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Trip report - first stop Hawaii!

Bathurst, Australia
Level Contributor
306 posts
251 reviews
136 helpful votes
Trip report - first stop Hawaii!

Started our 7 week trip to the states in Hawaii. Have been saving and planning the trip for nearly 12 months and booked everything online. Managed to score cheap flights with Jetstar last year when they had a two for one sale, so pretty happy about that. Night flight was a killer especially after the stress at the airport.

I didn't realise I would need to show outward bound tickets/confirmation and so all paperwork was in my bag. As we were going onward from Honolulu to San Fran, I guess I wasn't thinking. So, remember, if you don't have a return ticket, take other info!

Very easy taxi to the Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel. I was pretty nervous as some reports on TA haven't been very good, but it is a great hotel. I was also worried that we were going to be miles away from the main road, but in fact there is really only a short strip of road that is actually on the beach and then it heads inland and Aston in on the road across from the beach, so prefect location for us. Great hotel, will do a separate report.

Exhausted the first day as couldn't sleep on the plane, but wondered around Waikiki until we were able to check in and have a nanna nap. Dinner that night was a delicious pizza from Wolfgang Pucks which is underneath the hotel and then also Tiki's which is in the hotel.

So the food! Wow! I knew it was going to be big, but this is bigger than big. We love food, but after a couple of meals with every plate still having at least half left, we have finally worked out not to order a meal for everyone (mum, dad, 2 kids)! And drinks! You can't get a small soft drink, everything's huge. No joke, we only need 1 medium for all 4 of us and we would usually have a drink each. And coffee, other than it being really hard to find good coffee, when you do, a small coffee is the largest one I can get back home. I'm sure it's all really bad for me, but everything here tastes soooo much better than home :) Here come the extra kilos.

We hired a Mustang convertible for 2 days and drove around the island. While the convertible was great, it was really windy and the kids were blown around, so didn't actually have the top down much. It was also pretty hard for the kids to see out (and the driver) but it was great. Until.... a bus reversed into us at the blowhole. Thankfully, we had taken out extra insurance and so it was fine. We called the police when we got back to the hotel and filled in a police report and then returned the car. They said it was all good and so fingers crossed we don't hear from them again.

Visited Pearl Harbor, but couldn't get tickets online and no tickets when we got there. Got tickets for the Bowfin submarine which was really interesting. Only hotdogs and nachos, so eat before you get there. Also found the outlet shops which was fun. Got a pair of Levi's for just over $40 and a pair of Vans for $47. Not sure if that was cheap, but wanted them anyway.

I think the funniest thing we did with the car was trying to fill it up with petrol. You pull in and the pump only takes credit cards. If have an international credit card it tells you to pay inside. Then you have to prepay $40 and it only let's you fill up with $40. Of course hubby couldn't read the instructions which tell you to lift the pump and pull up the handle underneath, so I am in the shop asking the lady to open the pump. So we finally get it going and of course it needs more than $40, so I go and pay another $40, but of course it only needs $3.40, so I go back in again and get a refund. All the while I was laughing my head off. Probably shouldn't have been that funny but sometimes it's like being in a non-English speaking country! It's all so confusing :)

So after a couple of days of family time, convinced hubby that the girls need to do a little shopping and so we caught the "pink line" trolley to Ala Moana shopping centre. The trolley is really fun and only costs $2 per person. The pink line does a loop between Waikiki and Ala Moana. Look for the pink flag or pink board on the side of the trolley. The trolley is not pink, which is what I was looking for. It also stops right outside the Aston, so another bonus for the hotel.

Ala Moana was ok, lots of high end brand name shops which I wasn't really into (can't afford Louis Vuitton on Oz, prob can't afford in Hawaii either). Found a few cool shops and the great food hall.

Took a tour to Hanuama Bay which was great. $15 which included snorkel etc and the bus there and back. A lovely bay to snorkel in and we saw some lovely sea life.

Spent the last couple of days at the beach and pool and doing a bit more looking in the shops, again. All in all had a great stay in Hawaii and now we're off to San Francisco for a few days before RV-ing across to Texas! See you in San Fran!

Newport Beach...
Level Contributor
2,576 posts
1. Re: Trip report - first stop Hawaii!

Great trip report! I love your Aussie style! I wish us Yanks had the travel bug like you guys do...to me that's what life is all about, work hard, save, then travel the world!

Have a great time in San Francisco! Be sure to do the Alcatraz tour if you have time!

Santa Monica...
Destination Expert
for Santa Monica
Level Contributor
24,488 posts
265 reviews
171 helpful votes
2. Re: Trip report - first stop Hawaii!

What a lovely start to your great adventure! Thanks for sharing. We stayed at Aston Waikiki Beach hotel in 2010 and really enjoyed it, especially the location. If you had eaten at their restaurant, you would have been horrified at the portion sizes. Even as an American used to large portions, theirs are huge! Have a wonderful trip to in the upper 48. Hope no more buses back into you!

Perth, Australia
Level Contributor
4,965 posts
22 reviews
17 helpful votes
3. Re: Trip report - first stop Hawaii!

We love trip reports .. thank you.

Hawaii is a good place to learn to drive on the "wrong side of the road" .. and I bet you had fun with that.

You will love the rest of your trip ... the US has so much to offer ... and the outlets on the mainland are huge compared to the one in Hawaii. You will love the makeup prices too ... the cheaper versions ie Revlon, Cover Girl are at CVS Pharmacy or Walgreens .. while Estee Lauder etc are available at the department stores.

Take your passport to the information desk at any Macys store and receive a 10% discount at any of their stores for a month.

We too learnt to share meals - eventually! Altho at the Cheesecake Factory we were so full and wanted a cheesecake, we took one "to go" back to our room for supper. Delicious!

Have fun!

Oahu, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Oahu
Level Contributor
30,634 posts
4. Re: Trip report - first stop Hawaii!


Mahalo for the report

Looks like you folks had a blast.


United States
Level Contributor
1,046 posts
65 reviews
3 helpful votes
5. Re: Trip report - first stop Hawaii!

Sounded like a fun time, thanks for sharing. Enjoy the rest of your vacay!

South Coast NSW
Level Contributor
3,114 posts
93 reviews
50 helpful votes
6. Re: Trip report - first stop Hawaii!

Thank you manies for writing the trip report. :) These are my favourite kinds of posts!

Brockville, Canada
Level Contributor
669 posts
81 reviews
56 helpful votes
7. Re: Trip report - first stop Hawaii!

Always enjoy the trip reports - thanks!

Only 7 days to go now and we'll be there, so I'm always looking for the little tips in the reports.

Enjoy the mainland and the rest of your adventure!

Level Contributor
29,678 posts
85 reviews
49 helpful votes
8. Re: Trip report - first stop Hawaii!

Great trip report. Sounds like you had a great adventure and lots of fun. Bummer about not being able to get tickets at Pearl Harbor.

If you think you have a problem understanding the English spoken in Hawaii, just wait until you get here to Texas !! LOL

Have a great trip.

Level Contributor
77 posts
23 reviews
13 helpful votes
9. Re: Trip report - first stop Hawaii!

Great trip report, we will be there in a couple of weeks also flying Jetstar overnight. Can't wait :)

Level Contributor
302 posts
2 reviews
2 helpful votes
10. Re: Trip report - first stop Hawaii!

Enjoyed reading your report. Safe travels for the rest of your trip.