Updated: Sep 30, 2019
Makapu'u Point on the Eastern Side of Oahu
This week Wildbumble® meets Shadi and Kristin AKA The Vacation Couple recently back from their adventure in Hawaii. They are a Canadian couple who love to create wanderlust through film and photography. The two met on a beautiful night in Toronto Canada through mutual friends and haven’t looked back since. Both always loved to travel, but not until they met did they really get passionate about it.
Mexico was the first place they went on vacation and explored together. “The rich culture, kind people, and beautiful surroundings really resonated with them and their love of photography and capturing the world on film found a new place to thrive and grow.” Mexico was the catalyst for their adventures and will always keep them going back for more.
The Vacation Couple love trying the local food, listening to live music, and being immersed in the local culture and traditions. Kristin says “although we spend the majority of our time at all-inclusive resorts, we always try to make time to visit the nearest town and visit local hot spots. Being able to meet new friends, learn from locals, and have these experiences together helps us connect to ourselves, each other and the world. It keeps us buzzing!”
Hawaii is found in the Pacific Ocean, 2,100 miles southwest of the mainland of the U.S. It’s the northern most island group of Polynesia and when you find it on a map, you see just how isolated these islands really are! It takes us 11-15 hours to fly to Honolulu, Oahu from our home in Toronto, Canada, depending on flights. Because we live in the central area of Canada, it takes us a bit longer than others to travel to these idyllic islands. Canadians living on the East Coast (e.g. Vancouver) are able to travel to Hawaii in just over 6 hours!
Since the Islands have beautiful weather all year round, we think anytime is a great time to visit. But if you’re looking to save some cash, visit during off-peak times when prices are lower (from May to November).
Looking out to islands - Lanai Pillbox Trail on Oahu (we hiked there)
During our vacation we visited two of the eight Hawaiian Islands, Oahu and the Island of Hawaii (sometimes referred to as the Big Island). Since we had visited Oahu before, we had a few places we really wanted to visit this time. So, we made an itinerary of all the things we wanted to do so we could fit everything in. We left time to explore in between stops, and to be honest, some of our fondest memories came from our unplanned adventures.
Where to Go and What to Do
After visiting Hawaii on two occasions and visiting three Islands, we’ve learned a few things that may help you during your stay. First off, you can look forward to early nights. Most businesses and restaurants close by 5pm, with the exception of high-traffic tourist areas like downtown Honolulu or Kona.
Another reason you may opt to turn in early is when it seems all the lights go out at sunset… that’s because they do! There are two large observatories on both the Island of Hawaii and Maui, because of this a lighting ordinance was put in place in an effort to protect the night sky. But since the sunrises are spectacular, we think going to bed early isn’t a bad idea at all!
One of the best things about travel is food. We loved being able to cruise around and find food trucks along the coast on Oahu. Poke is very popular on the islands, and fresh seafood is very accessible and delicious.
Maku'u Point in Hilo on the Island of Hawaii
Another great way to try local food is to attend a Luau. Although there are many great ones to choose from we would recommend the Old Lahaina Luau on Maui as it give you a traditional Polynesian Experience and cuisine. We dined on fresh pork (that we watched being cooked in anticipation), and delicious purple poi.
Kristin’s favourite treat during our travels was an Acai bowl which included lots of fresh fruit. The best Acai we found was by accident while we were on our way to the famous Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck. And a stop at the Dole Plantation to try some Pineapple ice cream was the best decision we made, you may want to stop by a few times like we did! We set out to try the spam musubi, as it’s a popular snack and lunch food in Hawaii. It’s made of a slice of grilled Spam on top of a block of rice, wrapped together with nori. But alas we didn’t end up getting to taste it on this trip! It’s just another reason we need to return.
Hawaii is an adventure destination and you shouldn’t visit without experiencing the landscapes and nature for yourself. Get ready to roam the island, visit different beaches, and experience a beautiful adventure. We recommend renting an SUV if you plan to visit the Island of Hawaii as its landscape has lava rocks, mountains, and differentiating weather at high altitudes. Each island has its own personality and landscape, but there’s one thing they all have in common, beauty.
Hawaii is vastly different than our usual stomping grounds of Mexico. In Mexico we take a taxi as we stay at all-inclusive hotels that are either in town or close to town. Hawaii allows you to make your own itinerary of adventure.
If you’re visiting Oahu you have to visit Wakiki Beach to watch the sunset. And if you’re an early riser like us, both the sunrise and sunset at Turtle Bay Resort are a must. Get ready for sunrises with pink toned skies and strong rays peeking through the clouds. And get there early to snap your spot by the water at Turtle Bay Resort for sunset. You’ll enjoy sunset with a front row view of the surfers cutting waves as the orange sun lowers in the distance with sweet live music in the background. You learn quickly why this Island is “the gathering place”.
Sunrise at Turtle Bay Resort on Oahu
You should also consider a visit to Kualoa ranch for a multitude of activities and views. Our favourites there included the movie set tour, secret beach, and ATV adventure. And if you really like adventure, take the plunge and go shark diving! It’s incredible to see these gorgeous creatures in their natural habitat and to learn more about their eco-system and how we can make a difference. Supporting animal rights and their humane & safe treatment is important to us, it keeps us buzzing.
Manoa Falls near Honolulu on Oahu
On Maui we recommend enjoying the soft sand beaches with their characteristic black lava rocks and frothy turquoise waves. Watch the most epic sunrise on Haleakala as it kisses the sky at over 3,000 meters high. And indulge in a traditional Luau, where you’ll sip on a Mai Tai, watch the phenomenal cultural performances, pig roast, and indulge in a buffet of traditional food.
On the Big Island it’s all about exploring. Visit the Volcano National Park and learn about the history of Hawaii and what’s to come in the future. And you can’t miss the bright red lava sightings. You can only get these views after 2.5 hours of hiking from the Park. Or stop by the nearby bike rental station and ride along the coast for a different perspective of lava flowing into the Ocean. There are waterfalls and rainforests spread everywhere, some are easier to get to than others. We recommend visiting rainbow falls for the most accessible area. Make sure to arrive before 10 am so that you can witness why it got its characteristic name.
Rainbow Falls Near Hilo on the Island of Hawaii
Where to next?
In 2018 we’ll be exploring new destinations and new all-inclusive resorts! Staying on top of new innovations and trends in the travel industry is what we’re passionate about. We can’t wait to visit new places, meet new people, and to learn more about the world and how to travel smarter.
We thank Kristin and Shadi for their taster to the Hawaiian islands. You can learn more about the Vacation Couple at www.vacation-couple.com
We look forward to hearing from them during the year and wish them safe travels and continued buzzing!