Hawaii is pretty notorious for being an expensive place. Even if you can get there inexpensively and find a decent deal on a hotel, food and the extras can kill your budget. Our goal is to be able to work from anywhere while we explore places we're interested in. Because we're on the road so much, we have to be mindful of the money we spend along the way. When we were in Hawaii last year, we knew it was a place that we needed to get on the list. We often tend to gravitate towards destinations that offer a lot of opportunity for hiking and exploring the outdoors. Hawaii is a perfect place for that; we just hate the prices.
So, we put it on our "watch list" as a destination we'd like to dig into. When a destination is on the list, it means that we include it as we actively search for deals. More and more, we are isolating blocks of time that are good to be away from home-base and making ourselves ready to throw something together on the fly - when the right deal comes along.
We coupled our awesome air deal on Alaska (thanks to their credit card) with an out of this world offer we got from the Four Seasons on Lanai. A great deal at the Four Seasons - whew! How can you pass that up. We were originally thinking of heading back to Costa Rica for our 10th, but this was just to good to pass up.
OK, so here we are on Lanai, having to deal with astronomical food prices. Shockers like $20 hamburgers at the hotels. We want no part of that (and can't easily maintain our dream life if we do!).
What did/do we do?
Before leaving, we researched the places that smart travelers and locals frequent. For instance, we heard about the incredible calzone at a place in the one tiny island town. Sure, $13 was more than we'd pay at home, but it was comparatively much less expensive and got us off the beaten path. We also learned that our room would have a fridge, so we found the market and loaded up. This also keeps us eating healthier.
Same thing goes with activities. We're good at creating our own fun. After a daily early morning work session, we like to do some sort of exercise and we often incorporate seeing the sites. For instance, we spent one day hiking the 13 mile Munro Trail, snaking along the mountain tops of Lanai. An experience that very few tourists will take in.
As you saw in our last entry, our ferry ride over to Lanai doubled as a whale watch excursion (which many people will pay 100 bucks for). It definitely pays to do research. Why head to a travel destination and then sit around complaining about everything. We met a couple that ragged on a horseback riding excursion they went on. A simple web search reveals that horseback riding excursions on Lanai are a non-starter. Also, many people we have spoken to didn't even know the ferry was a realistic option for island communing. Instead they opted for much more expensive flights.
We're off to the beach for a day of fun. Best part... it's free.