ok so we'll be visiting big island for about 8 days from 2nd November to the 9th. i've been researching on previous threads about where to arrive (we're coming from lihue) into - either hilo or kona.
From my research it sounds like hilo is a casual laid back not too touristy where as kona has the nice beaches and more touristy (not to say we don't like it, from first glance its probably like maybe waikiki or kaanapali?)Pretty much we won't be going to hotels, we're on a budget so we'll be looking into airbnb to save money.
Now I was researching which one was good to fly into and my initial thoughts were to fly into Hilo, stay there for 3/4 days and then the rest at Kona and then we fly out to Kahului. This was because the price coming out from Kona was more cheaper than flying from Hilo.
I've noticed that south is where the VNP is but then theres also the north section to go drive around too. I guess the issue with my initial idea is the drop off fee since i'd be getting it at Hilo and then returning it to Kona.
So after much more thinking (and when doing this post), I think it would be best to arrive into Kona (would arrive 12:25pm earliest flight from Lihue) get the car rent for 8 days, do a drive south, then stay at hilo for a bit, then up north then back to Kona for the flight out.
I'm hoping the car rental would be the same price from Hilo and Kona and I don't really mind if I have to take a shuttle from the airport to the depot as I remember we did this for Kahului and they're pretty close by to each other anyway (plus will avoid the one way charge if applicable)
A mock up of our itinerary - can you please provide your thoughts into this? We would follow a similar trail like the following link
*Nov 2nd sat - arrive at Kona at 12:25pm
(4 nights accom at Kona?)
over the 4 days go check out Kealakekua Bay/Green Sand Beach & VNP
* Nov 6th - arrive at Hilo
stay for 3 nights at Hilo
over our time in Hilo, relax and also check out the black sand beaches
*check out 9th and do a drive from Hilo up north and then arrive in the evening to Kona to stay 1 night with an early flight out on the 10th back to honolulu.
this site looks like it caters for 7 days around the island starting from kona
Our primary goal within big island?
check out the nice beaches
see the volcano/lava
do a nice scenic drive
relax and chill with the locals
have a great time :)
oh fyi we've done the big island on a day trip from oahu. we caught a plane and then did a helicopter tour of the volcano which didn't turn out great (mainly coz we couldn't handle the flight but the views hehe) then back to oahu same day.
thanks all for your help :)