The flight was expensive and so was a night at the Hyatt. With Traveler's Joy, we could afford to buy it. Poetic!
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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Traveler's Joy was a little known flawless diamond in a mountain of "cabinet filling" registries... a unique alternative to impersonal cash gifts.
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.
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.
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 are certainly grateful for the existence of such a registry and without a doubt, we would recommend other couples to use Traveler's Joy, and visit the Hawaiian Islands!
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.
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 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.
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!
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.
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.
Oahu is one of the few destinations in the world that blends a big city atmosphere along with an exotic and wild landscape. Plus, with a plethora of famous sites like Waikiki Beach, Diamond Head Crater, and Pearl Harbor, among countless others, it's no wonder then that Hawaii's most famous and visited island ranks as one of the world's go-to honeymoon spots.
Thanks to its location in the Pacific Ocean, the island generally enjoys amazing weather and thus is a year-round destination. But keep in mind that depending on your location, the climate and weather can vary drastically. Hawaii is one of the few places in the world that features great diversity in its ecosystems and landscapes -- all within a relatively small area. As you can imagine, this certainly makes for some pretty extraordinary day trips and adventures.
The windward side (north and east) of Oahu typically experiences more rain, wind, and changing weather patterns than the leeward side (south and west), which is generally hot and dry for most of the year. Though, expect high temperatures year-round to range from the mid-to-upper 70s to the mid-80s in the lowlands and resort areas. Usually, the winter season experiences high temperatures just a few degrees below the normal highs in the summer. If you plan on making any journeys into mountainous terrain, prepare for cooler temperatures, wet weather, and variable conditions.
April-May and September-October are generally the best times to visit with consideration to climate, crowds, and prices. Mid-December to the end of March is considered the high season and rates are generally higher. Also, visitors are likely to find the island busiest when schools are out of session (think holidays, spring break, and summer).
Sunset Cocktails — Especially with unforgettable venues like Halekulani's House Without a Key. Grab a table under the giant Kiawe tree, order two signature Mai Tais, and enjoy traditional Hawaiian music and dancing as the sun dips below the horizon. Truly an ultimate Oahu experience.
Honolulu's Attractions — There's plenty to see and do in and around downtown Honolulu. Chinatown stands out with its bustling markets and jazz clubs. New boutiques like Kealopiko are popping up left and right. All the while, frequent farmers markets showcase the island's diverse and delicious agricultural offerings.
Don't forget about visiting the island's many historic sites, too. For instance, there's the Pearl Harbor sites honoring the 1941 attack, plus many more incredible museums and buildings like Iolani Palace and Byodo-In Temple.
Beaches and Water Pursuits — There's no other stretch of beachfront in America quite like Waikiki. Soak in views of the glimmering Pacific Ocean, famous Diamond Head crater, breezy palm trees, and inviting grounds of towering luxury hotels. Whether swimming, sailing, snorkeling, or via kayak, catamaran, or outrigger canoe, there's also a lot to explore once you leave dry land. The view of Honolulu and the Waikiki skyline from the water will remain etched in your mind.
Shave Ice and Local Dining Institutions — It's always a thrill to head off the beaten tourist path and pursue out-of-this-world foodie spots like Giovanni's Shrimp Truck and Leonard's Bakery (the malasadas are heavenly). As for shave ice, this refreshing treat is a must for any visitor to Hawaii. Up on the North Shore, Matsumoto's is arguably the most famous, while Waiola Store is a best bet when in Honolulu.
The North Shore — With the laid-back vibe, gorgeous terrain, legendary beaches, and monster waves during the winter months, it's hard to ever leave this part of paradise. Make the most of it by renting a car and exploring the local parks, beaches, towns, and stores. Whether you want to shop in the small villages, go hiking in Waimea Valley, tour a sugar cane or pineapple facility, or just grab some famous shaved ice, the North Shore certainly has you covered.
Moana Surfrider — With its prime location, storied history, and impressive amenities, Moana Surfrider is one of the best “bang for your buck” properties on Oahu. From the elegant, Beaux Arts–style architecture to the numerous on-site restaurants and bars, the oldest hotel on Waikiki Beach feels surprisingly fresh year after year.
The Kahala Hotel & Resort — Located just outside of Waikiki, this peaceful resort features beautiful modern rooms, four excellent restaurants, a private beachfront, ample water sports options, plus the only swimming-with-dolphins experience on the island. From the moment you step onto the property, you'll see why this is easily one of Hawaii's best overall hotels.
