Today we met with a travel agent. She is a specialist in Hawaii vacations. Or not.
Matte and I have some ideas on where we want to go in Hawaii and one place is Hana. We found an awesome place to stay that was ranked the #2 spa in all of Hawaii by some magazine that ranks that sort of thing.
The problem with Hana (not a problem for us, really, we kind of like that “problem”) is that it’s basically in the middle of nowhere, very secluded. To get there by car, you travel the Hana Highway, which is beautiful and offers gorgeous scenery. We definitely want to cruise along that road, but neither of us is too excited about sitting in a car for three hours right after we get off the plane, so we figure we’ll stay in Kaanapali for the first night, and then hit the road to Hana the next morning. Because there’s not much to do in Hana, we want to go somewhere else after just a couple of days, either spend more time on the other side of Maui, or head off to the Big Island. But then again, it’s a three-hour drive back to the Kahului airport.
I suggested to the travel agent that we depart from the Hana airport when we’re ready island hop, rather than trek all the way back to the main airport on the other side of Maui. I mean, it’s right there. We can even return our Kahului airport-rented car there, in Hana.
The agent said, “There isn’t an airport in Hana.”
Uhm…yes. Yes, there is. And you can take inter-island flights for as low as $30 each way even.
But the Hawaii specialist had never heard of an airport in Hana.
Also? When she recommended a place for us to stay on the first night in Maui, she put us at a hotel that caters to families, where Kids Stay Free!
Uhm…what about the part where I said we want more seclusion, and to try and avoid the family-oriented places?
Guess she missed that part.
So yeah. I’m thinking we can book this honeymoon on our own, or go with a second recommendation I received. This is for a great travel agent that does actually specialize in Hawaii vacations, and mainly luxury Hawaiian vacations. My friend Lisa used them for her first anniversary and had a spectacular time, complete with room upgrades and welcome champagne.
So tell me: do you usually use an agent to book big important trips like this? Or do you do all the research and planning on your own? Do I want to take on additional planning when I’m already planning a wedding? I know I don’t want an agent I have to second-guess.
Suggestions and recommendations are welcome, both for travel planning in general and Hawaii specifically (Maui and the Big Island on this trip). Tell me what we shouldn’t miss.