Topic Wiki

Please post your questions in the correct thread. This thread, as the title clearly states, is for general Hawaii questions only.

If you have any questions that pertains to a particular island, post it in the appropriate island thread. See below for links to all island threads.

You'd get far better answers there, and chances are that your issue was already discussed at length too.

DansMeals: Hawaii For The Kosher Traveler:
-Part 1: General Info And The Island Of Oahu
-Part 2: The Big Island of Hawaii
-Part 3: Maui
-Part 4: Kauai

Related DD Posts:
-Ultimate Hawaii Mileage Chart and Everything You Need to Know About the Hawaiian Islands (2015)
-Trip Notes: Maui No Ka ‘Oi (2014)
-Trip Notes Kauai: Heaven On Earth (2014)
-The Hawaiian Islands. (2011)
-Traveling To Hawaii…With A 5 Month Old (2011)
-View From The Room (2011)
-Pearl Harbor…70 Years (2011)
-Shaloha! (2011)
-Hawaii Trip Notes: Kauai (2009)
-Hawaii Trip Notes: Oahu (2009)
-Which Miles To Use To Fly To Hawaii?

Related DDF Destination Threads:
-Big Island Of Hawaii Master Thread
-Kauai Master Thread
-Maui Master Thread
-Oahu Master Thread
-Lanai, Molokai, and Niihau, Hawaii Master Thread

Background on Hawaiian Islands
You've probably heard of Honolulu. That's the state capital and is located on island of Oahu, the main island with the largest airport. Honolulu hosts the famous Waikiki Beach and if you look at pictures, it looks like Miami. One long beach with a strip of hotels. Most DDFers say to go to one of the other 3 main islands which are less touristy and the hotels are more spread out. In no particular order, the other islands are Maui, Kauai and Hawaii (yes, that's the name of one of the islands. It's also known as The Big Island - confusing because Big Island sounds like it's the "Main Island", but Oahu is the main island). Direct flights from NYC only go to HNL. You can get direct flights from other cities (LAX, SFO, OAK, SJC, SAN, DEN, DFW, PHX, SEA, ORD as examples) to the other islands. Hawaii is amazing - have fun! The main airport codes are:
Oahu: HNL
Maui: OGG
Kauai: LIH
The Big Island: KOA, ITO (2 airports on 2 different sides of the island)

Interisland flights:
Hawaiian is the main interisland carrier and flies HNL, LIH, OGG, KOA, and ITO. They have countless flights each day and are nearly always on time - often even early. Never book a tight connection hoping that the interisland flight will be delayed.

Go and Island Air fly from HNL. Mokulele flies from HNL and KOA, as well as to Kapalua (JHM), Hana (HNM), Molokai (MKK), Lanai (LNY), and Waimea-Kohala (MUE) on the Big Island. Hawaiian's subsidiary Ohana flies HNL to MKK and LNY.

There is a DansDeals corporate account for Hawaiian Airlines that allows you to take 2 free bags per person, up to a $50 value per flight (see baggage fees chart). It also gives free standby on earlier flights. You can email jj@dansdeals.com with the exact flights, dates, and time that you want, passengers names and dates of birth, and the price you found on hawaiianair.com to make a booking. A $6 per person per leg fee applies.

Alternatively, you can also use 5k AA, 6k UA or 7.5k HA miles each way to fly interisland. You can use 15k DL pesos for a RT interisland. United allows a free stopover on a round-trip, so for instance you can fly HNL-LIH-OGG-HNL for just 12K miles.
HA has several tiers, similar to DL, the lowest tier is the only one that's available using partner miles, but with HA miles you can purchase tickets that are otherwise unavailable for additional miles.

@Yehuda's thoughts on deciding between Kauai and Maui:
Here's a list of the main activities on both islands. Decide what interests you, and then you'll know where to go.

