I Cancelled My Last Minute Trip to Hawaii [Rescheduled for June]

Reposted on 3/17/20 at 7:30am


Updated 3pm PT on 3/14/20: I was planning on going to Kauai in March but have rescheduled my trip to Kauai for June.  I have cancelled / rescheduled all the reservations below.


Good afternoon everyone, I hope your Friday is going well.  As a sequel to yesterday’s post (I Cancelled My Trip to Ireland), we decided to go to Kauai instead for Laura’s spring break (we went to Kauai 2 years ago for Laura’s spring break as well).  I checked flights from the Bay Area to Hawaii and flights were in the $100-$130 price range each way to all the Hawaiian Islands.  Prices were so cheap that it was a better deal to pay for flights than to book award tickets.

Laura had ~52K Southwest Airlines Points in her account, so we booked 2 roundtrip tickets from Oakland (OAK) to Lihue, Kauai (LIH) using 50,292 SWA points and $22.40 in taxes/fees ($5.60 per person per flight).  About an hour later, I checked the flight prices and saw a price drop.  I immediately rebooked the SWA flight for free and saved 8,174 SWA points.  This morning, I checked the flights again and saw more price drops.  I quickly and easily rebooked those flights using the SWA app.  After the dust settled, our SWA flights now cost a total of 35,087 SWA points (a savings of 15,205 SWA points in ~12 hours).  I kind of feel bad that the prices keep dropping so dramatically (but I will keep checking the flight prices to see if they get any cheaper).

Now that flights were booked, I did some research on hotels.  Surprisingly, hotel prices were higher than I expected, but I searched for hotel awards using Hilton, Hyatt, Marriott, and Wyndham (no IHG or Radisson properties on Kauai).  For the last 2+ years, I have been sitting on a stash of ~75K Wyndham Rewards Points.  As luck would have it, there was availability at 2 of their resort properties where 1 bedroom condos / villas were available for 15K Wyndham points / night.  I tried to book the resorts online but it kept giving me an error message saying “you do not have enough points.”  I had plenty of Wyndham points in my account, so I am not sure what the issue was.  I called the general Wyndham Hotels customer service number and they said I needed to speak to the Wyndham Rewards team.  After getting transferred over, I was told that the resort properties in Kauai (and maybe all Wyndham resort properties worldwide) are managed by a company called ExtraHolidays.  I had to call them directly at 1-800-428-1932 and speak to an agent to book the Wyndham resorts in Kauai.

The rep at ExtraHolidays was very friendly and knowledgeable about the Wyndham resorts in Kauai and helped me make my reservations at the Club Wyndham Bali Hai Villas in Princeville (north shore) and at the Shell Vacations Club Kauai Coast Resort at the Beachboy in Kapaa (east shore).  The rep was able to see availability that I couldn’t see online and completed the reservations in a few minutes (I would have preferred to spend 5 days in Princeville, but availability was only there for the first 3 nights).  Even though the ExtraHolidays website is not as snazzy as other hotel websites and their properties are not super hip and cool, I was able to get 5 nights free in Kauai in 2 of the places we really wanted to stay.

For our last night in Kauai, we needed a 1 night reservation at another hotel.  We were considering another stay at the Hilton Garden Inn Kauai Wailua Bay (near the Lihue airport) where we spent 5 nights last time, but after reading many positive reviews of the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa in Koloa (south shore), we decided to spend 25,000 Hyatt points for a 1 night reservation.  I wish we could stay longer at this resort, but 1 night is all we can do (on this trip).

Image source: https://www.hyatt.com/en-US/hotel/hawaii/grand-hyatt-kauai-resort-and-spa/kauai/photos-reviews

I am more used to booking trips 8-10 months in advance, so I don’t often get a chance to book trips last minute.  It is fun and I like the adrenaline rush, especially when you can score cheap flights and redeem hotel points for the hotel reservations.  I am sad that I had to cancel our trip to Ireland, but when life gives you lemons, fly to Kauai and make a tropical drink.  If you have any questions about booking our trip to Kauai, please leave a comment below.  Have a great weekend everyone and safe travels.

