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3 Islands in 9 days??

Toronto, Ontario...
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3 Islands in 9 days??

I'll be coming to Hawaii for 9 days at the end of April, and have to fly through Honolulu. Is it unrealistic to want to do Oahu, Kauai, and the Big Island in just 9 days? I've heard great things about kauai (kalalau trail, waimea canyon) and big (volcanoes, of course), and wanted to see both, but maybe the big island has what kauai has to offer and I should just do that and oahu? Any advice is much appreciated.

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1. Re: 3 Islands in 9 days??

that would be brutal. Keep in mind, too, that each day that you travel from one island to another you will pretty much lose that entire day by the time you turn in your car, get to the airport early, fly over, get a new car, & check into your lodging. Our first trip to Hawaii was for 7 days and we split it up between 2 islands (Maui & kauai) We TOTALLY regretted it. We weren't ready to leave Maui, and didn't have nearly enough time to see Kauai. We hated losing that day to travel, too.

You are right to want to see all the islands - and add Maui to that list, too! However, I'd really recommend just going to one island and really seeing everything - and then spending 2 days or so just relaxing on the beach! You figure your first day is spent travelling, your last day is spent travelling, and with 2 'relaxation' days, that only leaves 5 days to explore. On Kauai - Waimea Canyon is a day, Napali Coastline by boat is most of a day, Kalalau Trail is a day, if you want to kayak the fern grotto - most of a day, and that leaves one day just for exploring other sights like the blowhole, queens bath, etc. = there's your trip!

The Big Island is also amazing, but we spent 12 days there last year and barely scratched the surface. It is HUGE. 9 days is better than 7, but you definitely shouldn't do less than that on the Big Island. Just too much to see & do!

Regardless of what island you go to, you will easily gobble up 9 days and still be longing for more. If you split it up, I think you'll really feel cheated.

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Birmingham, Alabama
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2. Re: 3 Islands in 9 days??

AZ Devil is probably right but I am going to attempt more than one island in 9 days. I think it depends on the couple also, such as my husband and I love to make the most of a trip and see it all. We were not sure when we would be able to make it back to Hawaii. We are doing the Big Island 3 nights and 4 days and then Maui 5 nights. The last day I booked an early morning interisland flight to Oahu, rented a car and will spend the day sightseeing before our flight leaves for home that night.

I did schedule my interisland flight from BI to Maui late in the day so that the day would not be wasted and give us extra time on the BI. We get into Maui at 5:30 p.m., will probably just do a relaxing dinner etc. Tryed not to schedule flights in the middle of the days. Our flight getting into Kona from mainland arrives at 11:30 a.m. so that would give us an afternoon. Like I said it may just depend on what you like and how much relaxing you like to do. I am not a sit by the pool or beach person all day. I like to get up and go. We have beaches here in the South so exploring and touring is what I enjoy when I travel. I may regret trying to do to so much but so far in my past traveling, its always worked for us.

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Elk Rapids, Michigan
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3. Re: 3 Islands in 9 days??

It is doable if what you want is a taste of each of the islands.

You could spend the rest of your life there and not see everything.

If you are like my wife and I we get up early and put in a full day.

With proper planning you won't tie up an entire day dropping off your car and flying around. Look into direct flights from one island to the next rather than one's that connect through HNL. The flight may be a bit more expensive but the time saved is worth it.

If the Volcano is your must do I might suggest staying at Volcano House right inside the park. If you stay there you will not waste one minute getting to the park but can get up and hit the ground running.

Toronto, Ontario...
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4. Re: 3 Islands in 9 days??

Thanks for all the advice! yeah, i was wondering why a lot of the other posts in the forums said that you should take a day to travel between islands. isn't the flight only about half an hour? if i leave early in the morning, i'll still have the whole day ahead of me when i get to the island, right?

i'll probably cram it all in as I don't think i'll be heading to hawaii again, at least in the near future. anyone know of the cheapest place to stay in Kauai?

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5. Re: 3 Islands in 9 days??

Yes the flights are short.

Even if you arrive early most hotels will let you store your bags till official check in time so you don't have to haul them around with you.

From car drop off to car pickup at the next island you only have to spend 2 hours max. It will be a bit hectic but doabale.

Also since you will be time limited try to decide ahead of time what it is you want to see or do, find out where things are located and make up a sort of schedule, keep it flexable to a point and you should be fine.

