How To Spend 9 Days In Hawaii: A Full Breakdown By Debatri
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18th Jul | 4 min read
Debatri is a Software Engineer working at Microsoft. She lives in Seattle, Washington with her husband Anshuk, who is a Software Engineer at Google, and their dog Dodo. They both love to travel and they have traveled to 13 countries, 4 continents, and 25 states in the US. Hawaii is a favourite destination of theirs! You can follow Debatri's adventures on her Instagram, @mile.high.duo

Inspiration For Our Hawaii Trip

What’s not to love about Hawaii, from beautiful beaches to the unique mountains. Hawaii has a very versatile landscape to offer. You can literally see lava flowing from active volcanoes to the ocean. The native people of Hawaii are extremely friendly and nice, and they always welcome the tourists with so much warmth. From the native Polynesian culture to the mouth-watering food the island of Hawaii has so much to offer. We have been to Hawaii 5 times now and I am sure we have more trips in store.

How We Planned For The Trip

We do all our bookings online, for car rentals we usually use Avis. We generally fly with Alaska Airlines as they have a direct flight from Seattle to Hawaii and we love their services (being an MVP Miles Member is an added benefit). We usually book our hotels through Usually, we book our trip 1-2 months in advance.

Since It’s a beach destination, the packing included beachwear, resort wear, lots of sunscreens, hat, sunglasses. Also some light jackets for the times we went up the mountains.

Our Itinerary

We have been to Hawaii multiple times but let me briefly cover the itinerary of the trip that we took the first time when we visited all 3 islands.

It was a weeklong vacation-

Day 1 – land in Maui, check-in to our hotel and relax at the beach.

Day 2 – Road to Hana + Ho’okipa Beach

Day 3- Snorkeling at Molokini Crater. We were very lucky to see a humpback whale on our way back and just relax on the beach and enjoy the sunset. Hawaiian sunsets are one of the best in the world.

Day 4- Travel to Big Island, check in to our resort and go to one of the beaches mentioned below.

Day 5- Hawaii Volcanos National Park.

Day 6-Fly to Oahu and relax at Waikiki Beach.

Day 7- Snorkeling at Hanauma Bay and Luau in the evening

Day 8 – North shore

Day 9- Flyback

Overall the trip was 9 days including 2 weekends. It was enough time to visit all the “major” attractions but not enough for a relaxing vacation. Later we went back to each island multiple times and stayed for a week.

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We Met Many Friendly Locals

We usually love to interact with locals wherever we travel to. Native Hawaiian people are so warm and welcoming. They are super friendly and that just makes us super happy to soak in the Polynesian island culture.

Hikes And Sights Not To Be Missed In Hawaii

In general never ever miss a Luau show when you are in Hawaii.

The island of Hawaii consists of many small islands-

Oahu, more popularly known as Honolulu is the most touristy attraction. Go to North Shore for sure if you are in Oahu, especially if you go in winter because the waves are ginormous, and it is a very popular surfing destination. I also highly recommend going to Hanauma Bay for Snorkeling. Kailua Beach is one of my most favorite, and is the most beautiful beach in Oahu in my opinion.

Maui is my personal favorite. Kaanapali Beach is our go to place to stay in Maui. I highly recommend doing the Road to Hana. It is a very picturesque drive with multiple places to stop and marvel at.

Haleakala National Park is the highest point in Maui and you get a beautiful view of the island from the top.

Ho’okipa Beach is a beautiful beach famous for surfing and turtles.

Also you must do the snorkeling at Molokini Crater.

Big Island's Hawaii Volcanoes National Park where you can see active volcanoes and you can also do hikes to see lava flowing from a very close proximity.

Pu’uhonua o Honaunau is a historic park. It provides an opportunity to learn about ancient Hawaiian tribes. 

Papakolea beach is one of the four green sand beaches in the world, only accessible via a 5.6 miles hike.

Punalu’u beach is a famous black sand beach, and you can see green turtles on the shore.

Favourite Memory From The Trip

We have lots of good memories associated with Hawaii. It is our go to place that we like to visit again and again. However, if I had to pick one then I would go with the snorkeling experience at Hanauma bay. I have never seen so many different kinds of fishes before!

How We Managed Costs In Hawaii

You can always find cheaper alternatives in all the Hawaiian Islands. If you don’t want to book expensive resorts you can always book through Airbnb or Hotwire and get a condo/house. I don’t have any recommendations for Airbnb in the area as we always stay in resorts, but I know that there are good alternatives. Also food is expensive in Hawaii, so if you are staying at an Airbnb then you can get groceries from the local farmer’s market and save some dollars by cooking and not eating outside. Food trucks are also an excellent alternative if you want to save some cost on food.

Food You Can’t Miss Out On

Restaurants- Roy’s Waikiki, Hula Grill and Bar, MonkeyPod Kitchen (Maui), Mamas Fish House (best in Maui), Kimo’s Maui. Hawaiian shaved ice is very famous and not to mention the tropical cocktails.

Advice For First Timers Heading To Hawaii

Relax and have fun. Don’t miss any of the sunsets or the tropical drinks. Snorkeling at Hanauma Bay is a must and don’t miss out on Luau.

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