Monday, June 27, 2011

Hawaii Love - A Tale of Two Rentals...

I know that the words "ten day Hawaiian vacation" and "on a budget" don't necessarily go together...  But, it can be done.  We have a tendency to lean towards condo rentals for our vacations.  With the two kids in tow we appreciate the luxury of having a full kitchen and laundry at our finger tips.  And of course, a two bedroom condo will generally be less expensive than two connecting hotel rooms.... (at least in the choices we have made for travel lodging.  We don't have a Four Seasons budget, but we aren't staying two blocks off the beach either...). Once we narrowed down the time frame and got the vacation time approved I dove head first into the search.

This time around we are en route to Oahu.  Yes, it's one of the busier islands, but it has absolutely gorgeous beaches.

Initially we settled on a stunning unit in Ko Olina which is North of Waikiki but still has those coveted sunsets.  Keeping in mind that a water facing view room in Waikiki runs about $300 to $400 or more for a single room, and double that for connecting rooms), I thought it was a great deal, no.... screaming deal at around $400 per night.  I know!  I couldn't believe it either! The unit had a full kitchen and laundry, two bedrooms, private balcony, etc. in a new complex with multiple pools, beaches, and dining opportunities.  I was S.O.L.D.  Can you blame me?  It's gorgeous!  You can see the full listing and complete photo gallery here.

Protected ocean swimming area...

Patio doors that disappear into the walls...

A kitchen with Sub Zero and Wolfe appliances...

A master fit for a queen (that would be me)...

A serene bathroom...

And pools the kids would think are awesome...

And then.... I calculated the nearly 14% Hawaiian lodging tax and promptly started hyperventilating.
It was well within budget... but I don't want to feel pushed to the limit on this trip and we still had to come up with money for car rental, food and fun....  

So I decided to pretend I hadn't seen the plush vacation paradise above, put my expectations in check, open my mind to creative possibilities and keep looking.

And then I ran across this little west facing beach house on the North Shore.  Yes, it is a total 180 degrees different than the tricked out unit above.  But it is clean.  Very highly rated. Right on the beach. West/sunset facing, and $200 per night.    

T w o  H u n d r e d  D o l l a r s   per night.  For a private beach house. 

No, it is not fancy.  No it does not have a pool.  No concierge or fine dining right downstairs.  It does not have high class appliances or a diva worthy bathroom.  But it does have a full kitchen and laundry.  And it does have beaches.  And sunsets.  And two bedrooms.  And an outside barbeque grill. And when I calculated the 14% tax... I was still breathing.  In fact I was smiling. You can see the full listing and photos here.  And additional photos here.

Just under 800sf of legit Hawaiian goodness...

Beautiful North Shore beaches right outside the door...

Clean full kitchen and laundry...

Two clean and homey bedrooms...

An awesome patio for al fresco dining and sunset viewing...

Sea turtles at nearby beaches...


Peaceful evenings away from crowds...

So.  Let's do some math, shall we?

Option one:
Flights - Four free thanks to Alaska Airlines CC points (Valued at $2300.00 at press time.)
Car - X 
Food - X
Condo rental - Around $5000.00 including fees and taxes.

Option two:
Flights - Free
Car - X 
Food - X
Beach house - About $2300.000  Including taxes.

I think about how important it is to have a pool and a Wolfe range on this vacation... is it $2700.00 important?

No.  No it is not. Not for us anyway...  it's more important to have the full 10 days for the trip.  It's more important for us not to feel over extended.... (remember we are paying cash for this trip).

So we decided to go with the little beach house.  So far our interactions with the owners has been awesome, they are great hosts :-)  I'm so excited to get away with my little family, relax, reconnect, and make some memories.

Hawaii on a budget - so far, so good.





















1 comment:

  1. You ROCK! That is fantastic! :)

    ReplyDelete