By George Christopher Thomas, Travel Writer
A Hawaiian adventure in your future is a serious possibility provided you do a little bit of pre planning. As a Los Angeles native and former student at the University of Hawai’i at Monoa (Honolulu), I have done extensive research on going back and forth from Los Angeles to Honolulu. Just this weekend I found round trip airfare from LAX to HNL and back on Continental Airlines for $257.30.
My guess is those fares are going soon, but this just illustrates how tracking fares and advanced preparation can save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars. Another tip is using www.tripadvisor.com to search hotel deals, airline deals and car rental information. (Pictured Below: Underwater Anthropologist Chuck Thomas flashes the “Shaka Bra” while scuba diving off the island of Oahu.) Once you arrive in Oahu, the airport is just a few miles away from Honolulu and the world famous Waikiki Beach. There are a bunch of rental car companies at the airport, and once again, early research will save you a bunch of money.
Depending on what you are going to do in Hawai’i, you might not need a car the entire time you are in the Aloha State. When my girlfriend and I went to Hawai’i last October, we basically scheduled the entire trip in advance, and probably saved a few thousand dollars just by doing internet research at home. Plus, after a hard day at work, dealing with humans, what is better than coming home and planning your trip to Hawai’i? While in Honolulu, there is a bunch of things to see, and places to visit. Pearl Harbor is just a few miles away from Honolulu, and for a historical perspective, I highly recommend going to Pearl Harbor.
There is a museum offering a cornucopia of information, and a ferry takes you out to the USS Arizona Memorial. However, there is another unfortunate thing happening at Pearl Harbor, the current museum dedicated to preserving the events of December 7, 1941 is sinking into the Harbor. In fact, according to the official web site, “the USS Arizona Memorial’s museum and visitor center at Pearl Harbor is facing destruction.” “Engineers have determined that the USS Arizona Memorial’s museum & visitor center must be replaced within as few as 2 years before it must be abandoned for safety reasons.
Originally built on a landfill and designed to settle slightly over time, the facility has settled up to 30 inches in some places, far exceeding expectations. As a consequence, water intrusion and uneven settling is compromising the structural integrity and safety of the site.” For more information visit www.pearlharbormemorial.com On a lighter note, there is quite the nightlife in Waikiki, and many different types of restaurants to satisfy your taste buds.
One of my personal favorites is just at the end of the strip in Waikiki, and has a huge aquarium as one of the walls, it is really a sight to see. While in Oahu, you can visit the world famous “North Shore,” sight of surfing competitions and some of the biggest waves on planet earth. The golf in Hawai’i is second to none, and Oahu boasts having “THE HARDEST AND MOST DIFFICULT GOLF COURSE IN THE WORLD” They say whatever your handicap is, you will lose that many golf balls and a few more. See www.koolaugolfclub.com/ There is scuba diving all over the islands, and as a certified diver, I have had the opportunity to experience some pretty awesome dives in Hawai’i. If you want to see some sharks, some dive companies offer shark dives where you can get up close and personal with these beautiful yet deadly animals. Now don’t trip out too much, if you are diving with man eating tiger sharks, the dive companies provide a cage off the side of the boat. And of you went on the shark dive I participated in, we only swam with white tipped sharks.