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Go in May or December?

Cypress, Texas
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Go in May or December?

Have booked December 15-23, but now am thinking I should shoot for May?

Two kids still in college, One just graduated and is job searching. Having 3 kids in college last year meant no big vacation, so I’m itching to go. I have Aulani and Hilton Village in Waikiki booker. But, with my kids’ ages, I think North Shore/Waikiki might be a better split (I’m assuming Aulani is not North Shore) because of their ages and closer to things we’d like to do...explore the beaches/Polynesian cultural center/Dole...but will we lose beach time with rough surf in North Shore?

I really want to go in December, but we could wait until the second week of May. We live in Houston where it stays warm most the year, but getting away in December is a nice break before heading into cooler temps.

A. December-Aulani-Hv

B December-Turtle Bay-HV

C May A/H

D May T/H

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1. Re: Go in May or December?

This is just my opinion but I would do December HHV and turtle bay. If your kids are at all interested in surfing Pipe Masters should be going on during your December dates and since the WSL took it off their tour for 2019 it will be quite a treat to watch.

It can be wetter during the winter on the North Shore but there's much to do and see regardless. We've always loved going to Hawaii during winter months. It's a nice holiday break.

Aulani is not north shore. We found places to swim during winter including at turtle bay so that shouldn't impact your beach time.

Edited: 10:59 am, June 18, 2018
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2. Re: Go in May or December?

I would normally advise May because of the weather. December can be cooler, grayer, and rainier than May and you are correct, if will probably be impossible to do an in water activities on the North Shore. I love watching the big surf roll in but some people would be disappointed if they can't swim.

However, college aged kids are looking forward and their plans can sometimes conflict with what parents want. This is especially true to the new graduate. If everyone can commit to the December trip I would go. What may be the last family trip for a long time should be made to happen if at all possible. We had planned a big family trip to Hawaii in 2015 to celebrate on important anniversary, but when our Army son and grad school daughter were suddenly both free in 2013 we moved it up. It was a very special trip and we are so glad we went because when 2015 came around they would have both been unable to go. We will treasure those memories forever.

Weather was issue though. We went right after Christmas, starting on Oahu and moving to the BI. The weather was not ideal on Oahu and our daughter whined about not being able to wear her bikinis. When we moved to the BI We stayed on the Kohala coast and it was bikini weather every day.

Aulani is not on the North Shore, it is on the leeward (eastern) side. It will have drier, sunnier, and better ocean conditions that time of year. You are correct in assuming college aged kids would prefer Waikiki and I would probably stay there the entire trip. The weather in Waikiki will also be better than the NS in December.

Dole is basically a big pineapple themed gift shop with a train ride, a pineapple maze, and a cafe serving pineapple soft serve called Dole Whip. I like to browse in the gift shop and little kids like the train and maze but I think your college aged kids would find it lame. It's a good potty stop/snack stop to or from the North Shore but for you family it isn't a must do.

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3. Re: Go in May or December?

Forgive me if this sounds "bad" ... but maybe you should drop the kid-resorts? Aulani? HHV?

And has your gang been to Maui? Kauai? The Big Island? Sounds like maybe a good time for a new experience.

I think I would opt for May (if everyone can account for his/her available dates).

Turtle Bay on the North Shore is a great idea. Maybe split with Waikiki.

Get good maps of Oahu. The North Shore is often lumped together with the Windward Side of the Island. And the Island is not that big. It's not all "big waves."

(May on Maui is an absolute favorite!)

Edited: 12:26 pm, June 18, 2018
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Kapaa, Hawaii
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4. Re: Go in May or December?

I wouldn't stay on the north shore of Oahu in December. The surf will constantly be huge, anywhere between 10-40 feet. Very limited access to any safe swimming. Plus the larger chance of wet weather.

May is my favorite time in Hawaii. Surf is generally good all over for almost anything you want to do and the weather is at it's best. Not to mention the fact that this is the time of year that the flowers and flowering trees are at their finest!!

Waikiki is where you want to be with kids the ages of yours.

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Cypress, Texas
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5. Re: Go in May or December?

What is BI? Our kids are not quite the norm. Daughter just finished the Disney College program last semester, we’ve been on Disney cruises/Disney trips..seriously considering the Disney Vacation Club or the Hilton Grand Vacations...thought if we could see both properties - it might help us make the decision...with all that said, we are really there to soak in Hawaii-not Disney or Hilton, I just have a lot of Hilton points and got a good deal at Hilton and 40% off Aulani (having to watch a 90 minute presentation)...my kids are not big city fans for more than 2-3 days, they’d rather be kayaking, paddle boarding, hiking..watching the surfers would be pretty cool! I guess we like to be more active than shopping/eating...Turtle Bay and Aulani have activities, wanting 2 days to explore the island by car, wasn’t sure if Turyle Bay or Aulani would be better, but they do live swimming in the ocean..Galveston waters are mostly brown! Ick! Great tips and I feel like we need to make the trip now because our son may find it harder to take time off once he’s moving along with his career. Daughter may do study abroad next summer, December is looking better.

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6. Re: Go in May or December?

BI = Big Island (the island of Hawaii). I think you will enjoy the Aulani. Although it is a Disney property it is very "Hawaiian". More so than the other properties you mentioned!!

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laguna niguel, ca
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7. Re: Go in May or December?

May is a great month with good prices, December is going to have higher prices and more questionable weather

Baton Rouge, LA
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8. Re: Go in May or December?

We were in Oahu (Outrigger Reef Resort) mid-December 2017 and in Maui (Hyatt Regency) the first week of January 2018. The weather could not have been more perfect during our entire stay. We enjoyed seeing all of the tropical themed Christmas decorations in Honolulu. The grey whale migration starts in January and from Kannanapli Beach in Maui, we saw numerous whales. No need for a tour.

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9. Re: Go in May or December?

I'm a Disney grad as well.

Chicagoland
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10. Re: Go in May or December?

Early December (most of your dates) is the least expensive time to visit Hawaii. It's also 'winter' -- wetter, cooler, windier -- especially north on Kauai and Oahu. May is one of the most gorgeous times to visit -- mild weather, lots of blooms, and before the summer onslaught of families with school age children.

If you want to swim in the ocean, choose May.

I would not choose Aulani (east side of Oahu; man made lagoons, not ocean). I'd choose Waikiki, but not HHV (a zoo of conventions and tour groups). . Honolulu is a *small* city, and Waikiki is almost entirely devoted to tourists. You don't have to have a rental car within the city. Walk, take the bus, hire a taxi for little money over the short distances. You DO want a car for part of the time, to drive around the coast, or if you want to stay north shore.

OR...stay on another island instead of Oahu. You could even fly into HNL and 'float through' the airport, departing to another island. I wouldn't choose Kauai in December, but you'd be fine on any of the other three major islands in December or in May. You will want a rental car full time on another island.

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