When it comes to a tropical vacation, there are so many options. Today we compare two amazing destinations. Hawaii vs. Tahiti. Which destination will top your next travel dream list?
Hawaii vs. Tahiti: Which is the Best?
- Where is Hawaii, and where is Tahiti?
- Hawaii vs. Tahiti: What comes to mind for each?
- How to get to each destination
- Popular Activities each destination
- Downsides or important things to consider when traveling to Hawaii and Tahiti
- For your ideal vacation to Hawaii or Tahiti, what would you do?
- Travel Experiences (Islands/resorts)
Question: Hawaii vs. Tahiti: Which do you prefer?
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Episode 151 Transcripts
Episodes are transcribed with artificial intelligence, so some highly amusing translations are likely!
Shayne: Hello and welcome to all Things Travel. When it comes to a tropical vacation, there are so many options. Today, we compare two amazing destinations. In one corner, we have Ryan and Hawaii, and in the other corner, we have Allie and Tahiti. Which destination will win out as your next travel plan?
Ryan: All right, Shayne. So we have a battle of the tropical locations today. I don’t think there’s gonna be a lose. But these are two very distinct destinations, and as part of this, we brought in a ringer. We brought in Allie, how you doing, Allie?
Allie: Hi. I’m great. Thank you so much for having me on. I’m excited to battle this out here.
Ryan: we know Allie from past days with our travel agency and Shayne. When I was in Honolulu, I was sitting at the pool, and all of a sudden I get a message from Allie saying, Hey, I see you’re in Hawaii. I was just in Tahiti. Let’s do a head-to-head of those two places.
Shayne: Brilliant idea,
Ryan: okay. And then I went back to my pool time
Allie: That’s right. And I think I was actually in Tahiti as I sent you that and if anytime anyone’s traveling, I like to follow along. And I know you go to Hawaii often
and I thought These are two tropical destinations. , but very different tropical destinations. And how can we help clients make the best choice for their precious vacation dollars End time.
Ryan: Absolutely. So Allie, why don’t you give us a little bit of an introduction of yourself for folks that don’t know.
Allie: Absolutely. So my name is Allie Hill and I am a travel advisor with Magical Wanderlust Adventures, and I have been in the travel business. I like to joke since dinosaurs from the Earth. Not totally true, but it feels like it. So my background is in educational travel. And I started many, many years ago with a university in Atlanta, and I ran their alumni travel program, so I would send alumni and friends of the university all over the world.
We did about 32 trips a year and everywhere from Antarctica to Africa and everywhere in between. And I was fortunate enough that I would get to go on a bunch of the trips with the travelers.
Ryan: Very nice.
Allie: Yes, and I had grown up in a family where travel was important. It was something that my parents would save for.
They sent me to study abroad in college. I lived overseas in Switzerland, so it’s two of my favorite things, logistics, which is pretty much what travel boils down to, and travel, and I love it. And I couldn’t be happier and got back into the field. Probably about three years ago after my kids got to the point where they were a little more self-sufficient.
And so I like to do crazy things. So we’re headed to Finland on Friday to go up to the Arctic Circle to a little town called Roen Yummy. And that is the home of Santa Claus’s Christmas Village. So we are chasing Santa. We will be chasing the Northern Lights. We will be. Riding in a sleigh with reindeer, all the things.
And for someone who lives in Georgia, we don’t see much snow, so this is gonna be a shock for my southern children who think a little dusting of frost is snow, so I’m about to blow their mouth.
Ryan: and a little birdie told me you have quite an amazing summer trip
Allie: That is true.
Ryan: I want to talk about that at the end of the show. So folks to listen to the show to hear about what you’ve got on the books.
Allie: All right. Sounds good.
Ryan: Most families are confused and overwhelmed when planning a vacation. We work with you to plan a trip perfect for your interest, saving you time, money, and stress.
Shayne: We would love to help you plan your next amazing vacation.
Ryan: You can reach out to me atRyan@creatingmagicvacations.com. That’s R Y A n, at creating magic vacations.com. All right, Shayne, are you ready for the tropical rumble here?
Shayne: I am. I am ready to get down to the battle, throw the gauntlet down.
Now my wife is from AustrAlliea and it seems like being from there, more people there travel to Tahiti, whereas we here in the States mostly travel to Hawaii. So this is gonna be interesting to compare and contrast, and we’ve done a lot of episodes about Hawaii.
