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I love crisp early mornings, real laughs that make your belly hurt, genuine love that makes your heart full, and creating experiences that belong in a well loved novel. If you find your self searching for those moments that set your soul on fire and dying to connect with another adventurous spirit... Then keep scrolling, I can't wait to meet you. 


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When you think of Hawai’i, what comes to mind first?  Volcanoes, hot sun, ocean, sand, palm trees – the usual things.  But what exactly ARE all the islands that make up Hawai’i and are they even all inhabited?  Are they hard to get to, or is this something that is an everyday occurrence for those who live there?

Read on and I will give you a quick guide all about the islands of Hawai’i and what you need to know if you are going to visit!

 

What ARE the Islands of Hawai’i

The Hawaiian islands are made up of an archipelago (a group of islands or chain of islands) of eight major islands, some atolls (ring-shaped coral reef encircling a lagoon), several smaller islets and seamounts in the North Pacific Ocean.  They are 1,500 miles long from the island of Hawai’i to Kure Atoll. They were previously known as the ‘Sandwich Islands’, so named by James Cook. The current name comes from the name of the largest island, Hawai’i Island.

The Main Islands

Hawai’i – This is the largest island of all of the eight and is also known as ‘The Big Island’.  It is over 4,000 square miles and boasts a population of 185, 079. This is generally the island people think of when they talk about going to the Hawaiian islands.

Maui – Another well known island, Maui is also called ‘The Valley Isle’ and is over 720 square miles and has a population of 144,444.

O’ahu – This island is almost as big as Maui and is known as ‘The Gathering Place’, with a size of 596 square miles and a population of 953,207.  Yes, a larger population than either Hawai’i or Maui, even though it is significantly smaller!

The other islands comprising the eight main islands are Kaua’i, ‘The Garden Isle’ which is 552 square miles and has a population of 66, 921; Moloka’i, ‘The Friendly Isle’ which is 260 square miles with a population of 7,345; Lana’i, ‘The Pineapple Isle’ which is 140 square feet with a population of 3,134; Ni’ihau, ‘The Forbidden Isle’ which is 69 square miles with a population of 170; and, lastly, Kaho’olawe, ‘The Target Isle’ which is 44 square miles but has no population at all.

The Smaller Side

On the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands, there are several smaller islands, atolls and reefs, although everything to the west of Ni’ihau are uninhabited.  These are Nihoa, Necker, French Frigate Shoals, Gardner Pinnacles, Maro Reef, Laysan, Lisianski Island, Pearl and Hermes Atoll, Midway Atoll and Kure Atoll.

 

The number for the islands of Hawai’i (137) includes all minor islands and islets (very small islands) that are offshore of the main islands.  A few of these are Ford Island, Lehua, Ka’ula, Kaohikaipu, Manana, Mokolea Rock, Na Mokulua, Molokini, Mikoi’i, Moku Manu, Moku Ola (Coconut Island, Hawai’i), Moku o Lo’e (Coconut Island, Oahu), Sand Island and Grass Island.

Visiting the Hawaiian Islands

If you are thinking of visiting as a tourist or for a vacation, you would be best suited to stay on the inhabited islands, naturally the bigger islands with the higher populations.  There is beautiful weather there year round and it makes it even easier that Hawai’i is the 50th state of the United States, so if you are an American visiting you don’t even need to bring a different currency.

I hope you found this short guide about Hawai’i and the surrounding islands helpful!  Have you ever taken a vacation, visited or live there? If you have some advice to give someone who has never been, please comment below and tell us about it!

Travel

Have you ever seen those beautiful island pictures with the gorgeous overwater cottages and wondered “Where in the world IS that? I’d love to visit there someday”.

 

Look no further! I am going to give you some of the top overwater bungalow locations and why you might want to choose these spots for your next exotic vacation.

 

Bora Bora

There are multiple places in Bora Bora that you can go to escape ‘the grind’ and grab yourself a vacation in an overwater bungalow, such as Le Meridien, Four Seasons, St Regis and Conrad Bora Bora Nui.  Depending on which location you choose, you will have different surroundings, but the view will always be spectacular with clear, blue water, thatched roof bungalows and white sandy beaches. You can hang out by the water or lay in your outdoor bed for a nap, but either will afford you a great view of the beautiful island!

