Author Topic: Is the world getting smaller? Hawaii Vacation (2002 vs. 2020)  (Read 1220 times)

clarkfan1979

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Is the world getting smaller? Hawaii Vacation (2002 vs. 2020)
« on: December 31, 2019, 07:47:20 AM »
A Hawaii vacation in 2020 doesn't seem as difficult as it did in 2002. Is it just me? 

My first trip to Hawaii was in December 2002. I was age 23, my younger brother was age 21 and my parents paid. Airbnb did not exist there wasn't much choice on flights.

My parents were in the 200K to 300K income bracket at the time. They were at the peak of their earning years, but also put in a ton of hours. The Hawaii vacation was framed to us as something that you can only do once every 5 years. It is not a vacation that is possible every year. We spent 4 days on Maui and 3 days on Kauai. We flew from Chicago, IL to LAX to Honolulu to Maui. On the flight back it was Kauai to Honolulu to LAX to Chicago. I think we had a 3-5 hour layover at LAX both times. We had a great time, but my impression was that it was very expensive and difficult travel.

Fast forward to 2020. A couple weeks ago, I booked my own family trip to Kauai (Hawaii). Many of you know that I used to live there (Kauai). We bought a house and kept it. We are going to be staying at our house when we have a turn-over of tenants.

Our flights are on Southwest. Round trip airfare from Denver to Kauai is $375 with a 75 minute layover in Oakland. On, the way back we have a 3 hour layover in San Jose. There was a flight option with a 85 minute layover, but it was $50 more and it didn't seem worth it. My wife, son and her parents are staying 14 days. I have to get back to work, so I am only staying 5 days. My total flight was $511 because on the flight back to Denver, I'm flying direct from Kauai to Denver on United (no connection).

Yes we have a free place to stay, but even if we didn't, I'm pretty confident that I could find a good deal on airbnb, which didn't exist in 2002. Now with Southwest flying to Hawaii, the cost of airfare has really gone down. I paid $379 for a one-way direct flight from Kauai to Denver. Before Southwest, I think it used to cost $600. I have now seen it as cheap as $316 (one-way). Many different flights to choose from with great connection times (90 minutes or less).

A Hawaii vacation in 2020 doesn't seem as difficult as it did in 2002. Is it just me? 











TheAnonOne

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Re: Is the world getting smaller? Hawaii Vacation (2002 vs. 2020)
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2019, 09:16:18 AM »
We went to Hawaii on a near whim last year.  $700 RT for 2 (I think we had a BOGO from a CC offer?)

AirBnb'ed in Maui and Kauai.

On points we have been to Japan 4 times in the last 5-6 years. (also Singapore, HK, Beijing, and 1 around-the-world flight)

I have never really found that getting ANYWHERE is that hard with the shear number of flights going on these days.

norajean

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Re: Is the world getting smaller? Hawaii Vacation (2002 vs. 2020)
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2019, 09:40:35 AM »
We first vacationed there as a family of six in the 70s, when my dad was probably making $40K/yr.  Been going back ever since. Air travel does seem fairly cheap these days when you can fly to almost anywhere with a credit card hack.

GoCubsGo

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Re: Is the world getting smaller? Hawaii Vacation (2002 vs. 2020)
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2019, 10:19:25 AM »
My family was exploring  trips all last week for a spring trip.  On a whim my son said lets go back to Hawaii.  I told him it would be way too expensive .  We were looking at Florida, Mexico, maybe the Bahamas.  My wife priced it out and as of yesterday we are going back to Oahu for cheaper than it would be to go to our preferred spots in Mexico and Florida (Bahamas was super expensive with weird layovers to boot).  We are also staying at our preferred hotel on Waikiki!  Direct flight from Chicago too.  Food is always expensive since we are staying at the hotel but I think we will try to find some local restaurants to walk to this trip.  Still it's crazy that Hawaii was even an option compared to our other choices.

honeybbq

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Re: Is the world getting smaller? Hawaii Vacation (2002 vs. 2020)
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2019, 10:31:26 AM »
Yes, the internet has changed so much, and people have more disposable income to travel these days.

I spent my early 20's living in Houston which had easy access to south America - it was quick, cheap, and fun. Touring many of the countries there was more 'whimsical' as in, whatever I felt like doing on a whim was possible. Now, if you want to do the inca trail, you must book 6+ months in advance because they are sold out and have limits on the number of folks they can let through. 

Locals used to think a young white female was an interesting thing... now grungy backpackers are looked down upon, and other travelers they often now they see as $$ instead of someone to share stories with. It's too bad because talking to local folks you'd learn and appreciate so much more about the area- you'd find those little hole-in-the-wall restaurants where their Aunt worked and they have a great menu. Or that little hike that started from their backyard and didn't have a name and led to a beautiful mountain. You can still find these little niches, but the idea of travel being novel is gone, and a tourist is just a white person with extra money to spend.

Some of that charm is gone when you've seen any done everything from your computer screen at home before you've ever set foot in the country.
« Last Edit: January 02, 2020, 11:18:49 AM by honeybbq »

Fomerly known as something

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Re: Is the world getting smaller? Hawaii Vacation (2002 vs. 2020)
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2019, 06:24:43 PM »
@honeybbq.  I'm going back to Costa Rica this month.  I spend my Junior Year abroad there before the first mega resort was built.  I'm sure I will fall in love with the country again but I fear that all the tourists have ruined it a bit.

honeybbq

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Re: Is the world getting smaller? Hawaii Vacation (2002 vs. 2020)
« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2020, 11:23:44 AM »
@honeybbq.  I'm going back to Costa Rica this month.  I spend my Junior Year abroad there before the first mega resort was built.  I'm sure I will fall in love with the country again but I fear that all the tourists have ruined it a bit.

I hope you can find new and undiscovered areas off the beaten path.

The idea of all inclusive resorts where you never leave a small area of a private domicile is bizarre to me. Only eating food cooked for tourists and overpriced drinks?

In Peru (20 years ago) we stopped at this tiny little cement house and the ancient Quechua woman there gave us some of her personal Chicha (corn alcohol) from a barrel in her one room dirt floor house. She chewed the corn herself and spit it into a bucket and let it ferment. Yeah it was kinda bizzare to drink but you only live once, right? Now a Denver brewery is making their own chicha.

I think I should have been born in the era of explorers.