So I think what we wanna know first is where is this strange land called Tahiti?
Allie: The easiest way to get to Tahiti probably is obviously from the west coast. And when we flew, we flew out of lax and it is about an eight hour flight west. So you go towards Hawaii and you keep on going. Probably the easiest way to explain it. But lots of gateways out of the West coast and for a Delta girl being here in Georgia, it’s exciting that Delta just announced Amy route where they’re flying.
I do believe from San both San Francisco and LAX out Tahiti, which is a direct flight about, I wanna say around eight. Prior to that, your only choices were Air France Flu air Tahiti, Nui, and then there’s another airline called French B. And since Tahiti is. A territory of France. Everybody speaks French there.
And so there’s a lot of flights that will go from Tahiti to somewhere in the West coast and then onto Paris. So, and we had an interesting experience, I’ll speak to that later. But our flight was delayed coming home from Paradise because they had a medical emergency in Paris and couldn’t get the plane to us.
So that can happen when you’re in the middle of
Ryan: I, I was gonna say, who would think that something that was happening in Paris would affect a flight in Tahiti? But that’s a, that’s a, a neat connection there.
Allie: Mm-hmm. . Absolutely. Absolutely. Yeah. what about Hawaii? What’s the best way to get there?
Ryan: Well, I mean, the same thing. I, I come from, from the middle, usually out of, and it’s a good nine 10 hour flight from Chicago. so you can either fly direct or, we are, we usually fly Southwest, so we will fly usually Chicago to either Ls or to Oakland. And then from there, I guess last time we flood a Phoenix too.
So there’s several ways you can go. And then it’s a, it’s a, a make there, a four or five hour flight from the west coast and Yeah, relatively easy.
Allie: All right. Now for Tahiti, it definitely feels much longer. now. I wanted to leave plenty of time in our trip because we were actually going on a cruise. And I’m sure you guys tell your listeners you don’t want to arrive the same day cruise is leaving cuz your cruise can leave
Ryan: Absolutely. It.
Allie: Right. And they do. They don’t wait. So we had planned to go two days early and get over the jet lag and make sure we didn’t miss our cruise. So I believe we got in in the morning. Um, The day that we arrived, we felt pretty rough. It was not yours sounds like, Ooh, I could keep going. No.
Ryan: it, it gets, I mean, by the, by that first evening in Hawaii. , you’re pretty, you’re pretty gone. I mean, my goal is to make it, make it till 7:00 PM Hawaiian time. that first time. But I, I don’t stay up late normally. So it’s, it’s harder for me, I think than than night owls. But I also find that.
That next day it, the, the, the jet lag goes away pretty quickly. Although in the evenings, like I, where I tend to stay in Hawaii, at Alani, there’s not much going on in the evenings because most people are asleep.
Allie: Exactly. Exactly. And I don’t think it matters, even if you sleep good on the plane, like.
Allie: several days. I think we like took showers and did what you’re not supposed to. We just went to bed and took like a super hard nap. They say not to do that. I can’t help it. Rick Steves is always like, power through.
I’m sorry Rick, I can’t do that. I need a shower. And it’s all good.
Shayne: An eight hour flight’s kind of rough, so a nap is acceptable.
Allie: Exactly. Now we did something fancy. We’ve never done this before. Upgraded to business class. So,
Ryan: I’ve never done that.
Allie: so here’s a trick that now I’m gonna tell everybody in your listening audience. You can go to the counter when you’re checking in and you can ask about availability if there is any space, cuz you can look at your seat chart, the seat chart ahead of time and see if all the seats are filled.
And so my husband splurged and upgraded us and it. an extra $600 per person, which is a lot, but not bad considering, if we paid the rack rate for that, it would’ve been
Ryan: Right, right. And you’re talking about that long of a flight, that $600 feels pretty good,
Allie: It did, it was the best $600 we ever spent. Live flat seats, which was super cool, but I still was jet lagged. So I think it doesn’t matter, even if you sleep good on planes, it just, you’re just tired no matter what. So that’s your tip. You can go up to the gate when you’re checking in and nicely ask if they’re have any seats left for sale, and they’ll sell ’em to you if they have ’em.
Shayne: And then geographically speaking Tahiti is about 2,600 miles south of Hawaii, so way out there in the Pacific.
Shayne: A little more comparing and contrasting alley. When people think of traveling to Tahiti, what comes to.
