For January 2020 we need to book a condo on the Big Island for a family of 4. It doesn't need to be big but we would like a washer/dryer and a usable kitchen. Any suggestions? Also, any insight into fun activities the locals enjoy. Thanks
We stayed in this unit in spring of 2018 and were quite pleased.
hey hey jim and athena
what are your dates, your budget, are there kids, near the beach, will you have a car, how many beds/bathrooms? january is a busy month with lots of "snowbirds" coming to stay for a while. do you only want to stay in waikoloa or is kailua kona area okay?
this will give us an idea what info to give you. the ages of family and what are you interested in? i'm from the big island and it's a BIG island. lots to see and do, from budget to expensive depending what you're looking for. look at a map see where places and things are, if volcano side on the list, it's a long day for driving, maybe keep your condo and find a hotel room on the east side for a night to explore that side of the island.
Hi Princess :)
Thank you so much for the reply. This is our first trip to Hawaii, so we have much to learn. Let me give you some quick answers to your questions:
Dates: Jan 5-18
Budget: Hoping to stay around 2-3K for food, lodging, car, etc. Looks like this might be tough, but that's the goal. (we already have our airline tickets)
Kids: Yes, 18, 16, 12
Beach: Would love to be near the beach, but initial research is showing this to be very expensive, so may need to adjust
Car: Yes, planning to rent a car
Beds/Baths: We're flexible. Fine with anything from a studio and up, as long as we have a kitchen, enough beds, and a washer/dryer would be very nice.
Location: We were told Waikoloa would be a nice place for beaches and first time visitor experiences. We're open to other areas.
Activities: Beach, Snorkeling, Swimming with Dolphins, Hiking, Parasailing (maybe), Luau, Shopping (some, not a ton), Amazing/Must See natural beauty (Volcano, Falls, etc - but not interested in helicopter tour), the best food places where the locals eat (we don't want overpriced tourist food experiences)
Thanks once again and we really appreciate any assistance!
Get hopping on booking accomodations. January is very much high season with snowbirds flocking to nest for multiple weeks in Hawaii. And the multiple week/month+ visitors prefer condos over hotels.
Am I counting properly? Three children 18, 16 and 12? Family of 4? Only one adult. Four can fit comfortable in a 5 seat passenger car but five with teens and an almost teen would be a tight fit even a so called full size sedan.
With a $3K budget for two weeks it looks like Costco meals and not much fun. But relaxing on the beach is free.
Hi Edgar - Yes, we're trying to get something booked now. Sorry about not being clear - 2 parents, 1 adult child and 2 children (5 total). Thanks.
Waikoloa BEACH RESORT area not Waikoloa Village which is no where near the beach.
Activities: Beach, Snorkeling, Swimming with Dolphins, Hiking, Parasailing (maybe), Luau, Shopping (some, not a ton), Amazing/Must See natural beauty (Volcano, Falls, etc - but not interested in helicopter tour), the best food places where the locals eat (we don't
want overpriced tourist food experiences)
We enjoy the Big Island for the geology (i.e. volcanos and mountains). Volcano NP is a must see for us for both viewing volcanic activity and for hiking. Check the VCNP website for what is open and what is not: https://www.nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/index.htm
The Kīlauea Iki loop hike would be a good one for young energetic hikers: https://www.nps.gov/havo/planyourvisit/hike_day_kilaueaiki.htm
Lava tube walks are on our list but check for closures.
White sand beaches on the Big Island are the exception.
Beaches on the Big Island are unlike the beaches you can find back
home. The island of Hawai’i is geologically speaking very young and
there are no miles and miles of pristine white powder-sand beaches as
you can find on the other, older, Hawaiian Islands.
Instead, our beaches are made out of pitch black sand, crystal green
sand, coarse white sand, coral, and even out of newly formed lava
Punalu‘u Beach - Punalu’u black sand beach is the most famous black
sand beach on the Big Island! It is located between Kona and Hilo, and
most easily accessible from Volcano Village.
Botanical garden: http://www.htbg.com/
The Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden is a museum of living plants that
attracts photographers, gardeners, botanists, scientists, and nature
lovers from around the world. The Garden's collection of tropical
plants is international in scope. Over 2,000 species, representing
more than 125 families and 750 genera, are found in this one-of-a-kind
Hilo Farmers Market: http://hilofarmersmarket.com/
BIG MARKET DAYS - Over 200 local farmers, artisans, crafters,
retailers, food vendors. If your visiting for the first time, we
recommend coming on these days.
Stay on the Hilo side if you must go to the big island. Then take your hiking boots, because that's the best part of that island. Although the kids might enjoy jumping into the hole at Heiau.
The beaches on the big island, as noted already, are not what you probably want. If you want beaches to lay in the sand go to a different island. I find the costs pretty much the same, so that shouldn't be the issue.
