When it comes to being spontaneous, I guess you can say that is one of my specialties. Whether it’s last minute flights or last minute hotels, I always seem to find great deals no matter what. Recently, I decided that after the van renovation, I needed to plan myself a little getaway. I looked up some ideas for places that I could potentially visit, and came across a helpful article. This article stated that one of the best ways to relax is by jetting off to a tropical location. Immediately, I knew where I wanted to go, and that was Hawaii. My fiance’s brother happens to live on the Big Island and has always welcomed us with open arms if we ever wanted to visit. I took up that offer and spontaneously booked myself a flight that was four days away from that date.
Crazy right? Not only was I leaving in just four days, but I was going to be travelling solo. When you combine both travelling solo and booking on such short notice, it gave me anxiety and adrenaline both at once. Planning trips are always one of my favorites because it’s a challenge to get the most excellent place for the best deal. Travelling solo is something that I am comfortable with doing, so planning this trip for myself was not hard to do. Here is how I spontaneously planned a trip to the Aloha State and how my plans turned out.
1.Choosing My Flight
When it comes to the airport of choice, I decided to go to San Jose International Airport. I have experience with this airport previously due to another trip to Hawaii I took and was familiar with the area. I also chose this airport because of the price of the tickets compared to surrounding cities. When it came to date, location, and times; with all of these things I was flexible. If you are booking a last minute flight, I would recommend being flexible as well. I chose to book my trip with Priceline and went with one of the Express Deals. If you are unfamiliar with the Express Deals on Priceline, let me explain. The Express Deals are a way for you to get a significant discount; however, Priceline chooses the flight for you.
When you are booking, you pick an express deal, and you leave your fate in the hands of Priceline to give an excellent pick. I did just so and ended up with Hawaiian Airlines. I got an affordable price and a great flight. When it came to parking, I chose to park in a cheap parking lot near the airport where they have a shuttle to pick up and drop off passengers. This process was relatively quick and straightforward.
Tip: While Priceline is my go-to for all my travel needs, I recommend the apps “Hopper” and “Skyscanner.” You can also check out any travel site such as Expedia to look at last minute deals that could fit your needs. Don’t settle for one price; you never know when there could be a better one out there.
(For example, I made sure to look at different airports to compare rates as well as travel sites. Eventually, I settled on the best price due to my extensive research. The flight ended up being a delightful one and with a friendly airline company. Priceline has never let me down.)
When I called my fiance’s brother to let him know that I was coming in just a few days, his response was not too favorable. Not only was there a storm going on, but there was also company heading his way already. He lives on a beautiful coffee farm in a yurt, so his camp would have been wet and crowded. With this news, this is where I had to be adaptable to finding new accommodations. I wasn’t going to give up my trip just because of some setbacks. I was trying to stay on somewhat of a budget, so I chose to look on Airbnb. Finally, I found a beautiful home which offered a loft with a view and a block away from the ocean for a reasonable price.
Although my fiance’s brother had company, he told me to keep my last few days open just in case he could host me. However, the storm ended up staying longer than expected, so I had to find another place to stay after my first three nights were up in the Airbnb. I decided to hop back on Priceline and found a killer deal for a 4-Star Sheraton Resort right next to the ocean for only $100 a night. I would recommend this place to anyone visiting the Big Island including those travelling solo.
Tip: When travelling solo as a woman, do some research on hotels that are safe and clean. In Hawaii, there can even be places that are a bit sketchy, so make sure to look up great hotels in the area you are choosing to visit for an affordable price.
(For example, I did research on hotels in the area and decided to go with the Sheraton. It was a little farther away from town. However, I had my transportation, and I felt safe. The hotel that I chose ended up being a beautiful resort overlooking the ocean with a comfortable room as well as family friendly.)
With the trip being so last minute, I just decided to keep the agenda open and straightforward. I am not the type of traveller who likes to have my schedule booked up every minute of every day. Keeping an open schedule is important as well as less pressure for my trips. I was taking this trip to relax, visit my fiance’s brother, be in a beautiful place, and enjoy the relaxing Hawaii time.
Tip: When you are travelling alone, fill things in your itinerary that make you feel relaxed. The great thing about travelling alone is that you can please yourself and choose places that maybe you couldn’t in a group of friends. Don’t put too much pressure on your trip, just go with the flow.
(For example, I went into the town of Kailua-Kona and decided to rent a scooter. I didn’t have plans, and because of that I ended up doing something out of my comfort zone. I rode that scooter everywhere, and it felt so good to have mobility while on the Island. )
The planning process for this trip was smooth and laid back. Due to the short notice, there was only so much control I had over my circumstances. I did the best I could to find myself safe and beautiful places to stay for my first solo trip to Hawaii. I regularly had to remind myself not to put a lot of pressure on myself and just remember to relax. When you go on vacation with other people, you have to work around what other people want. If you wish spontaneously plan a holiday somewhere, don’t put a lot of pressure on yourself. Do it for yourself, and just remember to have a great time. These three simple steps were how I planned my vacation to Hawaii this past October. Stayed tuned for future posts regarding this trip and the adventures that I had.
If you want to know how I overcame my fear of travelling solo as a woman, you can read my article here.