Island Life: A Visit to the Big Island
In this blog post, one of our Wetravel writers, Kayla, talks about her love and appreciation for Hawai’i. She shares her adventures, experiences, and the reasons why she adores the Big Island.
Ever since my first trip to Maui in 2012, I have been absolutely smitten with island life and have a strong desire to explore everything that there is to see.
In late March this year, my boyfriend, Steve, and I went to Hawai’i, also known as the Big Island. For those of you who don’t know, there are eight major islands, with only one being uninhabited. Alternating as the itinerary maker, we created a general plan of what we wanted to see with the hopes of winging the rest of the trip. Trust me, doing it this way is far less stressful. When you’re traveling, whether it’s in the form of a group trip or simply with one other person, flexibility is key. Leaving wiggle room ensures a pleasant experience for all!
That week on the Big Island produced some of the highlights of my entire existence. From eating the tastiest papayas at the coffee plantation where we were staying to hiking to Papakōlea (only one of four green sand beaches in the world), the trip reaffirmed my desire to move to one of the islands in the near future. On one of the days, we even participated in some nighttime snorkeling with manta rays. I had no idea they could grow to be 16 feet wide! They are seriously such magnificent creatures.
Steve and I also visited a black sand beach (my second one, since I have also visited Waianapanapa Beach in Maui), explored one of the many botanical gardens, and hit up the local waterfalls. There were petroglyphs, turtles, and volcanoes to observe. The last of which gave me volcanic smog-induced conjunctivitis for a few days. ‘Twas but a minor inconvenience!
Now, here comes the best part. The trip was relatively low in cost because we didn’t seek out luxury accommodations. As I mentioned earlier, we stayed on a coffee plantation for the first two nights. And then for the last three, a jungle cabin at $10 a night per person was our humble abode. We were budget-friendly with our meals, and our biggest splurge was probably the renting of a white convertible Mustang (“Fifi,” as Steve named her), which was wholly necessary.
To all those seeking travel help and advice on how to cut down on costs like we did, I highly recommend perusing Airbnb. Aside from hostels, it ensures the cheapest accommodations, but provides an even more welcoming experience. Plus, most Airbnb owners are willing to share all of their local tips and favorite places to go. In my opinion, it’s much better than any hotel! Another word of advice: it seems to be cheaper to eat out than to purchase supplies for cooking meals. Plus, eating authentic Hawaiian cuisine is a part of the experience!
With two islands checked off on my list, I’m excited to see where next year takes me. My sights are set on Kaua’i, but we’ll see.
Featured Image Source: Kayla Bernardino