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Big Island vs Kauai?

Santa Anna, United...
3 posts
1 review
1 helpful vote
Big Island vs Kauai?
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We are planning on going to Maui and Oahu for 9-10 days, and have an additional 5-6 days to go to either the Big Island or Kauai. We are a couple in our early 60s. We frequently walk miles on paved roads, but one of us has difficulty with hikes on uneven paths (e.g. high steps over rocks). Zip lines are out, as is strenuous kayaking. Also no activities (helicopters, boat rides etc) which can lead to motion sickness. We understand there isn’t any current active lava flows to view (that would make the decision, so please correct us if we are wrong). Which Island do you recommend and why? Thank you.

South Dakota
Level Contributor
51,354 posts
45 reviews
35 helpful votes
1. Re: Big Island vs Kauai?
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So are you mostly wanting to go for sightseeing? Do you do any swimming or snorkeling? When do you plan to go to Hawaii?

I love both of these islands and if I only had 5 days to go, I would choose Kauai because you would likely be able to see a good bit of it. The Big island is SO large, I think it would be stressful to try and do/see all of it! It really needs more time. But again, answer could change depending on time of year, etc. :)

And to be honest, I would plan more like 7 days per island, so you might want to just stick to the 2, and give them more time.

Edited: 1 year ago
Chicagoland
Level Contributor
25,930 posts
2. Re: Big Island vs Kauai?
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When will you be in Hawaii? I think I see that you plan to stay for two weeks.

One way to allocate time per island is to draw up a list of what you want to see and do on each one, figure out the time required, then book.

You could do only 'historic' and 'urban' and stay only a couple of days at Waikiki on Oahu. The other islands require more time to make the transits worthwhile. You lose 4 - 5 hours on each one with TSA lines and traffic.

Edited: 1 year ago
Santa Anna, United...
3 posts
1 review
1 helpful vote
3. Re: Big Island vs Kauai?
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We are traveling from New York on Memorial Day (5/25) with 16 full days in Hawaii, leaving mid day on the 11th. We are staying at a friend's place on Maui near Kanapali for 4 nights and expect to do some beaching/snorkeling there. We will take the Road to Hana, stay overnight and do day at the Haleakala Nat. Park. Depending on feedback we will go to B.I. or Kauai. Oahu is planned for 3 full days, then a mid day flight to LAX the following day.So, depending on whether we fly in evenings or mornings, we could have as much as 7 days in Kaui or B.I. We are looking for beautiful sight seeing and not strenuous adventure.If we take seven days would you change your suggestion from Kauai to B.I.? We would like to get a few hours of (easy) horseback riding and/or kayaking somewhere. You mentioned you would choose Kauai for five days. What were your favorite things there?

California
Level Contributor
58,320 posts
18 reviews
27 helpful votes
4. Re: Big Island vs Kauai?
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I would choose Kauai over the Big Island.

And note that the Big Island is BIG. So big that you could put all of the other Hawaiian Islands inside of it - TWICE!

And your time in Oahu is very, very short!

* Always count your nights when you travel, as your accommodations (the ones you pay for, LOL!) will charge by the night ... and you don't want any miscommunication.

Consider 5 nights on Kauai and 5 on Oahu. OR - split your time in half - between Oahu and Maui and stick with two Islands.

Note that although the flights between the Islands are short - the process is the full US/TSA protocols. So transitioning between Islands can kill the best part of a day.

South Dakota
Level Contributor
51,354 posts
45 reviews
35 helpful votes
5. Re: Big Island vs Kauai?
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Hmmm...you say you have 16 days, but I don’t see that allocation. I would spend a full week on Maui while you are there and then maybe 5 days each on Oahu and Kauai. :)

Oahu, Hawaii
Destination Expert
for Oahu
Level Contributor
32,382 posts
6. Re: Big Island vs Kauai?
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Recheck your math and/or your dates!

I see 17 nights.

A) 4 on Maui

B) ___ on O`ahu. Is it 3 or 4? You say "3 full days" on O`ahu.

C) That leaves either 9 or 10 nights.

7. Re: Big Island vs Kauai?

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