It’s usually around October or November that you realize there are only a few months left in the year and it’s now or never to earn your frequent flier status! The beauty of mileage runs are they are quick trips and a perfect getaway before the holidays. In order to avoid astronomical pricing, would highly suggest taking your flight before December 15th, but if you need to hit the spend, have at it.
In 2015 and 2017 I flew to Honolulu and Maui respectively for my solo trip of the year and mileage run— cause let’s face it most of your family and friends will think you’re crazy to only go to Hawaii for the weekend, so might as well take that time for some self reflection and rejuvenation!
With such short time on each island, I made sure to do as much research in advance so I could truly take advantage of my stays.
In Honolulu, I stayed at the Hyatt Regency which was great considering they had free breakfast, spacious rooms and was a block from the beach. The staff was very accommodating and offered great suggestions for restaurants and things to do.
During this trip, I decided to be a tourist and go to an evening luau, visit Pearl Harbor, go to the beaches that were known as surfers paradise and also visited some local restaurants along the way.
When in Honolulu, also be sure to visit the food trucks for local Hawaiian cuisine and also be sure to visit the Dole Pineapple Plantation, Hanauma Bay, and Diamond Head! I didn’t rent a car, and it was ok, because I was more touristy. Everything I experienced either included transportation, was walking distance, or I could take public transportation. Honolulu was a great first Hawaii experience for sure.
In 2017, for another solo mileage run trip, I visited Maui. This island was completely different from Honolulu. More foliage, more spread out, and in order to enjoy the beauty of the island, a car was necessary.
For this trip, I stayed at the Residence Inn Maui Wailea and it was great. Free breakfast, great location, and again, spacious rooms. Even though I was traveling solo, I always appreciate space in a hotel room— I am on vacation!!
Since I landed in the morning (after an overnight flight from LA) I immediately picked up my rental car and stopped for the infamous shaved ice at Uluhani Shaved Ice and from there I went to Paia Fish Market for their famous fish tacos, which were just ok.
While I had all intentions of making it to dinner, the long day of flying and time change got the best of me. So, on my full day before departing back to DC, I woke up early, nibbled on hotel breakfast and headed to 808 Grindz Cafe for their famous macadamia pancakes w/ mac-nilla sauce and shredded pork moco w/ grindz fried rice.
I highly suggest getting there when they open to beat the line. You place your order and then sit outside on patio furniture. The restaurant may be deceiving because it’s in a shopping plaza but it was one of my most delicious meals in Maui.
After my delicious breakfast, I was told I had to try Sugar Beach bake shop for their Masaladas. At this point, I was stuffed but hey, you only live once. I then headed to the Four Seasons for a massage (they had a Groupon deal)! It was a nice way to break up my day and from there I visited Makena State Park Beach. Here I laid out a mini blanket and ate the rest of my breakfast leftovers (the macadamia sauce for the pancakes is everything).
After a while I got bored and the water was ice cold so I decided to make my last activity before dinner—a visit to the Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm. It was a very long drive, but beautiful site. It’s more of a here’s your map, feel free to explore on your own.
After the lavender farm, I was able to squeeze in a final dinner at Monkeypod for happy hour and delicious food! I had their infamous Mai Tai which I will never forget. Hawaii will always have a special place in my heart, and if you ever need to do a mileage run, I highly suggest it as a destination!