Hawaii trip May 26, 2015

My husband and I are considering our first tour with Tauck and Hawaii is #1 on our list. Has anyone gone during that time. When I tell people that we are planning this trip in May, their response is WHY? Wouldn't it be better in March or April. I have read that May is one of the months that has the least amount of rain plus I would think any time in Hawaii would be wonderful. If anyone who has gone has any tips please share. Also is anyone else planning a trip to Hawaii at that time? Thank you.


  • Another data point- April-May also falls between the winter high and summer "slightly less" high tourist seasons in Hawaii. The one exception - Japanese visitors who take advantage of the "Golden Week" holiday in Japan during the last week in April and first week in May.
  • I went in May this year and it was the best time to go according to Minna, our tour director. Everything is in bloom and green and it was a wonderful trip. Tauck does a great job. The hotels were top notch and no problems flying from island to island. I would highly recommend May to see this beautiful state. Any questions I will try to answer them.
  • Thank you both for your input. I will definitely take you up on your offer flatlands64. Hawaii has been on my bucket list since I was 25 and believe me I am way past that now. So now I need to get a commitment from my husband.
  • I am sold. My husband and I are booked for Hawaii May 26, 2015. I can't wait. If anyone would like to post some words of wisdom, please feel free. I am still trying to figure out how to put 12 days and nights worth of clothes and shoes in one suitcase. Ha!
  • It will be very hot in Hawaii so no warm clothing. I took a very light rain jacket that I could roll up in the suitcase. Shorts and capris with tee shirts are what you need. I should have taken more shorts. Didn't take jeans but did put in one pair of linen type slacks for evening with a couple of Hawaii colorful tops I found at Kohl's before I left. Could have done without the slacks. You will have an opportunity to buy an Hawaii type dress at a very reasonable price at ABC store in Hawaii. I wore it to the luau but lots of people wore capris etc. I also took a small carrying case that goes with my luggage for cosmetics, sandals and sneakers. Those are the only shoes you need. Took a cover up to wear over bathing suit and it could be used as a robe if needed. After buying a few gifts, my large suitcase was full and heavy on the trip home. I don't do laundry on trips but several of the hotels did have washers and dryers which some took advantage of. I traveled from Boston which makes for a long trip to Hawaii so I did take the plunge and went first class. It was well worth it. I went on the May 16th trip of this year. It was the third trip with Tauck and have never been disappointed.
  • edited November 2014
    I recommend taking the optional helo tour on Kauai.

    We haven't taken the Tauck trip so am not sure what type of helo they use, but we had a truly fantastic flight on a small "doors off" helo last year. You are securely strapped in so there was no danger of falling out, but the view with no doors, was to die for!!! For the flight we needed long pants and a good windbreaker or jacket as it got a bit cool at altitude over Waimea Canyon, the "Grand Canyon of Kauai," when we weren't actually flying down in the canyon.

    Stop by COSCO or Walmart before you go and pick up a few "Aloha" shirts (or dresses)- I got some nice ones on Ebay! The dress everywhere in Hawaii is "tropical casual."
  • Tauck doesn't do that type of flight but you do have the option of one or both helicopter flight. That isn't my thing but the people who went on one or both loved it.
  • Been to Hawaii at least 25 times. Best advice:
    1) Get a pair of waterproof/rubber sandals with Velcro straps for the beach. There are many lava rocks on the beach and in the shallow waters. Not flip flops! Sometimes Target has them on the mainland or shop on line. Otherwise go to an ABC Store for a pair. (There is one every block or two.)
    2) Bring a hat and sun screen. While not as hot as summers on the mainland, the latitude is much lower and you will burn easily.
    3) Food is VERY expensive. Ask about local favorite eating places. The seafood is fabulous. If you like sushi, try Poke (pronounced pokey, like jail)
    4) Aloha shirts can be cheap and tacky or subtle and beautiful. The latter you will wear at home. But please stay away from the very bright colored, matching shirt and dress (muumuu) combos. They may never leave your closet again.
    5) Most important: Do not fill every moment dashing from site to site. Hawaii is THE place to relax, listen to the waves, enjoy the flowers and scenery and absorb the ambiance.

