By: Revanche

The power of a timeshare, and to luau or not to luau?

October 12, 2009

For a mere $7000/year + ~$1000 in maintenance fees + trading fees, you too can generously house up to 7 guests on a week-long trip in Hawaii!

Credit: Ralfbeier from Wikimedia Commons

“Is that worth it?” was on the tip of my tongue, but as I’m one of the invited guests, it seemed prudent not to question my hostess’s financial decisions. 😉   No, really we talk money pretty liberally, she’s deemed it a worthwhile expense in her budget, and she’s got her long-term plan, her financial advisors and all that jazz taken care of.

Now, to worry about my own money! My friend has invited me to come stay with her and a few other friends in Hawaii for a week in November. It’s a rare opportunity for me, but that doesn’t necessarily mean I can afford it.

I’d be responsible for my own airfare, meals, and rental car. I’ve already volunteered to cook to “pay” my way. We’d be staying in a 3 bedroom villa, and it looks like single bed guestrooms start at $200/night, you can just imagine the market value of these accommodations!

Flying United, I can use a left over travel voucher to defray the cost of a round-trip ticket (approx. $500). Another option is to check through each of my rewards (hotel and others) to see if any can be redeemed for airline miles and/or value cards to further bring down the cost of airfare. For example, 20k Starpoints could be redeemed for 25K United miles to bring my total United account to 41k, but that’s only enough for a saver fare to HNL, which isn’t available for redemption.  S’ok, maybe next time.

Meals would just go on the credit card and get paid out of the travel fund, there aren’t a ton of ways to get creative with groceries. As for the rental car, Hilton points can be redeemed for a few days’ rental. I should have enough for at least a couple days with either Budget or Alamo.

My travel fund sits less-than-pretty at about $500. If I take this trip, that’d be it for the year unless I can come up with extra cash between now and then. On the other hand, when am I ever going to get to go to Hawaii for the price of a plane ticket and food

Oh wait, the fun stuff!  My friend insists that I have to go to a luau for my first time in Hawaii, but I just went to a luau party where several people said the dancers and fire dude were significantly better than the shows they saw in Hawaii this year.  The only thing missing from the huuuuge spread of food, mai tais, pina coladas, and the show was a roast pig.  Does anyone think the whole authentic package is worth between $50-200 per person just for roast pork?  (Yuuuummm…)  Is there any other reason to go?  Right now, I can’t really get behind it.

I’m hoping to have tons of free fun walking the island, enjoying nature and maybe reading lots.

6 Responses to “The power of a timeshare, and to luau or not to luau?”

  1. Anonymous says:

    The luau I went to in Maui was ~$80 and included free drinks ($92 now). I enjoyed it but if you’ve been it may not be worth it to you. I’d go again for the atmosphere/experience.

  2. eemusings says:

    Sounds like a great opportunity, and there’s only a couple months left in the year 🙂 My two cents.

  3. Take the trip! There’s only 2.5 months left in the year anyway, and with lodging paid for, that’s a huge chunk of the cost that you don’t have to pay!

  4. Revanche says:

    Karen: I’m still on the fence about it (the luau). Mostly because something ELSE has come up! 🙂

    eemusings: I know, and when else am I going to get a weeklong trip for about $500?

    paranoidasteroid: I think we’re all for going, huh?

  5. RC says:

    Been to the two main luaus in Lahaina/Maui. The one at the south end has a weaker show, but pretty good food. The north end has a very fancy show, but lousy food. I don’t think either one is really worth it though.

    “Maui Revealed” is a great book for finding interesting things to do. I’ve generally had better luck with the food by hunting around for Thai restaurants and by using the local newspaper (I forget whether Maui News or Maui Weekly is better).

  6. Revanche says:

    RC: That’s good to know, my friends told me they weren’t super impressed by the luaus on Maui either.

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