Allie: Well, I think their first thought is, I’m going to Tahiti and that is gonna be my end stop destination. And that is the furthest thing from the truth. I think that’s why it’s important to work with a travel advisor that either is that region or has taken some classes and is knowledgeable. You have a great time.
Really isn’t your end destination. That’s your jumping off point. The South Pacific is made up of lots of little tus and islands and the beauty, seeing those different islands and motus, if you’re stuck in just Tahiti or pae, which is their capital, it’s beautiful, but it’s also a big city. It’s, that’s not what we’re going for.
We’re going because we wanna snorkel with beautiful tropical fish. And you can do some of that, and there’s some beautiful scenery. But I think if that was where you were ending, you might be a little disappointed. So for me, my suggestion would be, let’s start in Tahiti and then go on. Bo Bora is a big, popular next destination.
Maria is another island that’s close by. So those are the typical islands that you’re gonna go to if you’re going for a honeymoon or something romantic. Or you wanna see more than just big city life in, in the South Pacific with a French twist to it.
Shayne: That is good to know cuz I don’t think anyone is going to think about a big city when they think about Tahiti
Allie: Exactly. Exactly.
Shayne: and Ryan. I think we covered it in a few episodes, but I’m sure it bears repeating what people, what comes to mind with
Ryan: I, I found it interesting, Allie talking about the, the Capitol city. I feel the same way about Honolulu. Honolulu’s, cool. Honolulu has Hawaiian, but that’s certainly not what most people think of when they think of Hawaii. Except maybe thinking of Waikiki Beach, right?
With the skyscrapers and ho big hotels in the background. But you know, when it comes to Hawaii, I think you think of two things. You think of beaches and you think of jungle. and it’s balancing those two things with the activities that you’re, that you’re gonna do and throw in a blue hour or two.
Allie: Absolutely. And that’s a really good co. But think of, so if someone’s been to Waikiki and they’re thinking, Hmm, what’s Tahiti like? Imagine a Caribbean sort of feeling. But in the South Pacific it’s just different. It’s not, Honolulu is still very Americanized. The South Pacific Tahiti is very strange in that it’s got the French influence, but it’s definitely, it doesn’t have any of the more modernization that you see probably in Waikiki.
Like, wow, this, I’m somewhere different. But yeah. You’re not hitting the beach
Ryan: There’s not, there’s not the Lululemon store like
Allie: No, no, no, no. You got the local market. Yeah,
Ryan: Yeah. The Cheesecake
Shayne: it. Sounds just like going to another country.
Allie: And the airport. That’s what’s so charming to me. It is tiny. I think they, they only have one place where you come in when you get off the plane and the baggage carousel is smaller than my driveway.
Um, so it’s just one plane at a time. and not air conditioned. We saw some weird things when we were in the airport, like this big crab just kinda ran through the airport and then a stray dog and.
Ryan: Kind of The same thing, other than Honolulu, in Hawaii, the, the airports that I’ve been to La Hui and Hilo, they’re both open air. And they’re not one plane at a time. They’re a little bigger than that, but it feels very, very different.
You feel like you’re in a very different place.
Allie: Absolutely. And they, this man that I swear was Maui’s lookAllieke to load our baggage when we were leaving. He was big. Big girl guy that looks, I mean, straight out of the movie and he
Ryan: Straight outta central. Tahitian Casting, huh?
Allie: Yes, exactly. Exactly. Had an interesting story to tell you about that, about Moana’s origins and where it really comes from.
Ryan: All right. Well, I wanna hear that.
Shayne: yeah, definit.
Allie: All right. So when we started our cruise, we. The furthest distance first. I don’t know if that was north, I’m not sure, but we headed towards Bora. and we were gonna go as far as we could possibly go on the cruise and then turn around. So it was 10 day cruise. This is my second time to Tahiti, which I never thought I’d say I’d gone once, right?
Like one time. And I just thought, I was like, whoa. Two times. I mean, that’s pretty amazing. Never thought that would happen twice. The very first time I went was. 14 years ago, and it was very expedition based. I went with an amazing company called Linblad Expeditions, and they have an amazing partnership with National Geographic.
So we had a geneticist on board and he was tracing the origin of man.
Allie: so we all got to swab our cheek and then send that in. And this was Bo back before ancestry.com and all. so prevalent. This was really new. And so the reason he was on the trip, he had gotten. Special permission to visit some tiny motus called the Cook Islands, which are even more remote in the South Pacific.
