* The big news on the Big Island is that the night-time intense orange glow from the vent at Halemaumau crater has really been spectacular in recent days. The glow is produced from molten lava some 300 feet below the crater floor. Though it’s no substitute for seeing the real thing, I’ve been checking the crater (semi-live) web-cam when it’s dark in Hawaii to see the glow. If you are going to the Big Island soon, check in with the visitor’s center at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park for advice on seeing the excitement. Per park officials, the best view of the Halemaumau crater glow is from the overlook at Jaggar Museum. You can check the most up-to-date volcano activity here. Also, see my tips for visiting Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.
* Pottery Barn has a Hawaii vacation sweepstakes for a 7-night vacation for two at the Outrigger Reef on the Beach in Waikiki (see my review.) The Pottery Barn Hawaiian Dream sweepstakes includes airfare, dinners. tickets to the Polynesian Cultural Center, surfing lessons, and more. Enter before July 15, 2009.
* A flight to Hawaii from the US mainland is quite a haul. The five to 14-hour flights are best tolerated in first class. That’s why I was excited to learn that United Airlines had a sale on first class tickets to and from Hawaii. A first class fare sale is a rarity, so I’d hop on it as soon as possible if you are interested. You must book before June 12, 2009 and have a 21-day advanced purchase for travel completed by October 8, 2009. See this link for all the terms and details. (Mahalo to Rick Seaney’s First Class blog for the heads up.) Here’s a sample of some of the low first class fares:
- Los Angeles to Maui – $1044 round-trip plus taxes and fees
- Los Angeles to Kauai – $1,176 round-trip plus taxes and fees
- San Francisco to Honolulu – $1,182 round-trip plus taxes and fees
- Denver to Honolulu – $1,222 round-trip plus taxes and fees
* When the average going rate for accommodations on Maui is $240, I think this Aston Kaanapali Shores studio deal with a full kitchen is pretty sweet at $129 per night. Not only is the rate a good deal, but you also get free scuba lessons, free hula show, a coupon book, plus kids under 12 stay, play and eat free.
* Prince Resorts on the Big Island, Maui, and Oahu are offering fourth or fifth night free on top of reduced rates.
* Pleasant Holidays has some great deals to Hawaii. If you can fly from Los Angeles (LAX) you can get deals starting from $369 per person for three nights accommodation and airfare. See this link for their deals.
* Over the weekend I noticed that September and October airfares took a nice drop. If you can travel either of those months, now might be a good time to book your travel and snag the best seats. Check with sites like FareCompare and Kayak as well as your favorite airlines for the lowest fares.