Hawaii using points/miles

Discussion in 'Newbies' started by jmhuth, Jul 26, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. jmhuth

    jmhuth Silver Member

    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    106
    Status Points:
    355
    I've searched on FT & MP for how to get to Hawaii reasonably w/ points & can't find anything. Does anyone know where I can find this info or have tips on how to get there w/ the least amt of points?? We live in Ohio & are looking to go possibly 2013 or maybe even the next year. I am flexible with what month to go etc. I'm trying to come up w/ a strategy.... As of right now I have 100,000 Avios and lots of other points in various programs. We are a family of five and unfortunately fly in coach w/ our points--maybe someday we'll get to first class. Any help would be appreciated!
     
    kdw038, particlemn and Sweet Willie like this.
  2. Sweet Willie
    Original Member

    Sweet Willie Gold Member

    Messages:
    4,048
    Likes Received:
    8,739
    Status Points:
    7,270
    Seeing as you are flexible on what month you are going, that will help a lot with redemption as obviously award seats are tougher to come by for high travel season/times.

    From what I understand about Avios, the great benefit/bang for the buck for US flyers are redeeming Avios for short haul flights not awards to Hawaii. Hope someone with greater Avios knowledge can chime in.

    try for 5 award tickets but if you can't get 5, consider either splitting up the family if you can obtain say 2 awards on one flight & 3 on another. Or get as many awards as you can then suck it up & pay for the remaining tickets needed (I know some folks that will fly the family on award tix but buy a revenue ticket for themselves as they need the miles to maintain status, can't stand the thought of losing out on some miles, etc etc)

    What other points do you have? If SPG, they make a decent conversion to airline miles (depending upon which airline)

    Once tickets are booked, take a serious look at renting a condo as opposed to staying in a hotel, some great deals to be had, especially for a family the size of yours. www.vrbo.com
     
    jmhuth, sobore, Toula and 2 others like this.
  3. particlemn

    particlemn Silver Member

    Messages:
    298
    Likes Received:
    583
    Status Points:
    595
    avios can get you from lax-hnl rt in coach for 25k per seat on aa and as long as its not during a school break time the tickets are pretty easy to find on AA. geting from ohio to lax would add to the trip.
    if you have lots of aa miles it takes 35k rt in off peak times to HI, this will take 175k total.
     
    jmhuth, sobore, Toula and 4 others like this.
  4. miles and smiles
    Original Member

    miles and smiles Gold Member

    Messages:
    17,531
    Likes Received:
    61,942
    Status Points:
    20,020
    The only "tricks" I know of are to accumulate as many miles as possible, to search as often as possible and to be as flexible as possible.

    My strategy for getting wherever I want to go reasonably involves having miles in many programs. But for a family of five, your situation is different. As Sweet Willie mentioned, your chances for finding reasonably priced reward tickets will increase if your family can fly on two different flights. Another possibility, if you have a variety of miles in different programs, is to fly on two different airlines on the same day. In other words, the more flexible you are, the better your chances of finding flights at reasonable rates.

    If splitting up your family isn't an option, then definitely focus on one alliance.

    Your flexibility with dates is a big plus, as Hawaii is cheaper in the offseason (usually Spring and Fall, though that could vary a bit from island to island.)
     
    desamo, jmhuth, sobore and 3 others like this.
  5. particlemn

    particlemn Silver Member

    Messages:
    298
    Likes Received:
    583
    Status Points:
    595
    You may find it hard to find a room that will accomidate 5 people, i would start to look for what you want in your hotel and come up with a few options then figure out how you will get the points to reach that goal.
     
    jmhuth, sobore, Toula and 2 others like this.
  6. edekba

    edekba Gold Member

    Messages:
    3,462
    Likes Received:
    3,783
    Status Points:
    2,145
  7. particlemn

    particlemn Silver Member

    Messages:
    298
    Likes Received:
    583
    Status Points:
    595
    I have traveleed 3 times with my family to hawaii, and a few trips prior to having a family and i can tell you the most important thing to making your hawaii trip is to find great accomidations where the parents can relax and the kids can go wild. you will spend 16 hours in the air RT but will spend many more hours where you are staying. i like to fly first class but the place to stay makes the trip.
    on a side note hawaii is expensive, ( a gallon of milk is like 5.50 and a box of cherios is like 8) after flight and hotel and rental car i usually figure at least 300 per day for our family of 3 for meals/snacks/activities. some may argue that you can do it for less but these trips for me are the time when it get to say yes to my son rather than alway saying no. "dad can i have an ice cream" "yes" "dad can i have this toy car fromt he gift shop" "yes". So be prepared that even a free trip will have an out of pocket cost.
    most hotels unless you are elite charge for internet, if you are looking to save money make this a real vacation and git off the net while you are there, you can save 20 per day not having internet access, it maybe just me but i would rather treat the family to a round of shaved ice each day than update my facebook status
     
    jmhuth, sobore, Toula and 2 others like this.
  8. miles and smiles
    Original Member

    miles and smiles Gold Member

    Messages:
    17,531
    Likes Received:
    61,942
    Status Points:
    20,020
    You can save a lot of money by renting a house/condo so that you don't have to eat out all the time. Also, there are some wonderful farmer's markets in Hawaii full of exotic tropical produce.
     
