How to Plan Hawaii Island Hopping (and some budget tips!)

Episode 10 November 09, 2023 00:37:28
How to Plan Hawaii Island Hopping (and some budget tips!)
2TravelDads Podcast
How to Plan Hawaii Island Hopping (and some budget tips!)

Nov 09 2023 | 00:37:28


Hosted By

Rob Taylor Chris Taylor

Show Notes

We love Hawaii and have been very fortunate to get to visit many times. In this episode we talk about how to plan a Hawaii itinerary, including island hopping options. If you've never been to Hawaii planning a trip there might seem very daunting, and you know what, it is. From budgetting for flights to logistics of getting from island to island, we're dishing on our approach to planning for Hawaii with kids. With kids! Yes, we also get into planning activities with kids too!

Listen in as we dig into how we've built out our 17 day Hawaiian adventure which includes the Big Island of Hawaii, Maui, Lanai and Molokai (and then back to Maui). We'll be doing island road trips on the Big Island and Maui (including Hawaii Volcanoes and Haleakala National Parks), and then sailing from island to island with UnCruise Adventures. More podcast episode will be coming all about this incredible experience in the Hawaiian Islands!

View Full Transcript

Episode Transcript

[00:00:04] Speaker A: Welcome to two Travel Dads podcast. Here we share our favorite destinations, travel tips, stories from our adventures, and tips for saving money. Be sure to subscribe and check out our detailed show [email protected]. Podcast Episodes hey, welcome to another episode of Two Travel Dad's podcast. I'm Rob, and Chris is not with me today because he has to work while I have important things to discuss with my good friend Kate, who loves to travel but also doesn't know a lot about certain aspects of putting travel together. So she has questions for me that actually I thought would be really good to share with other people. So, Kate, say hi. [00:00:48] Speaker B: Hi. [00:00:49] Speaker A: She's pretty great if you could see her. She's so cute. She's sitting here cross legged in a little chair. [00:00:54] Speaker B: Anyways, getting comfortable. [00:00:57] Speaker A: Yeah. So our main thing we want to talk about today was, or is our upcoming trip to Hawaii that Chris and I are doing with the boys. And we've got some time on the Big Island. We've got an uncruised sailing adventure we're going on, and then we are going to wrap up our trip. We're going to be gone for 17 days, which is insane. [00:01:19] Speaker B: That's a really long time. [00:01:20] Speaker A: It's such a long time. But I'm totally fine with that because I need it. But then we're going to wrap up on Maui. So Kate has some questions about how we built our itinerary and the kind of research and stuff maybe, I don't know. If you want to talk about budget, we could get into that if you want. So why don't you just. [00:01:40] Speaker B: We're going to get into it. [00:01:41] Speaker A: Okay, well, then just. [00:01:42] Speaker B: We're going to get into everything. [00:01:43] Speaker A: Fire away. And I'm totally excited to, actually, this is my first podcast episode with you. [00:01:48] Speaker B: I know. I'm very excited. Thank you for having me. You're so welcome. It's a little bit awkward. Most of our conversations are not had with giant microphones in our faces. [00:01:59] Speaker A: We'll change that. [00:02:00] Speaker B: A little different than our norm. So I have never been to Hawaii, and I think it's interesting that in the intro, you're like, I love to travel. [00:02:12] Speaker A: You do? [00:02:13] Speaker B: I'm getting a love of travel. I would say. I have the desire to travel, and I think that that's kind of where it all begins, but with uncruise. So a lot of people look for cruises specifically because it includes everything. You get to go all to the different places that they have on all of their itineraries. What would you say? Did you guys do the planning for this? Was it all planned through the company? [00:02:45] Speaker A: How did that work, first off? So the company that we're going with for a portion of our Hawaii trip, so half of it is us doing our own thing and then half of it is actually part of a work trip where we are going to be doing a small ship sailing with uncrews. And it's called a small ship sailing because instead of there being 3000 guests, there's, I think, 46 of us. [00:03:07] Speaker B: Oh, that's nice. That's very desirable to me. I do not like small spaces with 1 million people. [00:03:13] Speaker A: It's a little intimate, but also that makes it so that we can literally have the type of experience that we want. But that portion of our Hawaii trip is a work trip where the company asked us to come along. So we're like, yes, we can do this. Happy to. And then share the experience. So that element of our Hawaii trip, I'm very thankful I did not have to coordinate because that portion is island hopping and it's going to three islands that I've never been. [00:03:44] Speaker B: Oh, well, that's perfect. [00:03:46] Speaker A: I know. And it's funny because whenever we do any sort of big trip, usually I am the one who does every single element of the very. It's on one hand it feels freeing to, and you know, the first stop on Maui, having that all planned for us, it feels