Add 2 nights at another island?

justme0729

DIS Veteran
Joined
Jun 11, 2014
We have stayed at Aulani once before and loved it. When we went, we only went to Oahu. I am considering doing 6 nights at Aulani and 2 nights on Maui, Big Island (or another island?) for our next trip. But... I’m not finding anything about these islands vastly different than Oahu. Many of them have similar activities like hiking, waterfalls, etc with the exception of Big Island having the volcano. Is it worth going to another island or would you rather just stick at Aulani for a full 8 nights? We really didn’t see Waikiki when we were there- we just drove through because we couldn’t find parking so we could do 2 nights there too instead of another island but we aren’t night life people.

If you do recommend island hopping, any recommendations for a good resort or things to do for adults? It will be me and DH. The resort having a nice beach with lounge chairs and clear water is probably most important to me in addition to sight seeing on the island.
 

nkereina

Last chance to lose your keys.
Joined
Feb 11, 2009
DH and I visited Oahu, Maui, and Kauai on our trip. I found Maui and Oahu to be relatively similar - Maui was a smaller version, less traffic, but still pretty commercialized. Kauai was the most unique - the Na Pali Coast was unlike anything we had seen elsewhere, and the hiking with the lush foliage and beautiful coast line was unreal. We did not visit the Big Island, but surely the volcano is a sight to see.

We spent 3 nights in Kauai and stayed at the Marriott in Lihue, which is very close to the airport and the cruise port. We did a helicopter tour over Waimea Canyon and the Na Pali Coast which was awesome, and we did a sunset dinner cruise around the Na Pali Coast which was my favorite thing we did. We also spent time enjoying the beautiful resort.

I will caution that we found it was cheaper for us (flying to/from the east coast) to book roundtrip flights to and from Honolulu. To fly to/from the mainland and another island would have been more expensive and required us to change planes in Honolulu anyway. Because of this, we spent our first 3 nights in Waikiki, flew to Maui for 3 nights, Kauai for 3 nights, then back to Oahu for our Aulani stay. This may not be an issue if you live on the west coast, but something to consider.

Personally, I would rather split up my time than spend a full 8 nights at Aulani. You can see and do everything at Aulani with just a couple nights, and the location isn't conducive to exploring the island. We loved Waikiki, so that's a good option if you don't want to island hop. If it were me, I might do 5-6 nights at Aulani, 2-3 nights in Kauai or Big Island, and 1 night in Waikiki before flying home just because of the roundtrip flight factor that's an issue for us.

Lastly, I would recommend booking any island hopping flights for first thing in the morning or late in the evening. We did ours mid-morning which ate up too much of the day. Booking early/late at least gives you the full day to do something.
 

dachsie

DIS Veteran
Joined
Feb 13, 2014
I am doing the Big Island before Aulani. We are going in Jan so plan to do a whale watch tour, coffee farm tour, chocolate farm tour, Akaka Falls and a Macadamia nut factory. We may even get time to go to the Seahorse farm and Waipo Valley lookout.. This is in 2 days. From what I have been reading the Big Island is the most diverse of the islands with multiple climates. I would say go to the BI for a couple of days
 
  • justme0729

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 11, 2014
    Each island has its own distinct characteristics. What are you looking to do?
    I’m not sure yet... just looking for ideas of what some people do! Seeing a volcano (does it always have lava?), hiking, waterfalls, scenery, beaches with clear waters, whale watching (we’re going in December), and good food I suppose are what we are looking for unless I am missing another great attraction Hawaii has.
     

    HI_Tig808

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jul 31, 2019
    I’m not sure yet... just looking for ideas of what some people do! Seeing a volcano (does it always have lava?), hiking, waterfalls, scenery, beaches with clear waters, whale watching (we’re going in December), and good food I suppose are what we are looking for unless I am missing another great attraction Hawaii has.
    I'm on my phone right now but will do my best to give you a better answer when I get on a computer. When do you intend to go? Do I have a few days to answer is my real question :)
     
  • dachsie

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 13, 2014
    Here are some links of things we are planning:

     

    Wild4Walt

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jul 28, 2008
    The Big Island is my favorite travel destination. The island is beautiful and unique. One side is volcanic ( where the volcano is and yes it's active ) and one is more tropical. We like to stay on the Waikoloa side ( easy drive into Kona ). Hilo is more old Hawaii if that makes sense but is closer to Volcano National Park.

