The flight was expensive and so was a night at the Hyatt. With Traveler's Joy, we could afford to buy it. Poetic!
Our helicopter tour on the big island of Hawai'i was one of the highlights of our trip, complete with a bird's eye view of both fuming volcano crater and lava flow not far from the pit.
We departed Los Angeles just two days after the wedding and planned for an eight-day trip to Maui. Thanks to our Traveler's Joy registry, we were able to upgrade to first class, too. It was definitely the way to start a honeymoon.
We decided we wanted to go sports fishing, do a helicopter ride, go on a 7hr tour, spend a couple days discovering the island, and we managed to do it all.
I’d heard about Traveler’s Joy from a co-worker and as soon as I saw the website, it was extremely apparent that this was the right type of registry for us. Our friends and family couldn’t wait to start contributing to our celebratory retreat.
I have to give kudos to Traveler's Joy (and of course the people who contributed) because it helped give us the excuse to "splurge" on all the fun things that we may not have normally done. My wife Becca and I had been living together for a few years before we got married, so we already had many of the traditional registry gifts. Meanwhile, since we love to travel, this was the perfect alternative.
Through Traveler's Joy, our friends and family gifted us $2,600. Combined with the $3,000 we saved, we were able to enjoy 10 days, flights and food in Hawaii - and we spent every penny. Hawaii is an expensive destination, but we loved the spirit of the island and the experience of a true paradise.
Our favorite activity has to be between deep sea fishing and surfing. My brother has a fishing boat so the sea was ours for as long as we wanted. It was such a beautiful day and the waters were amazing!
Traveler's Joy was a little known flawless diamond in a mountain of "cabinet filling" registries... a unique alternative to impersonal cash gifts.
We decided to travel to Kauai for our honeymoon, stopping off there for nine days, on our way back from our mainland wedding. For us, it was a compromise between the adventure my husband wanted, and the romance I desired.
Many of the people we encountered were implants from other parts of the United States, and it is absolutely obvious why they left the mainland for Hawaii. The islands are captivating, and even after all that we have seen in the world, did not fail to live up to my very own "fairytale" honeymoon dreams - which Traveler's Joy helped to make possible.
We chose to use Traveler’s Joy as our honeymoon registry because we were already established home owners who didn’t need many of the items that are traditionally given as wedding gifts. We needed help paying for the honeymoon.
We wanted this trip to be as unique and fulfilling as our personal journeys have been. We knew that by allowing our family and friends to share this moment with us, it would be. Before Traveler's Joy, there was not a link that connected your family to your new journey as a fresh new family addition.
We knew we could afford going to Hawaii, but without Traveler's Joy, we would have been unable to experience all that the island had to offer. Having the registry really made all our honeymoon dreams come true.
We participated in a 7 day cruise around the Hawaiian Islands with Norwegian Cruise Lines. We chose Hawaii because it was a destination that both of us had been dying to see.
Since we were so fortunate to find Traveler's Joy, the generous gifts of our friends and family allowed us to treat ourselves to one night at the well-known Grand Wailea Resort on the Wailea side of the island.
We already had all the kitchen and living gadgets one would normally register for. How many dishes and towels can one household actually need? Every one of our guests who purchased a gift through Traveler's Joy loved the experience and with those gifts, we were able to do everything we wanted on our honeymoon.
There is no more romantic beautiful place to spend the first few days of your life as a married couple. There is nothing like Hawaii, there is something beautiful about going to sleep with the lanai doors open, hearing the ocean lap over and over on the beach.
We would absolutely and enthusiastically recommend Oahu as the perfect honeymoon destination (and in fact, have already tried to talk our friends into taking their honeymoons there!). The total trip cost $5,000, but thanks to Traveler's Joy, almost everything was paid for ahead of time in the form of gifts.
Part of a shield volcano rising three miles above the ocean floor, Kauai is the oldest of the major Hawaiian islands and arguably the most beautiful. Through its rich volcanic soil, the island features an enormous amount of vegetation, hence its Garden Island nickname. Add soft, sandy beaches, beautiful blue water, and a long list of amazing natural sites, and it's plain to see why Kauai ranks as one of the world's most spectacular destinations.
Kauai is the smallest and least developed of the four most popular Hawaiian islands, but still manages to attract an impressive amount of visitors thanks to its wild, lush, and mountainous terrain. The island, rugged throughout but only reaching about 5,000 feet in top elevation, can also be separated into several distinct areas.
Lihue is the island's business hub, yet still retains a certain charm and sleepiness. In the south, Poipu features gorgeous beaches and the biggest conglomeration of resorts and hotels. From Lihue to Kapaa on the eastern coast, you'll find a decent amount of resorts and plantation-era mansions. Also, the north shore is an outdoorsman's paradise with incredible surfing, hiking, kayaking, and golfing at Hanalei.
The most developed destination area is Poipu on the southern shore, the location of many hotels and businesses. Despite the development, the area still manages to feel intimate. And while the beaches perhaps aren't quite as soft and sandy as those on Oahu and Maui, there are plenty of beautiful stretches ideal for romantic walks and picturesque views.
Kayaking - From the Wailua River Valley to the Huleia River, and to miles of ocean terrain, Kauai boasts some of the most remarkable kayaking pursuits in the world. For instance, paddlers can take the meandering Huleia River into Huleia National Wildlife Refuge to visit hidden waterfalls and spot rare tropical birds. Paddle out with Kayak Kauai or Outfitters Kauai, two of Kauai's most reputable tour companies. Outfitters Kauai offers a variety of different kayaking trips (e.g. waterfall tours, sea kayaking, inland river outings, and more), including full-day tours of the Na Pali Coast complete with food, drinks, and first-rate equipment.