very freeing that I don't have to stress about that. But then on the other side, as I was building our itinerary, I literally don't know what we're going to be doing. I know that there's this sort of activity that happens on an island and we're going to be going doing snorkeling somewhere, but not necessarily where, I don't know. And that aspect stresses me out. But also I know that these are professionals and this is the most premium, bespoke experience and so I have to not stress about it. [00:04:38] Speaker B: There you go. Well, I think it's interesting that you are stressed about the part that you have no control over. [00:04:46] Speaker A: This is not a podcast about that. [00:04:50] Speaker B: Well, I think people kind of struggle with itineraries, right? So I know that people, look, they go through travel agents that they don't have to deal with any of it and it's kind of all planned for them because the planning is a lot of work. [00:05:07] Speaker A: The planning is a ton of work. [00:05:08] Speaker B: So I think that it's really interesting that you like that portion of it. You like that figuring out what you're going to do. [00:05:20] Speaker A: I love that portion. I love logistics. [00:05:24] Speaker B: Well, that's good. I don't know if that's the norm or not, but. [00:05:31] Speaker A: I admit that I've worked in travel for 24 years, so it's nothing new to me. And maybe that's why I like it is because now it's not just like having cool new experiences and seeing something new, but now there's this whole other kind of challenge element of logistics and planning and plotting and research and taking kids into consideration, because ultimately, the itinerary that I've put together for our upcoming trip is extremely different from what Chris and I were on the Big Island a year ago, and this is not quite as adventuresome and strenuous. [00:06:11] Speaker B: Okay, well, that's a more relaxing vacation. [00:06:16] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:06:16] Speaker B: Okay, well, I mean, you deserve that, too. It's okay. [00:06:20] Speaker A: It is. But it's very different in terms of thinking about what kids are going to enjoy instead of just what us adults are going to enjoy. [00:06:30] Speaker B: Right. And you're not schlepping them and they're just kind of along the way. So you're starting out on the boat or you're not starting out on the boat. [00:06:38] Speaker A: No, we fly from Orlando because we saved, like, $400 a ticket. [00:06:45] Speaker B: That's pretty awesome. [00:06:46] Speaker A: By flying from Orlando to Kona instead of flying Jacksonville to Kona because, yeah, Jacksonville is apparently a small airport and they don't fly to Hawaii. [00:06:58] Speaker B: Well, there you go. Well, any way you can save money is a good way with me. I'm happy with that. [00:07:03] Speaker A: So we're flying to Kona first, and then that's know easy place that we are both starting our portion of the trip, and that's where we sail out. And I love Kona. I've been there a couple times. It's amazing. So we'll do that and then we'll kind of skirt the south side of the island, check. Know some stuff over on the west side, the Hilo side, and then go back around the north side, back to Kona. [00:07:26] Speaker B: And I know national parks are like a huge thing for you, and you have two on your first two days. [00:07:34] Speaker A: When we get there. So that's the other thing is we're taking kids out of school for this. So we are very careful to be sure that nobody questions whether or not we willy nilly pull the kids out of school for something that is just a fun beach trip. So, yeah, on our first day, I think we land and we go to Honoka ao, I think is our. [00:07:55] Speaker B: Yes. [00:07:56] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:07:57] Speaker B: I can't say that, but good job. You did a great job. On that. [00:08:00] Speaker A: Excellent. Well, it's this amazing place. It's a National Park Service site where all of the. Not all of them, but tons of Honu. The green sea turtles haul out up into the tide pools, and you literally kind of walk the beach, and you can kind of walk the tide pools as long as you're keeping your distance. And there's just turtles. [00:08:18] Speaker B: Oh, that's awesome. So it's keeping it educational. [00:08:22] Speaker A: It's science directly in front of your face. [00:08:24] Speaker B: Yes. That's wonderful. [00:08:26] Speaker A: And then the next day, I think our first stop is Pu Ohana. Ohunao. Now National Historic Site. [00:08:33] Speaker B: That is also hard to say. [00:08:36] Speaker A: And I'm doing this without it written in front of me. [00:08:38] Speaker B: I struggle with Hawaiian words. I can pretty much pull off Aloha. And that's it. [00:08:43] Speaker A: Do you want to know the trick? You say every letter. There are no silent letters. You say every single letter exactly as it sounds. [00:08:51] Speaker B: Okay, we'll practice that later. Yeah. It does look like you get some beach time, though, in your first two days, so that's fun. You're not making it all educational. [00:09:04] Speaker A: These are actually educational beaches. [00:09:07] Speaker B: Oh, well, great. [00:09:08] Speaker A: So we've got a couple other podcast episodes, know Big island, about