They did a survivor cook Cook Islands probably about 15 years ago. And that’s how remote it is. So they wanted to sample the genetic material from Palmerston Attel, which was colonized by one. Man and three Polynesian wives back in the 18 hundreds and they don’t
Ryan: I bet there’s, I bet, I bet there’s a, a reAlliety show just in that,
Allie: yes, there is absolutely they school but they only have school if someone from New Zealand feels compelled to come over and be their teacher and.
Allie: Yeah, they had a teacher when we were there. They see a container ship every three months and that brings their flower and their sugar and anything that they’ve ordered, that every three months.
So no, like Amazon. And we got to see their houses, which really is just reclaimed material that they found on the island. It is not a. , we think of a house. I mean, it’s just, pieces of metal that have washed up on their island and made to sit in a house structure. And I said, well, what, what do you do if there’s a hurricane?
Which they don’t call ’em hurricanes, they call ’em, I guess, tsunamis there. And they said they all go to the middle of the island and huddle under a big mahogany tree because that’s the sturdiest thing on the island. . So all that to say, my very first one was very educational. Very we saw, we were studying the wildlife, we were studying the population.
Second trip was with Norwegian cruise lines, and it was just a typical cruise, so that was very interesting. It was a totally different experience. So that to me, Whenever you think of any destination, I’m sure it’s very similar. If you cruise to Hawaii is probably very different than if you’re going to stay on an island.
You get a, you maybe get a taste of it and then decide, do I wanna go back there or not? But it’s not the same immersive experience as you do if you’re
Ryan: Yes. Absolutely. Absolutely.
You didn’t talk about Moana.
Allie: yes. Okay. So we went to Maria. And that is the closest island to Tahiti. And we had an amazing guide, which was not an excursion booked through the cruise lines. I went on TripAdvisor, had never done that before, wasn’t really sure what I was gonna get.
And had an absolutely amazing day. And the guide was local and she took us on a boat and she asked had we heard the story of Moana and showed us. Mountain that is that the story from Moana is based off of, and had she not pointed it out, I don’t know that I would’ve noticed, but as Sure. So you can put it on your Facebook page or whatever.
It literally looks like a woman’s head is back and like her hair is going down. You can see her profile. It’s the coolest thing. So when she showed it, I totally. Saw it and she said that’s, they used that in the movie. And then I kinda wondered why they had the chickens. Hey, hey was cute and all, but I, having not been to , I kinda thought, what, what’s the deal with the chickens?
There were chickens everywhere and we ended up
Ryan: I know I don’t, I don’t get it in Hawaii. It’s like they must just show up on the ships or what, but they are everywhere.
Allie: everywhere. Well, and then we ate them. We, snorkeled with stingrays, and I’m not joking. That’s where Maui’s cousin also came in. The guy looked just like him, the tattoos and everything. And then we did a barbecue on the beach. And I, we had, Hey, hey. I mean you could
Shayne: Oh no.
Allie: it, it tasted muy.
You know how chicken we eat now? It’s very all protein It.
Ryan: it was wild. Wild chicken.
Allie: Wild chicken.
Exactly. So it was just cool to see that actually different parts of the movie
Ryan: Yeah. Great. So Allie talked about going on the, the cruise this last time and, and going on the, the educational trip the first time. So, Shayne, I’ve talked about my trips a little bit on the podcast, but I’ve been to Hawaii probably about half a dozen times, mostly around Oahu. You know that Alani is one of my favorite places in the world.
I absolutely love it. But we’ve also gone to the big island of Hawaii to see volcanoes. And this last trip we were in Kauai and just marveled at the, the physical beauty of the island. We got away from the hustle and bustle. Next trip. I think we’ll do, we’ll do Maui. I think that’s the oth that’s the other island that we haven’t been to yet.
And we haven’t been to the resort side of the big island. We’ve just been to the volcano side. So we’re gonna talk a little bit about activities and planning the perfect trip to either Tahiti or Hawaii. But first Shayne, I wanna know where in the world is all things.
Shayne: Cupertino, CAlliefornia.
Ryan: Cupertino, CAlliefornia. Welcome today. Where is that? in the state of CAlliefornia.
Shayne: It’s in the Bay Area adjacent to west of San Jose, and I found what looks like a fun place to hang out. Paul and Eddie’s Monte Vista Inn.
Ryan: Sounds like a good name. What’s special about that place?
