It’s always good to have local advice when you’re planning a Hawaii vacation. That might mean someone who has visited the islands, maybe more than once. Even better would be someone who now lives in Hawaii. Better than that? Someone who grew up here, has lived on three of the islands, and enjoys helping visitors make the most of their Hawaii experience. That’s Tara Barron, the most senior agent at Hawaii Aloha Travel.
Unlike most of us, Tara was dragged to Hawaii under protest — as a young girl leaving her friends on the mainland. (I confess to taking some comfort in knowing that parental relocations are not popular no matter how fabulous the destination.) She grew up on Maui, and has lived on the Big Island (Hawaii) as well as Oahu. When she tells you about the islands of Hawaii, she draws on years of experience.
It should come as no surprise, then, that Tara likes to help visitors with multi-island packages. Visiting more than one island lets travelers experience the different aspects of Hawaii and it allows them to vary their own Hawaii activities. Hiking and visiting nature preserves are part of a Big Island trip, along with seeing the volcano. Many of the sites with names that are familiar to travelers are on Oahu, along with important historical, governmental and cultural spots.
Tara says about half of her customers are taking their first trip to Hawaii, the others are returning. Veterans are either looking for something different, or know they want to repeat a great experience. First time visitors, however, often need hand-holding all the way through. "Sometimes people will tell me they want to visit the Big Island," Tara says. "I ask them what they want to do, and they describe activities that are on Oahu. It’s not uncommon for people to think that Oahu is the ‘Big Island’." That could be because it has the most population or is the center of government, but when describing islands in Hawaii, "big" means geography. Tara gently guides visitors to the experience they really have in mind.
Tara lends a wealth of experience and a helping hand to Hawaii visitors, whether it’s the first visit or fifth. Each time, the trip is enhanced with her local touch.
August 29th, 2010