Hawaii Adventures with Friends

I’ve never really thought much about visiting Hawaii before- probably because it’s one of those places that seems unattainable from the time you’re a kid. But, my good friend moved there almost a year ago so it obviously got added to my list. 

As soon as I realized Hawaii was in the plan, I started looking at my airline point situation and realized I had enough to fly there on American. I also realized I had enough to fly First Class one way. I went back and forth because if I didn’t go First Class, I could save those points for a whole other flight, but curiosity got the best of me. So I booked my tickets there First Class and my flights back in coach.

It was a lovely experience- there was space, free drinks, warm meals, cookies and hot fudge sundaes. But honestly, I walked away thinking “why can’t we all just get that treatment on flights”. Money and status are dumb- that’s why. But, I enjoyed my moment up there, and ate and drank all the free things. This also saved me from spending money eating in the airport for lunch or dinner since I flew over those meals.

With the free flights and the free lodging I was left to just paying for food and activities. We ate our breakfasts at the house, and packed our lunch most days, grilled out some nights and went out other nights. Hawaii is expensive, and these things are what made it attainable and allowed me not to feel guilty. I’m so glad I got to go see where my friends live now, and I hope to go back next year. 

Here are some of my favorite things we did:

Hanauma Bay
Snorkeling here was really great for someone like me who isn’t a great swimmer. The water was shallow enough and calm enough that I felt comfortable, and the fish were easy to find. We even got to see a Monk Seal that found its way on land to lay in the sun that afternoon. We brought our snorkeling gear with us, but I assume there is some you can rent there! 

Dolphin Star Tour
This was one of my true favorites. I wish we could have stayed out longer to watch the dolphins jumping and swimming in the most beautiful water I’ve seen. The staff on the boat were really knowledgeable and friendly, and if you don’t happen to see dolphins when you go out, you get to go out another day. 

Waimea Falls
A lot of things were filmed in this area, but LOST was the only one I remembered because I love me some LOST. This hike was pretty easy, with paved roads and so much beauty along the way. You can pay a little bit to take a tram up as well if you need to! Once you get to the waterfall, there are life vests and a life guard and you can swim in it if you choose to.  

KokoHead Trail
Ok, putting this on my favorites list feels like a lie, because I think I hated … every second of it except the part where we sat down at the top of the mountain for a few minutes. It was 94 degrees. I was jet-lagged. I haven’t exercised since…I wanna say….2015?  I tried to quit multiple times but my friends were like “nope”, but it REALLY was worth it to see the view. However, I never need to do it again, thank you very much. 

Hawaii is beautiful in a way that I really can’t convey, but if you get the chance to visit, definitely go. In the past year I’ve seen round trip tickets to Honolulu for as lost as $350, so definitely keep checking Google Flights, and travel sites for cheap tickets.