Shayne: It looks fun. It, it identifies as a, a woman owned business. And this may not be important to you, Allie, or to you Ryan, but with my mini stored adventures in bars, , I was curious to see and excited to see that poll. Eddie’s Monte Vista in is the number one Jagermeister bar in CAlliefornia,
Ryan: All right. Well, I’m not sure if I’ve had Jaegermeister since my 21st birthday, so I think maybe I’m ready again.
Allie: The burn is finally.
exactly. I I never look at black licorice the same way again. Well, hey Coopertino, we are so glad that you’re listening to all things travel. It really means a lot to us to, to see folks from all over the place listening in. Do me a favor, reach out to me on Facebook or via email cause I’ve got a nice little thank you gift for being featured on the show.
Shayne: and to make sure you hear where in the world is all things travel next week, be sure to follow the show so that you never miss any of our travel tips, travel ideas, or travel stories.
Well, we’ve talked about a few experiences and we know of some activities that are fun to do in Hawaii. Allie, what are some of the more popular activities to do in ta?
Allie: Tahiti’s great. If you are interested in being in the water, there’s not a lot of shopping unless you are looking to bring home some very authentic shell bracelets or shell necklaces. It’s all about snorkeling and. Unfortunately, we missed the season by a couple weeks, but it is a big place to swim with the whale sharks,
Ryan: Oh very.
Allie: how amazing is that?
I really wanted to try that, but the guide told us they’d already headed off. To wherever they go to next, but you can get in the water with the whale sharks. We were fortunate enough to get to snorkel along with an eagle ray, which those are the big giant rays like you see in Finding Nemo.
And so, the guide.
Funny enough, he drove the boat with his foot because he’s, you know, when you live in an island, you get around with boats and he drove the boat with his foot. I’ll have to send you a picture cuz it was crazy. And then he was looking out over the side looking for the rays. So we were ray chasing.
And then when he found, , we all jumped in the water. And then the most peaceful experience, just gliding along with the ray, maybe two feet below us. I could have touched it, but I felt like that probably wasn’t the thing to do. Not that he would’ve hurt me, but just felt, didn’t wanna disturb the natural beauty.
So that was an amazing experience. If I can’t have a whale shark, I will take a big eagle ray, which was pretty cool.
Shayne: It’s a good
Ryan: So a pretty good se, a pretty good second place.
Allie: Exactly. So yeah, snorkeling, that’s a big one. Beautiful fish that you just don’t see anywhere else unless you’re going to an aquarium. So a lot of. Water activities. And then it’s also big for birders, which I learned on my first trip with National Geographic.
We had a bunch of people that were into bird watching, which I didn’t hear talked about on this cruise at all, the second one. But I know from my first trip the, the, I think it’s called the, the Red Breasted Booby Fish they’re big there in the South Pacific, so birders they like to go there as well.
It’s not a place where you’re gonna really hang out and watch tv. And it’s not gonna be a place where you’re gonna really say The food was amazing. When I watch, or when I follow you on Facebook, right, I’m always, I love seeing the different things that you’re eating. That’s
Ryan: That’s not gonna be my time in Tahiti.
Allie: No you’re not gonna be hungry for sure, especially if you’re on a cruise, because you’ll be going back to the ship and you’re gonna be eating American food or whatever the cruise line is.
But it’s very, they don’t seek container ships, but once every three months. So it was pineapple rice bread and, Hey, hey, sorry. Hey, hey.
Shayne: Sorry, hang.
Ryan: you know when, when in Tahiti, that sounds pretty good to me.
Ryan: And, but, but fish, I mean, do they, do they fish or is that Not really. Okay, so, so there would be fresh fish.
Allie: I’m just not a fish eater.
Allie: We did have some ceviche, which ordinarily that would not be my jam, but I thought went in Tahiti, I should try. It was delicious. So yeah, fish as well.
Shayne: Yeah. Well, I guess we’ve found that it, it is disappointing to know there’s not as much shopping in Tahiti, and I mean that sarcastically, , but what are some other, what other things might be considered, say, a downside or just important things that someone would wanna consider that they wouldn’t expect from traveling to Tahiti?
Allie: And that was what led me to message Ryan about doing this show. We didn’t see any kids on our trip and
Allie: probably something to keep in mind, Tahiti is if, if you’re not interested, Being in the water. And if you’re not a confident swimmer, if laying on the beach and just relaxing is not gonna be something that your kids are interested in, I think Kauai would be a better choice.
