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The Hawaii Series, yes, we are experts Chapter 4 · Sunday March 6, 2011 by colin newell

Hawaii Big Island Travel Series Chapter 4The Big Island of Hawaii – suggested for those who want “everything” in a visit to the Hawaiian Islands.
And when I say everything, I mean:

Want a closed or gated resort vacation destination? Check
Want a hiking, biking, surfing, swimming, snorkel vacation? Check
Want an ethno-botanical tour of a bio-diverse ecosystem? Check
Want to park yourself in a waterfront downtown condo in a semi-tropical paradise? Check
Want to get up close and personal a volcanic Earth birthing process? Go no further

Truth is, the Big Island of Hawaii is the go to, one stop shopping, place for folks seeking a semi-tropical and safe paradise that literally has something for everyone – with no exceptions.

That said, whether you are traveling single, double or in family, it helps to think ahead and identify your expectations.
I talk to people, almost weekly, about vacation planning – specifically about the Hawaiian Islands – and no, I am not a travel agent – but I have been in Hawaii often enough to make some informed statements about what the Islands have to offer.

And as discussed in one of the earlier chapters, there are some deep seated myths about the Islands – go back if you need to review. In summary, the most common ones are the assumptions of mistaken identity; Oahu has it all, Waikiki, volcanoes, great surfing, etc OR Go to Maui if you want to do the best coffee touring that the Islands avail.
I will plug the Andrew Doughty – Hawaii revealed series again.
The Big Island of Hawaii is the largest Island with the greatest selection of activity options. It is the most geologically and environmentally diverse Island in the group – and it is one of the few places on Earth where you can have a snow ball fight and within the same hour be surfing on some of the Earths most spectacular waves.

So plan ahead. Single or Double, it is not rocket science. If you have a family with teens or preteens, you may have the greatest challenge. We saw lots and lots of families of all shapes and sizes on the Big Island of Hawaii – and the single thing that was of some concern to Andrea and I were the young parents who opted to bring their walking toddlers with them. There seemed to be a higher average incidence of fussiness with the toddlers than the newborns and the tweens. Chances are, it is the product of a long journey and the sub-tropical heat – both situations work themselves out after a couple of days “adjusting” and acclimatization.

For families, if you are having a time keeping your family entertained on the Big island of Hawaii (and Waikiki, Oahu is the one spot that has the upper hand with shopping) then maybe the Islands are not for you.

Waikiki (as I inferred above) is a shoppers mecca – but why anyone would eschew Hollywood, New York or Vegas and cross half an ocean for a shopping trip escapes me. All the stores you will find in Waikiki are on the mainland – and the prices are probably better too.

So. Talk to your spouse-trip planner and children about what their expectations are in a semi-tropical vacation. Generally one should start booking things 10 months to a year in advance. No excuse for not thinking it all out.

So, in conclusion – talk it out, plan it out, find out what you want to do and research the details. There are some great books (I plug them) and more online resources than you will ever need – TripAdvisor.com being a winner (all consumer driven)

In our next chapter on the subject of the Big Island of Hawaii, we will touch on the subject of travel agents, booking the roof over your head, and the little extras you will want to remember… and yeah, a bit on budgeting your travel.

See you then.


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