Polihale Beach 19.9.2005


Don't let ostensible reasons stop you from experiencing this wonderful adventure!

Travel information

In this chapter I try to summarize what I feel the travel guides you might read for preparation aren't describing the way I think they should. I hope some items are interesting or useful for you. Please keep in mind that all statements refer to starting in Germany, you mileage may vary

6 reasons not to travel to Hawaii - aren't they?

„Hawaii is too far away”
Sure, the flight to Hawaii is comparable to Australia or New Zealand - depending from where you start. But even if you start in Germany (can you start farther away?), there are many convenient connections including but not limited to:
  • Start e.g. in Frankfurt or Munich, perhaps with a feeder
  • Have a stop-over in San Francisco or Los Angeles
  • Continue to Honolulu (Oahu) or Kahului (Maui)
Depending on the flight schedule you should expect travel times between 18 and 24 hours (takeoff Germany to touchdown Honolulu). Add the travel time to the airport and time for check-in in Germany on the one hand and waiting for luggage, picking up the rental car (if applicable) and driving to the hotel on the other hand. In 2002 we made a stop-over in San Francisco. This also helps fighting the jet lag. In 2005 we had the opportunity to fly first-class and therefore "dared" to continue to Honolulu after only a few hours in San Francisco. It's feasible, but an at least one night stop-over in California is recommended - especially if you have an additional stop e.g. in Amsterdam or London to get a cheaper flight.

„Hawaii is only worthwile for longer holidays”
Almost correct, you should invest at least 14 full days on Hawaii (add 3-5 days for outward and return journey and the stop-over in California) for expenses, effort and jet lag to "pay". Altogether you should calculate with 2,5 to 3 weeks. Given the opportunity, however, I'd rather spend 10 days there than no days at all

„Holiday on Hawaii is much too expensive”
This depends on your interests and possibilities very much.
  • Cheap package tours (including flights and 10 nights in a tourist hotel only on one island and without a car) can be found in the internet for less than 1000 Euros per person
  • Well-balanced packages (including flights, 2 weeks in hotels on 2 islands, including rental cars on both islands) can be found for 2000 to 3000 Euros per person
  • Individual booking of all components to provide highest flexibility: let's just take our 2005 experience:
    • Flight Lufthansa Frankfurt - San Francisco and back: between 450 (Economy with luck) and 13000 (First Class booked at lufthansa.de) Euro per person
    • Flight United Airlines San Francisco - Honolulu, Aloha Airlines Honolulu - Kauai and Kauai - Maui, United Airlines Honolulu - San Francisco booked as a package using an internet travel portal 550 Euro per person
    • Hotel in Honolulu, Kauai and Maui at about 100 Euro a night (valid for 1 to 3 persons, in the US hotels usually aren't billed per person but per room) - if you don't insist on spending the night at the Hilton for 400-500 Euro a night
    • Rental car Jeep Wrangler 250 Euro per week, a regular car on Oahu is even less
    So if you don't want to pay for the extravagance of flying first class , all flights, hotels and rental cars can be found for 4000 (2 weeks) to 5000 (3 weeks) Euro for 2 persons - that is 2000 to 2500 Euro per person, to use the manner of speaking preferred by the travel industry in their ads. (Would you really prefer to spend hardly less money in South Africa or Florida? Well, it's your decision, but I try to influence you )
In addition, you will need money for meals (Munich is more expensive), gas, admission fees and activities (e.g. helicopter flights) if applicable. Sure, quite a lot of money, but much less than most of us expected.

„Hawaii is humid and too hot”
Bingo, this was my main concern when the discussion about travelling to Hawaii started. As someone almost always suffering under warm weather, Hawaii seemed to be the least suitable travel destination for me. But I have to admit that I was mostly wrong. The never-too-hot temperatures, cooled by a constant breeze and the almost omnipresent air conditioning in hotels, restaurants, shops and cars, make Hawaii a suitable travel destination even for "polar bears" like me. If you want to see the sunrise on Haleakala, Maui (and if you plan a stopover in San Francisco ) you will even need a pullover.

„"I neither surf nor sunbathe - why should I go there?”
If you've seen all the fotos and stories on these pages and still stick to this opinion, please tell me. In this case I blatantly failed to transfer my message. Hawaii is a wunderful travel destination - you won't find me surfing or sunbathing, too. Perhaps at a crater rim, at the foot of a rainbow or by making fotos of a sunset as if it was the last one on earth

„"There is no beer on Hawaii”
Well, though you are talking to a beer spurner, I can assure you that there are all possible and impossible types of imported beer and an increasing number of local breweries (due to a law that selling beer is allowed where it is brewed - which seems to be much easier than to simply get a liquor license...). And there is even wine raised and pressed on Hawaii (look for the Tedeschi Winery, Ulupalakua Ranch on Maui) - both from grapes and from (surprise) pineapple. Sitting on the beach watching the sunset with a tropical drink isn't too bad, either.

(C) Mathias Hehn all rights reserved.