Kauai and things like that. But this is something that Chris hasn't done, the kids haven't done. I'm really excited to take them there. One of the beaches we're going to is it's the Papaloquea, the Green sand beach. And literally, you pull up and you have to have cash, and then some locals will load you into the back of their four X four trucks, and they drive you. It's like two and a half miles through the deepest ruts you've ever seen. Like, literally, the road that they drive you on is a rut road. [00:09:46] Speaker B: Oh, goodness. [00:09:47] Speaker A: And the side of the road is at, like, door level, but I know it's crazy. [00:09:53] Speaker B: Oh, my gosh. [00:09:53] Speaker A: And there's moments where you have to. [00:09:54] Speaker B: Go really trusting because they go, like. [00:09:56] Speaker A: Up over these big mounds, but at the end is the green sand beach, and it's amazing. [00:10:02] Speaker B: And it has literal green sand. [00:10:03] Speaker A: It has literal green sand. [00:10:04] Speaker B: Oh, that's cool. [00:10:05] Speaker A: So, because the Big island, it's the newest island, the youngest island, it has all kinds of different volcanic activity. One of the cool things is that at some point, there was a flow that produced a whole lot of olivine crystals, and they float out at the Green sand beach. So the sand, as you get there, you're like. It looks like green olives, like a martini. And you get down there, and it literally is green, sparkling crystal sand. When you hold it, it sparkles in your hands. [00:10:33] Speaker B: Oh, my gosh. [00:10:34] Speaker A: I know. [00:10:34] Speaker B: All right, so it is educational. [00:10:36] Speaker A: It's educational. [00:10:37] Speaker B: It's educational. Beach time. [00:10:39] Speaker A: So then the other beaches that we have are like black sand that are just straight up, like runoff from the lava. [00:10:45] Speaker B: Yeah. The ecological pieces of Hawaii is like, a big thing. Yes. So let me ask you this, since I have never been there, if somebody was planning to, because obviously you're familiar, right. So when you're planning a trip to go back to somewhere, it's kind of different than planning a trip to go for the first time, for sure. So are you researching everything online? Are you asking people, what are your resources, essentially, for kind of planning this all out? [00:11:18] Speaker A: So, for the Big island, this will be my third trip to the Big island each time I'm there for a week. So this makes it three weeks on the Big island, which I'm really proud of. I love it. It's my favorite place. So the first visit, somebody else made kind of like a bones itinerary for us, just making sure that we hit points A-B-C and D because it was a work trip and we did it. And as our dates approached, I was like, actually, I don't think this is going to fill up our time. So then I started researching, literally just pulling up Google Maps and dragging it very zoomed in very slowly, point by point, making sure that I saw the things we had to do, and then found everything else in between. And I made a big list, and then I added things that made sense, and then everything else kind of got shoved off to the side. And then on my next trip back, I took all the stuff that got shoved off to the side, and I put. Threw it back into the itinerary and then also added some things into that second trip that were just amazing from the first trip, like snorkeling with manta rays. And we get to do that on this trip, too, which I'm so excited about. [00:12:26] Speaker B: Yeah, I'm really jealous that you're getting to do that. [00:12:28] Speaker A: It's amazing. [00:12:29] Speaker B: Although I have seen videos of it, and now I'm like, would I freak out? I'm not sure how I would react. I don't know if I would be into would when it actually happened, if I was like, oh, no, this seems much scarier than I thought it was. [00:12:43] Speaker A: They're like sheep. [00:12:45] Speaker B: They're gigantic. [00:12:46] Speaker A: They're huge. They're as big as me. [00:12:48] Speaker B: They're as big as a Volkswagen. [00:12:50] Speaker A: They are. [00:12:50] Speaker B: They're very large and the big things just in the ocean. [00:12:54] Speaker A: But something like that is an experience that even though I've done it twice, I can't wait to do it again. And I can't wait to do it with the kids. [00:13:01] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:13:01] Speaker A: Because I've shown them videos, and Elliot had questions about, do they have a stinger? Like a stingray? [00:13:11] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:13:12] Speaker A: And he gave me this lot of. [00:13:13] Speaker B: Kind of like, do I really want to do this? [00:13:16] Speaker A: So we already have had to talk about the actual biology of a manta ray and what they do and how they move to kind of get the kids buy in on it. But it's such a special and unique wildlife experience that it's absolutely Worth doing again and again. [00:13:29] Speaker B: Yeah, absolutely. Well, they're going to love it once they're in it. [00:13:32] Speaker A: So that makes it onto the. [00:13:33] Speaker B: I know my kids would love it. My adult fear is what would hold me back. My childlike self would be totally into it. [00:13:39] Speaker