Maldives

There are several great choices when it comes to vacationing in an overwater bungalow in the Maldives.  There is Soneva Jani, Gili Lankanfushi, St Regis Maldives Vommuli Resort and Cocoa Island by COMO. From a shoeless vacation, to catamarans and nets in the ocean, cheese rooms and chocolate caves, to spas and prosecco – you will be lacking for nothing when it comes to pure relaxation and simple enjoyment in your own little piece of paradise.

Tahiti

At Vahine Island, you will enjoy beaches that look like sugar, underwater coral gardens and coconut groves.  There are only three overwater bungalows here so this is an escape that will make you feel as if it is just you and nature enjoying your time away.  

 

Another great option in Tahiti is InterContinental Tahiti Resort and Spa.  This island is the most accessible and just minutes away from the airport. If you are looking for a vacation that offers Polynesian charm and a tropical escape, this is definitely the vacation you are looking for!  

 

A third option on this beautiful island is Le Taha’a.  Here you will get authentic Polynesian style while being surrounded by bamboo and pandanus tree vegetation.  There are 45 overwater suites here, so lots of opportunity to plan a vacation away at this location. Don’t forget to take a five-minute boat ride to check out the black pearl farms!

Cambodia

If you’ve ever wanted to experience that simpler way of life, go take a vacation in Song Saa and see how life is much more relaxed and simplistic.  The people are more connected to each other and you will enjoy the sense of joy they get from the simple things in life. The food is like no other here!  Of course, don’t forget the amazing views of the Koh Rong archipelago that you will get to enjoy during your stay.

Jamaica

Go book yourself a vacation at Sandals South Coast or Sandals Royal Caribbean in beautiful and friendly Jamaica with Sandals’ overwater villas.  You can book any one of the 12 heart-shaped overwater suites. There is also the resort’s first overwater bar where you can grab a few drinks while you enjoy the sunshine!   You can swing in a hammock and enjoy a midday nap while you let the cares of your everyday life just flow away. This is a great place to enjoy yourself for a week, but be warned – you may never want to go back home! (Oh, and Sandals has a resort in St.Lucia with Overwater bungalows!) 

 

I hope this was helpful for you picking out your next exotic-style vacation in an overwater bungalow.  Any of these options would be a great choice, so you really can’t go wrong! Have you ever stayed at any of these places?  Comment below and let me know what you thought of your overwater bungalow stay!

Travel

Traveling seems to be the trendy thing to do these days and as we mindlessly scroll the Instagram feed we find ourselves bitten by the wanderlust bug. However, taking a luxury vacation to French Polynesia or backpacking through Europe isn’t always in the cards for us. Sometimes a little Stay-cation is just what we need to shake off that Instagram envy!

 

What is a stay-cation?

A staycation is a combination of vacationing and staying home. This could mean taking a day trip to explore a local city then coming home to sleep in your own bed, or actually staying overnight outside! I personally tend to get distracted if I am home so staying the night somewhere else is the only way to make it have that “Vacation” feel.

Determine your purpose!

To get started planning you need to first determine what your over all goal is for this Staycation.
Are you looking to get out of the house and adventure? Do you need a little relaxation and rejuvenation? Maybe you are just looking to be entertained! It can be so easy to veer off course and not achieve your dream staycation if you don’t set a specific goal in place!

Where to stay? (Airbnb, Hotel, Resort, Groupon)

This is my favorite part of planning a staycation! Where I stay needs to give off the perfect “Vacation” vibes so I can truly feel like I traveled somewhere. I like to jump on Instagram and search hashtags related to the city I want to visit. This will typically give me an idea of where people are choosing to stay. Airbnb, Groupon, and Booking.com are other great ways to search for the best places to stay! The Airbnb is going to give you the most unique options while Groupon and Booking.com are going to help narrow down the best places for your budget.

What to do?

The best way to vacation like a tourist is to research like one! Type in the name of the city you will be visiting into a search engine and see what pops up. What are some of the highly reviewed hotels, resorts, and restaurants? You can head over to the city’s chamber website and find information on festivals and events. If you are looking for relaxation think spas, libraries, or even a local coffee shop with a cozy fireplace where you can curl up and read a book or catch up on your podcasts. Searching for adventure? Think local parks, hiking/biking trails, or maybe indoor rock climbing? (always wanted to try that!)

Whatever your reasoning maybe for planning a staycation, make sure you fully commit! Take pictures like a tourist, plan out your outfits, and get your travel buddies excited! I would love to hear about a staycation you have planned, or what your dream staycation would look like!

Happy Planning!
Shelbi

Travel

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