Hawaii is still a place I think about from a flower I see to a sunset colors in a late afternoon, it was such a wonderful experience and knowing we made it happen at such a wonderful price is the reason why I am sharing this post with you.
Traveling and visiting places you only dream about is such an inspiration to make those dreams into a reality, and that is how we made this trip happen.
Here is our exciting day, is finally here so we get started with a very early flight heading to Los Angeles, we got to LAX very early a little before 9 am we had a 7 hour layover which seems like a long time to be in the airport but we made the best of it.. Instead of going out and exploring the city we explored the airport, tried to reach 10k steps so we walked and also checked out 2 private lounges. Which I will share my review on both lounge that you can check out if traveling from LAX.
Airport Check In
At the airport we skipped the general line by going through TSA Precheck, this made the security process so much smoother and faster, if you havent done so, I truly recommend applying for it but if you are not in a hurry wait until the following credit cards and you can get a reimbursement for your application.
- $85.00 per application (got it FREE with 2 credit cards we sign up during the year)
Access to Private Lounge
While we waited for our connecting flight we spent time on 2 private lounge which we had access to (from credit cards as well) We had snacks, drinks, Starbucks coffee, sandwiches, salads and more all included by being member of Priority Pass all provided by 2 credit cards we have.. (another bonus for applying to the right credit cards)
- Priority Pass cost could start standard at $99 yearly ($27 member & guest visit fee each) this benefit is also included on a credit card we had sign up with.
Both lounge offer great snacks, salad, drinks and coffee. We were able to recharge our phones, rested on a very quiet lounge and even had the option of using some pretty nice showers.
I’m glad we had this option all through some great credits cards, which made the wait a lot more pleasant.
Flight from LAX to KOA (Kona International)
By then we were tired because of the time difference but it was nice how smooth it went as soon as we arrived to the airport which was right out door, got a shuttle to the nearest Rental Company and we were set with our own car.
Drive from Airport to Hotel was about 20 minutes
Our view felt a little weird since it was very dark, we had no clue what was around us but once we saw the entrance to the hotel you could see how big the resort and that section of the island is. The process was very fast to check in, right then we got a train that stops at our hotel and after a few minutes we were in our room. The picture I’m sharing is during the day, the resort is beautiful and it has 3 different hotels inside which all connect..
Our room came with a balcony and as soon as we open the sliding door you feel the breeze and hear the ocean, in the morning we were able to see what a beautiful view we had.
Hilton Hotel 6 days and 5 nights Total: $528.96
A year earlier we both applied for Hilton Credit Cards which were offering 75k Hilton points each, my husband applied for it first and soon we were able to reach the amount necessary, right after I applied luckily the bonus amount was still the same and right away I also got approved. Now with so many points accumulated we were ready to book our trip, our original plan was Maui. So we called Hilton to make our Maui reservation but while on the phone they offered to transfer us with a better deal all we had to do was listen, so we did. On the phone it was Hilton Grand Vacations, they offered a more reasonable price to stay 6 days and 5 nights at the Waikoloa Village Hilton Hotel but is not in Maui this hotel is on the Big Island of Hawaii, so now we had to consider what to do, so we asked will this cover the resort fees, they said yes only if we attend to a time share presentation at that same resort just a few minutes away. We share that we dont want to spend our anniversary listening to a presentation that could take a day, so they offer the price to be the following
- $900 for 6 days/5 nights savings of ($655)
- $0.00 for resort fees savings of ($180)
So letting them know I wouldn’t want to spend my first time in Hawaii and on my 20th anniversary going to a Time Share presentation the representative included another incentive, which made us talk and consider this deal, and we did.. They added to the original offer a car rental during our stay, 5000 Hilton Points and $200 Gift Card.
- $0.00 for car rental savings of ($282.74)
- after going to Presentation we received 5000 Hilton Points & $200 Visa Gift Card (all took months to receive)
Airfare Ticket Total: $44.80 for both
We booked this flight using Korean Air booking skypass reservation, we did have to make this reservation over the phone which took a few days since we had to transfer 25,000 points each from Chase Ultimate Reward portal to Korean Air and submit some document required by Korean Air.
Once we transfer our points and waited until it was available we had created one account on Skypass which gave us a member number. In addition we filled out a form from Korean Air Skypass Award Application (includes your skypass number, Skypass redemption which we selected award ticket, booking reference number, all of the names traveling, sign and we faxed the form) this could be done way ahead of time too.
I also read a few steps have improved when booking with Korean Air, most likely some of these steps might be a lot easier. Here is how much we paid and the amount we saved on the Airfare Ticket.
- $1786.00 Delta Airfare for (2)
- $44.80 and Chase Sapphire Points (50K)
- $1741.20 Amount Saved on Hawaii Airfare for 2
- Security Check in – A lot faster with TSA Pre
- FREE – Snacks, Drinks, Salad, Coffee, WIFI, Quiet Lounge
- $44.80 Airfare Total
- $0/FREE – Car Rental Total
- $528.96 Hotel Stay (after $200 visa gc & $250 in points applied)