Planning my first visit to Hawaii — where should I go?

Planning my first visit to Hawaii — where should I go?

Written by Heather

Topics: Planning & Reflection

Although Gav isn’t in the US yet, we’re already discussing our May 2013 honeymoon. For a variety of reasons, we’ve decided to plan a trip to Hawaii! AND we need your help.

Waikiki, Honolulu, Hawaii

Neither of us have been to Hawaii before, so we want to enjoy the islands as much as possible without traveling too quickly. We understand that it’s a fairly expensive destination, and we’re up for a splurge or two, but we don’t want to go overboard as we develop our budget either.

It’s times like these where I wish we could win just a modest amount in the lottery or even win a trip to Hawaii in some contest that appears just in time for our trip! One can dream :-)

Which islands to visit in Hawaii

Last night I started to read Hawaii’s official tourism site and before I realized it, two hours had passed! There is so much to read, absorb, and digest about the islands and what each one offers.

I asked friends on Facebook to share which islands are their favorites, and the responses varied as I imagined they would! Gav and I would love more input from travel bloggers and others who may stumble upon this post. Which island(s) did you choose and where would you go on a second trip?

Kailua Beach, Oahu

What to see and visit in Hawaii

I believe our ultimate choice of what we want to see and visit will drive our decision on which island(s) to explore, versus choosing an island and then choosing activities based on what’s available.

When I was five my parents traveled to Hawaii on a business trip, and mom raved about her helicopter flight over Kilauea for years. The more I read about the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park last night, the more certain I became that a helicopter flight over the area topped my list of experiences to be had.

Everyone I’ve talked to so far has their favorite beaches, activities, eats, and so on. What are yours?!

Tips for first time travelers to Hawaii

What do we need to know as we’re planning our honeymoon?

Friends who have been say we MUST rent a car.

One friend who recently lived in Hawaii for a couple of years gave us a heads up on the typical round trip airfare from one island to another. That certainly helps as we’re considering whether to visit two or three islands.

We need travel savvy tips and advice! From ways to save money to the things that we should spend a little extra on, all advice is welcome :-)

Share your blog posts about Hawaii travel

If you’ve traveled to Hawaii and written about it, we want to know.

Last night I read posts from Caroline and Amy & Kieron, and I know countless other bloggers probably have written about travel experiences in Hawaii as well. Share your posts in the comments, and Gav and I will check out every one!

Thanks for helping us plan! We’re so excited to learn more about what the islands have to offer.

Photos via creative commons: title image, 1, 2, 3.

10 Comments Comments For This Post I'd Love to Hear Yours!

  1. Rebecca says:

    LOVE HAWAII!!! And this is from someone who hates the beach, so you know it must be good. I’ve been to Oahu twice and The Big Island last year and have written about it on my blog, so just search the Hawaii tag and all my posts will come up.

    For first timers, Oahu is fine. Loads to see, easy to get around, touristy, but you don’t have to travel far to avoid it. I also LOVED The Big Island, as it was just so wild there. Less tourism and my sister even noticed that a lot of the “tourists” there were just people from the other islands.

    Great choice!!!

    • Heather says:

      Thanks Rebecca! We’ll definitely check out your posts very soon.

      It seems like everyone goes to Oahu, and I don’t want to “miss out” but a couple of other islands keep getting top marks…we shall see :-)

  2. I went to Maui in July and couldn’t believe I had waited so long for my first trip to Hawaii! Not only is it beautiful, but the way of life is so relaxing. We explored the entire West side of Maui and enjoyed it so much that I just booked a return trip in December to see the rest of the island. I liked that in Maui you could keep busy with activities or just relax on the beach. Here’s the link to the stories I have written so far:

  3. Jaime says:

    Oh how exciting planning the honey moon already & to Hawaii!!! I spent 8 days in Hawaii a few years ago and loved it. I of course spent them on Oahu. On that island alone you have a million things to see and do. So I will give you tips for Oahu. I think the best area to stay at is near Waikiki beach. It’s not the best beach on the island, but is where you will find everything you need and make it easy for you to get to & from everything. The two beaches you MUST visit are Lanikai Beach & Waimea Beach Park. When you go to Waimea… do the cliff diving. The 1st time is scary but then it’s addicting. I enjoyed swimming with the sharks tour and also the DOLE pineapple plantation. As to where to stay check out they have manyt ypes of hotels in Oahu and I was able to find a room for $60 a night right on Waikiki beach… it was small but nice view and perfect since half the time we weren’t even in the room. This reminded me I have an album of Hawaii pics on my FB if you wanna check them out.

    • Heather says:

      Awesome Jaime, thank you! Gav will be here soon and we’ll dig into everyone’s suggestions and start making some decisions :-) We don’t want to book too late!

  4. Oooh, I have Hawaii posts! We had an amazing time on Oahu, but I really don’t think there’s a bad choice among the islands.

  5. Erik says:

    I have no advice here- Hawaii and Alaska are the last two states I have to visit, but I will be looking forward to reading about your adventures!

    • Heather says:

      Thanks Erik :-) The researcher in me wishes I had already read more, but it’ll be more fun to start planning when Gav gets here.

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