Our Holiday Condo – Ilikai 1925

We rented our condo via VRBO and you can find it here – Beautifully Remodelled Ilikai Gem. This will be a photo intensive post – we did take a lot of pictures of the condo and the items supplied. I will put the text at the top and try to save photos for the end, unless the photo relates to the text.

About the unit

This is a 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom unit. Each bedroom has a queen sized bed with a memory foam topper. One bathroom is an ensuite with a shower over the bath, the other bathroom is a separate bathroom with a separate shower and no bathtub. There is a full size kitchen with stove, microwave, fridge, and dishwasher.

Also a note – When you contact the owner via VRBO she will put you in touch with Marina Hawaii Vacations who manage this unit.

Why we chose this unit


Dining and lounge area – somehow I forgot to take a closeup of the lounge area!

The main reason we chose this unit over other units available was the lounge furniture. We most wanted a comfortable lounge setting which was solid enough to handle my good friend who as you may already be aware is a person of magnitude at just over 300 pounds when we travelled. So we ruled out all units with cane lounges – and there are a lot of those with this being Hawaii!

Out of the units left once we narrowed down the choices and ruled out the cane stuff, this unit had availability for our dates plus had the advantage of 2 bedrooms and 2 *separate* bathrooms.

Would we stay here again?

Absofreakinglutely, in a heartbeat. This unit was everything we thought it would be, and more. Plus we loved the Ilikai – more about that later though.

Just one negative for us

As I always like to do, lets get the negative out of the way first. Unit wise, I felt there was only one negative to this unit and some people will actually find it a positive – the curtains in the bedrooms are not block out curtains. This is the only thing I would change if this unit belonged to me.


The bedroom of bigaln2

For me, because I do work night shift, my bedroom is usually a bat cave – very dark. So I find it a bit harder to be able to sleep when there is light. Then again, you are in Hawaii, who wants to sleep, right?


Our bed in our bedroom – very comfortable when it was time to sleep

Some street noise

There was some street noise because this unit – although it is on level 19 – does look out over Ala Moana Boulevard. However for me this was not noisy enough to be considered a negative. The one thing I did notice most noise wise was theBus – when it stops it makes a beeping noise. From our bedroom we did have a view over the Hilton Hawaiian Village lagoon and we could see the ocean too.

There was also some noise when the Hilton were holding their Luau, however this was such a great thing not a bad thing, we usually went out onto the balcony and enjoyed it.

If you want a totally silent dark bat cave to sleep in, this is not the right unit for you to rent.

What we did love


Living and dining area.

I honestly loved everything else about this unit including the amount of light that comes in during the day when you are awake and not wanting to sleep. The decor is very neutral and isn’t going to disturb anyones peace of mind, which is great when you are on holiday. There is nothing there which seems old and certainly nothing ugly.


The glasses cupboard.

I loved that there were large plastic tumblers – glass and me never works out well in the kitchen. However there were also glass options if you did want to go that way – the best of both worlds.


Desk Area

There were plenty of coat hangers in the cupboards, plenty of drawer space, a lovely little desk for your laptop, some beautiful art on the walls, and there was even a night light in the ensuite. Towels and linen were provided and I have to say were excellent, the bed sheets and quilt provided were extremely comfortable. The memory foam topper was *awesome* and the beds were extremely comfortable.


Kitchen Drawer Contents

I could tell that the owner of this unit has spent some time thinking about what people are going to need to use cookery wise, the cupboards were full of useful kitchen items.

Air Conditioning

The unit had you covered 100% air-conditioning wise – there is a split system air-conditioner head unit in each bedroom *plus* a split system air-conditioner in the main living area directly across from the couches. The owner has not done this on the cheap either – they have put in reliable units which provide only white noise and the occasional water pump sound. I cannot tell you if each head unit has their own outside unit or not, I did not investigate that further.

I often found the air-conditioning too cool and would turn the unit(s) off until one of the *ahem* men (That would be the one from the cold climate!) noticed it was off and would turn it back on. I would usually only leave the main living room unit on when we went out and would go around turning the bedroom ones off as we left. Hey – I am in Hawaii, I like it warm.