    jmhuth, sobore, Toula and 4 others like this.
  9. kdw038

    kdw038 Gold Member

    Messages:
    599
    Likes Received:
    2,596
    Status Points:
    1,345
    Southwest CP is a great way to go and the Chase SW cards are back to 50k. We're a family of 4 from ORD. We just received our Southwest Companion Passes. Luckily we have family in LAX/SFO, so my thought is the next time we visit family (two 20K Rapid Reward tickets w/CP) maybe adding on a little (four 25K Avios tickets) trip to Hawaii. It does require a few more Avios with a fifth, but SW will get you closer.
     
    jmhuth, sobore, Toula and 2 others like this.
  10. mattsteg
    Original Member

    mattsteg Gold Member

    Messages:
    3,278
    Likes Received:
    5,543
    Status Points:
    4,170
    An alternative could be picking up a couple of Alaska airlines credit cards, and splitting the party between redeeming miles for flights on AS and getting approximately 2 for 1 tickets. The days of doing this for f tickets may be past, but it could still be an option for you.
     
    jmhuth, sobore, Toula and 2 others like this.
  11. WideOpenSpaces

    WideOpenSpaces Silver Member

    Messages:
    96
    Likes Received:
    345
    Status Points:
    395
    Our family of four just returned from a 2.5 week to Hawaii, leaving from Ohio. We knocked a big portion of the cost out by using Continental/United miles to fly and Priority Club points to cover the stay. Plus I flew my in-laws out for part of the trip. Tickets on United were only 40,000 miles each, plus we were able to build in free stop overs in LAX, allowing us to take the kids for several days to Disneyland.

    It sounds like you have plenty of time to start applying for the right credit cards for you and the Mr. to start building up lots of miles for the family to travel. Good luck! It is an amazing trip!
     
    jmhuth, sobore, Toula and 2 others like this.
  12. cvsara
    Original Member

    cvsara Gold Member

    Messages:
    3,502
    Likes Received:
    4,546
    Status Points:
    2,670
    you haven't said what island(s) you want to visit, but Maui has a ton of condos, many with two bed rooms, and two bathrooms, sharing a common living area and kitchen. Depending on the season, these can be had for $150.00 or less, depending on the property and the view from that property. Most of the condos have pools, some have two. So kids have the place to go 'wild' Maui has more beaches, some very nice ones, than all the other islands, combined. I would suggest looking on vrbo and looking in the Kihei area, on the SouthWest side of the island. Reasonably priced, close to many beaches, restaurants, and, ah, bars, so that when those kids go a bit too 'wild' there is a bar to get away to. And looking at condos, in the Kihei area, the Southern end of South Kihei Road is probably your best bet. Nice area, many condos, and the beaches are right across the street, a very short walk. Sorry I can't help you with my condo, in a very nice complex, only a one bedroom, but the complex has many two bedroom units, that would fit your needs quite well. Again, VRBO would be a very good place to start looking. Good Luck.
     
    jmhuth, sobore, Toula and 2 others like this.
  13. jmhuth

    jmhuth Silver Member

    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    106
    Status Points:
    355
    Thanks a lot everyone! I don't care what island we go to really, but I'm sure my kids would love anywhere w/ lots of beaches. All my 9 year old daughter talks about is going to Hawaii & learning to surf! I do have points in the following: us air, united, BA, starwood, ultimate rewards and others.... I'm a credit card churner, so I'll be working to build up more points in strategic programs.... I'm hoping the grand slam promo happens again this year & I'm going to work to earn the highest amount of points. I think there is a Hawaiian airlines card too.... I don't mind splitting the family up. We are actually doing this in the spring when we go on a vacation to Florida! Hey, if it's free, we'll do it! I'm will start working on this ASAP! After the Hawaaian trip, I will be working on a European vacation which will be a first for all of us!! Love this hobby :)
     
    kdw038, cvsara and miles and smiles like this.
  14. jmhuth

    jmhuth Silver Member

    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    106
    Status Points:
    355
    kdw038 and miles and smiles like this.
  15. jmhuth

    jmhuth Silver Member

    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    106
    Status Points:
    355
    I have a friend who vacations there a lot and stays in a condo... She says its the most beautiful place and she travels EVERYWHERE (works for an airline). I will check it out!
     
    kdw038 and miles and smiles like this.
  16. daninstl

    daninstl Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,288
    Likes Received:
    1,677
    Status Points:
    1,120
    I live in STL and have been looking for a Hawaii trip down the road. If I had 100k avois I would look to either redeem them off season on AA for 35k each and maybe add to my avois total with the children's Iberia deal, BA credit cards, etc. that might not get you all the tickets but would get most of your clan there. Another idea I've had is to redeem from the Midwest to SFO, SEA or LAX With points the buy the cheapest ticket I can find from there to Hawaii.

