Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Travelling to Hawaii

Hello travellers to Hawaii!

We like to send out a newletter a few times per year when we have information we feel will help you when you are travelling to Hawaii.
Oahu Travellers
The first item affects visitors to the Island of Oahu during the dates of November 7 - 13. There is a large APEC Summit happening - the President of the United States and the leaders of 20 other countries will be on the island with their motorcades and security forces.
Also present will be the CEOs of 150 worldwide corporations. Their travel will take them between Waikiki and Ko Olina, and there could be some street closures, delays, and possibly a shortage of rental vehicles during this period of time.  http://www.civilbeat.com/topics/apec-2011-hawaii-survival-guide  found this link - it might help.
December Travellers
Anyone travelling to Hawaii over the holiday season? If you have not booked your mini vans yet, get a hold of us asap, as some dates are already completely sold out. As the time gets closer, all vehicles may be totally sold out or blocked out at our rates, so if you already have your dates, contact us and get your bookings while the rates are still good and available.
Last year, there were so many sold outs over the holidays, many last minute travellers were left without vehicles, or subject to very high last minute pricing.
If you are travelling in later December and staying into January, you will be travelling during two different pricing seasons - the December high season, and the lower season which begins on January 1.
We are sending out many quotes these days to show both options, booking one rental for the entire time at the high December rates, and the breaking the reservation into two - late December and January low season - this option could save hundreds of dollars, but will mean returning to the rental counter to redo your paperwork on the January date.
In most cases, this is very worthwhile, as there can be large savings. Also, for those that can not get mini vans in December because of sold outs , and can survive the December period with a smaller vehicle, we can book mini vans for the January portion of the trip.
2012 Rates
We have most of our 2012 Rates in now, so if you are planning a trip in 2012, we can now book you at the lowest rates.
We are excited about a new project we are working on!!! Coupons!!! We are in contact with businesses in Hawaii that are of interest to travellers and tourists.
They are providing us with coupons for various discounts or items for you to use when visiting their destinations in Hawaii. We are setting up pages on our website for each island, so you can click on the island you are visiting and print the coupons you wish to take and use.
Our goal is to help our clients by providing the coupons, and maybe introducing them to businesses they may not have been aware of, and as well, to help support local businesses in Hawaii that cater to tourists, or may be of interest to visitors.
This site is in its early stages, and will grow over time, so check back from time to time - we will most likely remind you of the site on your reservation confirmations for car rentals as well.
Yep. We've got an iPhone app.
Our new iphone App can be downloaded from the iTunes store, free of charge, at...
We are very happy with the feedback we are getting from clients now using this app and are always open to comments to help us improve our service.
We are working on adding the ability to have this app accessible to android and blackberry systems.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Molokai Hoe - 58th Annual Outrigger Canoe Race Molokai to Oahu October 10, 2010

In October 1952, three outrigger canoes, each manned by six paddlers launched from Moloka'i’s west side in the first open ocean race to the beaches of Waikiki 38 miles away.  This is the Molokai Hoe – today there are over 1,000 paddlers from around the world competing in the 58th annual event.  This had become the world’s most prestigious outrigger canoe race, and it will take place in Molokai on October 10. 
  We, at discounthawaiicarrental.com have spoken directly to many of the racers as they phone us to book their vehicles for the Molokai eventWe have shared their enthusiasm, and we wish great success to all of the racing teams this year.  As the dates are approaching, there are now no vehicles available for rent on Molokai for this weekend event, October 9 and 10.  We do hope the participants have planned ahead and already reserved their cars with us.

We will be thinking of you and routing for a great showing for all teams Hawaiian.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Moloka’i to O’ahu Canoe Race - NA WAHINE O KE KAI

NA WAHINE O KE KAI  – Moloka’i to O’ahu Canoe Race takes place this Sunday, September 26, 2010, in Molokai.   There is a history of wins from local Hawaiian crews.
The Outrigger Canoe club won in 1979 finishing in six hours, 35 minutes, 14 seconds, and has won four times since.  The Hui Nalu Canoe Club has won twice, and the Offshore Canoe Club has won the event 9 times, and set a new course record of five hours, 24 minutes, 32 seconds in 1995.
In 1954, two years after the first men’s Molokai to Oahu Canoe race, Waikiki Surf Club’s Senior Women’s crew propositioned for a women’s rate.  After some years of insistence that the channel was too treacherous for women, in 1975 the first unofficial crossing was made by 2 crews. Today crews from all over the world are attracted to this world-class event.
We at Discount Hawaii Car Rental, have personally talked to many of the women coming to race this weekend, as they have called us to book their rental cars.
We all wish them great success in this event, and hope for another victory from a local crew.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Getting Lei'd in Hawaii