A: You would conquer it. Especially when you do see how literally they're like little underwater angels. Little huge underwater angels. Your fear would go away. You would be like, wow. [00:13:52] Speaker B: Yeah, like, wow. So because your itinerary is, like, ever changing. Right. So you're going from place to place, especially when you're in Hawaii, you're kind of doing. People tend to either go stay in one spot or they do the island hop thing, but when you're traveling with kids, that can be a little more difficult. [00:14:11] Speaker A: That is true. [00:14:12] Speaker B: So have you found that it's like, if you stay in the same place for a day or two and then move you, how do you feel, like, the best way to navigate that is with kids? [00:14:24] Speaker A: Well, and I think that Hawaii or anywhere else, Gosh, Florida, Montana, California, any place that you can provide kind of a good home base to come back to, makes the trip way, like, it's so much easier and less stressful to have a slightly longer drive? Like, for example, what we're doing with the Big island is we fly into Kona, and then we'll do the drive all the way around to the hilo side of the island and then stay there for two nights so that we have a home base before we go back to Kona and know, get on our boat. Instead of just going, oh, we can drive to volcano, and that way we're right by the park. Then we'll drive into Hilo so that we can spend the night in the city, and then we'll drive up to the North Shore. Doing something like that is a lot more stress and weight on everybody. And so having a home base on any sort of, whether it's a road trip or an island trip, so much easier to manage. Because I know with our kids, they love to know that there is downtime ahead, and they also love to know, oh, we get to go home for the night. [00:15:31] Speaker B: Yeah, my kids are the same. Yeah. [00:15:33] Speaker A: So setting things up that way so that we can present it to them that we have a home to go home to each day actually makes them much more pliable throughout the day, much. [00:15:46] Speaker B: More amenable to your plans. [00:15:48] Speaker A: Yeah. It keeps it much less stressed for everybody. [00:15:50] Speaker B: Okay, fair. So once you leave the big island, where do you guys go from there? [00:15:58] Speaker A: That is a great question. So, gosh, our uncrewed itinerary is pretty amazing because we get to do a little bit of navigation around the Big island, which we will have already been on, but we've been doing, like, the land. We've been doing Hawaii Volcanoes National park, which we have a podcast episode all about that you should listen to. [00:16:16] Speaker B: I have listened to that one. [00:16:19] Speaker A: But yeah, we'll be doing all the land stuff, but then we get to see the Big island from the water and do things like the manta rays and then go ashore with a naturalist to hike a lava tube that I've never been to and go explore just a whole other part of the island that either you either don't get to go to as a regular tourist or that is more difficult to get to. So we do stuff like that and then it's the same. Like after the Big island, we go over and we do Maui, but we're not doing all of Maui like people would do. Like, we're doing it at the end of it. And I'm not sure what that specific itinerary is going to be like because it's been adjusted and tweaked quite a bit because of the fires that happened this summer. So we actually weren't sure if this was all going to happen because of the fires. But one of the best ways to support Maui right now is tourism. Not necessarily putting a strain on the resources that are trying to rebuild Lahaina, but visiting other parts and making sure that money is coming onto the island and is coming to the locals, not the corporations that want to rebuild or build up the island for themselves. So I know that our time on Maui with uncrews, we are going to be doing very specific things that are Maui first. [00:17:40] Speaker B: Oh, nice. Yeah, very nice. [00:17:41] Speaker A: So then after that, then we'll go to Lanai and I don't know what to expect of Lanai because I'Ve never been there. [00:17:46] Speaker B: I didn't even know that was one of the islands. [00:17:48] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:17:49] Speaker B: This is how much I don't know about. [00:17:51] Speaker A: Oh, yeah, it looks gorgeous. And we're going to have fun, and I think there's some biking and some kayaking and snorkeling. And then we've got Molokai, which, unfortunately, we don't get to do the leper colony area on this trip. [00:18:04] Speaker B: Oh, you're going to miss the lepers. That's very sad. [00:18:06] Speaker A: Well, it's a National Park Service site, but you have to be 16. [00:18:09] Speaker B: Are they still. They're gone now. Yeah, they left, but you have to. [00:18:14] Speaker A: Be 16 to do the hike. The National Park Service restriction on it. [00:18:18] Speaker B: Is it a really tough hike? Is that why. [00:18:19] Speaker A: I'm not sure if it's a tough hike or if it's just the ultimate subject matter and how delicate it all is. [00:18:25] Speaker B: Sure. Because lepers are not really a child friendly subject matter, I guess. [00:18:29] Speaker A: So the National Park Service has that sort of