It’s hard to believe that we have completed our first full month on the road of our Around the World Adventure! In some ways it has flown by, but when we look back at all that we have done, it’s hard to believe that it’s only been a month! Here is a quick recap of our itinerary and highlights.
Leg 1: US Cross-Country Road Trip
- Friends and family (thanks for helping us save some cash!)
Highlights of the Trip:
- Arches National Park
- Exploring Seattle
- Josh caught a fish at Pike’s Market
- Going hiking in the Sawtooth Wilderness
- Having fun and making our first Vlog at the Geocaching Block Party
Travel Tips From This Leg of the Trip:
- Using our Chase Freedom credit card, we earned 5% bonus cashback on gasoline purchases — points we can use for more travel in the future!
- Allot more time to explore Arches National Park. That place was awesome, and it was a spontaneous visit.
- Geocaching was a nice way to break up a long travel day in the car and gave us a reason to stretch our legs here and there.
Most Memorable Moments:
- Liz: I like the fact that it was exactly 10 years from I moved across country from Idaho to Florida, and now here I am driving the exact same route back to Idaho…with a totally different life than I ever expected, and a husband. The BEST!!!
- Josh: Finding that unexpected geocache in Kansas. I also loved hiking around Arches National Park because I had never seen landscapes like that before!
Leg 2: Hawaii – 3 Islands
Accommodations on Hawaii
- Kula, Maui – a Friend’s Family (huge thank you!!!)
- Hana, Maui – camping on the beach at Waianapanapa State Park
- Waimea, Hawaii (big island) – Couchsurfing for the first time (story to come)
- Kapoa, Hawaii (big island) – Mermaid Lagoon Airbnb (story to come)
- Kona, Hawaii (big island) – Sheraton Keaohou Bay Resort
- Oahu – Family (huge thank you to them!)
- Best geocache on Maui was a crazy hike up and over 4 waterfalls and our first 5/5!!!
- Driving the Road to Hana
- Hiking the Pipiwai Trail above the Seven Sacred Pools (which are not sacred, just good for swimming) to Waimoku waterfall…awesome 4 mile hike!!!
- Sunrise at Haleakala, even though it was crazy early!
- Josh’s first luau on Maui
- Seeing the glow of lava at night on the Big Island at Volcanoes National Park
- Going night snorkeling with Manta Rays
- Visiting Josh’s mom’s old stomping grounds in Honolulu and Waikiki
Travel Tips from This Leg of the Trip:
- Using our frequent flyer miles, we only paid $100 TOTAL for both of our airline tickets from Seattle, LA, Maui, Big Island, and Oahu! Oh, and both our rental cars were totally FREE – again, thanks to frequent flyer miles. Yup…sign up for these programs!!! (learn more about “travel hacking” here)
- Stay overnight in Hana! Most people just drive there and back, but spend a couple days to really enjoy this part of the island. It’s the “real” Maui experience!
- Allot at least 1 day to Volcanoes National Park, it’s huge, and one day was rushing it. Oh, and the Jaggar Museum lookout is open 24 hours a day — check it out at night to see the glowing red lava!
- We should have stayed more than 5 nights on the big island. It’s quite large, especially if you are driving around. So we really needed a few more days to explore and relax.
- Rent a car on all the islands, you will definitely want time to explore on your own.
Most Memorable Moment:
- Liz: My favorite was returning to the Big Island of Hawaii. Having traveled to Hawaii once when I was a teenager, the Big Island took my breath away and I have never forgotten it. I was so happy to be able to share it with Josh and be able to explore other things on the Big Island that I don’t remember seeing.
- Josh: Watching the sunrise from above the clouds at Haleakala summit, because how many places do you get to experience that?!?! I will never forget that experience.
August RTW Budget Notes:
During August, we didn’t break down our expenses in detail (like we will in future recaps). But so far, we are on budget. We didn’t spend as much on dining out overall, so under budget there. We also saved money by adding a night of camping and staying with a friend’s family on Maui for an extra night.
Lastly, we cut out the over-priced Molikini snorkel trip on Maui (and a few other touristy activities)…which saved us tons of money! Even with splurging at the Sheraton and on a couple pieces of artwork (of course…) we are doing well on the budget. However, we are looking forward to going to a place where we don’t have to spend $15 for a sandwich!!! (ouch Hawaii can be expensive).
Next Stop: Thailand!