    Hotel points or a condo seem like the best options for lodging. Some chains like holiday inn are weak there so check that out before you try to build up any hotel points in a certian program. Another option is to take a Norwegian cruise there which covers many of the islands and is not much more than paying for a hotel plus you get free food for 5 people. I think there is only one ship there that does cruises from HNL round trip. I want to say its pride of America at NCL.
     
    jmhuth and viguera like this.
  17. viguera
    Original Member

    viguera Gold Member

    Messages:
    4,737
    Likes Received:
    6,913
    Status Points:
    4,745
    Chains like Holiday Inn are definitely weak regardless of the island. Others like Hilton / Marriott / SPG actually have some very nice options, but they can be pricey for that number of people and might not be the best option if you don't like the resort atmosphere.

    +1 on the cruise idea though, that's something that I almost did when I went earlier this year, but the dates wouldn't work out (my dates were fixed). NCL does have a 7 day on the Pride of America visiting 4 islands out of Honolulu on Saturdays, but that can get very expensive in a hurry as well -- the cheapest I've seen is $1,200 per person for an inside cabin. You do get food, lodging and entertainment for that price though.
     
    jmhuth likes this.
  18. jmhuth

    jmhuth Silver Member

    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    106
    Status Points:
    355
    I wonder if any NCL Hawaiian cruises were part of the kids sail free deal this past summer?? Probably not. Cruising w/ 3 kids can be pricey... Maybe we can talk Gma & Gpa into joining us!
     
  19. daninstl

    daninstl Gold Member

    Messages:
    1,288
    Likes Received:
    1,677
    Status Points:
    1,120
    NCL drops the price down as you book more passengers into your room? Still expensive but if you had to pay say $200 a night for hotel or condo plus extras for say 7 nights that's $1400 plus figure $400 a day for food for 5 people which is another $2000 or more and the cruise starts sounding good, you can figure about $4000 to $5000 for the cruise. Or you could cruise out from the mainland which would solve the mileage needs. The cruises are much longer but the value is great per person plus those ships might be nicer than NCL.
     
    jmhuth likes this.
  20. jmhuth

    jmhuth Silver Member

    Messages:
    87
    Likes Received:
    106
    Status Points:
    355
    Seems like the issue w/ cruises or w/ staying in a hotel for that matter is that there are 5 of us not 4... Usually you either have to upgrade rooms/cabins etc. Since my kids are still little we usually can make a smaller hotel/condo work, but there's no getting an extra person in a cruise ship room.. Esp since those rooms are SO small anyway..... Like you mention though, w/ Hawaii being so expensive, it could be a good value even if we have to upgrade a little, plus you get to see more of the islands which is a definite plus!
     
  21. viguera
    Original Member

    viguera Gold Member

    Messages:
    4,737
    Likes Received:
    6,913
    Status Points:
    4,745
    The price is slightly lower for small kids but not by much. I'm on an ncl cruise next week and had to book a triple occupancy cabin so we could take our 2 year old. He's paying 15% less than we are, I think.

    Cruises are great because almost everything is included and you can get adjoining cabins when traveling as a family but it's still pricey.

    I think a cruise is a good idea if you're visiting the Caribbean or Hawaii for the first time because you get to see the different islands from what's basically a floating hotel room. But that's also the bad thing about it too... You only visit an island for a day, maybe one you do an overnight if you're lucky so you are really on a schedule and don't get to experience a lot of the local flavor.
     
    jmhuth, cvsara and WideOpenSpaces like this.
  22. sharris503

    sharris503 Silver Member

    Messages:
    303
    Likes Received:
    415
    Status Points:
    500
    Avios are best used for direct flights and when booking AS flights using Avios you have to book at the super saver award level. Unfortunately, it has been my experience that AS doesn't typically release super saver awards on popular routes like Hawaii until the last minute. For a family of five that might make planning difficult. As previously mentioned the best bet is probably flying out of LAX on AA. For a family of 5 I would suggest a condo in Maui. Kihei has the most reasonably priced condos and lots of world class beaches a short drive to your south. AA has direct flights from LAX to OGG.
     
    jmhuth and cvsara like this.
  23. desamo

    desamo Gold Member

    Messages:
    9,320
    Likes Received:
    10,970
    Status Points:
    14,975
    And I love them because you can cover a lot of territory without unpacking. Our last cruise (Barcelona to southern Morocco and back) covered over 2000 miles. It would have been impossible to do by air in that time. Our next (Copenhagen to Iceland and back) will cover even more miles.
     
    jmhuth likes this.
  24. cvsara
    Original Member

    cvsara Gold Member

    Messages:
    3,502
    Likes Received:
    4,546
    Status Points:
    2,670
    The reason, (IMO) that condos on Maui , and especially the Kihei area, are so reasonably priced, is that there are so many of them, competing for the number of tourist/visitors. If the one that I own was in Florida, and the same view, would be $200 - $300 a night, on the gulf side or the Keys. Put it in the Crib, if for no other reason, that it is much closer to the US Eastern coast, I think you could expect half again as much in a per night rental. A lot of persons don't like to go to Hawaii because of airfare cost, and it will be, for the casual traveler, the longest day of their life, chasing the sun West. Did I just say 'jet lag' for those those that have never experienced it??
     
    jmhuth likes this.

Share This Page