Kauai has what many say to be one of the best hikes in the world - Kalalau Trail. Most people will only do the first part, but it's still very highly regarded. The views atop Waimea Canyon are breathtaking, yet Maui also has breathtaking views at Haleakala. Kauai also has some supposedly awesome off-roading on Miloli'i Ridge Road. Sunset at the 12-mile long Polihale Beach is supposed to be quite the sunset. A helicopter tour of Kauai is generally said to be much better than a heli tour of Maui. If the water is calm, Queen's Bath, which is a natural pool in the ocean you can swim in that's protected from the ocean's force by hardened lava, is SICK, but Maui has the same thing by the Olivine Pools. Kayaking down the Wailua River to "Secret Falls" is supposed to be great as well. Of course, the luxurious, tropical amazingness of the Grand Hyatt Kauai is a huge boost for Kauai, except for its beach, but the great Po'ipu Beach is 5 minutes away.

Maui has the Road to Hana, which is an incredible drive through what feels like a rainforest with tons of opportunities to take small hikes to waterfalls and pools. It's just wow wow wow. Sunrise at the top Haleakala is not to be missed. A boat trip to snorkel by Molokini Crater offers what is supposedly some of the best snorkeling visibility in the world. Warren & Annabelle's Magic Show is supposed to be a great night out. The hotels are also magical, perhaps to a lesser degree than GHK, but the beaches by the main hotels are a big plus over GHK's beach. EDIT: The Grand Wailea in Maui is a gorgeous hotel that rivals the GHK (and its lazy river actually moves as opposed to GHK's ). Add in the fact that its beach (Wailea Beach) is swimmable and doesn't require the albeit short drive to Po'ipu Beach that the GHK does, I'm not sure that the GHK should be a reason enough to tip the scales in favor of Kauai over Maui anymore.

So, pick the types of activities you'd want to do and then you'll have your island. I personally liked Maui better mostly because of the Road to Hana, but to be fair, I did miss out on the Kalalau Trail in Kauai due to weather.
« Last edited by @Yehuda on February 09, 2018, 10:12:56 AM »

Author Topic: Hawaii Master Thread: General Questions And Which Island To Visit?  (Read 275625 times)

Offline efflpetzel

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Re: Hawaii Master Thread: General Questions And Which Island To Visit?
« Reply #1740 on: February 11, 2016, 04:35:11 PM »
How long of a layover would you recommend?

If I book on miles it would be 20k AA (2 pax) + $170 in baggage fees (I'll probably have 3 bags) + $22.40 in YQ
If I book a paid ticket with free bags, it would be $316 + $24 in booking fees.

Basically comes down to 20k AA miles vs. $147.60 cash
BTW bag fees are reduced if you attach your HA FFN to the ticket

« Last Edit: February 11, 2016, 04:38:13 PM by efflpetzel »

Offline CS91

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Re: Hawaii Master Thread: General Questions And Which Island To Visit?
« Reply #1741 on: February 11, 2016, 04:38:23 PM »
BTW bag fees are reduced if you attach your HA FFN to the ticket
You sure? Even if the flight is booked through AA? Pretty sure I saw on the website that it's only reduced if you book using Hawaiin Miles...

Offline efflpetzel

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Re: Hawaii Master Thread: General Questions And Which Island To Visit?
« Reply #1742 on: February 11, 2016, 04:41:05 PM »
You sure? Even if the flight is booked through AA? Pretty sure I saw on the website that it's only reduced if you book using Hawaiin Miles...
I'm sure.

Offline CS91

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Re: Hawaii Master Thread: General Questions And Which Island To Visit?
« Reply #1743 on: February 11, 2016, 04:44:53 PM »

I'm sure.
Then what does the first sentence mean?

Offline efflpetzel

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Re: Hawaii Master Thread: General Questions And Which Island To Visit?
« Reply #1744 on: February 11, 2016, 04:55:19 PM »
Then what does the first sentence mean?

good question, although it doesn't rule out other award tickets.

Last year I flew LIH/HNL/KOA which I booked with united for 6K, added my HA FFN on the phone & paid $15 for the bag.

Offline CS91

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Re: Hawaii Master Thread: General Questions And Which Island To Visit?
« Reply #1745 on: February 11, 2016, 05:10:20 PM »
good question, although it doesn't rule out other award tickets.

