There is no doubt that Hawaii can be expensive if you let it, but that just means you need to go the extra mile. And it is totally worth it. I have never met a person who was not in love with Hawaii, and almost everyone that has been there seems to return, often again and again.
Accommodation for a family needs to be thought through. On this trip, being planned at the last minute, I was set with the task of finding a 2 bedroom apartment with airconditioning and 3 queen sized beds, within a reasonable walk of the ocean. That meant countless hours on HomeAway, always mindful of reviews. In the end I did find something, having said that the aircon wasnt great, so there was that musty smell. But it did the job.
Tradition for us on the first night is the sunset photo at Waikiki Beach. At that point you know you have arrived!
With only 5 full days, we had a lot to pack in. Where we went wrong this time was not investing in bus tickets, a false economy. We tried to use the Hilo Hattie bus to get about, but that did mean a lot of time lost and waiting for sometimes non existent trolley buses to arrive. Certainly, for us it is a must do at least once per visit, but if you have been on the road the whole day, the last thing you want to do is wait hours for a bus, just to save a few dollars.
Where we did go right though, was our relentless pursuit of the Snow Cone. And if you searched for the early dinner deals, you could find yourself with a gourmet seafood feast for considerably cheaper than dining at Burger King (which wasnt that cheap this time).
Another trip to Hanamau Bay, where on this trip after a full day of snorkelling we paid the park ranger for a trip up the hill in his Jeep. The best $5 ever spent.
We will get back here again. Our next trip will be certain to look at car parking available with the apartment. Mustang hire is cheap here, and here the issue of luggage for a family will be non existent, opening up to us the chance to hit the road in a bit of style.