The Aloha spirit is alive and well on the Islands in Hawaii.  Visitors (Malihini in Hawaiian) can be greeted with beautiful floral lei on their arrival.  The lei are almost iconic as a symbol of Hawaii, and many visitors look forward to their first introduction to the Islands when their greeter presents them with their lei.
The lei originated as a tourist greeting gesture in the early 1900’s, when all guests were greeted as they disembarked from the luxury liners of the time.  The beautiful fragrance delighted passengers and helped welcome them to the islands.  It was almost a tradition as well for the departing visitors to throw their lei into the sea as their ship passed Diamond Head, in a symbolic gesture that announced their hopes to return to the Islands again.
Alas, as tourism increased to the millions, and the ships turned into airplanes and airports, the tradition became a thing of the past.
Today the custom can still be celebrated, although you must make the arrangements yourself before you arrive.  There are various companies that will provide greeters at the airports complete with the fresh flower leis, and they also help with the transition from the plane to baggage claim, answering questions and being helpful with tips about Hawaii.
If you are interested in having a lei greeting, research the companies online and place your order before you leave home. 

Also remember to book your vacation car rental ahead of time to save you money and guarantee a vehicle on arrival.  There have been many times we have received phone calls from customers at the airport trying to find a vehicle during a sold out period.  Your vacation should be relaxing, and this includes your car rental experience.  Give us a call early, or go to our website www.discounthawaiicarrental.com and fill out a form, and let us do the hunting for you.  We promise to provide you with a vehicle at the lowest possible price available to us, and we will work for you with the same Aloha Spirit as your Lei Greeter.

A One Day Trip While Visiting Maui - A Cruise to Molokai

Visiting the Island of Maui and looking for a one day adventure . . . possibly wanting to experience the waters, maybe go for a cruise?

Molokai is not that far away, and is known as the most “Hawaiian” Island.  There is an adventure waiting for you.  Board the Molokai ferry for an hour and a half cruise to the beautiful Island of Molokai. The Cruise ship has open air decks as well as air conditioned inside areas. 
You can rent a car for the day-we can get you a good rate on your rental car. When you arrive on the ferry, you will proceed by taxi to the car rental location at the airport.  
Molokai has a lot of history dating back to about 650 AD when the Island was first know to be inhabited. This island is shaped like a fish, complete with a dorsal fin located on Molokai’s north shore.  This area is known as the Makanalua Peninsula.  About 10 square miles in diameter, this peninsula is divided into three separate districts: Kalawao to the east, Kalaupapa to the west, and Makanalua in the middle.
Because of the difficulty in getting there, as it is surrounded on three sides by the Pacific Ocean and separated from the rest of Molokai by shear cliffs, this area became a somewhat ideal location for a leper colony establish in the 1860’s, and is accessible only by mule, or on foot, with a small airstrip used to transport in needed supplies.  Other supplies are delivered by barge from Oahu.
A Catholic missionary priest from Belgium names Father Damien deVeuster served the lepers here from age 33 until his death from leprosy in 1889.

The Molokai Mule Ride is the the most popular attraction on Molokai.  The gentle, trained mules will transport you roundtrip down the 1,700-foot trail negotiating the hairpin switchbacks on the trail.  Each direction takes about 90 minutes.  Included with the tour is a 2-hour tour of the Kalaupapa leper colony.    Minimum age for visitors is 16 years.

The Pala'au State Park and Kalaupapa Overlook  - located at the end of Highway 470, this park overlooks the Kalaupapa Peninsula.  A couple minutes walk from the parking lot to the overlook area.  Here you can view the entire peninsula.

Saint Damien Church, Molokai - formerly known as Saint Joseph’s Church or Father Damien Church, is located in Kamalo on Molokai’s south shore.  This is where St. Damien served and nurtured his ministry. Later, he contracted the disease himself and passed away in 1889.  Father Damien had built four churches on Molokai, two of which are still standing today, the other being St Joseph Church in Kamalo, which has a statue of St. Damien which can be adorned with flower leis at times in his honor.  Although the door to the church is usually closed, it is not locked, so visitors can peek inside as well.  This particular church is listed on the National register of Historic Places.