Last year I flew LIH/HNL/KOA which I booked with united for 6K, added my HA FFN on the phone & paid $15 for the bag.
Good to know. Thanks for posting.

Offline @Yehuda

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Re: Hawaii Master Thread: General Questions And Which Island To Visit?
« Reply #1746 on: February 15, 2016, 10:46:43 AM »
Just added my thoughts on choosing between Kauai and Maui to the wiki.

Here's a list of the main activities on both islands. Decide what interests you, and then you'll know where to go.

LIH has what many say to be one of the best hikes in the world - Kalalau Trail. Most people will only do the first part, but it's still very highly regarded. The views atop Waimea Canyon are breathtaking, yet OGG also has breathtaking views at Haleakala. LIH also has some supposedly awesome off-roading on Miloli'i Ridge Road. Sunset at the 12-mile long Polihale Beach is supposed to be quite the sunset. A helicopter tour of LIH is generally said to be much better than a heli tour of OGG. If the water is calm, Queen's Bath, which is a natural pool in the ocean you can swim in that's protected from the ocean's force by hardened lava, is SICK, but OGG has the same thing by the Olivine Pools. Kayaking down the Wailua River to "Secret Falls" is supposed to be great as well. Of course, the luxurious, tropical amazingness of the GHK is a huge boost for LIH, except for its beach, but the great Po'ipu Beach is 5 minutes away.

OGG has the Road to Hana, which is an incredible drive through what feels like a rainforest with tons of opportunities to take small hikes to waterfalls and pools. It's just wow wow wow. Sunrise at the top Haleakala is not to be missed. A boat trip to snorkel by Molokini Crater offers what is supposedly some of the best snorkeling visibility in the world. The hotels are also magical, perhaps to a lesser degree than GHK, but the beaches by the main hotels are a big plus over GHK's beach. When the water cooperates, Olivine Pools are supposed to match Queen's Bath on LIH. Warren & Annabelle's Magic Show is supposed to be a great night out.

So, pick the types of activities you'd want to do and then you'll have your island. I personally liked OGG better mostly because of the RTH, but to be fair, I did miss out on the Kalalau Trail due to weather. However, if you mainly want to just relax and be in awe, go to LIH and stay at the GHK.

Offline jedderai

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Re: Hawaii Master Thread: General Questions And Which Island To Visit?
« Reply #1747 on: March 06, 2016, 04:01:01 AM »
Planning a trip to HI with my 2 year old and plan on bringing a babysitter in June.  I would like to see 2 islands.  Ideally, I think that Kauai (3-4 days) and the BI (5 days) are the best fit for me. Please correct me if I am wrong, but it seems that I would not need to spend as much time in the car on these islands, and would be able to enjoy time with my toddler as well (ex: sunrise or sunset at top of mountain at BI can be done while babysitter stays at hotel).  Would it make sense to go for weekend and mostly do activities inside of GH Kauai, while saving one or two for Thursday and Sunday outside and see a bit of the island, or would that be a waste? TIA

Offline 3yummyboys

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Re: Hawaii Master Thread: General Questions And Which Island To Visit?
« Reply #1748 on: March 06, 2016, 07:52:37 AM »

Planning a trip to HI with my 2 year old and plan on bringing a babysitter in June.  I would like to see 2 islands.  Ideally, I think that Kauai (3-4 days) and the BI (5 days) are the best fit for me. Please correct me if I am wrong, but it seems that I would not need to spend as much time in the car on these islands, and would be able to enjoy time with my toddler as well (ex: sunrise or sunset at top of mountain at BI can be done while babysitter stays at hotel).  Would it make sense to go for weekend and mostly do activities inside of GH Kauai, while saving one or two for Thursday and Sunday outside and see a bit of the island, or would that be a waste? TIA

Enjoy! Personally, I think those two islands would be a great choice. Many people have a hard time with kids on the road to Hana, which is the main attraction in Maui.
Staying at GHK for the weekend depends on what you are planning to do. I'm assuming from the way you posted that you will be keeping shabbos. CMIIW. Will you be keeping 2 days? If so, will you swim on the first day? (Our Rav said we can not do melacha deoraisa but can do everything else. So we swam, but had to be careful about drying off)

Offline jedderai

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Re: Hawaii Master Thread: General Questions And Which Island To Visit?
« Reply #1749 on: March 06, 2016, 11:14:10 AM »
Quote
Enjoy! Personally, I think those two islands would be a great choice. Many people have a hard time with kids on the road to Hana, which is the main attraction in Maui.