45 thoughts on “I Cancelled My Last Minute Trip to Hawaii [Rescheduled for June]

    1. Grant Post author

      I look at SWA points as basically cash, but I was trying to say that I didn’t book an award ticket using Alaska, British Airways, Singapore, it Turkish miles.

      Reply
  1. Elizabeth Parker

    SWA prices have been crazy cheap this week – I have a 4/25 trip to Vegas still, tentatively, and it’s gone from $140 one-way (DTW to LAS) to $120 to $89 to $60 all in one week … I definitely rebooked, as I had used miles to book it originally.

    Reply
    1. Grant Post author

      Yup, I think most SWA routes have seen dramatic drops in a very short period of time. Who knows what the bottom is, it might get even cheaper.

      Reply
  2. Adam L

    I think it is highly irresponsible to travel. Social distancing means not going through airports. If you think you’re young and healthy enough to deal with a bad cold, good for you. But others are not so lucky.

    Reply
    1. Grant Post author

      Hi Adam, thank you for your feedback. I have been working from home all week and barely leave the house, so I am doing my best to help with social distancing. If there is a travel ban where Californians cannot leave the state, I will respect the authorities and cancel my trip to Kauai.

      Reply
      1. Adam L

        Grant: I don’t think you’ve really taken to heart what social distancing really means. It’s not about waiting for the government to tell you that you can’t leave the state. It’s about you traveling, encountering coronavirus and then spreading it every subsequent place you go. WHO tests indicate that infected people can begin shedding the virus a week or more before they get symptoms, if they get symptoms at all.

        By doing mass testing, South Korean officials were able to diagnose those people who were unknowingly infected from continuing to spread the virus. With no comparable system in place in the U.S., the most responsible thing to do would be to avoid non-essential travel.

        Reply
  3. rowyourboat

    This is moronic. It is NOT good to travel right now without good reason. It’s not about supporting local travel business, rather it’s about stopping a pandemic.

    Reply
    1. Grant Post author

      Hi Row Your Boat, thank you for your feedback. I have been working from home all week and barely leave the house, so I am doing my best to help with social distancing. If there is a travel ban where Californians cannot leave the state, I will respect the authorities and cancel my trip to Kauai.

      Reply
    1. Grant Post author

      Hi James, thank you for your feedback. I have been working from home all week and barely leave the house, so I am doing my best to help with social distancing. If there is a travel ban where Californians cannot leave the state, I will respect the authorities and cancel my trip to Kauai.

      Reply
  4. Jim

    This is selfish and dangerous. I have a long-standing trip to Hawaii that I am cancelling. While you may be able to recover from this virus, your parents, your neighbors, your aunts and uncles, etc may not be able to. If we’re going to deal with this pandemic, it has to be a collective effort–young, healthy people have a huge part to play. That you have been working from home is a nice start, but consider making a real sacrifice.

    This is a dangerous and totally socially irresponsible thing to do. See this article from Newsweek. https://www.newsweek.com/young-unafraid-coronavirus-pandemic-good-you-now-stop-killing-people-opinion-1491797

    Reply
    1. Grant Post author

      Hi Jim, thank you for your feedback. I combined your 2 comments into 1 comment to make it easier to respond to. I will check out the Newsweek article you linked to. Thank you for sharing.

      Reply
  5. Beth

    I’m not trying to be obnoxious, but I would ask that you reconsider your trip. I know it’s a really good deal(they have been tempting), but every social interaction is the potential to spread the disease to someone. I appreciate that you limit interaction, but social distancing is about limiting your interactions wherever it isn’t necessary. A trip to Hawaii isn’t. The more trips people take, the more the virus will spread. It doesn’t matter if you are healthy or not so I ask you consider people who you may come across who don’t have your immune system.
    You may already be carrying the virus or you may pick it up. Either way you have huge potential to be a vector.

    If you do decide to go, can I ask that you self-quarantine for 14 days upon return? That would mean no interaction with people for that time.

