You don’t have to leave the U.S. to find a remote island escape. Hawaii is your perfect getaway.
By Lesley Tkaczyk Miller
The sound of fresh water rushing into a pristine basin fills your ears as you watch fluffy white clouds drift along blue skies. You close your eyes and take a deep breath to center your mind, then think to yourself, “I am not standing in my kitchen staring out the window about to do the second batch of dishes in one day. No way. Today, I’m in Hawaii.”
Dreams of a tropical getaway always serve as a wonderful break from reality, and it’s been a difficult year for those with wanderlust in their heart. The good news is relief is on the way. Insight Vacations® makes it easier for you to plan your next getaway with confidence so you can get out of your kitchen and on to the beach.
Hawaii is a truly special destination. It’s easily accessible as part of the United States, yet the islands feel beautifully foreign — so full of distinctive culture and uniquely stunning scenery. A guided vacation with Insight Vacations is the ideal way to escape and explore it. The 7-day Tropical Hawaiian Paradise Escape immerses you in the best this ancient utopia has to offer.
Say Aloha Oahu
The island of Oahu has spectacular beaches. You can see them stretch for miles from the air as you descend to land at Honolulu International Airport. These pristine strips of sand are a sharp contrast to the city’s thriving streets and the island’s grooved, unspoiled mountains. Foodies, surfers and history buffs alike will find something to love here on the island known as “The Gathering Place.”
An ocean view room at ‘Alohilani Resort Waikiki Beach welcomes you to paradise. Get your toes in the sand and soak up some sun with ample free time. Then, delve into the rich history of the island. The group of flags standing at the entrance to the Pearl Harbor National Memorial serve as an immediate reminder of the significance of this national landmark from the moment you arrive. Skipping the ticket line gives you more time to enjoy the interactive exhibits and three museums. A Navy shuttle ride over the water brings you to the humbling USS Arizona Memorial above the still sunken battleship.
Another history highlight will be your visit to Iolani Palace, the only royal palace in America, which was once home to Hawaiian royalty. This privately guided experience is led by your Local Expert who will spin tales that bring you back to the time of the kings and queens of Hawaii’s monarchy.
While rich in history, Oahu is also home to abundant natural treasures. Nowhere strikes the balance of these two things quite like the Nuuanu Pali Lookout. A mere five miles outside of downtown Honolulu, the mountain-side stop along the Pali Highway gives you a very different perspective on the island. This vantage point above the Windward Coast reveals striking views of a verdant valley stretching to the ocean. The howling winds at this scenic place are the only hint of the site’s violent past. In 1795, the Battle of Nuuanu took place here and claimed hundreds of lives when King Kamehameha I won the fierce battle in his struggle to unite the Hawaiian Islands under his reign.
Embrace Mother Nature in Maui
The wonders of nature continue to impress in Maui, where even your hotel is a scenic viewpoint. Named the “World’s Best Hotel for Stargazing,” the Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa is situated on 40 oceanfront acres along Kaanapali Beach, ensuring your stay will be captivating day and night.
The Upcountry area of Maui is more than worthy of a day’s exploration. This bit of tropical paradise is home to boutique farms that produce delights such as lavender, honey, pineapple and even Hawaiian gin. The memorable tastes and sights stay with you long after you’ve gone home no matter which rural cultural experience you choose. Come evening, the hotel’s director of astronomy will map out the skies during a rooftop program that helps identify all the stars that have been mesmerizing you since you arrived.
Beyond the indulgent sights, tastes and sounds, perhaps the most charming part of Hawaii is its people and traditional culture. You’ll be able to experience ancestral Hawaiian ways more authentically by spending time learning from local kumus (teachers) who explain how important traditional arts and crafts are for the islands. Whether you want to learn to make a lei, play the ukulele or create beautiful kapa prints, you will feel truly connected to the spirit of aloha. You can continue learning during a presentation exclusively for Insight Vacation guests where a local expert shares insight into the ecology of the islands and how species have evolved.
Leave Your Worries at Home
Insight Vacations® is family-owned and has made changes to its itineraries and trip formats to protect your family, too. The Tropical Hawaiian Paradise Escape is a specially designed Domestic Escapes journey that allows guests to explore and discover unique cultural experiences without traveling internationally. Departures all have a maximum of 22 guests, allowing for safer physical distancing and more personal space during both transportation and explorations.
Each Travel Director and all drivers have been trained in appropriate well-being and hygiene protocols to align with the latest guidance regarding COVID-19. Hand sanitizer is available for use throughout each day and physical distancing measures including staggered seating are in place aboard all luxury transportation coaches. Additionally, Insight Vacations has chosen to only work with establishments — including hotels, sightseeing venues and restaurants — that adhere to its high well-being standards.
Beyond those and other elevated hygiene protocols, each booking comes with a Flexibility Promise that allows you to change your travel plans up to 30 days before departure. This flexibility is supported by Deposit Protection with a five-year guarantee — if you must cancel your trip, you can keep your deposit as a credit for five years. Talk with your AAA Travel Agent to learn more about these and other available travel protections.
Your tropical escape is just a phone call away! Call and book today.
Visit your local AAA office.
(Traveler Fall 2020)