restriction on it. [00:18:32] Speaker B: Interesting. [00:18:32] Speaker A: But then after that, then this is. So here's the fun thing to talk about. [00:18:37] Speaker B: It's not the leper colony. [00:18:38] Speaker A: No. [00:18:39] Speaker B: As everyone might have thought. [00:18:40] Speaker A: No. When we end our sailing, we end on Molokai, which means that wherever we have to go, we have to fly to another island to get back to the mainland. [00:18:50] Speaker B: Oh, gotcha. [00:18:51] Speaker A: So we have to do a little tiny plane where I had to put in all of our to get from Molokai back over to Maui. Even though it's, like, super short, it's, like, less than a half an hour flight. It's something that I had no idea about, and I had to research, and I had to find us flights from this little tiny island over to the more popular island. [00:19:11] Speaker B: So the boat is just leaving you on the Malachi, and you're just like, kind of. [00:19:17] Speaker A: Because they have to turn the boat so that the next sailing can go from Molokai all the way around back over to the big Island. [00:19:26] Speaker B: Oh, my goodness gracious. [00:19:27] Speaker A: Yeah. [00:19:27] Speaker B: Yeah. So here I am sitting here thinking, boy, would I go up to a volcano. That sounds really scary. And then you say about the weight and the plane, and I feel like that would be the thing. I don't like to fly already, so that would really be it for me. [00:19:40] Speaker A: Well, it's Just because it's a smaller plane and it's bigger than other planes that we've flown on. So, I mean, it's not like the seaplane out to dry Tortugas in the keys. [00:19:51] Speaker B: Oh, yeah. But you're not going very far. [00:19:53] Speaker A: I know. This is just a whoop up and down. Easy peasy. [00:19:57] Speaker B: Yeah. I'm a nervous flyer, so everyone will learn that about me. [00:20:02] Speaker A: So we won't talk about helicopter flights then? [00:20:05] Speaker B: Yeah. I don't know. I feel like I'm willing. It's the fear of the unknown, and. [00:20:12] Speaker A: There'S a lot of unknown in flying. But also flying tends to be safer than driving a car. [00:20:18] Speaker B: I don't know how to fly, so I feel my. That's my control. [00:20:24] Speaker A: Would it for you? Is it the thought of planning a trip to Hawaii? Is the thought of having to fly across the Pacific Ocean more daunting or having to hop on a little plane to go from Molokai to Maui? [00:20:39] Speaker B: I think that the hopping on a little plane would be more stressful for me. I think that would be the more stressful thing. I don't know why. [00:20:48] Speaker A: I get it. [00:20:50] Speaker B: Yeah. I don't want to see my pilot. I'll see him at the beginning, like they're in and, like, high five in a handshake when we get on. And then I want him to do his job while I'm doing mine, which is to not fly the plane. And that's our relationship for the whole trip, and that's where we are. I have had to go. The smallest plane I've had to be on was. It wasn't even a puddle jumper, but it was a small plane that had just, like, the one seat on each side. [00:21:22] Speaker A: Oh, yeah, the little sky tubes. [00:21:25] Speaker B: Yeah. And it was like, from Indiana to Pittsburgh, or, know, that's not very far, but when you board the plane, you walk onto the tarmac, right. You're not, like, going through the little tunnel they give you at the airport. So we walk onto the tarmac, and I looked at my husband and went, oh, what's this? What are we doing here? [00:21:43] Speaker A: Did it feel a little too was. [00:21:45] Speaker B: And then we walked up the stairs and I looked inside, and there was just a curtain between the pilot and myself. And I was like, oh, this is a different experience. But I made it through that. But he just looked at my face and he was like, oh, are you going to be all right? [00:22:01] Speaker A: There are bigger things to conquer, though. [00:22:03] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:22:04] Speaker A: It's just, we'll get you on a helicopter someday. Okay. [00:22:08] Speaker B: And funny enough, being in a hot air balloon is like, I would love to do that. So it's not necessarily the heights. I don't know. I think it's being in a plane that I don't know how to pilot. [00:22:21] Speaker A: A plane and a hot air balloon is so much more uncertain. [00:22:24] Speaker B: I feel like I can handle it. [00:22:26] Speaker A: Oh, my gosh. So you're literally at the mercy of wind and it is the most stressful thing because as you're landing in a hot air balloon, you're like, oh, my gosh, we're going to tumble out of the basket. And literally you have to live every moment until you are on the ground and secure. For me, hot air ballooning was more stressful than little plants. [00:22:47] Speaker B: Yeah, to each their own. I think it's interesting the things that freak me out when it comes to traveling and going on excursions and all of those things, it really is more of the like, well, I don't know how to do this, so how does that guy know how to do? Whereas, like, I feel like I could figure out a hot air balloon. [00:23:06] Speaker A: Oh, my gosh. [00:23:07] Speaker B: I've seen those movies where they just shoot the fine. [00:23:11] Speaker A: Okay, good. [00:23:14] Speaker B: We'll