My awesome cousin James is getting married in February in Kona, Hawaii. He is marring a lovely lady named Katie and my whole family is flying out to the Big Island for the wedding. Yay for James for landing an awesome girl and Yay for me for getting in more travel!
I spent the last several days trying to determine the most cost effective way for my family and I to travel to Hawaii. I was trying to book for myself, my mom & dad, and Katy & Evan.
Originally we considered renting a house, but after a lot of research I determined that renting a house did not save us all that much. We would want a place with a number of bedrooms, and my mom wanted something nice. All the really nice rentals were not actually that much cheaper than hotels and do not come with maid service, pools, etc. Plus a lot of the rentals are on golf courses, not at the beach, and we want beach access.
Next I considered arranging the trip ourselves (flights, rental cars, hotel, etc.) or going with a tour package. The tour packages are a significantly better deal, but you have to be careful who you book with. I originally tried to book through United.com because I get miles, except the competitive price package United offered insisted that I share a room with my parents. Whereas with Expedia.com, I was able to get a better hotel for a little cheaper, and I got my own room. The only difference is we are flying Alaska Airlines rather than United. I tried to point out that I was getting two bedrooms at a better hotel for cheaper to the travel agent at United, but they still refused to try and adjust their package to give us more than one bedroom.
My parents and I are only going to Kona, and we will be staying at the Waikoloa Beach Marriott. Katy & Evan are going to go to Kauai first, and they are staying at The St. Regis Princeville Resort. They will be there for a few days and then come and join everyone in Kona.
Katy and Evan got their scuba licenses this summer while they were in Brazil. I am hoping to take a few scuba lessons in Hawaii and get my license. That way I can scuba with them. It should be an excellent trip and I can not wait to go.