Honolulu, Hawaii

I am going to HONOLULU!

I am ecstatic to have this to be my first travel blog! HONOLULU! Ever since high school, the one place that I wanted to do was to spend a week on any of the islands in Hawaii!

What was holding me back?

  1. I didn’t have the money. Ahh, money, I wish it was something I can just magically grow in my garden, sadly I cannot. Looking back, I always had the money, I am currently not making any more or any less  since the day I wanted to visit, I just didn’t know how to budget or prioritized my money. Since I adapted a more simplified life, I have learned to make a wise decision when it came to spending my money, hence how I can finally go on trips such as this.
  2. I didn’t know how to swim, I still don’t know how to swim. This is the one thing that kept me from traveling anywhere that includes large bodies of water. I took several swimming classes, even practice on my paddling at my local YMCA every Sunday after work, to going to my friends’ pool and have them teach me. I have come to the conclusion that it is impossible for me to learn how to swim. I have decided that I will not let it prevent me from exploring the world, and it’s beaches. I just have to practice ‘safe swimming’, i.e., wear a life vest, and never swim alone.
  3. I knew nothing about Hawaii. Again, I am going to remind you, I’ve been dreaming about Hawaii since high school, since then I have done TONS of research about all the different islands, popular resorts, restaurants, foods, and all the different activities that I can do in those places that I can’t do when I go home.
  4. I wanted to do the touristy things, but, I also wanted to go where the local goes. Its fun to do tourist activities, however, the best way to experience new cities, state, countries, is to do as the local do. I love doing tourist things that you can’t do when you’re home, but, I would like to experience how the locals spend their days in their town. Recently, I have reading blogs and have been active in forums to see what all I can do during my 5-day stay.
  5. I had no one to go with. This was a deal to me, my first time to any strange place, I want to experience thing with a friend (or many), any re-visits after that I wouldn’t mind going alone. I had no one to go with, my dad is always busy, my close friends didn’t have the money, or couldn’t take time off work. This trip, I am just going with a friend (whose visited Honolulu numerous of times), we are mainly going together to split the cost of hotel fees, etc., we will do things together, but there will be some moments where I will venture off and do my own thing.

When will I be going? For how long?

May 26-May 31, 2016.

Travel information, hotel, and expenses. 

When I was looking at the cost of the plane ticket for me to go to Honolulu on those specific days, the cost for me to travel from STL ended up totaling to be 1,296.01.  I will be staying there for 5 days and then go straight home to STL Pro tip: When booking trips, remember to log onto ebates  and book your trip through Priceline or orbitz, so you can redeem cashback (rebate money). I booked this specific trip through Priceline. Ebates had a special to redeem 13% cash back your purchase (I received 3.90 in rebate money-which isn’t much, but every penny save adds up)

Since my friend has a membership for Starwoods approved hotels, we actually got a great deal for our hotel of choice. Remember me mentioning that I wanted to do some touristy things? The Royal Hawaiian– the oldest hotel in Oahu, also known as the Pink Palace, for the days we are visiting (26,27,28,30,31) the rooms were originally $375+/night+ taxes and fees, however, because the hotel offers starpoints (meaning that it was a starwoods approved hotels) The Royal Hawaiian had no available rooms on May 29- We will be staying at the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani Hotel ($200 + taxes + fees) on the 29th and will be back at The Royal Hawaiian May 30-31 taxes and fees split between two people the cost of staying at The Royal Hawaiian and the Sheraton Princess Kaiulani Hotel is estimated at $600 + taxes and fees for 5 days. (because of status with starwoods we receive complementary breakfast to both hotels)  I rarely spend too much on hotels, simply because, I rather save the money to spend on something else, however, whenever I asked friends, family, and other people where I should stay at, EVERYONE recommended The Royal HawaiianThe hotel is not just a hotel, the activities that you can do within the hotels are endless. Flight and Hotel expenses will be $1,796.01+ taxes and fees. (I will update this after my trip)

**Update
Hotel split between two people after the cost of taxes, resort fees, etc., the rooms ended up being $700 per person. The final cost of flight and hotel expenses totaled to be $1,996.01.

How much am I bringing with me?

This is the one question I don’t have the answer to. I have plans to eat out at certain restaurants, but I am having the hardest time pulling up their menus that tells me the prices so I can factor in the cost of food. I also have plans on to go on a boat and see the marine life, and other things. I have asked many people on how much I should bring with me, and many have answered at least $3,000. To me, $3,000 is a lot to bring to a non-international trip, but I have heard, that Hawaii, is extremely over priced.  I have no intentions on spending $3,000, since it currently does not fit into my budget, instead I will be bringing $1,800.

What are my plans? What all do I want to do?

I have no intentions of having an itinerary of what I should do on what specific day. I have plans to do things myself, hanging out with my friend that I am going on this trip with,  and I also want to spend a few hours with a girlfriend who moved to Honolulu because of the military. Usually when it comes to traveling, I usually go with the flow.

Have you been to Hawaii? Do you have any advice, or recommendations for me?

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