get back to your itinerary. We'll talk about Kate's psychotic fears on. So you're flying on this puddle jumper to the big Island? [00:23:25] Speaker A: No, to Maui. So initially we land on the big island, we do our little hoot nanny all around the island and then do our sailing. And even though we hit Maui on the sailing, it's where we're going to go back to because we haven't taken time to explore, really. And Oliver really wants to go to Haleakala National Park. So that was strangely difficult to figure out how to visit the different kind of units or areas of the national park because Haleakala is a big volcano and it's an extinct volcano. So it's not all lava and stuff. [00:24:00] Speaker B: Not active. It's not active, it's not spurting hot fire. [00:24:03] Speaker A: And it was interesting because in trying to figure out how to build a Maui itinerary, everybody always tells us, oh, Maui is so beautiful. You're going to have so much fun. It's so great. Best beaches. And that's the maximum amount of information people I know. Oh, the beaches are so great. It's so lovely. [00:24:22] Speaker B: You're like, I live in. Have we've been there, done that? I got beaches for days. [00:24:26] Speaker A: Check. But no. So then actually trying to research that, I had to put it out there on social media and be like, I've never been to Maui. We're going to be there for five days. I want to hear from people what there is to do besides beaches. And it was great because I mean, all you got to do on the Internet is either say something incorrect or ask for somebody's opinion. Opinion, and you get all the information you could ever want. [00:24:52] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:24:53] Speaker A: And I literally was given both detailed lists. I got a great email this morning from a friend that said, I love this. I love this. The best poke is actually at a liquor store in Kihei. And I was like, oh, okay. So with really detailed information. And then it was just a question of kind of sorting through that and making a list that I could organize by its actual location and then kind of picking and choosing based off of how much time we had each day. It sounds weird, but since I have a travel blog, I try to not use other people's travel blogs myself to plan an itinerary because I don't want to feel like I'm copying somebody else's work. [00:25:39] Speaker B: That makes sense. [00:25:40] Speaker A: So I just crowdsource. Of course, some of the information I get comes from people who are also writers and want to share their tips. So, great. They're freely given, but that means that what I'm researching is things that are really applicable to us and not what somebody else who does what I do, what they recommend, necessarily. I'm getting recommendations from people and things that I think are fascinating. So especially working on Maui, because I hadn't been there, I didn't understand how the island was laid out, and that was really prohibitive to me. Being able to kind of build out a plan. [00:26:20] Speaker B: Right. And with everything they're going through, it's like, I know. [00:26:24] Speaker A: So trying to figure that out, I literally had to look at a map and be like, okay, so I have to kind of portion the island up into different days for us to be able to actually do everything that we want because nothing is close to something else. And so that's kind of how I started my itinerary. And then I would just worked on it day by day, like, looking, oh, we're only doing this area today. What have we got? And then trying to keep it on a budget. [00:26:51] Speaker B: And to your point, with the, it's, everybody is reachable now, right? So you can actually get feedback from people who live on Maui and are locals and are know, here's some great places you should hit that most people wouldn't think of. [00:27:06] Speaker A: I sent my itinerary to three different friends. [00:27:08] Speaker B: Yeah, I think that's great. [00:27:10] Speaker A: Yeah, no, so it's pretty awesome. But as we do know, like you said, we live in Florida. We don't necessarily need to hit every single beach. But also knowing that I'm going to be writing about this. I kind of need to hit every single beach. I need to be able to say this beach is better than this beach for this reason. And I need to make sure that I can have some relaxation at each beach to make sure that it is as beautiful and relaxing as everybody says. [00:27:37] Speaker B: Yeah, you got to take the good and the bad. You got to see what you get at the. [00:27:42] Speaker A: So, you know, we have plenty of beaches in our itinerary because the other side of that is that beaches are free. [00:27:47] Speaker B: Right. [00:27:48] Speaker A: And Hawaii is a very expensive place to visit, even if you're not doing stuff like a guided tour every day or helicopter flights or snorkeling. Like, it is a very expensive place. Like a standard, just like a meal in a not super fancy place, not super icky place is still going to be $25 per adult for just your dinner. [00:28:12] Speaker B: Right. [00:28:13] Speaker A: And that's without drinks. So Maui and Oahu are both, and actually Kauai, too, are all very expensive places. The Big island is a little bit cheaper, but not too much. So as we're also looking at what