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Need help planning VNP side trip and where to stay

Peterborough
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311 posts
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Need help planning VNP side trip and where to stay

We are staying at Mauna Lani Feb. 2014 and plan to travel to VNP and stay 1 night. We will be travelling the north coast route as we have been warned to stay away from Saddle Rd. with a rental car. We are on a tight budget and want to spend around $150 with taxes and fees in. Is this realistic? VRBO's and some B & B's are charging cleaning fees. We had planned on stopping in the park the first day.afternoon Tentative- going to the visitor centre first, Thurston Lava tubes then Jagger Museum after as it closes later. One place in Volcano stated that we should be at our lodging by 4 pm as it gets dark early and there are no street lights. We were planning on looking into seeing the lava flow or the ocean entry at night but wonder how realistic that is with the regards to finding our way back to our accommodation.

We could really use some help from the TA experts: a) where to book our accommodation- Volcano? and b) planning our itinerary for the first afternoon and following morning. I know we need to be on our way back to Mauna Lani by 3:30 the next day.

Big Island, Hawaii
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for Island of Hawaii
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1. Re: Need help planning VNP side trip and where to stay

So currently you can't see the surface lava flows or ocean entry unless you do the guided lava hike. Right now they're 5-7 hours, and start about an hour's drive from Volcano. So it would involve some backtracking if you had to check in early to Volcano, but it's doable.

I would check with your rental agency re the Saddle, there's no reason to avoid it unless they prohibit it, it's one of the nicest roads on the island now, lol.

One option would be to head out early on the Saddle and go to VNP, do some of the sites, check in, and then head to Kalapana for the lava hike. After head back to Volcano and stop at Jaggar Museum to see the glow from Halema'uma'u. The next day you can do anything you missed in VNP but leave by noon and head up the Hamakua Coast to do those sites.

If you're not going to do the lava hike then it's really not an issue, just head out to VNP early and take the Hamakua Coast, allow about 6-7 hours for driving and stops and get to Volcano by the time they want you to check in.

It can be a little tricky to find one night lodging in Volcano but they're around, lots of people do it, and yes, you should be able to find something under $150 and without cleaning fees.

Ann Arbor, michigan
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2. Re: Need help planning VNP side trip and where to stay

I won't try to deal with your itinerary at this point, but we have stayed here twice and liked it a lot. Check if you can do one night, sometimes it's possible, sometimes not, if it is, book it: http://www.vrbo.com/260374

Big Island, Hawaii
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for Island of Hawaii
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3. Re: Need help planning VNP side trip and where to stay

I know the owners of that vrbo, they are on island and very responsible people. It would be an excellent choice.

Island of Hawaii...
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for Hilo, Island of Hawaii
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4. Re: Need help planning VNP side trip and where to stay

Peter,

Once you have found your lodgings the first time, you should be fine finding your way back. Itʻs more that coming in the dark is not desirable for your first arrival. Nor your first sight of the rental, for that matter.

As a host, when I had a rental where we personally welcomed people, it was a real pain when they arrived at dinner time or after, so in cases where live action people are involved in check-in, it is simply polite to recognize they have lives and are not the same as innkeepers (having only one unit I mean).

Thurston lava tube is over-rated and not much fun if bus is there, so pick a time when you donʻt see a bus. Jaggar lookout is much better when the buses are gone as well.

Jaggar Museum is worth seeing, so I would go when it is still open, and also you can talk to the rangers there. Sometimes they bring out aids in viewing. You can also use a telephoto lens or binoculars for that. Keep in mind that you can return any time just to see the glow, after the museum is closed.

ON, Canada
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5. Re: Need help planning VNP side trip and where to stay

If I was going to do the lava hike during a one night stay on the east side, I would do it on the first day (an afternoon/evening hike) and stay in Hilo rather than Volcano. The following day I would head to VNP and explore there before going back to the west side. I think it's too much to drive from the west side to VNP, explore in the park, check into accommodations in Volcano, drive to Kalapana to do the hike and then drive back to Volcano, all in one day.

If you aren't doing the hike, a stay in Volcano would be ideal.

Edited: 10:39 pm, July 16, 2013
6. Re: Need help planning VNP side trip and where to stay

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