You’ve gone a long way. Everything was in French on television. So we would turn it on just to, it’s habit when we would get back to the hotel room. You can’t watch any tv. That’s not a bad thing when you’re in paradise,
you know, you should go out. But you know, unfortunately, my kids sometimes too, they wanna just put on a show because that’s what they’re accustomed to doing.
It doesn’t happen there. It’s in French. So unless your kids are bilingual, it’s a little tough. So for me, I would say or if you’re not a couple, I could see couples going and, and having a great time. Kids probably not so much.
Ryan: What about on the cruise? Were, were there, were. Variety of kids on the cruise or was it mostly adults?
Allie: no. So we, right next door to us was a room with two kids in it. And you know how on a cruise you can hear pretty much everything that’s happening. We got to know them. They didn’t have a good time, and it wasn’t a fault of anybody except it just wasn’t, they didn’t research it. They had two small kids.
One was five and one was three. They brought a stroller with them and something had to it on the flight over so it wouldn’t stroll anymore. you know, And the excursions that the ship offered, they were geared towards adults. It was, climbing in, are you comfortable with like swimming in open water?
Yes. You’re good. There weren’t really activities that were geared to small children and my heart went out to them because I heard them saying they had saved for to do this
trip and it just didn’t match up. And I wanted, I dunno. It’s kinda what made me think about this podcast. We can save someone from making that same mistake.
Ryan: So you have kids that are tween age.
Ryan: what, what was their experience? Did they
Allie: They didn’t
Ryan: I mean, oh, they didn’t go.
Allie: they didn’t go, no, it’s just my husband and I and we kept saying, oh my goodness, we feel so badly for this family. They ended up spending most of their time in the hotel, in the on the ship in their cabin. Because it wasn’t a ship that was designed for kids. It was one of Norwegian ships that does sail, OA Pacific.
It just really wasn’t geared for towards kids at all.
Ryan: Oh my goodness. Wow.
Shayne: it’s too bad there wasn’t anyone to tell them that
Shayne: wasn’t the best place to go.
Ryan: just see Allie like on the last day. So when you’re ready to vacation again, here’s my card.
Shayne: I can tell you where the kids will enjoy their vacation, not endure it.
Ryan: Well, I think when you’re thinking of downsides for Hawaii, kind of two come to mind. One is the travel. If you’re just not used to traveling, you know, if you haven’t done, if you haven’t gone to Europe, or if you just haven’t done a long haul flight like that, that. Daunting thing. And it sounds like Hawaii’s kind of a practice run for going to Tahiti.
So, for both of these places, just the travel time and kind of the travel exhaustion. And then I also think too, it’s Hawaii is so diverse that you have to really think about island or what islands make the most sense for you when you’re going there, because. If you go to Oahu, there’s a little bit of something for everybody.
But if you go to Maui or you go to Hawaii there, you may not be able to have all of those things. Or if you really wanna focus on natural stuff, Oahu may not have everything you want. So it’s, it, it’s really ju just like what Allie said, you have to research specifically what is it you want and does this place.
Allie: Absolutely because it’s, they’re both expensive trips that
Ryan: Oh yeah.
Ryan: And, and it, and it’s not even money expensive. It’s time expensive. When I work with folks to play in Hawaii, you want to have a good week if longer, that you’re not traveling, and so that means, you’re looking at nine or 10 days to just have to just have a regular trip, not even an immersive trip.
Allie: Exactly. Absolutely.
Shayne: Well, if the sky were the limit and there was no limitations alley, what would be the ideal trip? Anything you could do that you would want to do in Tahiti?
Allie: If the sky’s the limit, I would go back to Bora Bora in a heartbeat. It is the destination I would send the honeymoon couples to people that are looking for total relaxation, unplug. They have a town, and I use that term very loosely. I grew up in a town, 7,000 in Western Pennsylvania. This, I don’t know, what do you call smaller than a town, the A village.
What’s, what’s smaller than a village? It’s pretty small, but it was so charming in that they have their welcome center. They have dancers out that are doing the traditional Tahitian dancing and they’re giving out the flowers. They’re so grateful to see people coming to their island because that’s tourism is all they have.
Well, not all they have, but that’s their major lifeblood. And I spoke to a gentleman in. The tiny stores and he said, oh, you guys are really lucky that your boat was actually able to come into port because they’ve changed the laws recently and ships over a certain size are no longer allowed to come into Bora Bora.