The Surfjack Hotel & Swim Club — For a total departure from the massive, towering resorts of Waikiki, choose this understated hipster hangout. Accented with bamboo, painted in bright hues, and decorated with mid-century-modern furniture, the Surfjack is a wholly unique and totally trendy place to call your honeymoon home.
Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach — The splashiest new opening on Oahu is packed with signature amenities: views of both Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head, a restaurant by Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, a 17,000-square-foot elevated pool deck, and a rooftop fitness center complete with a yoga studio, tennis courts, batting cages, and more. Eco-conscious couples will be pleased to know their dollars do more than just pay for that ocean view room—the hotel has pledged to plant 100,000 indigenous tress as part of a reforestation initiative; a portion of your stay goes toward reviving the native ecosystem of Oahu’s north shore. Guests can even plant their own tree within Alohilani’s forest on Gunstock Ranch.
Halekulani — The name means “house befitting heaven” in Hawaiian, and it will feel like just that when you step foot in the soothing, all-white lobby. Discreet yet attentive service is one of the hallmarks of the resort, which opened in 1984. Of the 453 guest rooms, the best ones overlook Diamond Head or Waikiki Beach, and feature private lanais (terraces), ideal for room-service breakfast or sunset aperitifs.
Four Seasons Resort Oahu at Ko Olina — Hawaii’s newest Four Seasons resort stands apart from other resorts on Oahu simply by virtue of its location: It’s set about 25 miles west of tourist-centric Waikiki Beach, on the island’s rugged, western shores. Couples can expect every amenity under the sun: four white-sand beaches, a 35,000-square-foot spa, three swimming pools (one is adults-only), and a championship-level course at the nearby Ko Olina Golf Club.
Alan Wong’s Honolulu - Chef Alan Wong’s Honolulu flagship is Hawaiian regional cuisine at its finest. Dishes such as macadamia nut–crusted lamb chops and twice-cooked short rib are heavenly; opt for the tasting menu to sample an all-star lineup of delicious offerings.
Roy’s - Roy Yamaguchi is quite possibly the most famous chef to hail from the state. A pioneer in Hawaiian regional cuisine, Chef Roy continues to build his empire (now totaling 31 restaurants), but the flagship Waikiki outlet remains a tried-and-true destination for Yamaguchi’s signature fusion entrées, top-notch wines, and decadent desserts.
Hoku’s at the Kahala Resort - Hoku’s is a great choice for creative fusion food, merging Asian, Hawaiian, and European flavors to perfection. Expect a twist on contemporary island classics, such as salt crusted rack of lamb or Kurobuta pork chop with Maui gold pineapple and shishito peppers.
Sushi Sasabune - Sushi fans flock to this South King Street favorite from all over the world. The main attraction is the unforgettable omakase experience (a là carte dining is also available). Be sure to sit at the counter for an up-close view of Chef Seiji Kumagawa’s methodical sushi preparation.
The Pig & the Lady - Food critics argue that this hip Vietnamese restaurant is credited with putting Chinatown—and Honolulu at large—on the global food map. Chef Andrew Le is on the vanguard of Hawaii’s culinary scene, melding flavors from all over the Pacific rim to create “haute Vietnamese” cuisine. A bowl of pho, for example, is executed with brisket that’s been braised for 12 hours, stewed bone marrow, fresh ginger, scallions, calamansi, sawtooth herbs, and chili peppers. Even more reason to check it out: The Pig & the Lady offers takeout—the perfect cap to a long day on the beach.
Mahina & Sons - Oahu-born Ed Kenney is a James Beard–nominated chef whose restaurants—Town, Kaimuki Superette, and Mud Hen Water—are beloved by locals and tourists alike. His latest venture, within the Surfjack Hotel, focuses on sustainably sourced seafood, served in retro dining room that’s unlike anywhere else in Waikiki.
MW Restaurant - The husband-and-wife co-owners of MW have, collectively, cut their teeth at some of the world’s finest restaurants—Per Se, the French Laundry, Alan Wong’s. Dishes at their flagship feature inventive, contemporary interpretations of traditional Hawaiian specialties, like Ahi nachos, unagi and butterfish arancini, and lobster kamaboko sliders.
Honolulu International Airport (HNL) is Oahu's main airport and by far the most visited airport in Hawaii. The facility is located about six miles northwest of Honolulu's central business district. HNL is accessible via car, bus, taxi, and shuttle.