All the info available on the internet is awesome, but we're getting kind of overwhelmed with choices (go figure!). We started to think we might not make it to the 25-year mark if we kept trying to do this ourselves!
We visited a travel agent, but they haven't been that helpful so far. We're thinking maybe a combination of travel agent, then checking out what they come up with, via the internet, might be best. We've booked locally over the internet, but this is a "really big show" for us, and even though folks tell us they've done huge trips this way, we're pretty much babes in the woods, at least this first trip. We do know what we want, and we're determined to get it, within reason ($$$ wise).
The candid posts at Trip Advisor have been sooooo helpful. There's stuff we wouldn't otherwise think to ask about.
We're coming to the Big Island, Kailua-Kona area, on Jan. 23/06, for about 10 days. We agree on wanting a condo, and not wanting to be in some big high-rise. There's just two of us, as the dog has to stay home this time! We basically just want to do our own thing, but do it in Hawaii. We're going to rent a car (with air conditioning) and explore to our hearts' content. Neither of us are big into laying around in the sun, but we certainly do want to do some of that. We're looking forward to seeing something of the volcanoes and the local vegetation. We've heard that there's a Costco nearby, so we'll feel quite at home, and know pretty much what to expect if we shop there. If we have a condo, we can just pretend we're home, but we'll be in Hawaii, with all the cool stuff that entails. We won't mind missing two weeks of winter, either!
It's looking as if we're not going to be "happy" with anything less than 4-star. That's OK, we figure it's worth it. We sure don't need room service, or daily laundry, or the like. We can look after that stuff ourselves, with our own washer and dryer. Reading the stories about bugs and whatnot has been helpful! Also, some of the stories about cancellation insurance (or lack thereof) have made us think some more about that for sure.
We don't think we're being unreasonable, and we're willing to pay for what we want. We're starting to lean toward the Outrigger Keauhou.
Now, if we could just meet Dog the Bounty Hunter while we're there (we know, he's on Oahu, boo-hoo), we'll be so jazzed.
We've toyed with the idea of vacation ownership, through RCI and Pacific Shores Nature Resort, which is a beautiful resort on our Vancouver Island. One sure hears pros and cons about that whole thing! We figure we'd be best to just get at least one trip to Hawaii under our belts, before getting involved in that and all it entails.
Well, any advice or opinions will be welcomed, that's for sure!
TTFN, from Lotus Land (Vancouver Island, BC)