SOCIAL MEDIA

27 June 2014

How We're Going to Hawaii

Surprise!!

I feel like I say "Surprise" a lot in my blog posts.

Anyway, we're going to Hawaii. I'm pretty sure we are. At least that's what our plane tickets say. And that's not something I would have ever expected to be able to say in reference to myself. I always kind of figured that people like Angel and I don't go to Hawaii. Other people do. I envisioned for Angel and myself a lifetime of vacations that looked a lot more like road trips to national parks.

When I'm bored on road trips, I take pictures of Angel driving...we have a LOT of pictures that look just like this one...

So this is strange. We're going to Hawaii. We decided on a whim, found out it was possible, and bought the tickets.

This is the strategy we used: We're stopping in at Hawaii, and spending a couple days there, on the way to China.

Round trip tickets to Hawaii, what a normal vacation would require, would be well out of reach for us, but we had the idea to check out how much it would cost to buy separate plane tickets to fly first to Hawaii and then our destination in China, as compared to flying straight to China. It just so happened, after a little date-juggling (Google Flights is really helpful for comparing prices on different dates), that we could fly to Hawaii, stay there for a couple days, and then continue our journey to China for very close to the same price that we would pay if we were flew straight to China.

We also found that there were plenty of choices on the Airbnb website and that you could get a private room on Oahu near the airport for $60-$80 a night. Once we found that out, we were hooked.

{Ya'll, when you travel, try Airbnb. That link right there is our referral link. I didn't even know they had a referral program till now, which is too bad because I recommend it often. If you have never used Airbnb before, you can sign up at that link and you get credit toward your first stay, we also get credit, everybody wins!}

So, the combined appeal of really just paying for a plane ticket that we were already going to buy....plus, once we get there, having quite affordable housing (the place we booked is $75 per night--considering that it's a private guest house, in Hawaii, I think that's pretty good!)...helped us decide on a once in a lifetime trip. It helps that our leave date is within a couple days of Angel's 30th and my 23rd birthdays, so with a little birthday money allocated it's even more doable.

Now I'm researching what we ought to do while we're there. We're not planning anything crazy--mostly hiking, visiting Pearl Harbor, and time by the beach. If you've been to Oahu, please give me your recommendations!

What are your strategies for being able to save money while traveling? I never thought we'd end up going on vacation en route to moving to China, but it just worked out that way. This does mean that we'll be packing a little heavier than the average couple on a 5-day vacation, but hey, what are muscles for? Carrying 50 lb. suitcases around, right?

43 comments :

  1. Definitely go to North Shore. If you can find a parking spot at Waimea Bay, that's where I grew up going to during the summers. Sandy Beach is down the road and has a lot more parking spots if Waimea Bay is full. On your way to North Shore, stop by the Dole Plantation. It's touristy, but worth the stop. If you're craving a burger, make a stop at Kua ‘Aina in Haleiwa...so good! Also, you have to get a shave ice from Matsumoto's (also in Haleiwa)...rainbow is always a safe choice. And malasadas from Leonard's there's a truck in Waikele Center or there's a shop in Honolulu. Zippy's and L&L are great for local "fast food". Basically I like to eat when I go home to Hawaii. If you like botanical gardens, there's a really cool one in Wahiawa (the town I grew up in). If you want some calm protected waters to swim in, there's the coves in Ko'olina.

    Some super big tourist spots to look into: Kualoa Ranch, Hanauma Bay, Polynesian Cultural Center, and the hike up Diamond Head.

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  2. Wow what an excellent opportunity! I have never been, so I have no recommendations, but have fun!

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  3. Oh my gosh! Jealous! That will be so much fun. Way to be thrifty.

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  4. How exciting!

    Waimea Bay is great or even Hanaunma Bay if you get there super early...around 6:00 in the morning if you have your own snorkelling gear or you can rent at 7 am. Swimming with sea turtles is one of those life experiences that you will never forget.

    bisous
    Suzanne

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  5. Oahu was beautiful, packed with tourists and lively! The shops on the strip were way pricey but walking around is a blast, they had fun alley markets and beautiful trees. I would highly recommend looking into attending a luau and going to North Shore beach. We did the Pearl Harbor exhibit and went on a dinner cruise... also you can take surfing lessons on the beach for a great price and they will give you a cd of the fun.
    Too cool that you were able to stay there ,Dog the bounty hunter did a bust at the hotel we stayed at :) lol.
    xo-Brittney

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  6. Oh Rachel, how fun and exciting!!! My parents went there for their honeymoon and still talk about the scuba diving and having a BBQ in the ocean...cannot wait to hear all about! :)

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  7. Ever since I learned about those vacation home rental sites, I will never stay at a hotel again if I can help it. A whole house for half the price of a little room? I'll take that anytime.

    <3 Jackie
    http://ournashvillelife.com

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  8. I love air bnb and home away! Always good luck finding spots. So glad you're getting a vacay in the middle of a stressful move. Aloha!

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  9. That's so great that you are able to have that opportunity on your way to China! Find a convenience store near you and grab some milk, cereal, and sandwich making supplies, and that is typically cheaper than going to a restaurant for all your meals!

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  10. What a sweet side trip! great idea! my mom's boyfriend has a time share there and told kevin and I we could have it in 2016 (lol so far) so we're going to try and save up for those plane tickets...that's the hard part right there so good move! Can't wait to hear about it! I've wanted to go all my life. :)
    ps: cool travel site!

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  11. That's amazing!!! I am so happy and excited for you and Angel. I've never been, but I hear wonderful things! I hope you have an amazing time.

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  12. how cool! definitely a lifetime experience!