Look at Kauai; they have the airport with direct flights, the beaches are great, tourists primarily stay up in the northwest leaving the best part of the island to those who don't, and it's cheaper than Oahu without the traffic.
hey hey jim and athena
check out hotels.com (kona hawaii guesthouse). your budget is very low for 13 days in a very expensive area during winter months, i'd say slim to none. vrbo, airbnb, homeaway have steep fees and taxes that can equal up to half what the cost is before that part is added in.
you should also look to stay a few days on the other side of island (hilo to volcano). is your airfare round trip to kona airport? some places allow only 4 people and you will need to rent two rooms,.if it says 4 and you bring five they may decline your reservation. could be a safety issue or county law, be prepared.
the waikoloa area has hapuna beach, spencer beach, driving north to kohala along coast up to hawi, small plantation towm has the bamboo restaurant plus small restaurants, king kamehameha statue, fluminkohala.com, drive down hiway 250 thru the mountains and ranch land to waimea (kamuela) shops, grocery stores, restaurants, onto hiway 19. takes you thru more ranches, cattle, sheep, lush green land to the town of honkaa, drive thru the small plantation town and don't forget to stop at Tex's drive inn, home of the malasada (portuguese donut) drive south thru hamakua coast thru old plantation lands, bridges, waterfalls along the way, the town of laupahoehoe has a railroad museum on hiway, lookout point where tsunami hit and killed teachers and students down below on april1, 1946, onto honomu with mr ed's bakery, homemade products, akaka falls up the road, onto pepeekeo take a left on kulaimano road to old mamalahoa hiway and it's a scenic coastal road for about 9 miles to hiway 19 to papaikou. come onto honlii the surfing beach drive the rest of way to hilo, we call it the airplane bridge you go over wailuku river hand a right on waianuenue up to rainbow fall/boiling pots near hilo hospital, continue on waianueanue changes to kaumana drive and about 5 miles up is kaumana caves, park somewhere, wear sturdy shoes be careful if slippery, and bring a flashlight to walk into caves.
back down to town and stop at hilo farmers market early morning, wednesdayand saturdays are big market days. drive along hilo bay to banyan drive liliuokalani gardens, park car and walk over bridge to coconut island, dip you toes in the water, around to reeds bays and ice pond, who wants to jump in??!! take kalanianaole street for about 6 miles till turnaround, beaches along the way, this area is hawaiian homestead lands that the hawaiians have owned for years and years, large lots that may have gardens, ponds, raise animals, build like mother-in-law homes (ohana "family" housing) on properies, condos along the way, same road back to hilo. turn left at kanoelehua avenue (hiway 11) to hilo airport, lots of businesses, main road to pahoa (volcano flow) and volcano. turn left on makalika street to the gorgeous nani mau gardens. then at intersection you have the keeau-pahoa hiway takes you by subdivisions built long ago and lead to to beach after many many miles, to where the lava flowed and destroyed homes in leilani estates. back same way the hawaii belt hiway leads you to volcano, stop to view the craters, walk the thurston tube, smell the sulfer, visit volcano winery, follow road to pahala/naalehu to black sand beach, punaluu bake shop, known for hawaiian sweet bread, most southern point of USA, green sand beach at end of road (get a map), follow road all the way back to kona. visit small macadamia and coffee lands south kona (honaunau to kealakekua tocaptain cook) you'll see coffee shacks, old coffee mills how people lived way back when. stop at city of refugee, kealakekua bay for snorkeling. then onto kam 111 road down to alii drive and drive along the coastline with hotels, houses, condos all the way to kailua town. lots to see and do, check out konahistorical.org, portuguese bread making free on thursdays 10am-1pm and sell the loves hot from oven from about 12:30pm, learn about the history of kona coffee and the greenwell family.
Hi, we went to the Big Island last year in March and loved it so much that we wanted to come back to stay in the same condo in late January or February for this upcoming year. 11 months ahead, it was already booked, so we quickly grabbed two weeks for March. The island, well all of Hawaii, is definitely expensive. We knew this from previous travel, so we brought a stuffed backpack full of food to reduce some of our meal cost.
"Also, any insight into fun activities the locals enjoy. Thanks"
We found this book to be an excellent resource to read ahead & bring during the trip: Hawaii The Big Island Revealed: The Ultimate Guidebook Hawaii the Big Island Revealed by Doughty, Andrew, Boyd, Leona. Our only miss from the book during our whole trip was stopping at the recommended south point café instead of the Punalu’u Bake Shop. My husband was so disappointed that he also stopped at the Punalu’u Bake Shop. It's on the way to the Volcano National Park. We stopped there for more donuts on the way back, too! And speaking of the Park, the rangers at the Volcano park were excellent - very personable and knowledgeable. We stayed overnight at Volcano, so we could spend an entire day there.
My 2 cents. @Edgar & Princess Pupule have given great advice. We go to the Big Island every 2 years and stay in Waikoloa Beach area. For a first timer, I would recommend staying in either Kona or Waikoloa Beach area. I would also recommend splitting time if you can in Hilo. 2-3 nights. We like staying at one of the houses that the Kilauea Lodge offers up in Volcano Village. Do not be fooled by how close Hilo and Kona are. You can visit Hilo on a day trip from Kona if you wish but it can make for a long day. There are many places to explore. It is not called the Big Island for nothing. From Hawi in the northwest to South Point Park to Hilo. There is a lot of land to cover and a lot to see. Waterfalls, beaches, and a volcano. If you wish, you can go to the top of Mauna Kea to watch the sunset. Whale watching on a boat or from the island itself is another thing to do. Once you secure a place you can start to plan how you will spend your days. Good luck!