    I won’t call you names or get angry, articles like this just make me sad. We are all human beings just trying to get through this, I am asking you, as someone with a platform to do a lot of good, to please set the example. Don’t wait for a ban. People are dying, please I am asking you as one person to another, as someone who may know someone that you will have contact with, someone who doesn’t have a robust immune system or who is just unlucky to please reconsider this.You have the points, and the ability to travel at will at almost any other time. Just put this on hold and wait.

    If you hear desperation in my words, you aren’t wrong. My parents are set to go on a trip and they keep looking to travel bloggers, using you as a reason why they should still be ok going, talking about the great deal. I know their situation is different from yours, but I am asking as their daughter, to let me point to your blog and show them that everyone is trying and they will have another chance to go in future.

    Please.

    Reply
    1. Grant Post author

      Hi Beth, I appreciate your concern and don’t find your comment obnoxious at all – you just care about people and want the best for everyone, especially your parents. I have a few days to decide on this trip and I will seriously consider the implications before and after the trip, if we decide to go. All the best to you and your family.

      Reply
  6. V

    Just reinforcing what Beth said. I was supposed to be on a trip this month, and also considered traveling due to cheap fares. But ultimately, I think it’s better for everyone (even if I don’t get sick or only have mild symptoms) to postpone and not even have the possibility of contributing to the spread as an inadvertent vector.

    Especially to Kauai, an island, with much more limited resources and ability to muster more given geographical isolation. You may not even be able to obtain the treatment you need there, and would need to be airlifted to Oahu should you or your family come down with more severe symptoms.

    Hawaii already has a few confirmed cases, why risk potentially adding to that? (By spreading from CA where there are many thousands of unknown vectors in the population to the island)

    Reply
    1. Grant Post author

      Hi V, thank you for the feedback. No place in the US or world is imminue from coronavirus, so it is definitely something to consider.

      Reply
      1. Dustin

        Enjoy your trip Grant! Kauai is awesome! We are actually heading to Oahu tomorrow for a family vacation that was booked long ago.

        Reply
  7. Contrarian

    Go Grant, Go!
    The planes will be half empty so you’ll be far from fellow passengers. Same with ur hotel. Just stay away from crowds.
    Have fun!

    Reply
      1. Lisa Rasmussen

        Good job Grant… I am glad that you are out there living life… it’s great that not everyone in this country has become completely sissified! Even better to see it from a millenial such as yourself!

        Reply
  8. Andrew R.

    Family and I heading to Kauai ourselves end of March. Couple nights in Hilton Garden Inn. Four at the Grand Hyatt. Can’t wait, we’re beyond excited. Nothing short of a complete grounding of flights will keep us away.

    Reply
  9. Kyle

    Hi Grant, while we’re in dire need of visitors to keep our visitor industry afloat, things here are evolving quickly. More and more, events and popular attractions are being canceled/closing. What’s more, the weather forecast is all rain and thundershowers. So, I say, save your Hawaii vacation for another time. Even though we really need the business.

    Aloha,

    Kyle

    Reply
  10. Benji

    Grant just want to respond to your comments above – you said you were waiting for California to ban travel… If people who don’t have urgent needs to travel end up traveling anyway and spread the virus, they may actually ban traveling all together. And that is a much worse situation than what we’re currently dealing with.

    Italy’s medical system is so overwhelmed that the hospital is turning people away. And so far the only thing that has contained the virus is a China/South Korea-like complete shut down. We obviously don’t want to get to that point.

    If for nothing else, for your own sake, think about what if they do shut down travel say on a regional level: Say they block travel between Hawaii and California because there is an outbreak in California. Kauai isn’t the worst place to be stuck but it’s probably best to be close to home.

    Reply
    1. Grant Post author

      Hi Benji, thank you for your feedback. I hope that US hospitals don’t get to the same state as Italian hospitals. It’s an ever changing situation. Have a good weekend.

      Reply
  11. Pan

    I understand the reluctance to cancel existing prepaid vacation, but to buy a new trip now for the near future .. and post about it … speechless

    Reply
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