Pele Lani Eco Retreats






Pele Heaven
10 Ways to Save Big Bucks on Your Big Isalnd Hawaii Vacation

Living here in Hawaii for me was a sticker shock. I thought that there are prices for tourists and then there are the lower prices for residents-the Kama'ina rate. There is a little truth to this, but not enough to make a real difference. Yes, if I were to stay in a hotel on another part of the island, or buy a tourist attraction, I could get a 10-20% discount. In reality, if I'm living here, how often would I do that?

Since 90% of our consumer products are made elsewhere and the cost of fuel and shipping has skyrocketed, most items, including gasoline, are very expensive. Yes, Hawaii is expensive for the most part, but if you are flexible, like immersing yourself in the local culture and food, and are adventurous, your daily living expenses can be the about the same as your expenses at home.

Here are some effective ways to take that bite out of your pocket in my area of Hawaii.

1. LOOK FOR DEALS. When the economy is slow, airlines, hotels and auto rentals are the first to feel the pain. The slow down of vacation travel gets passed on the small businesses that depend on tourism to stay in business. Hawaii is highly dependent on tourism and we are seeing tough times.

There are great deals to be found for airline tickets, car rentals and some hotels. But because these three industries have high fixed costs, there is only so much they can do. What typically happens is that these companies discount their empty seats, empty rooms and idle cars. By being patient, sometimes checking every day, you can find great fares. By checking ORBITZ.COM, I found a great fare from San Francisco to Honolulu to Hilo for $515 round trip and this was for travel between March 15 to April 15. So purchasing tickets too far in advance or too close to the time of travel might not get you the best deal.

Keep your travel dates flexible. By traveling mid-week or mid-month, you can save up to $100 per ticket. Sometimes it is better to book a flight from your home location to Honolulu because several airlines have special deals into Honolulu.
NEWLY REDUCED AIRFARES FROM HAWAIIAN AIRLINES. Then you can look online for an inter island flight from Honolulu to Hilo. Enterprise Auto Rental Company is typically the cheapest but there are deals to be had by Thrifty and Budget. If you belong to AAA or belong to AARP, or other organizations, you might qualify for an additional discount.

Suggestion: Start checking at least three months in advance if travel is during low season. Low season on the Big Island is typically March through May and September to mid-November. The rest is high season, so check 3-12 months in advance especially if you are planning a holiday season vacation. The state of the economy might get you low season prices year round from businesses that want to generate more income from tourism.

2. RETAIN THE VALUE OF YOUR MONEY IN HAWAII. Right now with the dollar devalued in most parts of the world, it's is best to stay in the US and spend your money at its current value. Visit some other state that you have always wanted to visit or visit some exotic place in the US like Hawaii. On the Big Island of Hawaii, especially on the tropical, eastern side, costs are less than in the heavy tourist areas, such as, Kona or Waikoloa or Kohala. Hawaii is the number one vacation destination for Americans for a good reason---weather, tropical environment, great food, friendly people and exciting activities.

3. PREPARE IN ADVANCE. Preparation and planning can save lots of money. Go to the library or look on line for activities and adventures in the area you are visiting. Here is my favorite link to pictorial island tour routes.. Print out everything so you won't have to buy a book. If you belong to AAA, you can get free maps and guides for advanced planning. Buy items, such as, sun screen, hats, sunglasses, sandals, camera and film on sale and bring them with you. Save your money in advance to pay for as much of your vacation as possible rather than charging it on high interest credit cards.

4. GET CREATIVE WITH FOOD, MEALS. Bring a soft-sided cooler from home. You can use this cooler as your carry-on bag or stow it flat in your luggage. Bring individually packaged healthy snacks or nuts from home. By buying in advance and on sale in your home town, you can use those dollars saved for a nice meal in a local restaurant. Carry snacks, fresh island fruit and drinks in your cooler when out exploring. There are many places on the island where you will not easily get food and drink when you really want it. You can prepare most or all meals in condos or lodgings that provide refrigerators, micro-waves or complete kitchens. The local farmers' markets in Pahoa and Maku'u offer a variety of fresh exotic fruits and vegetables, eggs, bread, coffee and desserts at low prices. The local Fish Market and Malama Market in Pahoa, sell a variety of locally caught fresh fish. Of course, you want to experience the local flavor by visiting some restaurants but having breakfast in your condo and packing a lunch, will add up to huge savings. Also, you can utilize the 2 for 1 local coupons for the occasional dining out.

5. LOOK FOR LODGING WITH THE FEATURES YOU WOULD MOST USE. If a hotel has a hot tub and you would never spend time in a hot tub, then don't pay extra for it. Why swim in a pool filled with chemicals or stay in a room with stale air-conditioning? On the eastern side of the Big Island, there are many Bed and Breakfast lodgings, vacation rental houses and condos that make wonderful lodgings in the tropical, more Hawaiian-cultural side of the island. These lodgings are less expensive because they do not offer the amenities of large resorts.