Marina Hawaii Vacations

Our experience with this company was fantastic – with one tiny exception and that was that they moved from Level 2 down to the lobby right before we visited and so we had some trouble finding them to begin with – the maps said level 2, my paperwork said level 2, we got to level 2 and found the original office which had a note on the door that they had moved to the lobby and we had to walk around a bit to find them. Nobody we asked was sure where the new office was.

With that said, the new office is absolutely gorgeous and the staff were welcoming and helpful. We were not there for very long because we had already paid the full balance a week in advance (to test out my new credit card) and so we were given the key cards, some paperwork with instructions, and told the most important rule which is not to hang towels or other items from the lanai – this is not something we would ever do anyway. 🙂

The Ilikai Experience 


The Ilikai Lobby

We loved The Ilikai overall. The lobby is beautiful, there are plenty of places to sit and chill if you wanted to do that, there is a lovely chair outside where you can wait for your car to be returned to you by the valet, the lifts were responsive and generally fast, the location is spot on for we Aussies who shop.


The laundry – two washers, two dryers on each floor.

There are laundry facilities which we did make use of on a couple of occasions.


Internal Corridor.

The one small downside is that the internal corridors are like saunas. It gets very warm in there and there seemed to be no air-conditioning there.


View of The Ilikai from the Discovery Bay Center across the road.

There is a bus stop very close by and this also happens to be the stop where a lot of pickups tend to happen e.g. PG Plover out to Waikele – you are usually the first picked up and the first dropped back to your hotel on any tours which is a bonus. This is also one of the better theBus stops for people wanting to go to KCC Farmers Market and get a seat on the bus.

We already mentioned the awesome KiMOBEAN for coffee, breakfast, and free wifi nearby in the Discovery Centre – there is also the great ABC Superette a short walk away on the corner of Ala Moana Boulevard and Hobron Lane for all your snacks, treats, and general ABC shopping type needs. If the Superette doesn’t have all of the items you’re looking for, there is another ABC store located just up Ala Moana Blvd. by Magokoro.

The Ilikai Pool


The Ilikai Pool Area

If you read the reviews for the Ilikai from time to time you will hear about the people who live in the condos being extremely possessive and somewhat territorial when it comes to the pool. Having been in the pool, I now get why they might be like that – this pool is heated to a temperature of such perfection rarely encountered in the world. I have been to many hotel pools as well as regular swimming pools during my time on this planet and I have to say – this pool is my most favourite, ever. That is saying something huge.


The Ilikai Pool Area

We did not experience the territorial stuff because we always went to the pool right before dinner, about 6:30pm, the pool was not used a lot at that time, it closed at 7:30, and I think the most people we ever encountered there were 4 kids plus 2 adults.

There is a staff member at the pool who gives out towels, who would often tell kids not to run – the staff member would also assist the kids when they needed help with things and kept a very close eye on the happenings at the pool making sure rules like no diving were obeyed which if I were a parent I would be pretty happy about – but please note there is no lifeguard on duty here.

So Much Space 

I don’t think it would be very easy to go back to staying in a standard hotel room after this condo experience. We had so much space to spread out – the living room area was where we spent a lot of time chatting and planning our plots of action. In a regular hotel room you wouldn’t have that couch area and extra space. I’m definitely sold on condos from now on, and I do have quite a long list of favourites for future trips.

Some more photos


The entrance area with shoe rack


Main Bathroom


Main Bathroom 2




Ensuite 2


The art above the desk


The kitchen and dining area


TV, Aircon, Honu wall art


Lift area at the lobby


Excellent fridge space, plenty of room!


Plates and bowls plus martini glasses


Rice cooker, blender, and more glasses




Pots & pans


Tea towels and pot holders

Leaving Kona

This starts just after the end of our Circle Island Tour mentioned here part 1part 2


On the way back to our room we checked out the pool area – though I never got to swim in it this area would be a great place to spend some time and the pool was quite warm for Hawaii. I usually find them way too cold.