we're going to do, there's a lot of research about food in advance, and that's not my wheelhouse. That's what Chris deals with. Yeah, but he's got other work stuff, so I've had to work on that. So I don't know if I've picked great places for us to eat along the way. [00:28:41] Speaker B: Well, I guess you'll find out, but. [00:28:42] Speaker A: I know they make my budget. [00:28:44] Speaker B: There you go. So. Okay, let me ask you this, because as you're saying this, this is like popping into my can. What is like an average family of four? What would you say if somebody was planning this trip, they were planning to go to a couple of different islands in Hawaii. What would you say they should budget for? [00:29:04] Speaker A: That is a huge question. Great. [00:29:08] Speaker B: I love putting you on the spot. [00:29:09] Speaker A: I know. Let's do mean looking at my budget specifically. Thankfully, our island hopping cruise portion, that's something that is part of my work trip, so that isn't going to come out of my travel budget. [00:29:22] Speaker B: Thank you. [00:29:24] Speaker A: But if we were just going to be doing the big island, so what we did last year was we did the Big island and then we flew to Kauai. This time we're doing the Big island and then we'll fly from Molokai to Maui. So we still got the same sort of stuff going. When we're building a budget, you first got to figure out what is the best way to fly to Hawai for the least amount of money. [00:29:49] Speaker B: Right. [00:29:50] Speaker A: Because if you're just flying to Honolulu, you can usually actually get some pretty good deals and flying directly to Maui as well. But if you fly to the Big island, it tends to be a little more expensive because not as many people are going to the Big Island. And so finding a way to ultimately get the best combo of flights to make it more affordable is kind of tricky. And you have to kind of change your dates and then change your destinations and kind of put your highland hopping in order of what gets you the best deal. So for us, it was flying to Kona, doing the puddle jumper to Maui, and then flying back from Maui, because flying back from Kona or if we had gone to Kauai instead of Maui afterwards, it was all going to be so much more. [00:30:35] Speaker B: Right. [00:30:36] Speaker A: So ultimately, even though this is what we wanted to do to make sure that we could go and have a full Haleakala Maui vacation, it also came down to, wow, this saved us an extra couple hundred dollars per ticket because we're flying back from Maui instead of Lahui on Kauai or something like. [00:30:53] Speaker B: So, yeah, flights tend to be the biggest chunk of change. [00:30:57] Speaker A: Yeah. So for us, we actually got an amazing deal, which, when I say amazing deal for flying from Florida to Hawai, it's amazing. We found flights for $620 each. [00:31:10] Speaker B: Oh, that actually is really amazing. [00:31:12] Speaker A: Really is amazing. So there's other times when we've looked and it's been over $1,000 per person for basic economy. Not even like, main cabin or something like that. [00:31:22] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:31:23] Speaker A: And we've got actual main cabin for a good deal. Good flight times. Shocking. So for us, the first portion of our budget was $2,400 for flights. And then we had to book our Molokai flights separately. And those were $70 a person plus taxes. So it was like, we'll say $80 a person. So eight times four is 32. So we're already. I know, right? So we're already at like $2,800 or so in flights. And then you've got rental cars, which is also Hawaiian. Rental cars are expensive. [00:31:58] Speaker B: So expensive. Rental cars everywhere. So expensive. [00:32:01] Speaker A: I know, I was looking at Phoenix, and Phoenix, for some reason is way more expensive than, like, Montana. But anyways, so rental cars in Hawaii, though, tend to be about $70 a day. [00:32:11] Speaker B: Okay. [00:32:12] Speaker A: And so we've got another $300 on the Big Island, $300 on Maui for rental cars. And then gas is also actually, gas isn't as expensive as you might guess. But still, then you got gas as well. So you have an additional 700 plus in on island transportation. So we're up to. Where are we at? We're at like 3500 or so just in transportation costs. [00:32:38] Speaker B: Yeah, that's a lot. [00:32:39] Speaker A: Yeah. And then you've got your hotels, which for gosh, you should plan at least 280 to 320 a night for not going fancy. [00:32:50] Speaker B: Right. [00:32:52] Speaker A: So then for us we've got eight nights. Eight times three is $2,400 or so for hotels. [00:33:02] Speaker B: Yeah. You're up to like six grand ish. [00:33:06] Speaker A: And then there's meals and then there are activities that you can do that aren't free. [00:33:12] Speaker B: This is making Me feel much better about my budget for my upcoming trip. [00:33:15] Speaker A: Right. Yeah. No, Hawaii is a really expensive destination, so it's worth doing tons of research to make sure that you're making it the best trip possible. Because at the end of the day, even working in travel and having partnerships, it still is going to be a $6,000 cost experience. [00:33:35] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:33:35] Speaker A: