Monday, April 15, 2019

All About Our Hawaii Vacation Part 1: The Planning

We had been planning on taking our children to Oahu in the summer of 2019. I started pricing out airline tickets in February 2019. I quickly realized that July and August cost a lot more for plane tickets than March and April. So I changed our plans a little bit and booked our flights for March 2019. That gave me less than two full months to plan our vacation!! When you are booking 5 plane tickets every little bit of savings can add up. I compared airport pricing and searched all airports within 2 hours of our house. I am lucky because I live just less than 2 hours from Dulles airport and exactly 2 hours from Raleigh, NC airport. Both of which have excellent airfare rates to Honolulu. We decided to book with United Airlines out of Raleigh. Our airfare was around $900 per person and this was for economy. We were able to bring one personal item (bookbag for each of us) and one carry on luggage. We ended up checking 2 pieces of luggage for $30/bag. We had a total of 7 bags + a bookbag for each person.



More on the flight experience later. After booking the airline tickets I booked our hotel for the night before our early 6:30 am flight. We absolutely loved the Holiday Inn Express in Raleigh, NC. They provide a park n ride option where you can leave your vehicle for up to two weeks at the hotel to avoid paying for parking at the airport. They will take you and pick you up at the airport with their shuttle. It was SO convenient. We loved the hotel and the breakfast was delicious. Due to our early morning flight we did not have much time to enjoy the breakfast, but we did grab coffee to go and nice to go bags. The to go bags were filled with: banana, granola bar, cereal bar and a delicious fresh baked muffin. I can't say enough great things about this hotel! We will definitely return.

Luckily I had been pre-planning and doing research on must see attractions in Oahu for many months! I had saved many websites to a folder on my "Favorites" lists on my computer. I've always wanted to take the kids to Hawaii but I wanted to wait until my youngest was at least 7+ or older to fly. It is a long flight and I knew it was going to be too stressful to fly with 3 kids when they were really young.

I knew that we would have only 10 days to see many many places, beaches, attractions, restaurants, etc. So I had to make the most of our time and our days. I used my favorite Lilly Pulitzer notebook to make our itinerary. I booked dinner reservations at the following restaurants:

https://www.tanakaoftokyo.com/
https://www.dukeswaikiki.com/
https://www.haleiwabeachhouse.com/

After booking dinner reservations I started booking reservations for attractions. I booked our rental vehicle. This is another topic that I debated on. Should we have a rental car for the whole 10 days or just part of the vacation? Parking in Waikiki is very expensive so that was another added factor. In the end I decided to book the rental car for 4 days. We were able to ride http://thebus.org/ to most of our destinations, such as Pearl Harbor, Diamond Head, Ala Moana Center (mall), Waikiki Aquarium, Honolulu Zoo, etc.

Up next, part 2 Packing & The 9 Hour Flight Experience



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1 comment:

  1. There was an area of Pompei that the rental car did not like and it perpetually dragged us into the city off of the highway. Highway driving is far less precarious than driving in the cities so do your best to not take any detours. Car Hire

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