Many of the "must do's" really aren't. They may be hyped as such but you need to decide what you like and what you want to see and do.

Birmingham, Alabama
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6. Re: 3 Islands in 9 days??

Great Advice BrightonBill. That is exactly what I have done, (planned ahead some) so I can make the best of my time and day. Not that it has to be exact or that something can't change, but just have an idea, such as one day (for example) the Volcano trip, one day Snorkeling etc. etc. Just research the activities etc. I have had friends and family do a couple of islands in one trip and it was really no problem for them. I would just make sure to do the early or late interisland flights.

New York, New York
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7. Re: 3 Islands in 9 days??

This is totally do-able. I just returned from doing three islands (Oahu, Maui and Kauai) in ten days. The only day that was really wasted for us was the first day which was our only day in oahu. I was just too wiped out to really do anything. Since you are doing oahu at the end you should be fine.

Also I disagree that flying interisland takes up a whole day. Both times we flew interisland we took early morning flights and were checked into our hotels by noon at the latest. We were able to have the whole afternoon and evening to explore.

I think you also just need to prioritize what you want to see. Don't forget that Hawaii is a great place to just relax and kind of do nothing. We realized this once we got there and cut our plans in half. Plus, some of the things you might want to do - like haleakala in maui, only take a morning.

Now that I am back I realize I am happy we split the trip up like this, because I now know which islands I want to spend more time on and which ones I don't.

have an amazing trip!

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8. Re: 3 Islands in 9 days??

My wife and I did Oahu and Kauai the week of Feb 12-18 last month. It was a great trip for us. We cannot travel like this often so we wanted to make the most of it.

Travel is your own thing and you make your own rules. I've learned from past vacations that I do not want to spend more than 5 days in any one place, I would rather spend less time in several different places, and that I cannot spend more than two hours on the beach out in the sun.

I would suggest spending 2 nights in Ohau and then divide the rest of your time between the big island and Kauai as to what you want to see and do. If you make Oahu the last stop and schedule your flight for the evening, there is one more day in Honolulu for you. On Kauai, you can easily drive from the resort area of Poipu, get breakfast, see Waimea Canyon, get a shave ice at JoJos, and spend a few hours on the beach and be done by midafternoon. You only need a whole day or two of doing nothing on the beach if that is important to you (or your traveling companions) - it was not to my wife and I, a few hours on the beach is plenty for us.

Alot of things on the "must do" lists might not interest you. For my wife and I, we did not go to Pearl Harbor or do a luau, and I dont feel that we missed out on anything by not going to these supposed "must do's".

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Los Angeles
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9. Re: 3 Islands in 9 days??

While it is doable, I'm not sure I would do 3 islands in 9 days... I think two would be ideal. My boyfriend and I are doing Maui and the BI in 7 days. For the most part, have an idea of what you want to accomplish then plan your travels. We arrive in Maui at 1:00PM, so by the time we get our luggage and the car, it will be 2:00PM. So, we plan to drop off our stuff at the cottage and sight-see the local towns of Makawao and Paia, go to the nearby beach and dinner early evening at Mama's Fish House. Since our cottage is in Makawao, we're going to stay on that side for the first day. After that, we have three full days to do whatever we want, so we will tackle the Road to Hana on our second day, then dinner locally. After that, two full days, so we will head to the more touristy areas, get our massages, shop, parasail, etc... and that will be enough.

On our 4th day, we leave to the BI... our flight is direct at 2:15PM and we arrive at 2:46PM. So, in the morning we will probably lounge for the most part, grab breakfast in town and leave for the airport. When we arrive in the BI, we will just drive to our resort, hang out by the beach and have dinner in Kona. The next day, wake up early AM and tackle Volcano Park - that's all I really want to see anyway. The next day we have nothing planned, so we'll do whatever, then it's time to go home in the AM the next day.

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Birmingham, Alabama
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10. Re: 3 Islands in 9 days??

Hey Dew, Are you counting down the days? You get to go before me. I was wondering what you decided to do about your 4 seasons spa treatment? I know you were looking forward to it but read where MKL lady said they don't allow it unless your staying there. Hope you got it worked out. I know your staying at the Hapuna Prince. I bought the Big Island Revealed book that everyone raves about. They had negative comments about the Hapuna. There were to many good reviews on this website though for me to decide to change to somewhere else. My only concern is it being sorta out away, but that may end of being a good thing. You will have to let me know about it when you come back.