Sunday, February 25, 2007

Be Assured of an Insured Aloha

Be Assured of an Insured Aloha
by: Steve Cogger

As a U.S. citizen, Hawaii travel insurance is not going to involve concerns about health insurance. If you're already covered with health insurance on your home turf, you will likely be covered in Hawaii. What you're going to want to look for in Hawaii travel insurance plans is what you'd look for in just about any travel vacation insurance - protection against the unexpected travel tragedy excluding medical emergency.

Hawaii travel insurance would be great to have in a number of instances. For example, if you booked a cruise and the cruise line went out of business. If they went belly up, bankrupt, shut down, and can't take their cruise ships out of port you would be there holding your bags quite literally and an expensive but useless ticket for your cruise.

You are only going to get your money back in one of two ways. If you don’t have travel insurance coverage, you would have to go to bankruptcy court. In this instance often only the first few creditors, if any, are reimbursed. If you were one of them you would get your money back. Don't count on it! The other reimbursement alternative for reimbursement of that ticket for your cancelled trip is Hawaii travel insurance. You would simply file and claim and voila, money back to you without a problem.

Another protection you would want coverage for by your Hawaii travel insurance is if your trip should be delayed. Perhaps your flight is cancelled or delayed for bad weather and you're not home but instead at an airport where you need to change planes on a connection, or you might still be in Hawaii and trying to get back home. Often in these occurrences there is no immediate remedy and you might be stuck at your location a day or two. You would need a hotel stay, food and transportation to and from the airport to the hotel. In this day and age, the airlines rarely cover this, the right Hawaii travel insurance would.

What if your luggage is delayed, or worse yet lost or stolen? What are you going to wear? Who is going to give you the money to buy it? Again, this is what Hawaii travel insurance could cover.

What if you or another member of your travel party are in Hawaii and taken ill and require the care of your own physician? What if someone back home is gravely ill or passes away and you must return immediately? If you've purchase a restricted or non-refundable ticket you're not going to be able to change your return schedule. It would be very expensive to fly home last minute. Where would this money come from? Hawaii travel insurance can cover for such emergencies.

Clearly, Hawaii travel insurance could be a financial and stress-related lifesaver in time of vacation emergency. If considering a trip to the beautiful islands, remember a small investment in such trip insurance coverage could pay off big in the long run.

About The Author

Steve Cogger, an active traveler, has developed 1 Happy Traveller a website for your convenience. Visit today for all of your travel insurance needs.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Mauna Kea in Hawaii - Driving to the Summit of this Grand Volcano

Mauna Kea in Hawaii - Driving to the Summit of this Grand Volcano
by: Steven Anderson

The summit of Mauna Kea is called Puu Wekiu and it is at an elevation of 13,796 feet. This is the highest point of land in the Pacific Basin. An interesting fact about Mauna Kea is that if measured from the bottom of the ocean floor, it reaches nearly 30,000 feet which would make it the tallest peak on earth.

Visitors flock to Mauna Kea for a variety of reasons. There are 11 domes and 13 telescopes at the peak of Mauna Kea which attracts professional and amateur astronomers alike. Others come for the amazing viewpoints, unique bird watching and rugged hiking. Others come to Mauna Kea just to say they did so.

The drive up Mauna Kea takes about an hour. At the start, the driver will see typical Hawaiian tropical vegetation. As you pass sea level, the landscape changes to grass pastures and then into raggedy looking forests of koa and ohia trees. These thin out at 6,000 feet and the landscape becomes dominated by barren lava flows. The sub alpine regions found after the 6,500 foot level still support a few koa and ohia trees and even the rare mamane tree. All vegetation beyond 8,500 feet becomes very scarce.

The mountain is home to some excellent bird watching. The rare, yellow-crowned palila bird can be seen here. The endangered Hawaiian honey-creeper can be seen here as well. This bird only feeds on the seed pods from the scarce mamane tree. Less rare, but still interesting birds such as the uau (Hawaiian petrels), nene (Hawaiian geese), io (Hawaiian hawks) can also be seen on Mauna Kea.

The first step to reaching Mauna Kea is to drive Saddle Road (Route 200). This road is listed as off-limits by many of the car rental agencies. Thrifty will allow its rental cars on saddle road but advises against this practice. The roads are narrow with little or no shoulders and there are no emergency phones on this route should you encounter a problem.

You take the turn off from Saddle Road to Hale Pohaku and the Onizuka Center for International Astronomy Visitor Information Station. This leg lasts 7 miles and takes the traveler to 9,300 feet. This section can be driven by a normal car but it does feature very steep and windy roads. If you are driving a Thrifty rental car, the Visitor Center is as far as you are allowed to go. Harper's Car and Truck Rental ( does rent vehicles for the exact purpose of getting from the Visitor Center to the observatory.

