Travel on the Side


Oh Hawaii, so beautiful, yet so expensive. However, if you play the game right, you can use¬†plenty of cost-savings strategies. In one of my grad classes, we were required to give a “how to” presentation. After traveling to Hawaii last year, I decided to present on something fun: Hawaii on a budget. So can it be done? Yes, but with some planning. The goal for me was: Hawaii for $1,000 per person:… Read More

I thought the trip to Hawaii would never come! It was booked deep in the depths of a Wisconsin winter (what’s that like?). It was my little thing to look forward to…forget Spring, I was thinking of Hawaii! In January, I posted about redeeming my airline miles for this dream trip. Now it was actually happening: 3 days in Honolulu and 5 days in Maui. Flew from Milwaukee and connected in Atlanta… Read More

Our last day on Maui. We decided to do the summit at Haleakala. So here’s the deal: everyone says to do the Haleakala summit at sunrise. Yes, it’s beautiful. But you need to be out of bed by 3am! No thanks. I hear sunset is just as beautiful. However, since it was our last day, we just made a mid-morning trip. Driving south on the Haleakala Highway you can gradually see that… Read More

I will freely admit: I wasn’t sure about a luau–I thought it was too “touristy.” But, then again, am I not a tourist?! Well, it turned out to be one of my favorite experiences of the Hawaii trip! But it didn’t start out that way. I had originally booked a luau in Wailea, near where we were staying. A couple of weeks before the trip, it was canceled and our money refunded…. Read More

When in Maui, it’s the one thing everyone says to do. You need to do it. You must do it. It’s the Road to Hana. Tropical rainforests, beautiful plants and flowers, a black sand beach, lava caves, waterfalls, and more. Every mile there seems to be an attraction to pull over and see. It’s definitely a full-day experience. What is the Road to Hana? Hana Highway (Highway 36, which becomes Highway 360)… Read More

Danger and romance in Maui! From Lahaina, drive north on Highway 30 (Honoapi’ilani Highway)¬† through Kaanapali. After leaving the resort areas (and the traffic!) continue on Highway 30 for some spectacular scenery–you’re literally hugging the side of the cliff. The road goes up. The road goes down. Beautiful ocean views abound. At Nakalele Point you can walk to the Nakalele Blowhole and a rock that looks like it has a “heart” cutout…. Read More

Iao Valley is a lush tropical rainforest in West Maui. Designated a state monument, there’s a $5 admission fee per car (at the time of this writing). Once parked there are a few trails that take you around the area, over the Iao Stream, and up toward the Iao Needle which rises some 1,000 feet from the floor of the valley. You feel like you’re in a rainforest here – well, you… Read More

After three nights in Honolulu, it was off to Maui. We made Kihei, in south Maui, our home base for the next four nights. Only about 30 minutes from Kahului Airport – Maui’s main airport – Kihei is on the dry side of the island, has nice beaches and restaurants, and is just north of the Wailea resort area. We stayed at Maui Coast Hotel. It was close to everything, including good… Read More

Honolulu was great, but then it was time for Maui. We got to Honolulu International Airport (by cab, around $40 with tip from Waikiki) and checked in for our Hawaiian Airlines interisland flight to Kahului Airport. Then we relaxed in the lovely airport garden. The flight is only 30 minutes, but the wonderful Hawaiian Airlines flight attendants still managed to serve juice during the flight. The highlight was flying right past Diamond… Read More

Pearl Harbor is an amazing site to see. We all learn about it in history books. We’ve seen it in documentaries. But to actually be there is quite different. The museum at the visitor center does an excellent job of not only explaining the day’s events, but tells people’s stories, and also explains historical background in Japan and the United States, as well as the aftermath. Unfortunately, a Navy boat struck the… Read More