Planning the Perfect Hawaiian Trip
The decision to vacation on the island of Oahu may initially be based on getting acquainted with it simply because your plane landed here first and you “might as well” see what’s around before heading onward to Maui or Kauai. Every Hawaiian island has a unique charm and Oahu is no different. There are a lot of wonderful things to do that are very close to one another, so you can fit a lot of activities into a very few days.
1. Visiting One Island or More
As a veteran Hawaii visitor, I have learned that the idea of going to more than one island is not the thing to do if you only have one week to visit paradise. Limit your precious time away from home by using very little of it “in transition”.
It is bad enough that it will take the lion’s share of a day to get to a Hawaiian island in the first place without you thinking you need to visit a second island, which will cause you to give up a significant portion of another day to pack up, check out, head to the airport, wait, fly the short distance to another island, pick up your luggage, rent a car or get a cab to a new place to stay, and unpack your stuff again, knowing that in just another day or two, you will be doing the same thing again to get ready to go home. It just isn’t worth it.
Go to one island when you only have one week and resolve to return again to visit more.
2. Travel Agent Vs. Do It Yourself
There are pros and cons about every vacation decision. Talking to a travel agent can be a good idea after doing your own research, which is much easier to do today with the internet and sites like TravelDailyMedia.
If you don’t relish figuring things out yourself, using a seasoned travel agent who focuses on your destination can be a great help. If you Google your destination or visit sites with tons of information like BookIt.com, TripAdvisor, Fodor’s, and the like will prepare you for what there is to do. Whether or not you do preliminary work yourself, a travel professional can often get you better prices and upgrades, avoid pitfalls, and be your trouble shooter if anything goes awry when you are on the road.
This is especially true if you are an inexperienced traveler. Having someone help guide you can make the difference between a desired memory of a lifetime and a debacle. Be aware that you may be asked to pay a fee to engage a professional for their services. As you consider your options, ask yourself about what it’s worth to have a great time on the trip for which you have been planning and saving. Precious memories truly are priceless.
3. Being Budget-Minded Vs. Indulging Yourself
People who know the saying: “It costs 10% less to go first class” are on to something. When you travel or shop, you often get unanticipated benefits exceeding expectations when you go up a notch and spend more money.
A favorite example of this is in car rental prices. It is often possible to get a larger, more comfortable vehicle for very little more and sometimes for even less than the daily cost of a compact or smaller
Another example is reserving a regular room or one on the concierge/ club level. The price difference for the concierge or club level rooms will often include benefits like internet access, fitness center admission, breakfast, afternoon cocktails, snacks, bigger rooms, and even more desirable floor levels. The differential may well be worth it to you.
Being a good traveler is often a matter of learning the right questions to ask. So, ask your travel professional about car and room rate differentials. Bet you will learn something.
Beth Holt is a contributing editor to Travel Daily Media, USA. She is an experienced traveler and author.