Please remember to bring warm clothing on this journey. Even in the summer temperatures can reach the low 40s. Also make sure to fill up the gas tank before you go. The steep grade and thin air pushes the car into very poor gas mileage and there is nowhere to fill up at the top.

About The Author

Steven Anderson is the Reservations Director for Hawaiian Discount Car Rentals, specialists in Maui car rentals. He has personally driven to the top of Mauna Kea and rates it as one of the most panoramic views in his travels to Hawaii. Please visit Hawaii Drive O.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Best of Hawaii: Itinerary Ideas for the Traveler

Best of Hawaii: Itinerary Ideas for the Traveler
by: Anitra Pickett

Want to do specific activities in Hawaii but have no idea which island has the best of the best? Use these lists to get ideas and helpful tips about the best surfing, scuba diving, exotic beaches, and much more!

This article is designed to help you choose which Hawaiian islands to visit if you have a particular activity in mind. Granted, it wouldn't be a stretch to say that all the 6 major islands of Hawaii have all of these activities in one shape or form. We have used a mixture of popular opinion and our own personal research and experiences for compiling these lists. An “(s)” indicates it may only be available during certain seasons. Remember to always check conditions & availability, especially for water activities.

Best Nightlife
1. Oahu - Waikiki
2. Maui - Lahaina
3. Big Island - Kailua Kona

Best Hiking
1. Kauai - Na Pali Coast (s)
2. Kauai - Waimea Canyon
3. Big Island - Mt. Kilauea

Best Surfing (Advanced) (s)
1. Oahu - North Shore
2. Kauai - Hanalei Bay
3. Maui - Honolua Bay

Best Surfing (Beginner) (s)
1. Oahu - Waikiki
2. Kauai - Kalapaki Beach
3. Maui - Launiupoko Park

Best Scuba Diving
1. Maui - Molokini
2. Maui or Lanai - Lanai Coast
3. Big Island - West Coast

Best Windsurfing / Kite Surfing (s)
1. Maui - Hookipa Beach Park (advanced)
2. Maui - Kanaha Beach (beginner)
3. Oahu - Kailua Beach

Best Snorkeling
1. Oahu - Haunama Bay
2. Maui - Kaanapali (Black Rock)
3. Kauai - Lydgate Beach & Tunnels

Best Shopping
1. Oahu - Aloha Market & Waikiki
2. Maui - Lahaina
3. Big Island - Kailua Kona

Best Nude Sunbathing
1. Maui - Little Beach in Makena
2. Big Island - many locations
3. Kauai - Secret Beach in Kilauea

Best Exotic Beaches
1. Maui - Red Sand Beach (Hana)
2. Big Island - Punaluu Black Sand Beach
3. Big Island - Mahana Green Sand (s)

Best Nature Experiences
1. Kauai - Na Pali Coast
2. Big Island - Kilauea Volcano
3. Maui or Lanai - whale watching (s)

For even more “Best of Hawaii” lists, visit:

About The Author

Anitra Pickett is CEO of GLAD Travel. ( is an advanced online search and booking engine for accommodation in the Hawaiian Islands. The website features 1000+ budget lodging options, all for $99 or less per night. GLAD Travel encourages authentic, adventurous, and responsible travel for the independent and budget-oriented traveler.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Favorite Maui Luaus

Favorite Maui Luaus
by: Andrew Crawford

For any visitor to Maui, taking in a luau is an absolute must. Luaus are the most popular activity in Maui, attracting several hundred thousand visitors every year. If you are traveling as a couple, as a group, as a family or as an individual, a Maui luau offers something for everyone to enjoy. A luau offers a full evening of fun, food, drinks and entertainment, all rolled into one fun activity.

A luau is a traditional Hawaiian feast, typically featuring kalua pork, poi, haupia and other local favorites. Historically, a luau celebrated special occasions such as a king’s birthday, visits from foreign dignitaries or to honor an important chieftain. These parties often lasted for three days featuring dancing, drinking, eating and singing. Today there are many commercial luaus to choose from, where you can be treated like a king yourself.

There is not a bad luau on Maui, so whatever luau you choose, you will have a good time. That said, there are three Maui luaus, which will be reviewed here. They are The Old Lahaina Luau, The Feast at Lele and The Ka’anapali Beach Luau. These three luaus represent the best a luau can offer, depending on what you are looking for.