That is the impression I got that made me want to save Maui for another time.  Rather go and be able to actually do the activities that make each Island unique.

Quote
Staying at GHK for the weekend depends on what you are planning to do.

I can stay at St Regis with SPG points, but everyone says that it rains more around Princeville.  It also cat be a wrong choice if everyone has had amazing reviews.  Is there any reason I would be staying anywhere else?

Quote
I'm assuming from the way you posted that you will be keeping shabbos. CMIIW. Will you be keeping 2 days? If so, will you swim on the first day? (Our Rav said we can not do melacha deoraisa but can do everything else. So we swam, but had to be careful about drying off)

Correct

Also would volcano be an activity that a 2 yr old can join?

Thanks!

Offline PBaruch

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Re: Hawaii Master Thread: General Questions And Which Island To Visit?
« Reply #1750 on: March 06, 2016, 11:16:16 AM »
What is your specific question about Volcano.  If you'd like answers I'd suggest more specific questions.
What do you do after your dreams come true?

Offline jedderai

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Re: Hawaii Master Thread: General Questions And Which Island To Visit?
« Reply #1751 on: March 06, 2016, 11:35:08 AM »
I am asking whether its an activity that my 2 yr old can attend without any issues.  I'm asking because I know that I would have to leave my 2 yr old behind to go up Mauna Kea for sunset/rise.  I know that you have been a big advocate of BI and have done it with kids so if you have any suggestions or recommendations on how to plan my trip to see the volcanoes it would be greatly appreciated  :) . My revealed book for BI is on its way so that should help a bit as well.   

Offline PBaruch

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Re: Hawaii Master Thread: General Questions And Which Island To Visit?
« Reply #1752 on: March 06, 2016, 11:59:06 AM »
I am asking whether its an activity that my 2 yr old can attend without any issues.  I'm asking because I know that I would have to leave my 2 yr old behind to go up Mauna Kea for sunset/rise.  I know that you have been a big advocate of BI and have done it with kids so if you have any suggestions or recommendations on how to plan my trip to see the volcanoes it would be greatly appreciated  :) . My revealed book for BI is on its way so that should help a bit as well.   

You can certainly take your 2yo up to the visitor center on Mauna Kea.  You may want to consider leaving your 2yo with a babysitter at the visitor center while continue up to the summit.  I'm not sure if this will work for you as you may be gone for a while and there isn't much to do at the visitor center until nightfall when they bring out telescopes for free public viewing.

As for Volcano, there are plenty of activities you can take your 2yo along for.  Thurston Lava Tube can be done with a 2yo.  Do the Chain of Craters Road drive - there are plenty of spots along the way to stop off with little ones.  Go to Jagger Museum overlook to watch Halemaumau Crater both during the day and especially at night to see the glow. 
What do you do after your dreams come true?

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Re: Hawaii Master Thread: General Questions And Which Island To Visit?
« Reply #1753 on: March 06, 2016, 12:46:06 PM »
I can stay at St Regis with SPG points, but everyone says that it rains more around Princeville.  It also cat be a wrong choice if everyone has had amazing reviews.  Is there any reason I would be staying anywhere else?
In June, you should be fine with the weather for the most part, although the 1 day we went up to the Princeville area in August, it did rain. They say the St. Regis is beautiful. I think people stay at GHK more often because it's easier to get free nights there.

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Re: Hawaii Master Thread: General Questions And Which Island To Visit?
« Reply #1754 on: March 06, 2016, 02:57:02 PM »
Based on reviews SR is in a better area and has nicer views, while GH has nicer grounds.  I will likely be there from a Thur to around Sunday or Monday.  Has anyone that stayed at both that would like to recommend which way I should lean?

Thanks