We are having an adventure without the van, staying in Honlulu for one month. Helder can work from home, so technically home could be almost anywhere. We expect this will be a different vacation than usual and are curious to see how it goes.
We arrived in Hawaii via Minneapolis, flying with Delta. After flying to Hawaii several times, we’ve found some airlines are better than others. Delta is predictably good, having food included on flights. Food on airplanes is usually not a big deal, but we are talking 7-10 hour flights in this case. It is hard to bring that much food with you that will be appealing and edible after many hours. The included food was actually delicous, veggie and hummus wraps and a tomato basil flatbread! Delta usually has good in flight entertainment (touch screen movie/tv/game things), helping to minimize extra devices and charging, and also potentially heavy paper books. Bring ear phones for use with a traditional jack (not the Apple ones), or use Delta’s which just have so-so sound quality. They were provided for free though, another decent perk.
Airport transportation is something to consider. Oahu’s public transportation system (The Bus) is extensive and easy to use, but they do not allow large luggage on any buses, so taking The Bus is not an option with all of your stuff, unless you are an extremely minimalist packer. For this trip, we were not minimalist at all. We brought cases of snack bars, 3 snorkel sets, several pair of shoes, computers for work and other things folks may not typically travel with. Uber or Lyft type services cost $50 ish for a one way airport transfer. It would have been even more $ for 4 people with a decent amount of luggage. We chose a short term rental, chosing an SUV and then getting upgraded to a van at no charge (thanks Costco!). This gave us lots of room for our stuff AND our planned shopping trip at Costco.
A month is a long time to be in a new place. We know food here is quite expensive, so a trip to Costco early on felt very important. The rental car person was super helpful in guiding us to a less crowded Costco. The one in downtown Honolulu is the busiest one in the world, yikes. We ended up at the warehouse in Pearl City, crowded but not much more than home. For $200-$300ish, we got a months worth of many foods, yay. No long term vehicle use for the the next month, so this seemed like a great idea at the time.
Things got a little more difficult when we arrived at our building, where all of the loading zone parking was taken. After a couple drives around the block, we got the van parked, then unloading. This would typically be easy for 4 people who are very efficient at unpacking camp stuff and setting up at high speed. At this time, the four of us were on our 21st hour of being awake, at varying levels of tired, cranky, hungry and checked-out. The lockbox for the key was hard to find, the lobby door was hard to unlock. The elevator was small and felt puzzling to operate with a weird key thing. Luckily the door to the apartment was just a plain old fashioned locked doorknob.
The final task of the evening was returning the van to the rental place near the airport, then returning to our new home by bus. Helder managed to do this somehow with very limited phone battery and about 1% knowledge of The Bus system. At hour 23, we went to sleep, surrounded by the soothing city noises of downtown Honolulu.