But also it's very rare that we actually plan a big trip like this. That's not a work trip the whole time. [00:33:41] Speaker B: Right. And for people who are not professional travelers, when you're going to Hawaii, you might only be going the one time in your. [00:33:50] Speaker A: We've been. This has been the most fortunate year for some got, this is my third trip to Hawaii in the last year for work, so I'm. [00:34:00] Speaker B: Cry me a river. I'm so thankful. [00:34:03] Speaker A: I am fully aware of the blessing and privilege that it is, believe me. But for other people who don't get to roll like that, even for us, this specific trip is a once in a lifetime trip. [00:34:16] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:34:16] Speaker A: So we've decided to place value in that and spend the money. [00:34:21] Speaker B: Yes, I get it. Yeah, I get it. You got to look for it in some aspect. Right. [00:34:26] Speaker A: It brings me joy. [00:34:27] Speaker B: It brings you joy. And we're all about bringing ourselves joy. [00:34:30] Speaker A: Yeah. What other questions do you have about kind of like my planning. [00:34:33] Speaker B: So actually, one of the questions that I was having while you were. I think of questions while you're talking. One of the things that I was. Are you flying when you booked your flights, did you book one way, one way or did you book round trips? [00:34:46] Speaker A: We booked round trips. That's the other thing is we do not book through any sort of third party. We always book only direct with airlines. [00:34:54] Speaker B: Okay. [00:34:55] Speaker A: Because you get the maximum mileage. [00:34:58] Speaker B: Right. [00:34:58] Speaker A: You get the maximum flexibility. Especially, like, we've got amazing status with American, so we have all the perks of being able to change flights, change seats, do all those things that if you book third party, you might not get. And also, it used to be that booking a one way and a one way was more cost effective. It's not anymore. [00:35:20] Speaker B: Right. [00:35:20] Speaker A: They've got it set up to be able to do multi city, and ultimately it is the same cost as booking a bunch of one way tickets. [00:35:29] Speaker B: Right. [00:35:29] Speaker A: Only these are all linked together. And if something changes, it changes for everybody. It changes the entire trip, not just like one leg. And then you're scrambling. So always booking together. Always. [00:35:43] Speaker B: That's interesting. That is very interesting. Yeah. Because I didn't do that for our upcoming trip. So we'll have to talk about that later. [00:35:50] Speaker A: We will talk about that later. And I will ask you how that was when there was a change that was made interesting. But yeah. So I'm super excited about Hawaii. This has been. [00:36:00] Speaker B: I can't wait to see the pictures. [00:36:01] Speaker A: I know it's going to be awesome. It was fun. Once I got into my groove with understanding Maui, it was really fun to build that end of the itinerary and then to put it all know, it's two pages of action and the kids are going to have a great time. Chris is going to have a great time. [00:36:22] Speaker B: Everybody's going to have. [00:36:22] Speaker A: I'm going to have a great time. I can't wait. [00:36:24] Speaker B: Chris is going to have a great time because he's not working. I know. [00:36:27] Speaker A: Oh, cool. Well, we'll have to have another podcast specifically about how all this did go. [00:36:34] Speaker B: Yeah. How it all went down, the play. [00:36:36] Speaker A: By play of if it all worked out beautifully. And the answer is going to be yes. [00:36:41] Speaker B: I hope so. [00:36:42] Speaker A: Good times. Well, stay tuned. We've got more podcast episodes coming your way. Thank you so much for joining me today, Kate. [00:36:49] Speaker B: I'm so happy to be here. [00:36:51] Speaker A: You're a delightful person to do this. [00:36:52] Speaker B: Oh, well, thank you so much. [00:36:53] Speaker A: And be sure to check us [email protected] for the blog as well as Instagram and everywhere else at two travel Dads. We'll talk to you later. Two Travel Dads podcast is written and produced by Rob and Chris Taylor in St. Augustine, Florida. Check out past episodes in detailed show [email protected]. Slash podcast episodes. If you would like to be on TwoTraveldads podcast, please send us a note through our website or find out [email protected]. Slash work.

Other Episodes

Episode 9

December 20, 2019 00:28:27
Episode Cover

Florida's Freshwater Springs: we pick our top springs for manatee, swimming and more

The many Florida springs are amazing. These are the best places for manatees, alligators and paddleboarding through Florida's jungles.  Show notes here: Florida Springs...


Episode 8

December 20, 2019 00:26:01
Episode Cover

Disneyland vs Magic Kingdom: Which Is the Best Disney Park

If you haven't been to both Disneyland and Disney World, you might think that they're the same, but in different states.  Show notes here!:  ...


Episode 23

January 22, 2020 00:45:25
Episode Cover

Disney Expert Picks Each Park's Top Attractions & Dining

The three best attractions in each Walt Disney World Park and #1 dining pick for each park too. Show notes here:  Disney Expert picks...