    Enjoy! I look forward to going again soon.
  • Gary, doesn't sound you went on Tauck. Tauck takes care of restaurants and suggestions as to what to eat. As well as other suggestions as to clothing etc. in the credentials one gets when they sign up for the trip.
  • My husband and I went in October 2011 but I think May will be beautiful. If you're fortunate you will have Mina as your tour director. She's simply the best We look back on this trip often as a very special time. My advice, let Tauck do everything, be open to some adventure and relax. You'll love it!
  • I agree, Mina is the best and Tauck is the best tour company around.
  • The more I read these posts, the more I wish May was a lot closer than 6 months away. I am looking so forward to sitting on the beach and watching the waves or swimming in that gorgeous water. Helicopters are not in my future though. Flying for me is bad enough. I am NOT a good flyer but I would love to snorkel. Any place in particular that would be a great place for that? All the pictures I have looked at the flowers are gorgeous and vibrant.

    I have lots of capris so I am a little ahead of the game. I will most definitely get a muumuu, just because its shouts Hawaii. I do prefer to be the subtle and beautiful over the tacky. I definitely want my husband to buy a shirt too. My grandson wants a bathing suit. I have no idea why but okay.

    I hope we do get a good tour guide. I would think they can either make or break your trip.

    Everyone just keep on posting things. This is the biggest trip I have been on in 40 years.
  • So happy for you. It will be a trip of a lifetime. The hotels are the best and you have plenty of time to enjoy the swimming pools, beaches and resting. Any questions just let me know. I do hope you get Mina. She did May this year so hopefully she will be the director next May. She is just amazing. So funny and her knowledge of Hawaii is wonderful!! If possible, you should go a day ahead of the start of the tour to get used to the time difference. It is worth it. I got the Gift of Time from Tauck since I had been on other tours. You should call Tauck and see if you qualify. Keep me posted.
  • I was not trying to counter anything Tauck tells you but the itineraries I saw on the internet left many meals open. I was trying to express my passion for Hawaii and my experience. I do not know how adventurous you are, but Hawaii is low risk for trying new things. I am going on my first Tauck tour in February (to Africa) and have been watching for posts by those with experience also. I hope you have the greatest joy from Hawaii. My wife and I are experienced travelers and only hope you can enjoy the feelings of discovery we have enjoyed. Have a great trip! I have jokingly told many friends that my highest cost when visiting Hawaii is paying the four people to drag me onto the plane for home. :-)
  • For Hawaii snorkeling, Maui will be nice by "Big Rock" a short walk from the Hyatt. I'm not sure the 2015 trip is still using that hotel. At the Orchid on the Big Island, snorkeling right at the hotel. We brought our own gear but the hotel also has it available. I think you get some free time on this trip which is really nice. At the Grand Hyatt, Kauai we arranged for some spa time. Very nice and of course the atmosphere was perfect. Mina is a great resource. I wish I was going too! We'll be doing the Peru and Galapagos in 2015.
  • LDA,

    i just came back from the Nov trip with Tauck and Minna, our tour director. It was a wonderful trip and you will have plenty of time to do your own thing coupled with some splendid Tauck "extras". Minna is a fount of information and one of the best tour directors I've worked with as a solo traveler. A couple of comments after reading all the postings on my learnings from the November trip:

    *Try a fabulous local restaurant in Honolulu called MW (the concierge can book) and it's about a $12 cab ride
    *Make sure to book the guided Allerton Botanical Garden in Kauai - it's a gem that is unknown to most travelers
    *Take the helicopter rides - I took Kauai and it's wonderful and about 45 minutes. Closed tour but we all got terrific pictures through the glass and the pilots are very good and safety is fab.
    *Other travelers in our group took the big island helo ride and loved it as it's the only way you'll see the "red" lava flow/glow. It's about 1-1/2 hours so be prepared for the length of time and the $ are higher accordingly at close to $500.
    *Instead of the helo ride I booked with a local tour company for a private tour for about $250 including tip - called Mauka Makai Adventures and I would recommend them highly. Local Hilo resident and Josh is fantastic.