Purdy's Macadamia Nut Farm is located two miles west of Kualapu'u, on Lihi Pali Avenue, above the high school. This five-acre, all natural, 70-year old, macadamia nut farm is located on Hawaiian homestead land. The Purdys will personally take you on a tour and tell you everything you wanted to know about the macadamia nut. The tour will provide hands-on demonstrations on how to crack this extremely hard nut complete with samples of nuts, macadamia honey, and other nut products.           

Coffees of Hawaii.  A 500 acre plantation and mill in the village of Kualapu‘u is the only source of 100% Moloka‘i coffee.

Kaunakakai is the main city on Molokai. Located only minutes from the airport off of Highway 450, this "city" is only about three blocks in size. The restaurants, shops, tourist information, and grocery stores are off the main street of Ala Malama. There are no traffic lights on Molokai. The town closes up early so do any shopping before the dinner hour. Many of the buildings in the town are original structures.

At the end of the day, you can return you car and taxi back to the harbor to catch your return ferry to Maui.

If you are renting a car on Maui, you can just park for the day near the ferry dock, and return to your vehicle at the end of your amazing day. 

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Ziplining Adventures in Hawaii

Sometimes we may want to have an unbelievable adventure, with some heart-racing activity, yet still remain in a somewhat safe zone.  What about zip-lining in Hawaii?  There are quite a few different locations on the Islands to experience this kind of an adventure.  We at Discount Hawaii Car Rental (www.discounthawaiicarrental.com) have quite a bit of information on each of these locations in the news blog on our company website.
“How would I know if this is something I could do?” is often the question asked.  There are some age and weight restrictions which vary by location and company, and some health considerations that may restrict you from being able to participate.  Other than that – it looks like any normal healthy individual can go!!!  There is often a bit of hiking required to get from one zipline to the next, and each company describes their own situations/requirements quite well.

Long pants and stable shoes for hiking, possibly rain gear, and a swimsuit for the secluded pools along the way are some of the clothing/gear recommendations.  A camera and/or a video camera would be ideal, as long as it could be secured firmly to your person, as I doubt it would ever be found if it was dropped along the way.

This could be a great way to entertain the older kids and provide an experience not necessarily available back home.
It is always important to remember not to leave valuables in your rental car while you are away experiencing any adventure.

Friday, August 27, 2010

The Cost of Renting Vehicles at the Airport in Hawaii is about to get more expensive:

