Sunday, September 27, 2015

Hawaii cost breakdown

So while I was redeeming all of my points and miles for this trip, I got curious how much I was actually saving. So I looked up how much the hotels and flights were to compare prices. CRAZY. The list below doesn't include food. Just the main stuff that we had to book ahead of time before the trip.

 Product: What I
Actual Cost:
Delta SLC to HNL
(Gold Delta Skymiles Visa)
$0.00  $1,004.00
Delta Baggage Fee $50.00 $50.00
Holiday Inn BeachComber
(IHG Rewards Club Mastercard)
(2 nights)
$0.00 $435.00
Parking Fee $60.00 $70.00
Discount Hawaii Car Rental with Advantage
(Reimbursed with Capital One Venture Rewards)
$0.00 $95.21
Hyatt Place in Waikiki
(Hyatt Visa)
(1 night)
$0.00 $195.00
Hyatt Place Parking Fee $25.00 $25.00
Delta (Hawaiian Airlines) HNL to OGG
(Gold Delta Skymiles Visa)
$0.00 $206.00
Flight Luggage $30.00 $30.00
Courtyard Maui Kahului Airport
(Marriott Rewards Visa)
(1 night)
$0.00 $249.00
Courtyard Maui Kahului Airport Parking Fee $10.00 $10.00
Discount Hawaii Car Rental with Alamo
(Reimbursed with Capital One Venture Rewards)
$0.00 $93.85
Polynesian Cultural Center $260.00 $260.00
Hyatt Regency in Maui
(Hyatt Visa)
(1 night)
$0.00 $289.00
Hyatt Regency Parking Fee $16.00 $16.00
Hyatt Regency Resort Fee $30.00 $30.00
Hawaiian Airlines OGG to KOA
(Reimbursed with Capital One Venture Rewards)
$0.00 $200.00
Flight Luggage $30.00 $30.00
Discount Hawaii Car Rental with Dollar
(Reimbursed with Capital One Venture Rewards)
$0.00 $197.25
(Citi AAdvantage Mastercard)
$0.00 $678.00
Flight Luggage $50.00 $50.00
Total: $561.00 $4,213.31

I could've saved a lot more if we had done carryons instead of checking our luggage. But I've never been a light packer, and traveling with a child is still sort of new to me. So I wasn't taking any chances. But if we were light packers, we could've saved $160. Shoot. That's a lot of money.

It was sort of funny, when we spoke with the employees at the front desks of these hotels.
"So you're staying here for 1 night?"
But to be honest, I loved hotel hopping to see what they all have to offer!

Everything I've learned about credit cards, I've learned from my friend Amanda, and from World Wanderlusting. Traveling for free is possible!! And if you are responsible (aka a control freak about money), then you should be signing up for these perks that credit cards are offering!

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Hawaii - Part 3 (Big Island)

After 2 nights on Maui, we flew over to the Big Island to meet Brett's family. We picked up our amazing rental car--a Nissan Pathfinder. Oh Nissan, I just love you. Especially after driving in that horrific Ford.
Then we headed to the condo! (Dean's friend gave us an awesome deal!)

We didn't really have anything planned for this part of the vacation. It was mainly just a lot of relaxing which was so nice, since I had jam-packed our schedule on Oahu and Maui. are some pictures from our week on the Big Island!

The beach that was just a few minutes walk from the condo! (I'm not sure what Brett and Van are looking at...)

We went to Haunanau Bay, also known as "Two Step," because you basically take two steps down these rocks to get into the beautiful snorkeling water! This "beach" wasn't the best though. Lots of rock, not a lot of shade.

These people behind Brett are where you go down the "two steps."

The west side of the island is completely different than the east side...which you'll see in just a moment.

They were surrounded by 5 turtles at one point!

My face is pretty ugly in this picture, but I had to post it because just LOOK at Teagan! Oh she cracks me up!

Although they tried really hard to get everything ready to scuba still didn't end up working out. There was a leak...or something... I don't know. Maybe next time!

Welcome to the East side of the island!! Completely opposite from the lava rock side. 

Gigantic leaves!

Brett has a dream of making a book, full of hundreds of different pictures of basketball hoops. So here is his first addition to that book.

I was surprised how much I liked coconut water. It would've been yummier had it been cold. (Random: Did anyone see this lady on Snapchat the other day?! I was so excited that I could say "I've been there!")
The pineapples were $15!!! No thanks...(although her sample was delicious!)

And, here ends our Hawaii trip. :( :( :( 
One big regret I have: Not visiting the Kona Temple. It was right there. We had plenty of time, but I let my laziness take over. And who knows if we'll ever go back to the Big Island. :( :( 

After visiting the 3 islands, I think Oahu is my favorite. It's so hard though, because every island has something different to offer. 
I'm so glad we got to go! It's so fun to explore parts of this world with Brett and learn new things. I can't wait for our next adventure. I've got more hotel points and airline miles to spare, so I better use them before Teagan turns 2 and we have to start buying her a seat!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Hawaii - Part 2 (Maui)

After Oahu, we flew to Maui! We picked up our (ghetto) rental car, and set off for some adventures! We first stopped at this beautiful LDS Chapel. 

Then we started a very long drive towards the Pipiwai Trail. I was not exactly aware that this drive would take so long. And I also was not aware that this road was basically the "Road to Hana." That road, plus a scary Ford rental car = not a good combination. I am not the type of person to get stressed easily. But Brett will even tell you, I almost had a full blown panic attack. There were multiple times I was ready to turn around and just go to our hotel. Luckily, we made it to the hiking trail alive without getting in an accident, and without our Ford falling apart.

I think this is my most favorite hike I've ever done.
We walked by this huge banyan tree,

Crossed the bridge where Teagan was a little too daring for our comfort,

Which took us to the best part of the hike: the Bamboo forest.

Shout out to Brett for carrying Teagan the entire 4 miles of the hike!
As we got deeper and deeper into the forest, it got darker and darker. Those trees were THICK! and SO tall! and SOOOO pretty!!

We finally arrived to Waimoku Falls. Teagan and I watched while Brett took a little swim.

Needless to say, I was not looking forward to our drive back towards our hotel. But at least this time, I knew what to expect. And I made Brett follow closely behind other vehicles, so if anyone were to turn a corner and get in an accident, it would be them, not us. Ha!

Teagan was working on her flexibility on the long car ride.

We stopped here on the way back. Not sure where "here" is. But it was beautiful.

Weird thing about Maui, there are chickens everywhere. On the roads, at the beaches, they just roam around. Here are some chickens enjoying breakfast with us.

It was finally time for some snorkeling! Here we are walking to Honolua Bay. Seriously, I wish pictures could show the beauty of this place.

Here's my ad for Johnson's baby powder, haha! I read on Barefoot Blonde's blog that baby powder takes sand right off your skin! So I made sure to get some for Hawaii. It's true guys! And Teagan hated the sand on her hands and feet. So we definitely used this baby powder a lot!

That's about it for Maui! The hotel we stayed in our last night was the Hyatt Regency, and it had the BEST pool ever! And silly me, didn't take hardly any pictures. So here is Teagan warming up in a towel by the pool. And a short video.