If you are looking for a traditional Hawaiian experience, The Old Lahaina Luau is the way to go. Featuring only music and dance from Hawaii, this luau will take you on a tour of Hawaii from the times of mythology to the present. The goal of The Old Lahaina Luau is to provide the most authentic Hawaiian luau available on Maui. They achieve this without sacrificing any of the other great things you might expect from a luau. The food is abundant and very tasty as well. Sample from kalua pork, lau laus (steamed pork wrapped in tea leafs), poi (taro root pounded to a paste), ahi poke (marinated ahi tossed with seaweed and vegetables), sweet potato, steak, mahi mahi and much more. Be sure to try some of the excellent tropical drinks provided with your dinner or order your favorite standards from the bar. The Old Lahaina Luau is one of Maui’s most popular luaus and is often sold out up to a month or more in advance so it is best to book as soon as you know you will be coming to Maui. You can book this luau through Maui Luau Guide, which also provides more info at

For the honeymooning couple or any couple looking for a more private and romantic evening, consider the Feast at Lele. The feast is the only Maui luau offering table service for dinner. The approach here is much different from any other Maui luau. A premium bar is featured, and the food is served in courses, and offers some of the finest food you may eat during your entire vacation. The meals are prepared by award winning I’o restaurant and each course represents a different culture of Polynesia. Dinner begins in Hawaii with kalua pork, fresh fish and a heart of palm salad. The second course is from New Zealand and features Maori fishcake, while the third course represents Tahiti and features steamed chicken in coconut milk. Closing out the night, is an amazing fire knife dance from Samoa performed right before you, as you are served Samoan steak with a bread fruit, shrimp and avocado accompaniment. You will be entertained as each course is served, by the dances and songs of the island culture the dish hails from. This luau is often booked to capacity as well, and it would be suggested to book as early as possible. Tickets and more info about The Feast at Lele Maui luau are available at

Families visiting Maui may find that the Ka’anapali Beach Luau is the perfect fit. In addition to the traditional luau buffet which serves kalua pork, mahi mahi, lomi lomi salmon, poi, island style chicken, sweet potato and much more, there is a children’s buffet featuring comfort foods such as chicken fingers, hot dogs and pizza for the finicky eater. The Kaanapali Beach Luau will feature all the dances you would expect, taking a tour through Polynesia, featuring Hawaiian hula, Maori stick fight dances, Tahitian war dances, a little Elvis and a little Don Ho, and of course a death defying fire knife dance to end out the nigh! This luau comes recommended not only based on the great food, drink and show, but also on value. At you can book this luau for $49.95 per adult with one free child (12 or under) per paying adult. This luau is also located very conveniently, right in the heart of Ka’anapali!

You can expect to pay between $50 and $110 per person depending on what luau you choose, but no matter which you choose you will be treated to a wonderful evening with plenty of food, an open bar and a great show to entertain you. Be sure to bring your camera or video to preserve the memories, as a Maui luau is an experience you will never forget. For more information on any of these luaus as well as every other luau on Maui, check out a complete guide to luaus on Maui.

About The Author

Andrew Crawford has lived in Maui for about 7 years, working in and around the Maui Activities field. He currently manages several websites, including He invites you to come see the magic that is Hawaii.

View their website at: Maui Hawaii Luau.

Monday, February 5, 2007

Hawaii (The Big Island) - A City Guide

Hawaii (The Big Island) - A City Guide
by: Nivedita Balamurugan


There's no place on earth quite like this handful of sun-drenched, mid-Pacific islands. The Hawaii of South Seas literature and Hollywood films really does exist. Here one will find palm-fringed blue lagoons, lush rainforests, hidden gardens, cascading waterfalls, wild rivers running through rugged canyons, and soaring volcanoes. And those beaches -- gold, red, black, and even green sands caressed by endless surf - a perfect place for spending holidays.


After a series of battles that ended in 1795 and peaceful cession of the island of Kauai in 1810, the Hawaiian Islands were united for the first time under a single ruler who would become known as King Kamehameha the Great. He established the House of Kamehameha, a dynasty that ruled over the kingdom until 1872. One of the most important events during those years was the suppression of the Hawaii Catholic Church. The Newlands Resolution was passed on July 7, 1898, formally annexing Hawaii as a United States territory. In 1900, it was granted self-governance and retained Iolani Palace as the territorial capitol building. In March 1959, both houses of Congress passed the Admission Act and U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed it into law. On June 27 of that year, a plebiscite was held asking residents of Hawaii to vote on accepting the statehood bill. After statehood, Hawaii quickly became a modern state with a construction boom and rapidly growing economy.

Place of interest

It will not be a small list if anyone tries to make a list of all tourist attractions. The partial list should be look like this:

" Akaka Falls,
" Captain Dan McSweeney's Year-Round Whale-Watching Adventures
" Captain Zodiac,
" Ellison S. Onizuka Space Center,
" Fair Wind Snorkeling and Diving Adventures,
" Hapuna Golf Course,
" Mauna Lani Frances I'i Brown Championship Courses,
" Pololu Valley Lookout,
" Puuhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park,
" World Botanical Garden.