We took some night shots from the pool area of the Celebrity Millenium leaving, and then some night shots of Kona and the other half showed me his “magic lantern” software which is a hack for Canon cameras. You don’t have to touch the camera to take a night shot – you just wave your hand near the screen and it uses the face proximity sensor to take the shot once you have waved a certain amount. It also can switch the text on the screen to red for astronomy photography.

We headed to Quinns Almost by the Sea for dinner. I chose the deep fried Ono with pineapple slaw, and the other half chose.. a burger, I think. He loves a burger. The photos of this are among the who knows where they vanished to.. 😦

Some more wandering about after dinner, dropping into a shop or few.. then back to the hotel to pack and then for a well earned sleep. Packing was difficult because we had packed very light to begin with but we had purchased some items and we had to make room for them. Plus, we had worn our boots, jeans, and heavy stuff for the flight over from Australia which meant there was not room for them in the luggage. So we left our outfits for tomorrow out which was going to be some quite warm wears for the very warm Kona.

That next morning we were to leave and for some reason I woke up around 4:45 and couldn’t get back to sleep so I took the laptop out onto the balcony for some typing time and wow it was gorgeous out there. The moon was up, then the sun rose, and the whole time the waves were crashing, it was just a lovely spot to be.


We wandered down to our favourite coffee place to use the free wifi while caffeinating, then to Splashers grill again for another wonderful breakfast. The water glasses were a gorgeous shade of blue. The location is perfect for people watching and on the days a cruise ship is in, watching tenders arrive and offload the cruise people.


If you are looking for good coffee, Splashers is not the place to find it if you want espresso – they do not offer this. If you are ok with filter coffee (we call it filtered sock coffee, not huge fans of it!) they do supply that for free.


We found the coffee downstairs at Kona Farm Direct to be the coffee we were looking for and had our coffee downstairs before breakfast soaking up the sun and enjoying the free wifi KFD offers. We ordered juices and water at Splashers instead, plus the KFD wifi does work upstairs in Splashers.


Both times I chose the Kona omelette with bacon cheese and topped with avocado but the second time I added mushroom, this may have been a step too far.


On this last visit the other half chose the Ham and Cheese omelette with hash browns.


On the previous visit he had the Pancake breakfast.


The bill was extremely reasonable for us who are used to Aussie prices, and as the service was excellent we tipped appropriately.

I would recommend this place for breakfast and seeing some of the other reviews, I wish we had tried it for dinner as well.

Walking down to Splashers there was cloud cover but by the time we sat down the sun had come out and I knew it was going to be a warm walk back to the hotel. We SMS’d my parents and told them to go watch the Konaweb webcam so they could see us. A bit of lack of skill on their part with page loading caused some confusion at first but they did manage to spot us on the webcam and we waved hi.

On the way back we stopped in at a rock and mineral shop I had spotted because I was hoping they might have a piece of that lava rock encased in resin or something. No such luck but I did find some bluestone and an opalite dolphin which spoke to me.

More wandering, an ABC store browse then back to the hotel to check out. The wonderful Diane helped us once again and she remembered us and asked how our tour went. That is so lovely. 🙂 Great work Diane!

We had booked the Roberts shuttle to pick us up and take us to the airport – the shuttle bus was early and we were the only ones on it. So basically we enjoyed a private ride to the airport on a 15 or so seater minibus. And this my friends is where the enjoyment abruptly ended.

First of all we could not use the check in kiosks – possibly because our booking was online from Australia, I was missing a code or barcode on the paperwork. So we had to check in manually, which we waited 20 minutes to do.

There were only two staff checking in, one was for general cattle class and one was for first class and once she was done with her check in we were not invited to be checked in by her, and by this time the other staff member checking in had discovered some sort of issue with something which required all three check in staff to go and gaze at her computer and totally ignore us for at least 10 minutes, until a different staff member came out and checked us in. Pretty poor service right there.

Then, having stood in an open air airport queue for over 20 minutes – having brought no water because you are not allowed to take it through security, we then waited over 40 minutes to proceed through said security. No water, nobody offering anyone any water considering there was a long wait, and no place I could see to get any water – I did not venture out of the queue because we did not want to lose our place.