At Pele Lani, we are developing an organic farm and eco-retreat. If you are an eco-minded person, you might enjoy the features of this property. We have a private geothermal warm pond for swimming. We have 5 acres of forest and tropical jungle. Our lodgings are in excellent condition and have kitchens or access to kitchens. We only have up to six visitors at any one time, so in addition to being in a pristine environment, you will have quiet and privacy. Check our website at for more information about our property and fantastic surrounding area.

6. LOOK FOR THE FREE STUFF beginning with the *FREE* LOCAL DRIVING BOOKS AND THINGS-TO-DO BOOKS at the airport when you arrive. There are lots of suggestions, coupons, deals, ideas, and street maps of the more popular areas. There are unique and fantastic local attractions that are free or cost very little.

Put your own adventure tour together. A trip to the world's most active volcano, Kilauea, cost $10 per car which is very inexpensive to see one of the wonders of the world. Akaka Falls and Rainbow Falls are in parks with no admittance fee and free parking. The champagne hot ponds and tide pools in Kapoho are free access. Isaac Hale Park has a free boat launch, great waves and a beach. If you are adventurous and want to get off the beaten path, there are caves, lava tubes, parks, black sand beaches, old lava flows, petroglyphs, new lava flows, and much more to explore on your own, all free.

You can view the dolphins that come into a small bay every morning near Kehena Black Sand Beach. On Sundays, there is an "Ecstatic Dance" morning event for a small donation and you can stay for lunch for $10. For $5 you can spend the day exploring Green Mountain and Green Lake, a volcanic crater fresh water lake and the legendary Cape Kumukahi is just around the corner.

Except on weekday mornings and evenings, there is very light traffic on this side of the island. And to save even more on gasoline, group your outings to get the most out of each area you visit. At Pele Lani, we will be very happy to help you plan your outings and we could be encouraged to take you to our special places.

7. USE CASH AND SPEND LESS. This side of the Big Island operates well on a cash basis. Also, some businesses may give a small discount if you pay cash because it is an expense to them to process your credit card transaction. Bring cash and save on your credit card interest charges. This may help discipline your overall spending, too. Don't buy things you really don't need. Souvenirs are nice but do you really want to lug back items made in China? We can help you put together nice souvenirs that you can make yourself.

8. SHARE EXPENSES WITH A FRIEND(S). If you are single, why not share your vacation and expenses with a friend? If you are coupled, why not share expenses with family members or with another couple? Most condos sleep up to four people for the same rate.

9. SPECIAL OCCASIONS. If you have a special occasion that coincides with your trip, you might be able to get freebees from your lodging place or restaurant. Be sure to let them know that you have selected their establishment to celebrate your special event.

10. TAX DEDUCTIONS AND INVESTMENTS. If you have business in Hawaii or are potentially thinking about Hawaii as a market for your product or services, you might be able to deduct part of your trip expenses as a business tax deduction.

Additionally, if you are interested in purchasing property or investing in property in Hawaii, you might be able to deduct part of your trip as a fact-finding trip.

Please let us know in advance and we can schedule viewing of properties in the area. I have been studying the area for a couple of years, and this area is the best value in Hawaii and this is the best time to buy property. Why lose your hard earned money in the stock-market? Why earn only 1-2% interest in a bank? If you have a 401K plan or a self-directed IRA, you can invest your money (without tax implications) in property and have it held in trust earning rental income and appreciating in value.


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Sample airfares found on ORBITZ.COM on Jan. 18, 2009

Most of the major airlines are offering reasonable fares.
I sampled these fares for a round trip ticket from
March 15 to April 15, 2009 (still high season).
These airline reservations from San Francisco to Hilo, HI. include one stop in Honolulu and a transfer to a local airline, such as Hawaiian or GO! Airlines. If you are flexible and would enjoy a few hours in Honolulu, you can probably find reasonable round trip fares like these.

Northwest Airlines $515 plus taxes

American Airlines $559 plus taxes

United Airlines $$639 plus taxes

Newly REDUCED Airfares from Hawaiian Airlines

Aloha and Mahalo for visiting,
The Pele Lani Holistic and
Agricultural Center Family

Availability beginning March 15, 2009
E-Mail to:
Linda O'Meara & Kathy McCartney
Phone: 925-876-4985

If you would like to rent out the entire property for an extended family reunion or sabbatical, please contact Maya directly at 808 965-1899.

Pele Lani Farm is owned by the Dolena Family Trust and is operated by Pele Lani Eco Retreats.

Pele Lani Retreats, LLC
P.O. BOX 986
Pahoa, HI 96778 - USA
(808) 965-1899 Office, (808) 280-5229 Mobile