You won’t be hearing much from me for the next couple of weeks. Our trip to Hawaii is almost here! Our main costs for this trip were just over $500 because we used rewards from our Hawaiian Airlines Visa, Chase Ink cards, and Barclay Arrival cards. That includes 3 round trip flights, 7 nights in Kauai, and a rental car for the week. There will be other expenses, and I’m reaching out to my readers to decide how much we should spend and on what. The main thing we are trying to decide is whether or not to spend almost $200 for a Kauai luau plus a few other things we’d like to do. I’d love to hear some opinions.
Oh Yeah, We’re Also Going to Vegas
Did I mention that Hawaiian airlines only flies out of a few mainland cities, mostly in the Western US? The closest to us was Phoenix, but it was 15,000 points less to go out of Las Vegas, which is only an hour longer in driving distance. We are going to spend two nights in Vegas before our flight and one night there on the way back. The last time Jim and I went to Hawaii, we had an overnight flight that got in at 6AM. Then, we drove 6 hours home. It was one of the longest days of my life, and I vowed to take it more slowly if we ever went back again. So while Vegas will add more expense, I think it’s worth it, especially with the 7 year old going this time.
Since we do have a young child, this won’t be a gambling/drinking/ party time Vegas trip. I imagine we will spend some time at the pool, see the fountains at the Bellagio, and try to cover her eyes as much as possible. I think she will enjoy all the lights and fake landmarks, probably more than me. We are staying at a Hilton time share condo type place that I booked eons ago during a promtion. It’s so cheap that we don’t want to use points, and it has a kitchen that will save tons on food costs. We also decided to go see Blue Man Group if we can get half price tickets right before the show. I’m not paying $300, but would go for $150. We’ll use some of our yard sale money for that.
Is a Kauai Luau Worth $200?
I really want to go see a luau while we are in Hawaii. It seems like the authentic thing to do. I did attend one on my first trip to Hawaii 15 years ago. Jim has never been to a luau. He could care less about people dancing in grass skirts, but I think the daughter would like it. It seems there are 4 or 5 to choose from, but they are all around $80 or more for adults and $30-$40 for kids. You get the full feast, drinks, and show included in the price. I will certainly look for coupons when I’m there, but it will be expensive regardless.
At the Grand Hyatt Kauai, where we are staying, they offer free keiki (kids) hula dancing on a couple of the nights during the week. I guess it is done by younger students of hula, while the big luaus are by professionals. This is completely free. We could forgo the traditional luau, eat an awesome meal for way under $200, and see the free hula show. Would that be a good option or should we do the real thing? I’m leaning toward cheap, but please correct me if I’m missing a real treat.
We are probably going to eat out for dinner every night on this trip. I don’t see us going anywhere extravagant, but it will probably be at least $50 per meal. Jim also wants to go golfing. We decided on two courses that will be around $90 for the after 2PM rate. I also really, really want to get a massage. We probably will rent snorkel gear. I’m sure there will be some other things we want to do. We aren’t really souvenir people, so experiences and food will be where we spend our money.
We’ve been saving money from things like Ebay, consignment sales, rebates, bonuses, and anything else that isn’t normal income for this trip, and we have just under $1,000. I know Hawaii is expensive, but I’m hoping we can have lots of fun and feed ourselves for less than this. It might not be exciting or spontaneous to plan and budget for trips as much as I have on this one, but it’s much better than having a spending hangover after getting home. In the past, our spending was out of control on trips because we felt that we deserved to have a good time. This trip, we will come home with only good memories and none of the credit card debt. I can’t wait!
Would you spend $200 for a luau? Any tips for visiting Kauai with a kid?