This was pretty frustrating, I’ll be honest. And all the way along this queue, there were conflicting signs giving different information about what was allowed in and what was not, and what had to be removed and what did not have to be. A poor effort. The security people were nice enough once we got to them, and once past the first checkpoint the process was fairly quick. I have no idea why they needed to see our passports which I had put away as well as our drivers licenses for interisland travel but whatevs. Who knows the whys, it just is.

Once through security we could get some water at last which we demolished pretty quickly. Again Hawaiian showed their talent and skill and the organisation level for their whole operation is mind bogglingly amazing. We were there super early so sat around and no free wifi sadly, we got an SMS from Bigaln2 who was flying into HNL that day letting us know there had been a shooting at LAX and he was now in Salt Lake City and would be delayed, which he was, eventually arriving into HNL around 10pm rather than 5pm. This was probably the only real “mishap” of our trip – all our flights and tours were otherwise on time.

We tried to be the very last people on the plane, a difficult task I will admit when everyone is on Hawaiian time. Sadly we failed and a group of kids heading to camp got on behind us, and that was it. On board, take off, fly for I believe 15-20 minutes and get served some POG – the rest of the time is taxi-ing. Back to the Inter Island terminal, we arranged the Speedi Shuttle while waiting for the luggage to appear, then off to the Ilikai with a full bus load of people. We chatted to the people next to us who were fascinating (as I find most people travelling to or in HNL to be) and were the first drop off.

Next time – Our condo in detail, a surgical shopping strike.

How To Structure Your Pearl Harbor Visit


USS Arizona Memorial

A lot of people post questions on the Oahu Tripadvisor forums asking about timing their Pearl Harbor visit.

While this seems like an easy and simple thing to do, there is a lot more to Pearl Harbor than just the USS Arizona Memorial – there is so much to see here. So how do you lay it out to try and fit as much in as possible?

I think if and when we visit again, I would actually like to schedule in two days for Pearl Harbor and do it properly, and see everything there is to see there.

If I had to squeeze most things there into one day, I would schedule it like this –

book ahead of time online for the USS Arizona Memorial and book for an 8:30am tour

– make sure you get a good breakfast before you head off – whether that be cereal in your hotel room or going somewhere to get it, but bear in mind this will be super early and you will want to be in your taxi or rental car by 6:30am to get to Pearl Harbor for 7am. I would go with cereal if you can.

– get there for the 7am opening – you will probably have to get a taxi (around $50-60US from Waikiki) or rent a car to get there this early but this place is so incredibly beautiful first thing in the morning and much cooler, it is worth budgeting for it in my opinion.

– Put your cellphone to silent – vibrate only – for your entire visit here.

– pick up the tickets for your USS Arizona Memorial tour first thing when you arrive – you must collect them at least one hour before your scheduled tour but it can be earlier than one hour.


USS Bowfin

– visit the USS Bowfin keeping an eye on the time and remembering you have to be at the theatre for your USS Arizona Memorial tour 10 minutes beforehand – set a silent/vibrate alarm on your phone for this – the sub tour will take about an hour.

– On your way back to the theatre for USS Arizona, if you have time visit the waterfront memorial near the USS Bowfin with all the submarine stories, this really puts what you just saw on the USS Bowfin into perspective. Bear in mind though, we spent a good 50 minutes here just reading these plaques.

– Take your tour out to USS Arizona. Make sure to ask the Navy staff if they did not clearly announce it – which they likely did as you arrive at the memorial – what time they want you back on the boat and set a *silent* e.g. vibrate only cell phone alarm for this so you do not miss your boat back. They do not make announcements on the memorial that your boat is leaving. It is up to you to make sure you do not miss it.

– When you return you will likely visit the Circle of Contemplation and sit and think for a little bit. There are also some things to read and see there.


Plaque at the Contemplation Circle

– If you now decide you want to visit the USS Missouri and the Pacific Aviation Museum, grab your tickets for that and then head over to the shuttle to Ford Island

– Depending on the time of day and the weather, I would suggest visiting the Missouri first – the Pacific Aviation Museum has one large air-conditioned area and an air-conditioned place you can get a good lunch if you want, plus a walk to a non-airconditioned hangar.