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  13. I LOOOOOOOVED the Polynesian Culture Center! So fun and interesting! You get to experience the traditional clothes, dances, legends, etc of people from all the different polynesian islands. The workers/performers are all college student going to the near-by BYU-Hawaii. THe dancing was my favorite part. Anyway, it was very cool and the students were so friendly and awesome! There is also a Mormon (Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints) temple close by with a gorgeous visitor center open to the public...they have really beautiful gardens too. Have so much fun! I can't wait to take my husband to Hawaii someday. :)

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  14. I love your surprise posts and so lucky that you get to travel. I have always wanted to visit Hawaii - ahhh one day. You & Angel have a great trip Rachel. Have a fun weekend too!

    <3 Ada.

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  15. OH lucky!!!! That will be so much fun! I hope to get there soon like this September but we will see. We are still waiting for my SIL fiance to get his visa so they can get married there. So we wait! I may be close to being super pregnant but I would not want to miss it unless it was medically impossible for me to fly. What a way to celebrate your birthdays! How fun!!

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  16. We went to Oahu on our honeymoon!! I definitely recommend the hike up Diamondhead...it's not super long, but it's an awesome view from the top! And if you get a chance to rent mopeds...do it. One of the best things we did on our trip!

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  17. have so much fun!! hawaii is great!!

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  18. Aloha Rachel! Wow, I am so envious! I read a book about Hawaii a couple of years ago and reallly want to go there! Not sure my husband will go for it though- he's never been long-haul and doesn't like flying much!
    I am the same on long car journeys but my husband gets annoyed and grabs at the camera and in the interests of safety, I stop pretty soon after. I also take pictures of clouds (as you can tell from my blog posts recently!) and when it's dark, put on a slow shutter speed and wiggle my camera about so it takes mad light shots. My husband also gets annoyed at that!!
    Also a fan of AirBnB- we did our entire honeymoon on it last summer in Switzerland and stayed in a couple of really special places (and one goat farmer's place- not so great!). Now we are trying to find places in Croatia as that's where we are going this time- flights are booked but that is it!x

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  19. How exciting! Take lots of pictures, I can't wait to hear about your trip!

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  20. Holy cow! Awesome!! That was good thinking on your part - why not, ya know?? And those room rates are incredible - under $100 a night for a private guesthouse in the biggest tourist state of the US?? Insane. Thanks for the link, I'll be checking it out....not like we really go anywhere nowadays...but maybe someday :) HAVE FUN!

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  21. Enjoy yourselves in Hawaii! Must be really thrilling to have made this impromptu trip. This kinda randomness is always the best!

    Jo
    Jo's Jumbled Jardinière

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  22. how fun! seriously, a lot of memories in the making!!

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  23. How exciting! It's wonderful that you'll have the opportunity! All booked on a whim and by spending the same. It can't get better then that :-D

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  24. I love Hawaii - you will have so much fun!

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  25. That's sooo cool Rachel!!! Glad to hear you're able to go and have a blast! Have a safe journey to China and can't wait to hear about all your adventures together!! :D Best of luck you guys -Iva

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  26. aww, what a happy post :) i went to hawaii when i was 12, but i've always wanted to go back with jon and spend some time exploring the islands. for now, i'm going to live that experience through you. take lots of pictures!

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  27. Oh you two will love Hawaii! My brother-in-law has to go there all the time for work. It's so gorgeous!

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  28. Wow, I feel like saying congratulations! I know exactly what you mean about not being "the type of people" to go to Hawaii, but definitely if you get the opportunity, why not!? I've heard it is absolutely beautiful, and what a great way to begin your new adventure! Can't wait to see your photos!

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  29. I so want to go there! Hope it's a blast! I'm crossing my fingers for a fun trip by the end of this year!
    Patterned Love

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  30. Stopping over in Hawaii is a great way to do it. That's what I did on my way back from the States to New Zealand. Sounds like you've got an amazing deal on a place to stay. Enjoy your trip! Cheers - Ellen

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  31. How exciting! My grandma lives on Oahu and I love visiting there such a great place to relax and explore.

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  32. Hawaii, how awesome!! Also I didn't know that you can get Airbnb accomodation even there! I've used it in Europe a lot so far and absolutely love it!

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  33. I heard so many wonderful things about AirBnB, I will just have to try it out on my next trip!! Also, have a wonderful wonderful time in Hawaii, that is such a cool experience!

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  34. Wow, that is great, Rachel! I hope y'all have a great time. We were actually trying to think of a fun way to celebrate our first anniversary this year, but thought a vacation would be too much. I did some research and found that with our points on our credit card (thank you to furnishing and painting our new home), plus the fact that I booked early, our hotel will be free and we will have dinner money left over! It's amazing what you can learn with a little research.

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  35. Amazing! I love Hawaii. I really enjoyed Pearl Harbour. I think if you can drive around the island, that would be great. The area I love most on Ohau is Kailua. Beautiful, more quiet beaches thatn Waikiki :)

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  36. WOW, that is so amazing! I'm sure you guys will have a blast! Also, congrats on moving to China...what an adventure!

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  37. You guys are going to have so much fun. Mr. A was stationed in Hawaii for three glorious years. If I hear one more "it's the best place ever" story from him, I'm clearing out our savings and taking myself on a vacation! But seriously, you guys are going to have a blast!

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  38. I have been hearing a lot about airbnb but I am still unsure what exactly it is. I save money by letting Kevin play the credit card games to pay for our travel. :-)

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  39. How great that it worked out that way! Excited for you, Hawaii is so pretty! When we went to Oahu we saw Pearl Harbor and went to the Dole plantation - it was just a short tour, but they have chocolate-covered pineapple and pineapple ice cream! Yum.

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