HAWAII :

Home to Hawaiian cowboys, Iron men and a volcano goddess, Hawaii Island offers experiences found in no other place on earth. A variety of climatic zones, from seasonal snow capped mountains to black sand beaches, stretch across its vast topography creating rich pockets of adventure for first-time visitors to explore.

Most visitors will arrive at Kona International Airport (KOA) in Kona to the west, but Hilo International Airport (ITO) in Hilo to the east is closer to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. There is also the option of flying into Honolulu International Airport (HNL) on Oahu first and then taking a short, 35-40 minute flight to Hawaii Island. We recommend a rental car and we strongly suggest booking before you arrive.

Major resort destinations on Hawaii Island include the Kohala Coast, Historic Kailua Village (Kailua-Kona) and Keauhou. There are also hotels and accommodations in Hilo and Puna on the east side, while upcountry Waimea also offers charming getaways. If you’re staying in Kona and you plan to visit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, consider staying in Hilo, Puna or the Volcano area for a night since a one-day round trip will not give you enough time to explore the park.

The must-see for any first-time visitor is Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. At this World Heritage Site you’ll see the unforgettable spectacle of simultaneous creation and destruction: Arid deserts, cavernous lava tubes and the unpredictable Kilauea volcano, which has been erupting since 1983. It is believed the Hawaiian volcano goddess Pele, lives in Halemaumau Crater in Kilauea Caldera, so great respect must be paid here whether it’s your first visit or your fiftieth.

You’ll also find cattle ranches and paniolo (Hawaiian cowboys) in the cool uplands of Waimea. Downtown Hilo offers a taste of local shopping, dining and culture with beautiful botanical gardens and waterfalls nearby.  And with pristine beaches and world-class golf courses, it’s no wonder the Kohala Coast is Hawaii Island’s premier resort area. In fact, take a fun day trip and follow the route of the Ironman World Championships (October) along the Kohala Coast from the heart of Kona in lively Kailua-Kona Village to charming Hawi Town in lush North Kohala.

 

Hawaii Island Top Sights and Attractions

Explore the top sights and attractions of Hawaii Island. From epic natural wonders in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to historic small towns like Hawi and Holualoa, learn about the special places that make Hawaii Island so unforgettable.

Resorts in many areas offer the very popular swim-up bars.  Not all, however, will provide Beach Butlers to serve you a cold beverage and snacks so you need not leave your cabana or beach location.

One such resort, a couples only resort in Jamaica, is Couples Swept Away. On the beautiful Seven Mile Beach in Negril, Jamaica, the white sands provide the perfect ambiance for relaxation, while offering gourmet dining and nightly themed night entertainment !

Whether celebrating a special Anniversary or a Honeymoon, the Couples resorts offer amenities which will wow you.  They offer a complimentary Honeymoon Package and even group contracts if you wish a Destination Wedding. Group contract provide your guests with the same price and ability to do a small deposit and pay their package (inclusive of hotel tax and round trip airport transfers). These resorts are all inclusive which means all meals, premium beverages, gratuities and non-motorized water sports (sail, snorkel, paddle board and kayak) are included. Extras would be insurance, spa services and purchases in the shops, water sports such as jet skis or other motorized equipment. In-room dining is also offered. Tennis, Golf, scuba diving and more are offered if you wish to have an active experience

Couples resorts also offer Couples Tower Isle, Couples San Souci and Couples Negril to choose from. Which one is just right for you??

I’ve Got your Hammock!!

Do you travel with family and friends?  Are you planning a destination wedding?  The thought of coordinating people from different states can be scary!! It is really a bonus if you have an experienced travel professional who can assist with the many details needed to provide a smooth and seamless travel experience for all included.

Did you know that there are river cruises that only require 5 cabins to be considered a group?  What would be your reason for wanting a US river cruise?  The three reasons are the smoothness of the water, the desire not to have to travel to Europe (changing planes and trains and currency conversion is avoided) and have the  experience of delving into the history of our great country!  Add to that not being forced to share the experience with 6,000 strangers!