– Be aware that the Pacific Aviation Museum has an excellent gift shop, as does the USS Bowfin as well as the visitors centre gift shops. These are three entirely separate stores run by different people and the merchandise in each is slightly different. If you see a book or something you want in one store, it is not necessarily safe to assume the other two stores will have it, so get what you want when you see it. 🙂

– When you return back from Ford Island, drop into the USS Bowfin gift store – this one is air-conditioned beautifully and you will enjoy that at this time of the day. You might also want to visit the Submarine Museum if you did not have time for it earlier, this is also air-conditioned I believe.

– There are shuttle buses back to Waikiki – VIP Trans and Reliable Shuttle are two companies I know of that run these, cost is around $6 or so. You can call them ahead of time and book your pickup time if you are willing to decide what time to leave ahead of time – alternatively you can let them know you will want to return at some point that afternoon and you will call to book in the time when you are ready. These generally run on the hour e.g. 2pm, 3pm.. they will tell you all that when you call.

– Alternatively you can catch TheBus back – keeping in mind this will take about an hour maybe more depending on traffic and by that time you might be a bit exhausted and over it. Additionally, in order to reach the Waikiki-bound busses, you will need to walk up to the Kamehameha Highway stop, as they do not enter the park on eastbound trips.

If I could do it in two days, I would make the USS Arizona Memorial tour for a little later, around 10-10:30am, and visit the USS Bowfin first, taking my time with that. I might then head over to the Pacific Aviation Museum and do the guided tour which costs a little more but these people are very interesting to listen to, it is worth it.

The second day I would reserve purely for the USS Missouri. While it might not take super long, I would be a lot more comfortable touring this in the early morning while it is still cooler, and being able to take my time with it.


USS Missouri

Anyway those are just my thoughts after our last visit there. I felt like I wanted to know more, and I wanted to read more, and see more. Especially about the submarines after reading the plaques.

I did buy 4 books but I could have bought a *lot* more – I was being careful because I knew we had limited space for books in our luggage. I have since bought some e-books on this topic, and will probably pick up a few of the other books I most wanted for the e-reader once I have finished those. If you can budget some space for books in your luggage I think you will not regret doing that.

Royal Kona Resort

This post is a copy of my TripAdvisor Review, with a few more photos included here.rkr6

On arrival on 29th October we headed to reception. There was water with lemon and other citrus (not sure did not try this) where guests arrive so you could grab a drink while you checked in, if you wanted to. We did not, having had POG on the short plane ride over.

Diane checked us in and she was lovely, and asked us if two doubles would be ok. Probably they would have but being used to a king at home we asked if there might be a king bed available. After some tapping on the keyboard Diane came up with room 360 in the Lagoon tower which was the tower I most wanted to be in having read the majority of the reviews here.

Diane gave us a map and showed us where to head to, booked us a taxi to take us to Hawaii Forest and Trail the next day after we asked what would be the best way to get there and wished us a pleasant stay.


The view from our room 360 @ Royal Kona Resort

Off to our room which was.. how best to describe it? For the price we were paying which worked out to about $110 per night this was fantastic value.


Our balcony

Yes, the resort is a grand old dame and in some places showing her age but it is in a great location and the waves crashing into the lagoon is so restful and helpful at bedtime to send you off to sleep. Pretty much everywhere you go in the room you can hear the ocean.


I especially liked what I call the “Survivor Africa” cabinet which the tv was placed on.


The wooden shutters used for window coverings

The wooden shutters were gorgeous if a little heavy to move and as they were the only window covering if you wanted the windows covered you had to use these – the furniture was excellent.


Our room 360 in the lagoon tower

The bed was comfortable, perhaps slightly firmer than I would usually choose. The bathroom looked like it had been recently renovated with new faux marble wall panelling and a bath which had a shower in it – the shower was wonderful after the long flight as it had that great stinging spray – why have I not read of the awesome water pressure in reviews here previously? – is everyone taking baths here? The shower water pressure was fabulous!


A view of the pool and one of the towers at night.