And this cruise had been grandfathered in because it had, because of, the great unpleasantness that happened. And so they were allowed to come, but no more big ships. Which, I wouldn’t, I’m not sure how I would feel if I were living in Bora Bora, because you don’t want these big ships coming in and polluting your beautiful waters.
But at the same time, that’s your livelihood and that’s how you’re making your living. So I’m sure that’s bittersweet. for them. But since the sky’s the limit, I’m going to Bora Bora. I’m staying in an overwater bungalow so that I can just jump off of my deck and, climb in and snorkel. That’s my favorite part.
I love snorkeling. I love seeing the different aquatic life. I’d be happy in the water 24 7. So Overwater bungalow all the way. No cell phone, I
mean, ,they work, but it’s very spotty. I’m not watching French television. I’m not bringing my flag stick or my, whatever else Roku device.
I’m just gonna unplug and read and snorkel.
Ryan: Very good. Well, I think for me, if I’m thinking of Hawaii and I could really do it, I’m gonna have a two week trip to Hawaii and I’m going to island hop in between. You could do three islands, but I think really focusing on two islands is the right way to do it. Um, Oahu has the traditional stuff that you’re thinking of.
Pearl Harbor, Honolulu, north Shore. I would avoid that if I’m doing it. I think that there are other islands have more to offer. If it were me, I would go to Kauai and I would go to the big, big island of Hawaii because on the big island of Hawaii, you have the Kona side that is all about resorts beach, beautiful scenery.
And then you have the other side that is jungle adventure stuff and volcanoes. And then you hop over to Kauai and it’s just pure relaxation. And so I would, I would split my time between those two islands and I don’t know if I’d ever come.
Allie: Yeah, I’m with you.
Shayne: We’d have to rearrange our zoom schedule.
Ryan: We would have, yes, we would have to rearrange when we zoomed. But
yeah, because I think, I think, the times that I’ve enjoyed Hawaii the most, I like to, I like to have a good balance on my vacation of relaxation and going and seeing and doing. But the times that I’ve enjoyed Hawaii the most is when I can really just unplug.
Enjoy where I’m at, and I think those two islands allow that the most in in my travel Experie.
Allie: How is the water there if you, for someone that likes to snore Clear, is
Ryan: It, it depends who you are. It’s, it can be completely different. So to use Oahu as an example, the, the eastern side where to stay. Calm, very relaxing. But you know, on the North shore it’s, it’s surf and on the west side it’s rocky, and on the south side it’s surf, so, big beach surf. And so it really depends on where you are.
I’ve seen all different colors of blue. Yeah, I, I think I, I, I have not been snorkeling, but I know there’s certainly areas to.
so Allie, I heard from a mutual friend that you have this really cool summer trip. Is something about seven and seven,
Allie: That’s right.
Ryan: what? What’s, what’s gonna be happening this summer for you?
Allie: All right, so I, one of the things that I love about being in travel, I think the reason that I stay in is opportunity to go to some pretty amazing places, and I have always wanted to take my children. for a length of time and sort of immerse them in another culture, kinda study abroad, right?
So I studied abroad when I was in college in London. Most amazing life changing experience ever. You get outside of your comfort zone, you see that the world is bigger than the town that you grew up in is definitely. . It was just so eye-opening and so eye-opening that I ended up moving to Switzerland several years later and working as an admissions counselor and traveled all of Europe visiting international schools and board schools.
So to me I think it’s hugely important for kids or anyone to see that the world is different from where they live. just honestly got a crazy idea and I’m very fortunate to be married to a very supportive husband who may not share the same desire to travel to another country for seven weeks over the summer like I do.
But I, pitch the idea, if you wanna do it, go for it. So it started out really with no timeframe. I, we have eight weeks off for the summer. And he basically said, have fun which I feel very fortunate about. And it just started in places that I wanted to see. So we’re starting in Sweden and we’ll be spending a week in Sweden, and then we’re gonna, and I wanted to spend enough time in these places to really feel.
Like a local. So we’re not staying in hotels, we’re doing Airbnb, so that we really feel maybe, we’re gonna go grocery shopping and do all the things. So a week in Stockholm. And then we’re gonna take the train over to Copenhagen. We’re gonna spend a week in Copenhagen, which I’m really excited about to see Tim Gardens.
