Ever since LOST came on the air in 2004, I have been wanting to go back to Hawaii. We took a family vacation in December 1996, because earlier that year my sister got invited to join a friend of her’s whose uncle lived there and my mom got jealous since it was one of the last states she had never been too (oddly, Maine was the other one and she has since been, so congrats Mom, for visiting all 50 states!) so we went as a family and my sister went twice in one year. Not bad for a 13 year old! But I split my memories into two categories, going somewhere as a child (aka: my parents paid) or an adult. And I hadn’t been to Hawaii as an adult and wanted to go back. U2 announced they were going to do a concert there in April 2006 so what better excuse to go! Unfortunately, the concert was postponed after I bought my airfare and I went anyway, mainly because I had been wanting to get back to Hawaii. U2 was kind of just an excuse.
For the first time ever I bought a hotel/airfare combo. I figured Hawaii was kind of the place that packages seemed de rigour and I think I got a decent deal. Funny enough when I was pulling up flights, Delta was one of them, but for half the flights they wanted to route me through Salt Lake City. I am in LA, but to get to Hawaii, I have to go through SLC? Unless the price difference was like nuts, I never backtrack. I probably paid $20 more (if anything, I don’t remember) to go direct. Something like that is worth it in my book. I included a cheapish hotel a few blocks from Waikiki, so I could walk there.
I also booked a rental car, since it’s just so much easier to get around the island that way. Since I was under 25 at the time, pickings where slim. I did some research and found that Thrifty had the best arrangement for under 25’s, meaning I just had to pay a little more, but everything was hassle free. It was funny, when I was at the rental counter, I got talking to the girl and she seemed like she was my age and she admitted that the rule was stupid because even she couldn’t rent from the company she worked for, without paying extra! Anyway, props to Thrifty for making all my rentals not too much more expensive, but always hassle free! Unfortunately, of all things I did on this trip, the rental car was probably my biggest mistake. Since I rented at the airport, I had to pay for parking on top of everything. If I had to do it over again, I would have just taken a taxi or shuttle to the hotel and just hired a car in Waikiki by the day, if needed, because since I had the car, I forces myself to use it every day. In town, they rent to 18 and overs, plus I wouldn’t have had to pay for parking and I wouldn’t have felt like I had to use it everyday, as one day could have just spent around Waikiki and there goes a day. I never fully regret hiring a car, but it would have been a lot cheaper doing it that way.
Moral: Hire your car on just the days you need from various rental agencies in Waikiki (only applies if you are staying in town)