The Deal Mommy

Just Your Average Last Minute Beach Trip…To Hawaii

Hawaii on Miles

It’s the end of summer. Camps are over and many families find themselves with a spare week and nothing to do. In DC that often means a last minute trip to the beach. Yes, I considered a Mid-Atlantic Beach Getaway but then the Wonder Triplets struck in the form of Deal Kid’s Best Friend, a Skyauction Certificate, and Signup Bonuses. 12 hours later we were on a plane to Hawaii!

Reading over that last paragraph I realize some I have some explaining to do.  Before I start, let me write a quick love letter to Deal Dad.  Few guys out there get a call at 1:30PM on a Tuesday saying “How bout I take your kids to Hawaii at 4AM tomorrow morning?” and say “ok, just don’t spend too much”.  Single ladies: if you find one like Deal Dad: He’s a Keeper. None of the crazy crap I do would be possible without him.

Now for the explaining:

  • Deal Kid’s Best Friend: Since returning from a month in Asia Deal Kid has been content hanging out in his room facetiming his friends. (Not that I blame him) Any mention of leaving the house, much less getting outta Dodge, got a reaction similar to Deal Dog’s at the vet. However, Deal Kid’s Best Friend’s family happens to be on vacation here on the Big Island of Hawaii so male bonding time is assured. I knew Deal Kid would be onboard. Deal Girl? She’s up for any travel, anytime.
  • A SkyAuction Certificate:  I went on a rant about the Wyndham Credit Card being terrible a few months ago. The coffee on my Lanai is Exhibit A. I always keep a SkyAuction Certificate in reserve because you never know what might pop up as available timeshare rental inventory, especially at the last minute.  Lo and Behold, a 2 bedroom Oceanfront Condo at the Kona Coast Resort, a Wyndham Property, is open for this week! I’ll review the property later, but suffice to say it’s definitely worth $35/night. This is the 3rd year in a row I’ve seen Hawaii at the last minute in August. I originally offered it to Deal Kid’s BFF’s Mom, but they had lodging squared away…which got me thinking…
  • Signup Bonuses: On the way out I used Avios earned from a 100K targeted Platinum Amex signup bonus. At 22.5K each way it was not the cheapest option, but at 12 hours out I took what I could get! The 100k signup bonus for the Citibank AA Executive card, which we had gotten 2 of last year, left us with enough miles for 3 OW tickets home from Hawaii.  (Note: The bonus is now lower).
    • A few more notes in our favor:
      • We also have AA Aviator cards, which provide a 10% rebate on miles redeemed.
      • Platinum American Express airline credits covered the close in booking fee on the AA tickets.
      • The tickets back come during AA’s value season so were only 17.5k each.

So a Lucille Ball-like scheme hatched at 1:30 PM on Tuesday had us leaving for the airport 14.5 hours later and arriving in time for a sunset swim on Wednesday. Phew!  Yesterday we explored the Volcano National Park and the Deal Kids had lots of firsts: from convertible ride to Hawaiian Shave Ice.  Today will be all about the water.  After that?  No idea!  Feel free to share your Big Island faves.

Where have you gone at the absolute last minute?  How did you do it?  Please share in the comments and maybe it will help another reader find his or her escape!

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8 thoughts on “Just Your Average Last Minute Beach Trip…To Hawaii

  1. Erik

    We love the Big Island. You gotta check out the Kapoho tide pools south of Hilo. Wonderful place for kids learning to snorkel, and even if they can’t snorkel they can simply look down at the fish, coral, and other critters because the water is crystal clear. If you’re up for a good meal on the beach, the Lava Lava beach club in Waikoloa is great. Hapuna Beach is nice and so is the public beach at Mauna Kea hotel (but there are a limited number of passes given out at the guard shack each day so go early). Our kids also enjoyed visiting the Mountain Thunder coffee plantation.

  2. Pan

    Wow awesome trip!! In general timeshare rental require a whole calendar week, how do you make it work for your Wednesday arrival?
    Does the award flight involves at least 3 segments, it is hard to find something more direct from DC to Hawaii with AA awards.

    1. thedealmommy Post author

      Hi Pan,
      This one was Friday arrival, so I rented the 1st two nights (at same hotel) through Orbitz. With promo codes and credits it came to around $100 for a 1 bedroom.

      The way out was 2 leg: U.S. Air Bwi-phx-Koa. The way back was 3: Koa-lax-dfw-bwi with 4 hours in Dallas. Not ideal, but upside was a visit to the centurion lounge!

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