Friday, August 20, 2010

Hawaii Part 3: Which Island(s) Should I Visit?

This really is the #1 question I get asked by travelers who are looking into taking a Hawaiian vacation. It also is the hardest question to answer. Each of the Hawaiian Islands offers a completely different experience so the answer again depends on the type of vacation you are seeking.

If you are a first time visitor, it would be hard for me not to recommend a visit to Oahu. While Oahu is tourist-laden, it has some of the most popular Hawaiian experiences such as a visit to the Polynesian Cultural Center, or a trip up to famous Diamond Head. And Oahu has one of the most emotion-evoking, historical monuments that anyone can plan on visiting…The USS Arizona Memorial. So if you are a first-timer, you probably should plan on spending at least a couple of days on Oahu.

If you are seeking a quiet and relaxing Hawaiian getaway, then Oahu and Waikiki may not be the right choice for you. As I stated in my previous post, Waikiki is crowded with LOTS of traffic and visitors, which sometimes is not conducive to relaxation. You may be more interested in visiting Maui, Kauai or the big island of Hawaii where things are a tad more serene and where scenery is the #1 attraction.

If you are on a tight budget, you may want to limit your visit to only one island during your trip so you can avoid the inner-island flights and extra transfer costs. If you are limited by time, then again you probably will want to pick one island and focus your vacation there. Remember, if you are traveling to Hawaii from states in the central or eastern part of the US, then you will be losing at least 2 full days of your vacation in transit to and from Hawaii. So you need to factor in the additional time you will spend in the airport and at the car rental desk when you plan a multiple island vacation.

I just wanted to give you some things to think about when you start planning your Hawaiian vacation. Simply determine the type of vacation you want and then put together a plan that accomplishes that goal. If you love seeing a bunch of sites and experiences, then you may want to mix it up a bit and do a 2-island trip. But if you enjoy the beautiful scenery and seek some quiet beach time, then you will want to choose an island that meets that goal so you have the best vacation possible.

Let me know your thoughts or questions. And as always…thanks for reading.

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