Post # 1
FI’s parents have very generously offered to send us on a honeymoon, and we are about 90% sure we want to do Hawaii (FI has never been there, and while there are some other destinations we would love to visit, such as Ireland, Italy, or Australia, we only have about 7 days and figure that we’d want a longer window of time if we were going to lose an entire day traveling each way due to long flight time plus a substantial time change. Living in California, Hawaii is relatively close to us.)
We are pretty sure we want to visit either Maui or Kauai, but I’ve never been to either island and am looking for some advice. We want to go somewhere we can relax, take some beautiful scenic hikes or drives, and spend a lot of time being beach bums – but on the other hand, we’d enjoy some nightlife and social interaction as well. I have read that Kauai is amazing and beautiful, more secluded, and less touristy, but that there is just about zero nightlife. I have heard that Maui is beautiful and fun and great for honeymooners, but is still considered by some to be “too touristy.”
Is Maui touristy in the sense that Oahu is? Because I have been to Oahu, and while I had a lot of fun and saw some great sights (North Shore, PCC, Pearl Harbor, Diamond Head), Honolulu and Waikiki really just reminded me of being in Los Angeles, and it did seem very commercialized. I’m not going to have some unrealistic or snobbish attitude about avoiding all signs of tourism whatsoever (because, after all, I will be a tourist), but I’m not looking for the kind of vacation that Clark Griswold would take. 😀
I visited the Big Island when I was about 12, and I remember enjoying it, but since I was so young and it was a family vacation, I don’t know what that island is like from an adult couple’s perspective.
Our budget is about $2500. Any recommendations? Also, anyone know of any good luaus we might go to?
Post # 3
From what you describe, it sounds like Maui would be a good match for your interests (Kauai nightlife is basically non-existant).
However – Hawaii is extremely expensive. I just don’t see $2500 getting you very far beyond your airfare (unless you’re planning on staying with friends or family on the islands). Just for comparison, our 7 nights in Maui is costing us around $7,000. There are far cheaper accomodations on the Big Island, but I can’t speak for how nice they would be.
Your budget sounds like it would be fantastic for some all-inclusive options in Mexico or the Caribbean. We had friends who did Riviera Maya for under 3,000 (and it was all-inclusive) and they had a fantasic time.
Post # 4
@LR2012: Thanks for the advice. I have done some more poking around and it does seem like Maui is what we are looking for. If it were possible, we’d like to do a couple days on the Big Island and then a few days in Maui, but I doubt it.
I realize $2500 is a pretty tight budget, but I have researched some air+hotel+car packages and found a few options that would cost us about $2000 for 5 or 6 nights in Maui (obviously not at the Westin or Sheraton!). I know food and activities would likely push us over the $2500 mark, but I’m not so concerned about that – the $2500 is more of a firm budget as far as accommodations and travel.
(Part of the problem with traveling to any other islands or tropical destinations is that I don’t have a passport – having never needed one before, and only having found out about 2 weeks ago that a honeymoon was going to be possible at all – and with only 6 or 7 weeks to go, I don’t want to add the passport process onto my to-do list. Also, traveling to the Atlantic during hurricane season kind of freaks me out. I would love to visit the Caribbean sometime though.)
Post # 5
I like Maui a great deal. It’s great in the way it has little, far-off spots and then regular cities as well.
Have fun! My dad has lived there for 10 years now. You made a good choice!
Post # 6
Darling Husband and I went to Maui last August. We stayed at the Sheraton at Kaanapali. During our week we did a nice mixture of relaxing poolside and at the beach with sightseeing. We did the Road to Hana tour, a luau, the Maui aquarium, flew to Oahu for the day to see Peal Harbor, Waikiki, and Punchbowl. There are so many things you can do on Maui. It’s not as touristy as Oahu, but it has enough to do to keep you busy. I have some fantastic pictures.
Post # 7
@Eight6Eleven: Gorgeous photos!!