Big Island

7 Tips to Help You Prepare for Travel to the Big Island During the Holidays

As October comes to an end, it is hard to believe that the holiday season is right around the corner. Whether you’re planning to be on the Big Island during Thanksgiving or through the Festive Season, it is time to start planning. Here are a few helpful tips that I recommend doing in advance, so that you may relax when you are here.


Secure Your Reservations Ahead So You May Relax and Enjoy Hawaii’s Big Island

Tip #1: Book & Reconfirm Your Accommodations

If you haven’t done so already, it is extremely important that you book your room reservations or secure a vacation rental in advance. Resorts such as Hualalai reach full capacity during the holiday season. There are a few vacation rentals still available, but it is always wise to reconfirm your reservation.

Tip #2: Reserve Your Rental Car

One of the common mistakes many visitors make during the Festive Season is waiting until they arrive to book their rental car. Rental car fleets are limited here on the island, becoming scarce over the holidays. In addition, the daily rental fee inflates as we get closer to the holidays. If you aren’t sure if you need a car, book it anyway. It is always easier to cancel then to not have a vehicle when you need one.

Tip #3: If You Celebrate Christmas, Request Décor

For those who celebrate Christmas and are not sure if you will have time to set up a tree, check with your vacation rental manager or the hotel about Christmas décor. Often, they have vendors who specialize in holiday décor and will deck the halls prior to your arrival.

Tip #4: Dining & Activity Reservations

Don’t assume that there is ample time to book your dining and activity reservations. Many restaurants and activity vendors are already filling up their key time slots over the Festive Season. Again, it is always less of a hassle to cancel your reservation vs. not being able to secure a reservation due to lack of availability.

Tip #5: Review Your Cancellation Policies

When making your reservations, be sure to note the cancellation policies so that you may avoid fees. It is common for both restaurants and activity vendors to impose a cancellation fee with less than 24 to 48 hours advance notice.

Tip #6: Reserve Beds, Toys, & Highchairs in Advance

Traveling with young children can be a challenge, but when well planned, it is a joy. There are vendors here on island that specialize in gearing homes with rental items such as cribs, beds, high chairs, safety gates, and medical gear, etc. Some rental companies offer age-appropriate toys that will keep your little ones busy. Your hotel concierge or vacation rental manager can assist you with making arrangements, or put you in contact with their preferred vendors.

Tip #7: Notify Your Realtor of Your Travel Dates

The holidays tend to be a busy time of year for Realtors here in Hawaii. If you would like to incorporate touring real estate while you are here, I recommend providing your Realtor with your travel dates so that they may block their schedule. Advance notice will also give you time to research the market and narrow down listings or areas you would like to tour while you are here on holiday. My website includes a Featured Properties Gallery to help get you started, or visit

With the Festive Season right around the corner, it is never too early to start planning and preparing for your holiday trip to Hawaii’s Big Island.

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Julie Keller, RS

November 5, 2014

Great info here – covers all the bases!!

Julie Keller, RS

November 5, 2014

Great info here – covers all the bases!!

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