Do you plan Hawaii vacation activities before your trip or just book them when you get there? That’s a question we hear quite often. We always recommend booking your vacation activities ahead of your trip.
Reasons why you should book activities before your vacation:
1. Your time in Hawaii is limited, so why waste it researching and booking activities? If you invest the time into your planning before your trip, you won’t spend precious vacation time creating your plans. When you plan ahead, that gives you more time to relax and enjoy Hawaii. Earlier today, I assisted one of my good friends with her Big Island vacation plans. She spent the better part of an hour on hold with two separate customer service centers trying correct an error with an inter-island flight and get a reservation on a tour. Now, I very much doubt she’d want to be on hold sorting these issues while she was actually in Hawaii.
2. You can save money by booking ahead. Some tour companies offer discounts by booking with them directly online. At a minimum, by researching ahead, you can do some price comparisons to make sure you get the best deal.
3. You are better able to research ahead of time. It’s much easier to use a lap top or desktop computer at home to read reviews, research pricing, etc. You also won’t have to worry about using up your phone/tablet data plan or using slow, public wifi.
4. You won’t miss out on something you really want to do. Some activities are only offered on certain times and days of the week. Some activities may book up days or more in advance. So, it’s best to secure your desired activities and times so that you won’t miss out. A few examples of these activities that can book up easily are some luaus, inter-island flights and helicopter tours. Popular restaurants can book up days in advance, too.
5. You’ll know what to pack. When you research activities ahead of your vacation, you’ll learn the requirements of the tours. Most tour companies offer email confirmations that include details of what kind of shoes and clothing you’ll need. Ziplines, ATV tours, horseback riding tours are a few examples of tours that usually require you to wear specific shoes and/or clothes. Helicopter tours will recommend you wear solid-color dark clothing to minimize distracting reflections.
6. You can better optimize your time. When you review your desired list of activities in conjunction with a map, you can get a better idea of how to optimize the logistics. Once again, using my friend as an example, she wants to go to Pu’uhonua O Honaunau (also known as the Place of Refuge) and tour a Kona coffee farm. These two activities are relatively near each other. So, she is planning to do them the same day rather than drive out to them on two separate days. She created more time to spend at the beach or perhaps enjoy another Hawaii adventure.
7. You’ll be less stressed. If you plan your activities (and a few top/desired restaurants) before your trip, when you get to the beautiful Hawaiian Islands, all the hard work is behind you. Now, all you have to do is execute your plan and enjoy it.
As you are creating your plans, it’s helpful to have a spreadsheet or paper file that lists the activities/plans by dates. Include columns for any details needed — like what to wear or bring. In other columns, list addresses, check-in times and confirmation numbers.
Now, we’re not suggesting that you fill every moment with an activity. We just think that if there are some activities that you really want to do on your Hawaii vacation, that you’ll benefit from planning and booking ahead of your visit.