Hawaii Review

How do you holiday in Hawaii cheaply and still have a good time?

If you are Active Duty military (British) you are entitled to many of the benefits that the USA armed forces currently receive. The US Military have many bases, RV Parks, cottages all over America, Hawaii being one of them.

First stop – Barking Sands…

We started off booking the flights first to Hawaii via SF, as this broke up the journey in even portions. Once we had the flights booked we started researching the MWR sites in Hawaii. We decided our first stop would be the island of Kauai. Once we landed in Hawaii we flew direct from Honolulu to Kauai with Hawaiian Airways, (we found that one-way flights were cheaper than a return) and picked up a hire car at Lihue airport then a 30 min drive to Barking Sands Base. This was our bungalow for the weekend. It is on brick stilts and quite bizarre sleeping at night because the beds swayed. Barking Sands has a history to the name, don’t forget to ask the locals about this, it’s a wonderful story.

We don’t recommend more than a weekend here as there is not a lot to do, if you want total peace and quiet this is the right place on the beach. There is a mini PX and MWR office up the road where we rented snorkel gear and surf boards.

…and Kitty cats!

Next stop was to fly back to Honolulu and onto Barbers point. Again a bungalow on the beach with lots of feral cats and kittens wandering around much to my families delight. Very basic bungalow but again a small PX a mile down the road. Enclosed in a private gated compound, on arrival bungalow keys to be picked up at the Golf Course.

Bellows was the best

Next stop was AFB Bellows, out of all the locations this had to be best, unfortunately we had to move around because of availability at the different bungalows. I would recommend if you can spending most of your time here, again on the beach but with really great amenities, tennis courts, club house, launderette, barbecue outside your door, mini golf, mini PX and fantastic view from your own private beach

A lot to see and do near this base, the original Magnum PI was filmed not far away. There is also a sea world a few miles drive down the road, where you can swim with dolphins, something I thought I would never get to do at my age. President Obama spends his holidays here and did take his girls to the sea park to swim with the Dolphins last summer.

Last stop – Ford Island

Last move was onto Ford Island where we stayed in the Navy Lodge. Great Lodge with a fantastic swimming pool and not far from Pearl Harbour and ideal for USS Missouri and the Pacific Aviation Museum. Sunset cruise with dinner is worth thinking about and the dolphins swim alongside the boat, live show on board with participation from the men to do some hula dancing.

My husband thoroughly enjoying himself as you can see. The first cocktail is free. Plenty to do around Pearl Harbour, Waikiki beach a must to visit. Also if you are Military, or retired military you can get on the COMPACFLT Admiral’s Barge, (NOT FOR THE GENERAL PUBLIC), it must be booked in advance and smart casual to be worn. This is a tour of Pearl Harbour (free) and the route through the Harbour for the tour is only allowed by this Barge. We had to buy my daughter a dress to wear just for this occasion. Said dress now returned to back of wardrobe!

This is a ‘must do’ holiday whilst you are in USA. Bungalows work out at approx. $90 a night which is cheap compared to paying for a Hotel and especially if you are a family of 4 or bigger. Late August is a good time to go here as most of the children are back at school and there is availability at the Bungalows.

ALOHA  from Carole McGrane