8. Relax!
Don't forget to just leave time to find a private beach and relax!!!  You don't have to be running around 24/7.
The pools at the Grand Hyatt are fantastic, take the time to explore them all!  And don't forget to sign up for a free diving lesson in their salt-water lagoon as well!
-Feeling brave? At Kipu Falls you can swing from a rope down into a waterfall!
-Looking for a neat picture?  Take some over the bridge by Hanalei!  I actually found a hippie artist here selling amazing paintings of Hawaii for cheap.
-Don't miss Wailua Falls, where if you get the right angle of the camera you'll be able to get a great shot of yourselves and the falls.
-Check out the Princeville area by the S. Regis and Queen's Bath on the North Shore.
-Catch as many sunrises and sunsets that you can...they're gorgeous!
-You can also go horseback riding, ziplining, or even fly a powered hang-glider if you're up to it!
-Just slow down and enjoy the slow pace of Kauai!
-Be sure to eat a "Maui Gold" pineapple and try a sweet Maui onion!  Fruit in general, like Papayas, Mangos, and Passion Fruit grown in Hawaii are fresher and tastier than back on the mainland. Find a local farmers market for best results!
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

Offline Ergel

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #752 on: December 19, 2013, 12:54:00 PM »
Me wanna go.
Life isn't about checking the boxes. Nobody cares.

Offline sam28

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #753 on: December 19, 2013, 02:49:10 PM »
Thanks for the nice info dan can u please point out which on can be done with kids

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #754 on: December 26, 2013, 12:57:04 PM »
Got tickets with the delta glitch for $100 to kauai
The Hyatt is not available for my dates :'( what are my other options?

Offline sky121

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #755 on: December 26, 2013, 01:17:14 PM »
Got tickets with the delta glitch for $100 to kauai
The Hyatt is not available for my dates :'( what are my other options?

Were they business? Maybe the hotel will open up.
"Not all who wander are lost"

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #756 on: December 26, 2013, 01:22:10 PM »
Were they business? Maybe the hotel will open up.
No economy priceline site didn't work for me, so I booked it on there mobile site and there was no option for businesses.
I think the hyatt has a event for that week.

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #757 on: December 26, 2013, 07:17:41 PM »
Did anyone stay at the st regis is it worth 30k points?
I think Dan once wanted to post about hyatt vs st Regis.

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #758 on: December 26, 2013, 10:06:58 PM »
I have a ton of spg points and VIP access at starwood so I'm basically 99.9% of the time upgraded to the nicest suites in an SPG property. Is it still worthwhile staying t the grand Hyatt where I have no status whatsoever and how do I go about getting a suite with all the bonus amenities? Do I book the rooms through a forum member?
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #759 on: December 26, 2013, 10:09:44 PM »
I have a ton of spg points and VIP access at starwood so I'm basically 99.9% of the time upgraded to the nicest suites in an SPG property. Is it still worthwhile staying t the grand Hyatt where I have no status whatsoever and how do I go about getting a suite with all the bonus amenities? Do I book the rooms through a forum member?
What about the Westin? How much is a ton? It depends how many you have etc. I would prefer a suite at the Sheraton even than a regular room at the Hyatt. Meanwhile when I'm in Hawaii I'm rarely at the hotel. That's just me.
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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #760 on: December 27, 2013, 05:44:59 AM »
Walmart
Kmart
Does WM have an ATM or take GC's for MO's? Does Kmart have VS/MC GC's? Is there any CVS's with VR's?  :)

What about deals/coupons/discounts for some of the excursions?
« Last Edit: December 27, 2013, 05:54:49 AM by CountValentine »
REPOST!!!!!

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #761 on: December 27, 2013, 08:58:47 AM »
Does WM have an ATM or take GC's for MO's? Does Kmart have VS/MC GC's? Is there any CVS's with VR's?  :)

#onetrackmind
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Offline Dan

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #762 on: December 27, 2013, 10:01:04 AM »
What about deals/coupons/discounts for some of the excursions?
Book them via Hyatt.
https://www.certificates.hyatt.com
10% off GCs
« Last Edit: January 01, 2014, 04:29:10 PM by Dan »
Save your time, I don't answer PM. Post it in the forum and a dedicated DDF'er will get back to you as soon as possible.

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #763 on: December 27, 2013, 10:31:16 AM »
I got first class tickets for $110 for the day after pesach for 4 day stay. What is the best car rental option for 20 years old? I want to do some hiking and snorkeling.

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Re: Kauai, HI Master Thread
« Reply #764 on: December 27, 2013, 11:36:28 AM »
#onetrackmind
I asked what everyone else was afraid to ask.  :P
REPOST!!!!!