Hawaii update, Part 1.

9:53 AM

   Before we considered Hawaii as a destination for our (belated) 5th anniversary trip, I emailed Lisa Rondo  and asked her how to do Hawaii on a budget.  I'm not even sure what I was looking/hoping for, but her reply flooded my inbox with so many good tips, ideas and suggestions that we just HAD to try them.:)  

   Hawaii fever had bit, and after much research and planning, we bought our tickets for Oahu.  We practically used her email as an itinerary and I LOVED every minute!  I cannot stress enough the importance of asking locals, or someone who lived there before for ideas before you plan a trip.  Otherwise, you are going to get the touristy version of Hawaii.  And who wants that, really?  So armed with her advice, we were off for the vacation of a lifetime.  

    Would you take a look at this gorgeousness?  This was the first image out of my camera on the trip.  We got into Hawaii on a Sunday afternoon and took it easy, settling into our room and buying groceries and walking along our private beach.  Then the next morning we started things off right with a beautiful hike up to the Lanikai pillboxes (left over from the war) and the weather was perfect.

   See those twin islands?  On a different day we rented kayaks and paddled out to the one on the left.  If it's not on your bucket list yet, WRITE IT DOWN.

   Randy doing the obligatory "look like I'm holding the island" picture and being none too happy about it. ;)

   There are so many different directions these updates could take....where to eat, what to do, etc.  I will try to explore those areas further in future posts.  But for today,  I really want to just keep it simple, because saving money on vacation is just that.  Simple.  So here are my top 5 tips for "doing Hawaii on a budget".

1.  Book your tickets in advance.  If your vacation dates are flexible, that is best.  We just watched tickets for a while and had a vague idea of when we'd like to go, and then based our trip around the cheapest tickets we found.

2.  Don't splurge on a resort.  The island is incredible and you're going to want to get out there and see ALL of it.  So just rent a tiny little place off of VRBO.com that is big enough for the two of you, and maybe a little kitchenette.  That's all you need.

3.  Cook some of your own food. We used the little kitchenette in our tiny little place to make breakfast and stocked the fridge with bottled water and other groceries so we could pack lunches and snacks.  Then we tried to keep eating out to a minimum.  But when we did eat out, we made it count!:)  There are SO many amazing places to eat there. Which brings me to my next point....

4.  Skip the nice restaurants.  The hole-in-the-wall places have the BEST food anyway, and half of the time you have salty ocean hair and your swimsuit on, and so you don't really want to sit down in a fancy place anyways.

5. Do free stuff.  Our favorite activities were hiking, (Pillboxes and Koko head) swimming, snorkeling ($10 rental gear) and just walking in town or on the beaches.  I do wish we would have sprung for a surfing lesson, but that can be saved for NEXT time. ;)  Other things that weren't free, but still very affordable were  visiting Pearl Harbor, renting kayaks, and touring the Kualoa ranch.  

   Tune in later for more details of our Hawaiian adventure, and how even on a budget, you could have one too!

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  1. This looks amazing. Now I want to go. :)

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  3. Loving these tips! I'm taking notes b/c I want to go.

  4. genuis!! i want to go!!!

    i am having so much fun catching up on your blog and IG account.

    love you, dear!


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