There is only one down side to this hotel – there is a smell of mould in the room. Knowing about this ahead of time via reading other reviews was important for us because I am allergic and the other half is more so than me. However we came prepared with antihistamines and did not have a major problem with it. Sorry, bathroom photos are among the missing pics.


The small kitchen area with coffee maker, fridge & sink

I could not find any actual mould in the room at all except for one tiny patch in the bathroom behind the toilet where nobody would usually spot it unless they were looking for it and I did let housekeeping know it was there before I left. My suspicion is that mould is actually in the air conditioning system, and one night I did turn it off for a bit and it seemed to me like the mould smell vanished for that time, so if you can live without aircon here you should try to do that.


Koi in the pond in the internal courtyard of our tower

Ok, there is one more thing I was not a huge fan of but this one is so easily fixed it isn’t funny and if I were the person in charge I would put this high on the to-do list – the towels are small, there are only two of them in the room plus a floor mat, two flannels and two hand towels, and none of them are especially inviting or awesome.

Yes, I could have brought my own or gone down to the ABC store and got some of those Hello Kitty velour beach towels but we were travelling light and had to make do. It is do-able but why not get some larger, fluffier towels? If I had a magic wand I would magic this place some new towels as a matter of urgency. In the meantime if you like your own towels best to bring them.


The lagoon pool

Back to the positives, I love the shape of the building, the grounds are gorgeous, the pool is warm and inviting, the lagoon pool would be an excellent place to spend time if we’d had it, we found a green gecko on one of the palm trees (which sadly vanished before we could get a shot of it). I wish we had more time to spend in the grounds, this was a quick trip for specific purposes for us and so our time at the hotel was limited.


The internal courtyard

The thing that most surprised me – and hopefully will now not surprise you when you see our photos -was the internal layout of the towers. There is a courtyard with a fish pond in the middle and all the rooms are accessed via this courtyard.


Stairs in the internal courtyard

I did look at a lot of the photos on reviews on TA and I do not recall seeing a shot from this angle and me being someone who likes to look for shots that other people did not take, made sure to get a few of the inside area.


The Pride Of America anchored just off Kailua Kona – this ship is a regular visitor

Most days of our stay there was a cruise ship anchored out in the bay which you could see from near the reception area when you went to leave in the morning – if there is one docked there, you want to try and get to the breakfast places a little earlier. Tenders start coming in anywhere between 7-8am depending on the ship and the passengers then can take a tour, rent a car for the day or wander the streets of Kona.

We checked out on the 1st of November. The wonderful Diane helped us once again and she remembered us and asked how our tour went. That is so lovely. 🙂 Great work Diane!

We enjoyed our stay here and would happily stay again.

Beedoo’s Number One Travel Tip

lifehack – A tool or technique that makes some aspect of one’s life easier or more efficient.

Beedoo747’s Wii Strap lifehack

When I bought my new Panasonic Lumix and unpacked it, I found a camera wrist strap was included. I looked at it, and I thought..

..wouldn’t my Wii remote strap be a better wrist strap, especially for things like snorkelling, water photography, and for security purposes?

It has a lock on there which is designed to stop your Wii remote leaving your hand and crashing into your teevee as a surprise, which happened a lot with the first version Wii remotes that did not come with a lock.


Turns out the answer is yes, heck yes, absolutely yes, this was my best idea ever!

Top 5 reasons why this was awesome –

1. Stayed firmly on the wrist while snorkelling

2. Stayed firmly on the wrist while doing.. well.. absolutely everything

3. No digging in the handbag for the camera when a shot presented itself

4. Could let the camera hang safely from the wrist if you needed to use your hand(s) for shopping, eating, drinking,  for various other purposes

5. Could easily hang the camera from the handbag hook on the back of the toilet door and lock it tightly in place if you were travelling light and not carrying a handbag – just make sure not to forget it!

Should Have Brought Extra

Bigaln2 was extremely jealous of my Wii Strap and we did look in many places for a Wii strap for him to use with his camera, unfortunately this is not as easy a task as it seems.