Waimea Canyon and Kokee State Park - A can't-miss destination while visiting Kauai, Waimea Canyon is known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific due to its 3,000-foot gorges. While there's numerous lookouts scattered throughout the park for road trippers, visitors can truly experience the canyon through its miles of hiking trails. Notable paths include KuKui Trail, Iliau Nature Loop, and the Alakai Swamp Trail (great for up-close views of rare plants and birds). Also, make your way over to the Kokee History Museum to plan out your hiking treks.
Na Pali Coast Excursions - These soaring and majestic cliffs are only accessible by rugged trail, boat, or helicopter. For a deserted island-type experience, be sure to head to the remote sands of Polihale Beach. Avid hikers will want to make their way along the Kalalau Trail. The unforgiving cliffs here make it impossible for a road to continue west of Kee Beach, but hikers can follow this trail along the coastline for more than 11 miles. It's easily one of the most beautiful hikes in Hawaii. You'll notice how the trail gets drier as you proceed west. For instance, hikers will first trek through dense, green vegetation with dramatic views and have options to make detours inland to gorgeous spots like Hanakapiai Falls.
Kauai Water Sports - With stunning beaches, tropical waters, famous waves, and an abundance of sea life, it's no surprise that Kauai boasts fantastic water sports opportunities. Newlyweds looking to hang ten should test their mettle at Poipu Beach. Head out with Windsurf Kauai, which rents out boards and offers lessons to beginners and even more advanced surfers.
Looking to charter a boat? Look no further than Captain Andy's, which provides romantic sunset sails, rafting expeditions, snorkel tours, and even whale watching tours during the winter months. Meanwhile, for the best snorkeling and diving experiences, check out Anini Beach, Kee Beach, Poipu Beach Park, or Salt Pond Beach Park during your visit to the island.
Princeville Resort - Located on the north shore of Kauai, overlooking picturesque Hanalei Bay and Makana Mountain, this luxury resort is well worth the five-star price tag. Highlights include oceanside dining, a private beach with a water sports center, and a 5,000 square-foot infinity pool.
Ko'a Kea Resort Hotel at Poipu Beach - Location is the prime amenity at this boutique property, located in the heart of Poipu, a popular resort area. In addition to excellent service, notable features include an award-winning modern Hawaiian restaurant, a full-service spa and fitness center, surf lessons, guided outrigger canoe rides, and more.
Aqua Kauai Beach Resort - Here, couples will find an ideal alternative to the island’s larger, more pricey resorts. Couples will particularly enjoy the four swimming pools (complete with cascading waterfalls and man-made lagoons), four restaurants, salon and spa, and state-of-the-art fitness center. But perhaps its greatest asset is seclusion: Kauai Beach Resort is situated on a rural stretch of Kauai’s eastern coast, offering picturesque views and peaceful environs.
Waimea Plantation Cottages - If 1,000-thread-count sheets aren’t high on your honeymoon priority list—but seclusion, authenticity, and affordability are—consider Waimea Plantation. You don’t come here for picturesque beaches, you come for the old-school Hawaiian vibes. The hotel is set on a former sugar plantation, with no-frills (but not lacking in amenities) cottages sprinkled across the grounds.
Koloa Landing Resort at Poipu, Autograph Collection - You need not travel off-property to witness the perfect sunset at Koloa Landing. At the edge of the newcomer hotel, located in popular Poipu, is the “Sunset Wall,” a favorite gazing spot for both locals and travelers alike. Sip on a cocktail or a coconut water as you watch the daylight sink into the Pacific.
Makana Terrace - Located at the St. Regis Princeville, Makana Terrace is the perfect spot to wake up and forget about your wedding diet. Daily brunch features a carving station, handmade sushi, specialty omelets—with sides of panoramic mountain and ocean views.
Caffe Coco - Situated on the Coconut Coast, this charming cottage café serves fresh fish, local produce, and creative bistro-style dishes in a lovely garden, perfect for alfresco dining.
Bar Acuda - Chef Jim Moffat made a name for himself in San Francisco (42 Degrees and The Slow Club) before opening this tapas-style wine bar in Hanalei. The plates may be small, but they pack major Hawaiian-inspired punch: Moffat’s priority is showcasing fresh, regional ingredients such as ono, ahi tuna poké, and ali’i mushrooms. Pair your plates with a bottle from the extensive wine list, which even includes organic vintages.
Merriman's Fish House - There are three Merriman’s restaurants (on Maui, Kauai, and Hawaii island), so honeymooners who visit one island or more are almost guaranteed the opportunity to sample some of the most pioneering cuisine in the state. Chef-owner Peter Merriman has been at the forefront of sustainable farming in Hawaii for decades, when he had the (now ironically) genius idea to grow vegetables locally, rather than use ones that had to arrive by lengthy boat journey. Today, he partners with local farmers and fisherman to turn out dishes like macadamia-nut-crusted kampachi, seafood linguine, and Kalua pig and sweet onion quesadillas.
Lihue Airport (LIH) is Kauai's main airport and provides regularly scheduled flights to and from other Hawaiian Islands, plus several other designated U.S. cities, including Los Angeles and San Francisco.
The airport is located on the eastern side of the island and close to many of Kauai's top tourist areas such as Poipu Beach and Nawiliwili Bay. You will find all of the major rental car companies, plus taxi service, bus transportation, and hotel shuttle service on the premises.