    I waited 40 years to see Hawaii and Tauck made it a wonderful, glorious trip. Glad you are going and feel free to continue to ask questions as most of the postings on the travel forum are for the international trips. I'm happy to answer as many questions as possible.

  • Thank you all for your input. I love reading about everyone's experiences and know it will help us make the most of our trip. I am looking forward to going to the store to buy a very subtle muumuu. It just seems the thing to do since it is Hawaii. And snorkeling is a definite for me. Being in the northeast, May can't come soon enough. Once the Christmas season is over, I'm done with the cold.
  • I am also booked on the May 26th tour with my two granddaughters, ages 18 and 25. We have taken Tauck tours for the past four or five summers, and have loved all of them. We took advantage of the Gift of Time, and will be arriving on the 25th. We are also planning to take the Kauai helicopter ride. I have not given any thought to restaurants or activities for our spare time, but I suspect we will get lots of suggestions.

    I look forward to seeing you in Hawaii!
  • I have heard about the helicopter ride and the view being absolutely awesome and I give you loads of credit for pursuing it but I have a hard enough time in an airplane. Helicopters just doesn't quite work for me unfortunately. I wish it did. I want to take a boat ride in Kauai that goes through caves which is supposed to be fantastic. I like the idea of free time also. What a wonderful trip for you and your granddaughters. They are very fortunate. This is our first trip with Tauck and I am so looking forward to it. If I knew our winters were going to be so bad I might have booked for February instead. I did a lot of research and was told also by people who visited Hawaii that May is one of the best times to go. For me any time would be great. I look forward to meeting you also.
  • There is no bad time to visit Hawaii. As it is in the USA, you can do Hawaii painlessly without a company like Tauck, but the package tour will remove the stress of car rentals, condo or hotel rentals, etc. We have been on most of the islands, many times. Kauai is probably our favorite. The helicopter rides are quite benign, the aircraft moves very slowly and is not bouncing so only the most sensitive to motion sickness need worry. Kauai has just a ring road basically and the helicopter enables you to see lots of the island otherwise not reachable. We drive all over the island and enjoy all of it. The north coast is jungle, the south coast is desert. There are loads of good restaurants and fun things to do with your family. You can get the free Kauai activities books over the internet to help plan your free time. Don't overpack, we generally take only a duffel bag each. All you need is shorts, tshirts, sandals, swim wear and SUN BLOCK. The islands are very laid back and dress clothes are definitely not needed.
  • We went on this trip last July, it was wonderful. We did both helicopter rides, the Kauai one was the highlight of our trip, the big island helicopter was disappointing after flying over Kauai. I had never been on a helicopter before, and was very nervous about how it would feel, as I don't even like ferris wheels, but I was amazed, you don't feel a thing, it's as if you are sitting in your living room. When we first lifted off, I was so surprised that I couldn't feel being going up at all. If you are coming in a day early to Honolulu, arrange a morning visit to Hanuama bay for snorkeling, it is a beautiful beach, and although Tauck stops by there, being able to go down and snorkel and explore was wonderful. If you like to snorkel you will love the Fairmont Orchid. The snorkeling right from the beach there is the best I have ever experienced. Snorkel out a bit past the rocks early in the morning and will see more fish and turtles then you will believe. We stayed at the Orchid a few days after the tour was over, did some deep sea fishing charters, and we know now why sometimes people go to Hawaii and never come home. Enjoy!
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