Following Links to Hawaii
I've often used the Net for planning my personal and business trips. Trips to Australia, Hawaii, Seattle and Las Vegas, to name a few, are a cinch to plan on the Net... If you know how to go about it. The main problem with the Internet these days is that people often are overwhelmed by information overload.
Many destinations have many sites covering details on vacationing there and Hawaii is no exception. In fact, Hawaii, as a travel destination, is covered by numerous websites covering everything from activities to mountain biking, and snorkeling to luaus. So many sites and so little time.
Thought there are many activities, hotels and ways to get to Hawaii, they are limited and after a while you'll discover that many sites on the various topics cover the same ground. This is both good and bad: Good, in that you have numerous choices to choose from for look and feel and price. Let's face it, some sites are easier to navigate than others, while some also have better privacy statements and ease of contact. Also, competition generally keeps prices lower. The bad: Well, there's just so many choices and one can easily become overwhelmed.
My suggestion here is not to try and visit every Hawaii travel website on the planet, but to check out a few and stick with those you feel at ease with regarding navigation, product, pricing and privacy. There are many excellent Hawaii travel sites out there, so the first thing to do is to target how you want to get there, where you want to stay and what you actually plan to do once you are there. If you're like most visitors to the Islands these days, you'll arrive by air.
If you have frequent flyer accounts, you'll likely choose one of those airlines, otherwise, leave this open until you have completed some rudimentary pricing. The quickest, but not always the cheapest, is to book a non-stop flight. Cruises from the Mainland are available, but are quite expensive and are generally round trip, round-island cruises, with little time actually on the Islands.
As for your planned activities, once your list is made, I would highly recommend checking out activity agents and when satisfied, book your day tours, dinner cruises and submarine tours, etc. in advance. Why? Well, depending on the season--high or low--some of the more popular activities can book out quickly, leaving you high and dry looking for alternatives. This leads me to: Do you really want to be spending your valuable vacation time calling around to book activities to fill your days with fun, culture and adventure. Also, reserving your activities allows for better insight on itinerary and what your trip to paradise is going to cost. Valuable, if you're on a tight timetable or budget.
Where to stay... Well many areas have many styles of accommodation, from hotels to cozy bed and breakfasts, to condos to luxury resorts. Oahu's noted for its tourist hotels and condos in Waikiki to luxury spa resorts. Maui, Kauai and Hawaii have their fair share of luxury resorts and bed and breakfasts.
Once you have your rough general itinerary, it's now time to search using appropriate terms, such as "hawaii vacation," "fun things to do in hawaii" and "hawaii airfare," etc. Line up 3 to 5 good sites for each topic--some sites will cover them all--and then start clicking. Explore each site to sort out the better from the good and keep your eyes open for any travel, accommodation or activity options you may have missed when composing your itinerary. Add these items to your list and keep clicking.
After spending "quality" time with your long list, it's now time to decide which one(s) you feel most at ease with. These are the ones you should use for planning and booking your vacation necessities. If unsure about a few, send off a question by email or phone. You can tell a lot about a company on how they respond, if they respond. Obviously, if some don't respond or respond inappropriately, drop them from your list... You don't need the aggravation.
Now, get serious about planning and booking your itinerary. If you have a problem offering your credit card via the Net, many agents can accept same via telephone. Personally, given the pre-planning above, I, have never had a problem and I've ordered thousands of dollars of stuff via the Internet with no problems whatsoever. Given my life in general, I doubt that this has anything to do with luck. Once done, you'll have a great sense of accomplishment and very likely, a fantastic vacation in paradise. So, get clicking and planning and before you know it, you will have followed all your favorite links to Hawaii... Aloha!
About the Author
Dave Davis is a long-time freelance writer and editor who loves to travel and learn about new destinations. His favorite: Hawaii. Go to http://www.TraveltoHawaiiReviewed.com to check out more resources and information of vacationing in Hawaii. Copyright 2005 – D3 Communications, Inc. All rights reserved.