Whenever we are about to embark on a trip to Hawaii I inevitably begin preparing an itinerary. To many this may seem like overkill, especially since we know what we are doing and have been there many times, but I ALWAYS do this. I do this for several reasons, but most importantly because it's the only way to guarantee that we get to do and see everything that we want to do and see. Many activities only operate on certain days of the week and planning in advance is the only way to see how everything fits in. It's also a good tool I use for budgeting purposes. It helps me get a sense of how many meals we will be eating out and how many we will be preparing at our condo. That way, when we are in Paradise making our first Costco run I won't blow all of our vacation spending money on food that we won't end up eating. This really works for our family, although it seems like overkill to many. I just hate spending money that I don't have to and it gives us a realistic look at meal planning and spending needs. This is especially important for Hawaii trips since eating out is quite pricey! Now reality is usually a different story, things happen (tsunamis, pineapple flu, both a topic for a future blog entry) and things don't always go the way you plan them and that is ok, even for control freaks like myself. Once our feet hit Hawaiian soil, the itinerary gets hidden deeper and deeper in my vacation file (yes, I always have a vacation file). Either way, I have an idea of what food, drinks and supplies we will need to stock up on once we are there and hopefully won't be too intoxicated by the smell of the plumeria blossoms and over purchase.
My husband and I are notorious for over indulging on the luxuries of life and especially in Hawaii. My theory is that this all started on our Wedding/Honeymoon trip. We had an abnormally large budget set aside for this very special trip and we basically dined on lobster and filet minon every single night. So, yes, we were spoiled. Only the best for our honeymoon! Now where does that leave us? I have figured out the perfect balance of indulgence and reality for our less special Hawaii trips. We stay in a resort for the first 2-3 nights before moving into a condo (with a kitchen) for a week. This gets the overindulgence out of our systems during the first few days and then we settle into a more reasonable spending pace. We eat out, enjoy pool service and mai tai's with lunch before we are responsible for cooking our own meals and making our own drinks. This is really perfect! The best of both worlds, I highly recommend to all. Especially when you can get killer deals on the Sheraton Kona Resort at Keauhou Bay on Priceline (name your own price). Seriously!?! We can book this amazing resort for between $80-$100 per night each time we go! Do it!
Here is an example (our actual itinerary for our next trip):
What is your vacation style?
Do you make itineraries?
Do you think I am crazy?
2 weeks 3 days and counting...