And then we’re going to go up north up to Norway and see the fjords. . Then I got this other crazy wild idea that if I’m going to be in Scandinavia over the summer, I wanted to be in the most authentic place that I could find for Midsummers, which is huge in Scandinavia. It’s their middle, know, the the day with the longest amount of daylight in the summer, and it’s a huge deal in Scandinavia and.
Flower crowns in your hair and they sing and dance. So I found a little town
in Sweden, and from everything I’ve read, it is the most authentic experience that you can have. So I envision my children making flower crowns and dancing around to maple. They’ll probably really be like hitting each other and
Ryan: and it is very helpful that you are blonde and both of. Are very blonde, so the, the pictures will be more authentic.
Allie: Exactly. It’ll look like we belong there.
And then from there we’re going over to Helsinki again to spend a couple days. We’re doing a trip actually this week to Finland, not spending any time in Helsinki cuz it’s winter and that’s just crazy. So we’re gonna actually see Helsinki and then we’re gonna take the ferry over to Talent Estonia.
Spend a couple days there. . And then I thought, Vienna is my, one of my most favorite cities. Let’s spend two weeks in Vienna. Why not, right? I love Vienna. And so two weeks in Vienna and then my son is, they’re learning about World War too right now. And he said, Hey, since we’re close to some of that, what if we do some of.
He wants to go over to Munich and do some stuff over there. And so then we were out of time. That was seven weeks
Ryan: Hope to harden summer’s over
Allie: summer’s over time to go back to school. Yeah. So seven countries, seven weeks. Hopefully we all come back still like,
Allie: outside. Well, they’ve been to the Caribbean.
This’ll be. This trip we’re doing a couple days will be their first experience. So hopefully it all goes well enough that we can spend seven weeks together.
Shayne: I hope they’re prepared for some epic, how I spent my summer vacation
Ryan: Yeah. If that’s the first writing assignment, when they get back, they’re like, we’re gonna need more time.
Shayne: Can we do a video version?
Allie: Because people are talking about, what are you doing for winter break? Well, we’re going up to the Arctic Circle because that’s come up with these ideas and I make ’em happen. People don’t believe my kids and they’re saying, no, you’re not going to Finland. Actually, yes, we are going to Finland. No. Cause they’re all, everybody in, in Georgia.
They go to Florida for breaks. Not us, not the hills. We go, we go big.
Shayne: they almost sound the same. Finland, Florida. I mean, you can
Allie: It with an F.
Now, funny, I got an email today. I know you guys are used to airport codes and I feel like I could, spit them out and you could save three letters. Could where it was, well, unfortunately, Helsinki, it’s h e l, and so I got an email today from Delta saying, here’s all the things you need to do to prepare for your trip to h e L.
And I thought, trying to tell me something.
Ryan: Yeah. This trip starts off in h e l
Shayne: but, but Hell’s in Michigan, right?
Ryan: Yeah, there is a hell Michigan. That is absolutely true.
Allie: So I hope that’s not gonna be my takeaway from the trip. I’ll follow up with you guys and be like, no, it was, yeah,
Ryan: Well, that sounds amazing. And I am sure that we are gonna want to hear about that. And do us a favor, pop some pictures in the Facebook group while you’re over there and just let us know what, what’s happening because yeah, people will be really excited about that. And thank you so much. It’s cold and, and geeky here in, in the Midwest.
So I was excited today to. Thank you so much for telling me about Tahiti and book, book business Class
Allie: Absolutely. Absolutely. Well, thank you for having me on. It’s been an absolute pleasure. You guys are great and I love following along with your adventures too. So,
Ryan: So Allie, if people wanna reach out to you and talk about your adventures or, or get some ideas for trips, how can they do that?
Allie: sure. So they can send me an email. It’s Allie a l l i e at m w a travels.com.
Ryan: All right, well good luck on your trip to Finland and good luck with this big trip. This.
Allie: thank you.
Shayne: Well, we hope you’ve enjoyed this battle royale between Tahiti and Hawaii. If you’re currently working with a travel advisor, we encourage you to reach out to them about planning your next vacation. If you don’t have a trusted travel advisor, we would love to help you plan your next amazing vacation.
Ryan: You can reach out to me atRyan@creatingmagicvacations.com. That’s R Y A n, at creating magic vacations.com.
Shayne: Most families are confused and overwhelmed when planning a vacation. We work with you to plan a trip that’s perfect for your interests, saving you time, money, and stress.