If you're worried about visiting Hawaii in the aftermath of the recent tsunami, you can breathe a sigh of relief. There was some flooding damage on the Kona and Kohala Coasts of the Big Island, where a few resorts are closed to assess the damage. However, most of the islands -- including Maui and Oahu, featured here in this week's Smart Deal -- are fine. Governor Neil Abercrombie has declared the state as open for business. Now, where's your sunscreen?
Island hopping in Oahu and Maui just got a little more attainable, thanks to Beach Destinations (tel. 877/433-4378; www.beachdestinations.com). At a starting price of $832, this Hawaii trip includes airfare and six nights' hotel for spring departures.
This company's trips are fairly customizable, and the default option for hotels typically reflects budget-friendly accommodations, according to George Cernat of Beach Destinations. For this package, the Oahu hotel is Aqua Aloha Surf (with continental breakfast), on Waikiki Beach. Ideal for anyone who wants to prepare simple meals or snacks, rooms have a refrigerator, a microwave, a sink, a coffeemaker, and dishes in the room. For Maui, guests will stay at Outrigger Aina Nalu, which is situated right off the main strip in Lahaina. The condo-style property has a full kitchen and is within walking distance to the water and downtown. But you'll likely spend most of your time at the beach or in the pool.
What kind of savings does this offer? Well, a search on Kayak for airfare from Los Angeles to Honolulu turned up a starting price of $275 for a one-way flight on the departure date. One-way return flights from Maui to Los Angeles started at $413; the Oahu-Maui flight costs about $80. If you booked the airfare on your own, expect to pay at least $770 for the flights alone. This $832 package, on the other hand, includes six nights' hotel.
Trip Type: Air inclusive, independent
What the Quoted Price Gets You: Airfare from Los Angeles to Oahu (returning from Maui), a flight from Oahu to Maui; six nights' hotel (three nights each in Hawaii and in Oahu); and airline fuel surcharges.
What Else You'll Have to Pay: Add $50 for air and hotel taxes; most meals are not included.
Book By: As soon as possible to ensure availability
When: May 11 departure
Other Details: You can customize the package to spend more time in one island versus another, and you can also upgrade to different hotels if desired.
Other Gateways: Phoenix (from $848), Chicago (from $888), New York (from $904) Boston (from $907), Houston (from $972)