    I like Maui as well, but it is more commercial.
     
  • justme0729

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Jun 11, 2014
    I'm thinking of doing adding a new thread for each of the islands. Now, this is from a locals point of view and the things I might like, others might now. What do you think? Should I do that? Do you think that would be helpful to others too? Or has it been done already? TIA :)

    I would love to hear!!
     

    dachsie

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Feb 13, 2014
    I'm thinking of doing adding a new thread for each of the islands. Now, this is from a locals point of view and the things I might like, others might now. What do you think? Should I do that? Do you think that would be helpful to others too? Or has it been done already? TIA :)
    That would be awesome!
     

    Cynthiab

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jun 28, 2016
    I am doing the Big Island before Aulani.
    We just got back last week and did this. We arrived late Wed night to Kona, stayed overnight near the airport. On Thur, we drove to Hilo, did some snorkeling, saw a waterfall. On Fri, we did volcano national park all day. Saturday, we drove the long way back to Hilo, and stopped by black sand beach on the way. We flew to Oahu and spent 5 nights at Aulani.

    We specifically went to the Big Island to see the volcano. There is no active lava anywhere in the park right now.
     

    kiford

    DIS Veteran
    Joined
    Nov 9, 2012
    Depends a bit on what you want to do/see and for how long. We did a round trip, one-day flight from Oahu to the Big Island to see Volcano National Park (before the volcano erupted). We did have to get up egregiously early (3:45 am) to get a 6 am flight from Honolulu to Hilo and then took the 8 pm flight back which made for a long day. There are later morning flights and earlier evening flights. We actually ran out of steam early and sat in the couches at the airport for about 90 minutes - we could have taken the 6 pm flight back and been just fine. The flight itself is only 45 minutes or less.

    In fact, we've decided that, when we go back to Aulani we'll probably arrange to do day flights to Maui and Kauai rather than pack up and move to another resort. They're even closer than the Big Island so it's eminently do-able for the day.
     

    Plumberries

    Earning My Ears
    Joined
    Jul 8, 2019
    I definitely think an outer island is worth a visit, particularly the Big Island. Oahu is just like any other American city (with more humidity or Asian stuff or palm trees or mountains or beaches or whatever depending on where you're from) but an outer island is more relaxing and to me feels more vacation-y.

    I like the Big Island for the volcanoes, but also if you rent a car (especially a four-wheel drive) you can go to natural hot springs, the most gorgeous black sand beaches (especially after all the new lava from that last huge eruption), and a green sand beach. If you really want to feel remote and away from tourists, a lot of people really enjoy Molokai, but I prefer the Big Island.
     

    Mommy2Logan

    Mouseketeer
    Joined
    Mar 11, 2019
    I'm all for island hopping but I would do 3 nights. Not sure worth it for 2 nights unless it is to see lava (which I dont' think it has right now). Or you could head over the Kauai to do a helicopter tour, zipline, atv etc. Hanalei and the Napali coast is really magical. Or hop over to Maui for the sole purpose of driving the Road to Hana. Stay in Hana, hike the bamboo forest and 7 falls or whatever it is called and maybe Haleakala too if you have time.
     

    MouseOfCards

    Finally jumped in . . .
    DVC Premium
    Joined
    Feb 11, 2016
    If it were me, I might do 5-6 nights at Aulani, 2-3 nights in Kauai or Big Island, and 1 night in Waikiki before flying home just because of the roundtrip flight factor that's an issue for us.

    Lastly, I would recommend booking any island hopping flights for first thing in the morning or late in the evening. We did ours mid-morning which ate up too much of the day. Booking early/late at least gives you the full day to do something.
    Good info, especially about the last night back in Waikiki - thanks!
     

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