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Itinerary Help

Washington DC...
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Itinerary Help

Hi All,

My husband and I will be visiting the Big Island in May with our daughter, who will be 11 months old. We arrive in Hilo at noon on the 9th and depart the evening of the 14th. I've been scouring the forums here and I know that tons of people have posted questions about itineraries but we are starting our planning from scratch and a bit overwelmed.

I'm not sure where we should stay and what we should definitely do. Having the baby with us rules out any snorkeling and, while I know that some of this is inevitable, I would like to avoid excessive time in the car. We're not opposed to staying in multiple places but we would prefer a place with a kitchen and patio vs. a hotel so that we dont have to bring the baby to restaurants (which is not really all that pleasant for anyone) and have some place to hang out when out when our daughter takes naps or goes to bed at night.

Finally, we're both big hikers and excited about exploring the island (we have a hiking backpack for the baby!). We would like to stay away from the overly touristy areas as much as possible.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks so much in advance!

LA
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1. Re: Itinerary Help

What is your nightly accomodation budget?

How many nights do you have on Hawaii?

Are you visiting any of the other Hawaiian islands on this trip and if so,which ones?

Washington DC...
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2. Re: Itinerary Help

Hi PareoB,

We'd like to keep our accomodation costs down as much as possible. We were actually planning on camping at first but after reading about safety concerns and having second thoughts about how well that would go over with the baby, we've decided against it. We will be spending the first 5 nights of our trip in Kauai and then the next 5 on the Big Island. So we'll have about 5.5 days to spend on the Big Island.

Thanks!

Big Island, Hawaii
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3. Re: Itinerary Help

Is there a reason you're flying in and out of Hilo? With only five nights and wanting to avoid lots of time in the car, and with a baby, this isn't the best plan (or the best choice of island). Are your flights refundable? Why did you choose the BI in particular?

There is some good hiking on the island, mostly in and around Volcanoes National Park, however this is not recommended for people with infants because of the air quality (sulfur dioxide emitted by the volcano).

Visiting the west side of the island will be difficult because you will either have to drive across the island on one of your flight days (not recommended) or go in the middle, resulting in changing lodging three times in five nights. Plus most lodging with kitchens (houses or condos) have minimum night requirements.

Just staying put in Hilo is a possibility, but the area can be very rainy, there are no beaches to speak of, and with an infant while there are a few things to do, not six days worth, IMO.

I just wrote a thing about how you should go to Kauai instead and then saw your recent post.

:-) You should be able to change your inter island flights without a problem if you're coming from Kauai to the BI or vice versa. I would either go to another island, like Oahu (it's not all just Waikiki, you can find many less touristed spots) or if you really want to come to the BI, skip the east side and fly into and out of KOA. But the primary attractions on that side in your situation will be beaches and snorkelling (you said that wasn't a priority although I wonder why you can't take turns with your partner?). A condo will be the way to go on this island, but those are in more touristy spots. Hiking is ok, but not great on this side, not as good as the hiking on Kauai, Lanai, Oahu, or Maui. Outside of VNP and hiking down into the Pololu valley, most of our hikes are forested and probably not that interesting to mainlanders as they aren't the jungle hikes to beaches and waterfalls, etc. But if you do decide to come here, I hike most weekends here and can give you some specific trail suggestions.

Edited: 29 February 2012, 06:29
Island of Hawaii...
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4. Re: Itinerary Help

Hmm, I thought you might be flying into Hilo and out on Continental, but if coming from Kaua'i that is inter-island and you do have a choice. Are you flying out through HNL?

I think the west side should be your main focus with the little one. The fumes are a concern at VNP, not good for developing lungs to get prolonged exposure. A drive-by through VNP and maybe the lava tube I don't see as a problem, but a long hike I do.

I would say put Botanical Gardens on your list, but problem is there are a lot of mosquitoes. It really takes a DEET-based product to discourage the mosquitoes in this part of the jungle, and I think the baby is too young for DEET, which is quite toxic.

It will also be hot and humid, not great for swaddling.

I would recommend hiking where you get breezes and bugs aren't a concern.

I like the hike to Mo'okini Heiau, which is all along the ocean and very breezy, and other walks and hikes on the shoreline.

Sharing the best sites with other tourists is inevitable on any of the major islands, but it should be fine here, and May is low season.

I actually think you should do all ten days in Kaua'i. There is plenty to do and that will give you enough down time to let the baby do what babies enjoy, stuff like hanging in shallow water and playing with sand. While babies will put up with backpacking, I don't think they can possibly enjoy it as much as running free on the sand and splashing.

Washington DC...
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5. Re: Itinerary Help

Thank you, SheaG and KamaainaK. It wouldn't have occurred to me to think about fumes at VNP or the need for DEET. (This is our first trip to Hawaii). We're going to look into changing our plane tickets. We were flying through HNL from Kauai. Now we're considering either staying in Kauai the whole time or trying another island. (Maybe Lanai?) We'll leave the Big Island for next time.

Oklahoma City...
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6. Re: Itinerary Help

You should stick with Kauai, especially with an infant and only 10 nights. If you really want to visit Lanai, the easiest way is to stay on Maui and do a day trip or a couple of days. Are you flying home from HNL? If so, plan to spend your last 2 days there, if you are determined to move around and not stay put.

Definitely stay in a condo. There are several to choose from and some near beaches perfect for little ones digging and splashing. I'll defer to the Kauai experts for particulars, but I love the Poipu area and beach around the Beach House restaurant for kids. The condo next door gives you totally oceanfront accommodations, Kuhio Shores.

Big Island, Hawaii
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7. Re: Itinerary Help

I would stay at a vacation rental house on the north shore of Kauai in May, or if you decide to spend your whole time on Kauai, split your time between the north and south shores.

Lanai is a fantastic island but not great with babies since most places to go and beaches require long, bumpy drives in a 4wd and your choices of lodging are very limited.

LA
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8. Re: Itinerary Help

Lanai is not a very good second choice. Issues, as mentioned by SheaG.

9. Re: Itinerary Help

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