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Hawaii in July/August - which island?

Northumberland...
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Hawaii in July/August - which island?

Im desperate to visit Hawaii next summer but have a few questions.

Which island is recommended to be the livliest with the most shops/bars/restaurants and nice beaches?

Is it easy to visit other islands and how long/far are the main points of interest?

Is it an expensive place to visit i.e. hotels,eating out etc (the past few years I have visited the U.S. how does it compare with say California prices?)

What is the climate for this time of year?

Many thanks :)

washington
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1. Re: Hawaii in July/August - which island?

Oahu fits the bill for you...specifically Waikiki. That will provide you with the most options for inexpensive lodging and dining as well. While some find Hawaii expensive we don't see a huge difference coming from the west coast. It all depends on choices and planning.

Island hopping is by plane only and can be expensive in terms of both time and money but with at least 10 nights you CAN do 2 islands.

July and August will be hot.

Check out all the great info to the upper right on this page...have fun planning!

California
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2. Re: Hawaii in July/August - which island?

Why must you come in the middle of the summer?? Hawaii is wonderful any time of the year! Summer is HIGH high season for family vacations. Often more expensive. Consider traveling when the weather at home is not good. (May is lovely.) Hawaii's temps are fairly consistent in the low 80s Farenheit. I agree with mamma that it sounds like you want Waikiki in Honolulu on the Island of Oahu.

Will you be renting a car?? If not, Honolulu is your best option by far. Make sure to see the other parts of the Island, though. Gorgeous.

If you want to fly between the Islands, understand that the flights are short, but the airport process is the same as anywhere.

So, pick up a copy of the travel guide Hawaii for Dummies (forgive the title) and a good map of the Hawaii Islands. www.gohawaii.com may be helpful - although somewhat commercial.

Determine:

When do you want to travel?

What island/s do you want to visit?

How many nights will you be in Hawaii? With 10 or more, consider seeing two islands.

What is your nightly accomodations budget? The cost of the rooms will depend, for the most part, on proximity to the beach and the view.

What do you want to do in Hawaii? Beach activities? Historical sites? Hiking? Shopping? Restaurants? Natural wonders?

And, the big question, will you rent a car?

And, yes, I think the overall cost for a tourist are similar to California.

Chicagoland
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3. Re: Hawaii in July/August - which island?

Most young adults who want nightlife will enjoy Waikiki on Oahu and Kaanapali/Lahaina on Maui. If you have at least ten nights in Hawaii, you could stay both places. I'd read up on these two islands.

Yes, mainland families do visit Hawaii during the childrens' summer vacations (Jun - August), and also on other school holidays (primarily Easter and Christmas, and some come over American Thanksgiving). In my experience the most expensive time to visit is Christmas - March. The whales are in the islands then; also the 'snowbirds' hiding out from cold mainland winters.

May and September are 'shoulder' seasons. An inexpensive period is the first half of December. You can often save by staying in a condo with a kitchen -- not eating every meal in a restaurant.

I find prices about 15% more than in my Chicagoland area.

A 'hop' by air between islands is currently about $75 pp one way. Hops will eat about four hours door-to-door although the air time is only about 30 minutes.

You need a rental car everywhere outside of Honolulu, IMO.

You could be perfectly happy staying right on Oahu. Waikiki has the city buzz. The north and east shores are quiet and lovely. You'll find the most flights on good aircraft (767's 330's) into Honolulu.

Edited: 10:56 am, August 29, 2011
Northumberland...
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4. Re: Hawaii in July/August - which island?

thank you everyone for your advice!! Oahu and Maui seem to interest me most, based on your advice and pictures I have seen. Am I right, then, in believing that there is no transport by boat between the 2 islands?

And unfortunately my partner works in a school and I am studying and therefore can only get time off during the summer holidays to go! I'd much prefer to go during May or September.

Chicagoland
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5. Re: Hawaii in July/August - which island?

You'd fly between the major islands. We prefer Hawaiian Airlines. There is a ferry between Maui and Lanai. There are many snorkeling tours off all the islands.

LA
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6. Re: Hawaii in July/August - which island?

The only transport between Oahu and Maui is by plane. Multiple flights daily, but each flight has the ususal security line/TSA inspection issues so even though the air time is barely 20 mintues, you are in the airport for about 2 hours.

Waikiki Beach in Honolulu on Oahu best fits your need for bars/restaurants/shopping. The beach is classic to see, but not the only beach I would want to see, due to the large number of people and it's proximity to all the high-rise hotels. Oahu also has a decent bus system, s you would not need to rent a car.

Maui has great beaches, but you really need to rent a car to get to the sights.

Accomodation is fairly expensive. About $100 a night for a basic hotel or condo not on a beach. Anything less is going to be a hostel.

Look at www.hawaiigaga.com to view some of the beaches on the islands. (It's a rental agency site and I am not affiliated with them, but I love the beach photos, especially the panoramic shots).

California
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7. Re: Hawaii in July/August - which island?

Again - you need to determine whether you will be renting a car. And it is wise, wise, wise to reserve one in advance.

Northumberland...
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8. Re: Hawaii in July/August - which island?

Thank you for your advice! I've heard that it's best to see multiple islands on the same trip, does anyone think it is possible to see the main attractions by visiting only Oahu, or should more than the one island be explored?

Burr Ridge, Illinois
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9. Re: Hawaii in July/August - which island?

Since you are from Scotland you will find the prices on Oahu much more reasonable than many American tourists.

I wouldn't fly all the way to Great Britain and only visit Scotland even if for the famous Tattoo (saw it last month and it is amazing). You shouldn't fly all the way from Scotland and only see one Hawaiian island.

Since you want nightlife and action spend some time on Oahu at Waikiki and then pick one of the other islands for a diverse look at the Hawaiian topography as well as the flavors of the other islands. I suggest putting Maui and the Big Island on your list to consider.

The weather will be perfect for an Edinburgh-clan. Even if it rains it won’t be as cold and chilly as an August rain (experienced those a few times in your city).

Have a fun time in Hawaii. Enjoy the aloha spirit.

LA
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10. Re: Hawaii in July/August - which island?

The general rule is one island per 5 nights stay. It just isn't worth the extra time and expense to try to fit in, for example, 3 islands in 7 days.

I don't see where you mention how much time you have and how much you are planning on spending on accomodation.

If you are planning on visiting any island other than Oahu, then you will need to rent a car.

There is a good book to start to read: Hawaii for Dummies, which has good practical advise on how to plan a vacation and decide which island(s) are good for you. There are multiple other guidebooks out there. You certainly have time to do more research before making committments.