The pace of a river cruise, at just 7 miles per hour, enables you to visit the small towns along the rivers and not miss a photo because you are travelling at 22 knots past a point of interest.

American Queen Steamship Company can provide cruises on the Mississippi, the Ohio, the Tennessee, the Cumberland, and the Columbia and Snake Rivers, so the choice is yours. Good food, good company and being exposed to the history of our country.

For more information please contact us! www.AllWaysTraveloc.net We have the experience with groups!

All-Inclusive Resorts Are A Very Good Value!

Travelling to an All Inclusive Resort can be fun and easy.  All Inclusive resorts come in all sizes from small to mega resorts. Some are adults only, some are family friendly and others  for couples only. The freedom lies in prepaying for the package for hotel, transfers, gratuities with air, local tours and insurance included. The benefit is not having a large hotel tab upon departure.  Salons, spas, local tours, motorized water sports and incidentals are paid separately at the resorts.

Adult Only resorts offer different entertainment options, perhaps different cuisine, sporting and water activities.  Couples only resorts are just that, so most guests would be celebrating an anniversary or honeymoon, or special birthday. All resorts offer dining options and non-motorized water sports.

Family resorts provide facilities for children of all ages with the latest in fun games and toys and activities to keep them happy and busy when parents wish some free time.  A new option for parents with Autism are the Beaches resorts which will tailor the activities the children’s level.  A little bit of information given to the resort prior to arrival insures a successful and happy experience.

 

When it comes to choosing a cruise, it can be a bit confusing with so many choices in cruise lines and types of cruises.  The term “cruise” is usually applied to the ocean cruises while there is also a river cruise alternative for those who may have already been on several “big ship” cruises.

There are many factors to consider in choosing and your travel professional (hopefully a Certified Cruise Counselor- CCC, or Master Cruise Counselor – MCC) can hear the amenities and experience you desire.

Travelling with children, you would want to choose the length of cruise and onboard amenities for them to be entertained and still give them a place to be safely while you have adult time in the evening if desired. If you are only adults travelling, there are other cruises offered which are not children-focused.  Also there are other cruises which are multi-generational with something for all-adventure and relaxation options included.

Your travel professional hopefully is listening to your points and directing you to the right cruise line and cruise ship.  Do you like to dress up, or like resort casual?  Do you like dining choices and are “foodies”? Do you want to visit as many ports as possible?  Do you wish a themed cruise such as biking, hiking, historical, wine? Make sure all the extras are given to you such as transfers to and from the ship, gratuities, shore excursions, beverages, specialty coffees, soft drinks, alternative dining at an upcharge, and most importantly insurance. These can add a lot to the cruise costs and result in a hefty onboard account as you disembark. Do you have to have a credit card for these purchases and add-ons, or can you do a cash deposit as an alternative.

Travelling with a group is best handled by a professional agent who has experience in this area as there are amenities which may be offered from which to choose.  A small deposit on the cabin such as $50 per person does not secure that cabin should the cruise line need cabins later down the line.  It is best to pay the full cabin deposit and get your names on the desired cabins early to protect your group of cabins. This is my suggestion as a protection for those participating.

Travelling slowly with a river cruise is a slow, 7 mile per hour experience to see middle America or the Northwest or Europe close up and personal.  Did you know beverages are included and ala carte dining has no increased charge and there are shore excursions included (premium excursions would be an additional cost). The dining and service is more personal, variety of food plentiful and you can avoid being told what to do and when which can happen on the large cruise ships. Themed cruises are offered and varied.

Barge cruising on purpose built vessels are another great option.  There are options for the more shallow rivers such as the Loire in France, or Po in Italy which add to the variety offered.

Bottom line, use a travel professional who hold the credentials to do business in your state (if required).

Specials are out there all the time for ocean and river cruising (there are holiday specials which I can get if interested).

Happy Sailing!