Museums & Art Galleries

Some of the major museums are

" East Hawaii Cultural Center
" Hulihee Palace Museum
" Jaggar Museum
" Kamuela Museum
" Kona Historical Society
" Lyman House Memorial Museum
" Mokupapapa: Discovery Center For Hawaii's Remote Coral Reefs
" Pacific Tsunami Museum
" Parker Ranch Museum

are some of the museums in Big Island.

Hawaii's Big Island has a number of art gallery and cultural centers. Among them:

" Hawaiian Art Network
" Dreams Of Paradise
" Gallery Of Great Things
" Holualoa Gallery
" Spirit Art Studio
" Volcano Garden Arts

are some to mention about.


Hawaii Big Island hosts open market places with hundreds of merchants selling their hand crafted items under the open sky. These market places are one of the main tourist attractions here. Alii Gardens Marketplace, Long Ears Coffee Company, Kuaiwi Farm, Mountain Thunder Coffee Plantation, Akatsuka Orchid Gardens, Anthuriums Of Hawaii, Hawaii Greenhouse Inc., Panaewa Hawaiian Homelands Farmers Market, Volcano Farmers Market are some of the famous marketplaces.

Besides these market places shopping malls and individual shops are there in Hawaii Big Island. Hilo Hattie - The Store of Hawaii, Hilo Shopping Center, Keauhou Shopping Center, King's Shops, Kona Coast Shopping Center, Lanihau Center are some shopping centers in Hawaii Big Island.

Food & Drink

So many restaurants, so little time for a traveler when it comes the time to wine and dine in Big Island. The Big Island's delicious dilemma is its daunting size and abundant offerings of its own cuisine. Shaka Restaurant, Anthony's Bistro & Bar, Charley's Bar & Grill, Grand Palace, Ting Hao, Bamboo Restaurant, Hualalai Grille By Alan Wong, Merriman's, Aloha Angel Café, Big Island Grill are some of the great places for wine and dine. Except these restaurants and bars, Hawaii Big Island has a lot to offer to satisfy everyone's taste bud.


Big Island hosts

" More than 37 Public schools,
" More than 15 Private schools,
" University of Hawaii at Hilo
" Hawaii Community College - part of the University of Hawaii System.

Students choosing private education attend Brigham Young University Hawai?i, Chaminade University of Honolulu, Hawaii Pacific University and University of the Nations.


Hawaii Big Island has lots to offer for the tourists to attend and participate in different sports like Scuba diving, Horse back riding, fishing, Golf, Cycling and hiking.

Hotels & Accommodation

Some budget hotels in Hawai are mentioned bellow.

" Aaah the Views Bed & Breakfast
" Affordable Hawaii at Pomaikai (Lucky) Farm Bed & Breakfast
" Cook's Discoveries Waimea Suite
" Kona Tiki Hotel
" Volcano Bed & Breakfast
" The Bay House
" Manago Hotel

Beside these budget hotels some mid range to hi-end hotels are there:

" Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Kaupulehu
" Kona Village Resort
" The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii
" Hilton Waikoloa Village
" Horizon Guest House
" Kanaloa at Kona

Tours and Sightseeing

Organized tours are available in Hawaii Big Island. Beside the beaches these tours cover all the Hawaii Big Island places and activities. Tours' nature is guided or self guided. The tours are rich in contents. It may be walking or hiking tours through Thurston Lava Tube at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, or snorkeling Kahaluu Beach Park or it may be a submarine tour into the Underwater World. Different tours are there in offer. The Ellison S. Onizuka Space Center, Watching the Volcano is also in the content of the tour.


Flying is the most common way to get to Hawaii's Big Island. Air travelers are serviced by Kona International Airport (KOA) on the west side of the island, and Hilo International Airport (ITO) on the east. National and international carriers offer both direct and non-stop flights to KOA and ITO.

An alternate method of getting to Hawaii's Big Island is aboard a cruise ship. Several ships make weekly stops in Hilo Harbor on the East side, and also generally visit Kailua Bay on the West side.

Different car rental is available for transportation. These car rentals can be done by the on request to the hotels. The Big Island's public transportation system, called Hele-On, consists of a main route between Hilo and Kailua-Kona that operates once a day in each direction, plus several feeder routes to Volcano, Pahoa and Waikoloa that run two or three times a day.

About The Author

Nivedita Balamurugan
Occupation: Traveler
Website: The Reservation Center

Biography: Nivedita is with The Reservation Center - providers of discounted tours to make your vacations and sightseeing trips in various cities across the world as comfortable and enjoyable as possible.