Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Tips For An Affordable Vacation In Hawaii

With everything that is going on today, people are feeling they need a vacation more than ever. But, for the same reasons, they are feeling more challenged in being able to take a vacation. Here are some tips that we have gleaned from our guests here at Leilani Bed and Breakfast on turning these challenges into an opportunity for taking their dream vacation in Hawaii.

  1. The challenge of rising airfares: Our guests seem to be getting more for their travel dollar by taking fewer, longer vacations. That way, they spend less on airfare overall, really have an opportunity to explore their destination well, and feel like they have more time to relax from their hectic pace and return home refreshed. Most of our guests are from mainland US, Europe, or Australia and are spending two to four weeks in the islands, getting full value from their travel dollar, making their trip an affordable Hawaii vacation.
  2. The challenge of hotel expenses: More of our guests are travelers who would previously spend all their time at high end resorts. They are finding they can get quality accommodations for far less at many B&B's. By splitting their time between these types of accommodations, their dollar stretches further and they get different experiences. B&B's offer a more personal experience. It is important to look for one, such as ours, that also respects your privacy. And for those B&B's on the Big Island of Hawaii having undergone a quality inspection by HIBBA, you know you will be staying in a clean and respectable establishment. And, you'll be seeing more of the 'real' Hawaii.
  3. The challenge of affording guided tours: We see our guests picking one or two favorite guided tours, and for the rest of their trip, being their own tour guide with the aid of wonderful Hawaii guide books. We recommend the series of guide books by Wizard Publications. The one for the Big Island is The Big Island Revealed: The Ultimate Guide Book. There is one for each of the main islands. These are so good because they give so much local knowledge not included in other guide books.
  4. Inter island travel: The best deals are usually directly from the local airline websites, rather than the compare and shop travel sites. Be sure to check the websites for Hawaiian Airlines, Mokulele Airlines (Go), Island Air, and Pacific Wings.
  5. Save on dining out in Hawaii: One way to economize is to check before booking your place of accommodations for an available kitchenette, BBQ, or similar facilities, where you can make a few simple dinners. This way you can save your dining dollars for those special nights. We find many of our guests like this option on days that they have been hitting the site seeing trail hard, and just want a quiet relaxing evening.
  6. Hawaii car rentals: Car rentals are a bit tricky. People want to hold out for the 'best' deal, however, during peak travel periods, the islands can run low on rental cars and waiting to the last minute to book could backfire. Also, some of these rental agencies have a clause that specifies they can give you the class of car you requested, or the best available at the time, which is usually a free upgrade. The unsuspecting may end up with a larger car they didn't need or want, and is a gas guzzler. Sometimes, what appears to be the cheaper offer isn't. Also know that gas prices vary widely around the islands. We can give our guests the latest on the best places to fill up when they arrive.
  7. Knowing if it is safe: The Hawaiian islands are doing well and thriving after the Japanese earthquake and Hawaii tsunami in March. Those of us involved in the tourist industry want you to have the latest information possible to make you feel comfortable and secure in planning your visit here. The Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau maintains a post of the latest information to keep you informed at http://www.gohawaii.com/statewide/travel-tips/special-alert. Please be sure to check this out, to alleviate any concerns you may have.
We hope you have fun planning the vacation of your dreams in Hawaii. Hopefully these tips will help you make it affordable. Don't be shy in asking questions about everything you are booking!