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First time in Oahu, 9 days, lots of questions!

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Alberta, Canada
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First time in Oahu, 9 days, lots of questions!

Hey guys!

At the risk of beating this to death and posting yet another ''general'' type post on this, here I go (any info is appreciated).

Canadian, semi-experienced traveller, will be travelling with my GF March 3-11th, 2012.

We will be staying at the Wakiki Gateway, i know it it not the best but it is non-refundable and is about 80$ per night.

We are on a budget but will worry about the bill once we get back type of people! Here is my ''beta itinerary'' version 0.0.

-Arrive in HIA March 3rd at 6pm. At this point we will be happy just to breathe some fresh air after an 11 hour flight from Newark. I reserved a convertible from Aloha rents (Alamo) for the duration of our vacation for 410$ (good deal right?).

-Drive to the hotel, SSS, go out, walk around and try to stay awake until 9pm.

-March 4: Relax on the beach type day in Wakiki, walk around, buy stuff.

-March 5-9: Get out of Wakiki and drive around the island and go see stuff!!

March 10, 11: Last days in Oahu, walk around some more and leave the 11th at noon.

Ok so as you guys can see I have a pretty open schedule! Here are some definite activities that we will fit in the March5-9 slot:

-Pearl Harbor

-Diamond Head

-Hanauma Bay

-Bishop Museum

-ALL THE BEACHES!

We are active young people who enjoy hiking, snorkeling, sightseeing but also do absolutely nothing!

Questions:

-Do you guys think its a good idea to rent the conv. for our whole stay even if we don't use it some day? Considering the taxi ride from and to the airport if we only rent for 5 days?

-I would like to purchase a nice rash tee when we get there, what is a good spot in Wakiki? I would like a brand name one like (billabong, O'neil etc...yeah i am fussy).

-Don't want to offend anyone but we will not go to PCC, let's not get into that...

-ANY SUGGESTIONS OR INFORMATIONS ON HOW TO SAVE MONEY OR GO SEE HIDDEN GEMS WOULD BE APPRECIATED!!

-You can even fill out my 5-9 slots for me!

Thanks a bunch guys!

Canada
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1. Re: First time in Oahu, 9 days, lots of questions!

I think the convertible is a wise choice, we found that most rental companies charged you a “weeks” rate for anything over 4 days anyways, so really those 2-3 days your not using it’s free. Sounds like you have your activities pretty well planned out, but if your adventurists you may want to try surfing or taking a tour. I think you defiantly want to take a drive out to the North Shore, stop at the Dole plant on the way for a quick restroom break and Dole Whip!

There are cool rash guards everywhere, you won’t have a problem finding one of those.

Have a wonderful vacation!

Alberta, Canada
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2. Re: First time in Oahu, 9 days, lots of questions!

I tried another quote and I only save 88$ if I rent the car from the 5-9th! What do you guys recommend for surfing? Taking lessons or just winging it? What is the average rate for renting a surf board?

Canada
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3. Re: First time in Oahu, 9 days, lots of questions!

I’d say a quick lesson, we got an hour lesson from Star Beach boys (think $40 each), it was worth it, my husband picked up on it right away and was on his own, I needed the instructor for the full hour. It was good to get the basics from him, we wouldn’t have to need them again. Also, consider Skydiving while in Oahu, especially if you’re a first timer, there is no better place to do it then over the pacific ocean.

A cab from the airport to Waikiki will set you back about $40 each way, so it might just be worth it to have the vehicle from the airport.

Princeville, Hawaii
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for Maui, Hana, Oahu
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4. Re: First time in Oahu, 9 days, lots of questions!

I would save money by not renting a convertible, but that's just me!!

Hanauma Bay is worth a visit but not the best place to snorkel on Oahu. If surf is calm on the north shore, Shark's Cove and Three Tables are the places to go.

It's not wise to try surfing on your own. I don't know how much it costs but you will benefit from it greatly and there are quite a few places in Waikiki where you can get lessons.

Los Angeles...
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5. Re: First time in Oahu, 9 days, lots of questions!

We went on a sailboat for a evening cruise of waikiki beach and fireworks. We paid $35 each and we brought our own bottle of champagne. My wife and i had a really great time, it's my hidden gem suggestion.

Northern California...
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6. Re: First time in Oahu, 9 days, lots of questions!

I would definitely keep checking the car rental rates for a lower price. Alamo has been known to radically drop their prices during a sale & you may save a bunch of money by tracking car rental prices every few weeks until you leave. Another option is to get a reservation through:

www.discounthawaiicarrental.com/

Your car rental from them will be with one of the major rental companies and you can cancel a reservation easily if you find a better price somewhere else.

Get your rash guard from one of the surf shops at Ala Moana Center. Town & Country, HIC, Local Motion, Rip Curl all have shops there and there isn't that much more of a price difference than if you were to try and hit a smaller surf shop as opposed to the mall.

My favorite for surf lessons is not located on Waikiki:

www.hawaiianfire.com

Super safe, really good instructors & it takes place on an uncrowded beach (they either pick you up for the lessons or you can drive to the beach & meet them there).

However, you really want to get your lessons on Waikiki, I'd contact:

www.waikikibeachservices.com/default.asp

They have stands right on the beach and you can ask them what time would the surf break be less crowded. Last time I checked, the rental rate of a surfboad on the beach was $12-$15 per hour - you can get better rates doing a web search for a company that does long term rentals & delivers the board to your hotel.

My money saving tip - skip the North Shore shrimp trucks & their over-priced $12 plate lunches. Get a poke bowl/plate lunch from the grocery store & picnic at the beach.

Alberta, Canada
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7. Re: First time in Oahu, 9 days, lots of questions!

Good stuff guys! :

msfuzz: I know that a convertible is kind of unnecessary, but I can't get it out of my head!! I live in Eastern Canada, we don't get to drive convertibles very often!! I will definitely checkout Sharks Cove and Three tables!!

Andy: Can you remember the name of the boat? That is exactly what we would love, something quiet away from the crowd on a sailboat! sounds perfect!!

Kaui: That is the outfit i used to get that price, the price is Alamo but I went through discounthawaiicarrental, do you think there are better pices out there? I'll keep looking. HawaiianFire looks great!

Keep the suggestions coming guys, thank you!

Pacific Grove...
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8. Re: First time in Oahu, 9 days, lots of questions!

For the car, try priceline, name your price

For flight + hotel, check pleasant Hawaiin.com. It came out to be a good deal from the Pacific north west

Alberta, Canada
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9. Re: First time in Oahu, 9 days, lots of questions!

Flights and hotel are already booked.

How exactly does Priceline works? I just name a price and I either get it or I don't?

Northern California...
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10. Re: First time in Oahu, 9 days, lots of questions!

I definitely think its possible a better rental car price will come up. I made a reservation for Oahu using discounthawaii in May for a week in October (I got Alamo). Alamo dropped their prices in August and I saved about $100 by booking directly through Alamo & canceling the discounthawaii reservation. Keep checking!

Priceline is another good option but I would until the end of January to see what the prevailing rates will be before trying to under bid.