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Paradisaical Packages: Hop Over to Hawaii for Less

October 10, 2003 -- Hurt by the same worldwide events that have put the damper on travel everywhere, Hawaii is fighting back, in the best possible way for travelers, by reducing prices and arranging nifty packages you can take advantage of this fall and winter. Just a few follow:

United Vacations, affiliated with United Airlines, has a program in which you have to travel by December 15, 2003, and stay at either the Starwood Hotels & Resorts or at Hilton Resorts. Each package includes a free upgrade to a convertible car with a seven-day rental, a $20 gift certificate from Hilo Hattie, and a choice of tours on the islands, including those to Diamond Head, the Rainforest & Scenic Shores on Oahu, the Haleakala Sunrise and Hana Adventure on Maui, a Grand Island Circle Tour on the Big Island and a Waimea Canyon Experience on Kauai.

The packages include roundtrip air on United, seven nights of hotel lodging, a fifth night free, the convertible upgrade and gift certificate, a guidebook and 24-hour traveler assistance. Sample prices include $899 out of Los Angeles and San Francisco at the Doubletree Alana Waikiki Hotel (city view), with complimentary upgrade to an ocean view room and $25 dining credit per room. From Denver, that's $1069, from Chicago $1184, from New York $1194 and from Washington, D.C. $1224.

Similar packages are available on Kauai, the Big Island and Maui, with varying prices and amenities. All prices are per person, based on double occupancy and reflect Wednesday and Thursday departures from now through December 4, 2003. Prices do not include airport taxes and fees.

For information and to book, contact United Vacations at 888/328-6877 or visit

For Halloween fun, you could fly (by plane or on your own broomstick) over to Lahaina, the whaling capital of Maui, for a four-night program sponsored by Pleasant Holidays in cooperation with the Hard Rock Café. You'll pay just $379 minimum for a package that includes four nights of lodging in Old Lahaina Town, a fresh flower lei greeting, four days' use of an economy class Dollar Rent a Car, two VIP Halloween parties at the Hard Rock Café in Lahaina, a VIP dinner and souvenir package. If you want the airfare from Los Angeles or San Francisco, too, the cost is from $699.

Rates are per person, based on double occupancy, and rates are subject to change, availability and any restrictions. The prices do not include airport and security taxes that could be as high as $38. And you must be 21 or over to attend the Hard Rock Café parties mentioned above. For details, contact your local travel agent or call 800/542-9244. While this deal isn't listed on Pleasant Holiday's website, you should still surf over to to read through their other specials involving Hawaii like $299 roundtrip airfare from LAX to Honolulu.

Do you have a practical tip for visiting Hawaii? Tell us all about it on our Hawaii Message Boards.