At the beginning of last year, my boyfriend and I were extremely pleased to get an invite to what turned out to be one of the best weddings we’ve ever been to. The wedding was to be in Hawaii and we decided within an instant that we would definitely go and make sure we had a few days to explore afterwards.
The Journey – London to Hawaii
Although pretty bloody long, it was manageable. Door to door – it took us 27 hours with a much needed break in LAX to grab a quick Shake Shack and try and get our legs to work after being scrunched up for 13 hours. We chose to fly Virgin as once the other cheaper airlines add on bags, meals etc… you haven’t saved as much money as you may have once planned.
The first five days were spent enjoying all of the wedding festivities with lots of lovely people and memories made. During those five days we stayed in an Air BnB on Pipeline beach that the very clever bride and groom found. Waking up to the sound of the surf everyday was beyond incredible and completely eradicated all feelings of Jet Lag. Even though the 11 hour time difference regularly made us awaken before 5, drinking tea and watching the sunrise got rid of any feelings of being hard done by pretty quickly. During our time there we had a visit from a turtle, a very friendly seal and got to see endless gravity defying surfers.
After the wedding, we went to the side of the Island which is the Windward side which is the wetter more humid side of the Island and because of this has some of the most beautiful forest and trails. We stayed in a little cabin for five nights that had absolutely everything we needed including the most amazing view of the mountains. The bar and Netflix also majorly came in handy when we were flooded in on my birthday.
As you all know, when I go away I have to find my quiet places as it always helps me to acclimatise and really enjoy the present moment. Oahu is a great mix of fun and relaxation and I absolutely loved this combination. Below are some of my favourite experiences we had when out there…
The trail up to this lighthouse was gorgeoussss. Surprisingly steep and we spent about 3 hours walking up and down and stopping lots of times to take pictures and catch a breath. There is no need for hiking boots or sticks on this very well tarmacked walk however I wouldn’t advise flip flops either. The view at the top was stunning and if you go a little off trail, you will be well rewarded with dramatic views and complete peace and quiet.
World famous beach and for very good reason. As were there in October, the waves were already far too big for me to swim however I enjoyed paddling and watching the unbeliveably experienced surfers do their thing. I did feel slightly ashamed as I saw kids that were definitely under ten race towards the sea while I tentatively dipped a toe in and silently vowed to get better with choppier seas.
Honolulu at Sunset
Although Honolulu is known for it’s partying side – there is no reason you cant combine this with relaxation and have a cocktail on the beach after a day of walking around. Try to time it right with the sunset. Plus for some very yummy food, head to the underground Japanese food court in the centre of the city.
I LOVED staying here. In our cabin, we could only hear the stream and waterfalls from the mountains and it was just so green. Although a car is definitely necessary to stay here, if you’re like me and prefer to stay away from the hubbub and other tourists – aim for an apartment or Air BnB around here.
Finally a beach where I could swim without fear of killer waves. Due to this, it was fairly busy but the water was crystal clear with beautiful views of the islands behind. Head here for a day of swimming and sunbathing, especially if you’re not the strongest swimmer (like me) or maybe have if you little ones.
Other fun things to do….
- Target Make Up and Skincare Aisles – Need I say more?
- Haleiwa Joe’s – Good food and even better views.
- A jurassic park tour – why on earth not? You’ll never have a chance to explore the set quite like this.
Things that you may ask yourself when considering Oahu, Hawaii?
What to pack?
As always it depends what you would like to do but day to day, Oahu is very casual as in shorts, top and flip flops casual. Buy a few new things if you want but it is not necessary. A summer dress and wedges is also perfectly fine for dinner in Honolulu and around. More of a must is SPF and lots of insect repellent, don’t risk it guys – trust me!
Is the journey worth it?
Yes! If booking again, I would probably stay in LA for a night or two as this would make it much more manageable (but more expensive). Aim for premium economy or if this is too costly, consider your airline – aim for one price that includes everything so you don’t get any nasty hidden charges further down the line.
Should I Island hop?
It’s totally up to you and what you want from your holiday. I was glad that we stayed on Oahu for the full ten days as I felt we got to fully enjoy it and really relax without being constantly in transit but the next time we visit Hawaii, I may choose to see a couple of the other neighbouring islands. Google “Volcano” if you haven’t already.
Anything else to consider?
Rent a car – there is so much to see that it would be such a shame if you missed out by relying on public transport.
Food – Depending on where you’re staying, you can stock up on breakfast or lunch from a local supermarket. It saves money and puts you off eating out as my experience from doing so were that the meals were heavy and could be costly for what you received.
Would I return?
Although the journey is long and it’s quite costly, I think a second trip to Hawaii has to happen. It’s now a special place as it’s also where we got engaged and there are so many other Hawaiian islands that I want to explore. If you’re in doubt – I say go! Worry about the journey and the saving once you’ve booked 😉
As always, thank you for reading and let me know if you’ve any comments or any questions that you would like answered.