Each Hawaiian island packs an amazing variety of experiences into a small space. Although the exotic tropical beauty is the same, each vacation is as inpidual as the participants.

I am welcoming the fourth group of visitors from my immediate family in a year. The four groups all visited only Oahu, stayed one week, spent a modest amount of money — and yet they had no activities in common. The only location they shared was
Ala Moana Shopping Center, and that is probably because I meet them there for a meal or a drink as it’s convenient to my bus ride back to Kailua.

The first visitors, my sister and her husband, came as a couple. They are educators and came with a list of attractions they had heard recommended by friends. We managed to balance sightseeing with restful periods on the beach and a romantic
dinner or two. They planned one activity per day, taking advantage of tours to Pearl Harbor and Hanauma Bay that pick up from Waikiki Hotels. On their last day, we rented a car to tour the island, ending up at the airport. They returned with photos and information on many Oahu attractions for their students and clients.

My daughter and granddaughter enjoyed the ultimate budget experience and still had so much fun neither wanted to go home. They were celebrating my daughter’s recent graduation and wanted to relax. Their hotel had a swimming pool with a wonderful view of the beach, was across the street from the zoo and walking distance to the aquarium — both fun and inexpensive activities for families with children.

My nephew and his wife are a young couple who checked out the North Shore, golf courses and Waikiki night spots. Next to visit will be my mother and a friend who share an interest in history. I’m looking forward to accompanying them to historic sites in downtown Honolulu and perhaps the history/cultural trolley tour.

This is obviously a very small sample compared with the many visits coordinated by professionals such as Hawaii Aloha Travel, but it demonstrates the perse experiences available in Hawaii. In the coming year, we’re branching out to the
other islands!

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