The cost of renting vehicles at the Airports in Hawaii is about to get more expensive:
Bill (SB2461/ HB2370) was put in place to raise the existing Customer Facility Charge (CFC) from the present amount of $1.00/day to $4.50/day, beginning September 1, 2010.  This fee is a special fund in the state treasury that is being accumulated to facilitate the acquisition of land, building of a new unified vehicle rental facility that would include a single shuttle bus service to and from passenger airport terminals, as well as monies for the operation of such a facility. It is being charged on all car rentals from on airport locations in Hawaii.  Possible locations for a new facility would be Honolulu and Maui (OGG) Airports.
This money is being collected in addition to the already existing 11.11% Airport Concession Fee, and can amount to a great deal of money added on to every vehicle being rented from any car rental companies that have locations at airports in Hawaii.
There are car companies that have off-airport locations, and therefore do not collect these additional charges.  Although they do have the following charges that are added on to the cost of renting any vehicle in Hawaii:
Hawaii State General Excise Tax:  on Oahu - $4.712% and on Hawaii, Kauai, Lanai, Maui and Molokai:  4.166%
Hawaii State Motor Vehicle Rental Surcharge - $3.00/day
Vehicle Licensing and Registration Fee – up to $1.00/day typically, but can vary depending on vehicle and location.
Wherever possible, we at www.discounthawaiicarrental.com try to locate cars for our clients at the best possible prices, which often means booking at these off airport car companies.  In some cases, such as Honolulu Airport, there is little difference in the convenience of picking up your cars from these locations, as the companies provide shuttles to pick you up and return you to the terminal. There are some off airport locations with no Customer Facility Charge (CFC) that service the local island renters as well, and although they do not pick up and drop off at the airport, we can book clients here when necessary, such as in the case of sold outs at airport locations, military personnel coming in from ships, or locals just needing a car rental when they have visitors from off island.
Many hotels and private shuttle services provide transportation to and from hotels in Waikiki. While some of the hotels provide this service free of charge, the shuttle service companies have rates that can run $8-10 or more one way; with a reduced rate when a return ticket is purchased. In Waikiki, most car rental companies have at least one rental location.  It is beneficial to book here if you are staying in Waikiki and need a car for a day or two during your trip, but may not necessarily pay off if you need to pick up or drop off at the airport, once you add the drop charges to the bill, depending on your length of rental.  None of the airport fees or taxes apply to rentals from these locations.
Locations such as Kaanapaali/Lahaina (JHM), Kihei (K2H), Wailea (OG1) and others on Maui, and some of the smaller locations on Kauai and the Big Island have no Customer Facility Charge (CFC), and especially on longer stays, it may be beneficial from a cost saving measure to book a one day rental from the airport (with a CFC charge) to one of these locations, drop the car, rent a vehicle from this location with no Customer Facility Charge (CFC) charge and return it to the airport with another drop charge and still save a bundle of money.  This would only work for off-airport locations that do no have much higher rates, and some do. (Some locations block our pre-negotiated discount rates.) Many of the locations on Kauai and the Big Island that are off airport and located in resort areas have some vehicles available, but they often have much higher rates than airport or near airport locations, and these prices would negate any benefit to renting off airport.
On short-term rentals, it would probably cost more to rent from one of these locations with the drop charges, possible transportation/shuttle charges across the island, the inconvenience, and the possibility of losing a weekly rental rate by breaking up your days.  In these cases, it would most likely be best to support the Customer Facility Charge (CFC) and just enjoy your holiday.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Renting Cars in Hawaii

There are always first time users arriving at our website  www.discounthawaiicarrental.com.  They are often full of questions about who we are and why our prices are so good.  I like to explain a little bit about our company; that we have been in business for over ten years in Hawaii, our philosophy about good customer service, our goal of always providing the lowest available prices and as much information about Hawaii and the car rental as we possibly can.  Having never rented a car online before, newcomers can be a little skeptical about the process.  They want to know what it will cost to book through us, and why our prices are so much better than everywhere else they have looked.    I ask lots of questions when talking to customers on the phone (our toll free phone # is 1 800 292 1930). I try to find out as much information as possible in order to make recommendations on car types and rental locations.  I like to ask questions regarding the number of passengers, the islands they will be traveling to, their luggage requirements, and if they will be visiting areas where parking may be difficult or expensive.  I try to recommend ways to save the customer money, such as packing their own child seats, checking their home car insurance policy and their credit cards for possible savings on car rental insurance coverage, and determining if they will need a vehicle for their entire trip, as well as choosing a vehicle wherever possible from an off airport location to save the $4.50/day customer facility charges.  When visiting certain locations, such as Waikiki, it may be possible to rent a vehicle for only the days when a client may be traveling to other areas of Oahu.  These cars would be available for pick up in the morning and return the same day right in Waikiki, and the car companies provide free shuttle service to the hotels and condos to pick up and return clients.  When visiting more than one island, there are often lots of questions about what to do, where to drive, and even accommodations.  Our website links have much to offer in all of these areas.  By the time I have finished talking to the customer, they are very comfortable dealing with us, and sometimes call  me back just to get further advice on some aspect of our earlier conversation. I love hearing back from clients, as I then know they were happy with the service I gave them, and hopefully we will be their first choice for their next Hawaiian adventure.


Friday, August 6, 2010

Discount Hawaii Car Rental - Booking Cars in Hawaii

Booking cars in Hawaii for a living has become more than just a job.  It has become an opportunity to discover Hawaii from the point of view of the many tourists who phone us or write to us to book their rental cars for their trip.  We come across some amazing people and some equally amazing stories.  As our goal has been to learn everything we possibly can about renting cars and servicing our clientele, we have, over time, developed quite a large working knowledge of many things Hawaiian, and what the tourists love to do.  Stories are shared amongst the staff on a regular basis, and we like to laugh about the adventures we share with our clients.  We are hoping to use this knowledge to help you to navigate your way around the ins and outs of car rentals in Hawaii, as well as the places you will go.