There was also an incident with Bigaln2’s iPhone and a waterproof carry case which we purchased – it ended up at the bottom of the Ilikai pool the first night we went swimming. This would not have happened with a Wii strap!

One Small Improvement

I would bring a second one if you are planning a lot of snorkelling and water activities, specifically for use in those situations. Sure, it does not take long for the strap to dry out in the warmth of Hawaii, but in case it gets wet and you want to switch it for a fresh one, this might be a good idea.

Who Thought Of It First?

Probably half way through the holiday I said to the other half, surely I cannot be the first person to have thought of this. Of course I am not – I cannot easily trace back to the person who had this idea first, but I am going to give the EPIC WIN title to this gentleman – Randy Lew who wrote back in 2011 about his amazing camera strap finding and included photos.

A closer view of the Wii Strap and my camera, sorry it is quite a long photo. 🙂


Carry On Luggage

While I am returning home, why don’t I show you what I packed in my carry on?


Here is my carry on bag which involves Swarovski crystals on the front – I have taken this for 3 trips now. It nearly did not make it to this last trip as the inside zipper pocket was broken, but the other half fixed it for me and installed a safety pin so it will not break again as a surprise. Now I am sure it will last many more trips. Let us call this one “my Leopard Print bag”

Here also is my new handbag – it is a lot smaller than my previous one and will be perfect for this trip. I am hoping to pick up at least one Kipling handbag during the trip for future use, they look very light, I hope they turn out to be what I expect when I get to experience them in person. We will call this handbag “my black bag”.


My Leopard Print bag has a zipper section on the back where I can put stuff I easily need to access. My black bag has a front section where phones can go. Both these bags will go under the seat in front of me. I usually put a bottle of water into the seat back area and loop my handbag strap around it so it is easy to pull up and access if I need to.


Most likely this is what you will find in the front zip section of my Leopard Print bag – the camera, my iPhone, a packet of tissues, probably headphones for the iPhone.


Here is what will be living in my handbag during the flight – the iPhone and the camera will be added to it for every day use on Oahu.


Here you see the bag packed. This is pretty roomy for this bag because I am taking a suitcase this trip so there is plenty of spare space in here.


So what is that gold thing? That is my Pashmina, which is wrapped around my Samsung Tablet which contains all my books, and also movies and tv. It will also contain the other half’s tablet which would not fit in his carry on – he has a massive camera bag backpack. The Pashmina will come in handy for the trip to the Mauna Kea Summit where there has already been snow this year. I can use it as a scarf/wrap.


Here are some of the items packed in the bag. The long purple item is a washcloth wrapped around our brand new never used toothbrushes. I always pack them like this when travelling so when you use them in the morning and then pack them, they will not wet anything in the luggage – the washcloth soaks up any water left on the toothbrushes.

Next to the purple thing you see some more tissue packs – these are super gorgeous, not bulky like a regular travel tissue pack, they contain 8x 3 ply tissues – I am all about the ply. 🙂 I found them when grocery shopping and I plan to get more of these for the handbag when I get back, so much nicer than the ugly packs I usually get plus with more ply!

The round purple container has my jewellery which I am taking in there. Mostly earrings, brooches, and a hair clip. There is room for more jewellery to be added if l buy any during the trip.

Next to that, the blue item rolled up and secured with a hair tie is my Ecosilk carrier bag. It is very pretty, and I love it. It once had a carrier bag but I lost that, so now I just use a hairband to wrap it in, handy in case I need a hairband!

Then you see a box of Olbas Pastilles which I swear by to travel on a plane – these babies will clear out your sinus and ear passages in no time.

Behind that is a small purse which contains a couple of necklaces with large pendants.

Next to that is my new comb which I bought especially for the trip, it is small and convenient.

The final row has another batch of tissues, mints & the travel light medical kit.


Here you see some of my items which are in ziploc bags. My toiletries are there, a Hawaiian dress – the purple and black print – an outfit change for the first day in the bag with the green and gold top and the brown shorts, that also contains a full underwear change in case I get too sweaty and yucky on the plane, headphones in a small purse, my Pashmina with the tablet again.

What do you carry on?