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Things to see and do in Big Island

Big Island experiences

Blog posts

Pride in the USA

To mark the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Rebellion, we’re celebrating 2019’s must-visit Pride events in Philly, Chicago, Vegas, and W. Hollywood.

WorldPride: 50 years of Pride in NYC

We learn where to go for all things Pride in NYC — parties, food, history, arts and culture. We've got the scoop with a local in the Big Apple.

Our top places to go in 2019

Forget the wet weather and whet your appetite for adventure with our top destinations for 2019.

An expert's guide to San Francisco

We sent some of our team on a fact-finding holiday to San Fran. Here's a taste of what they experienced.

The Most Instagrammable places in NYC

If you’re looking for some serious Insta-envy from your followers, these Big Apple beauties are sure to get the likes rolling in.

The best places to eat in Arizona

We've put together some food for thought on where to eat in Arizona, from watering holes to desserts in the dunes. Did someone say air conditioning and ice cream?

Have a nice day in San Francisco

A handful of quintessentially San Francisco places and experiences that we’d love to share with you.

LA LA Land

Become an honorary Angelino and explore LA and beyond with these tours and experiences.

Awesome music festivals from around the world

With Glasto round the corner, it’s time to dust off your tent, grab your shades and set off for summer’s hottest festivals.

San Francisco Pride 2017 – Celebration of Diversity

Join San Francisco Pride in promoting a “Celebration of Diversity” in 2017 over the weekend of 24 and 25 June.

Las Vegas Pride 2017 – loud, proud and plenty of crowds

Maybe you’ve done Pride before. But until you’ve done Pride in Las Vegas, you haven’t really done Pride.

Fantastic Places - Inspired by Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

Get a glimpse of these magical sites around New York City.

Why Washington DC is the perfect holiday destination for families

You may not see Washington, DC as a family-friendly holiday destination at first glance. But look closer and you’ll find this political powerhouse ranks right at the top for the best family-friendly US cities.

Summer of Love - 50th Anniversary

2017 ushers in the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love and is the perfect time to visit San Francisco.

History of the USA

From sprawling vineyards and Art Deco buildings to iconic statues, The USA has a fascinating history to explore. Here’s just a few pointers on how to discover America’s intriguing past.

More about Big Island

There’s not really much that shouts 'getting out into nature' more than watching land form before your very eyes and you can see just that at the Kilauea Lava Flow Sea Entry. The red hot, glowing orange magma bubbles up from beneath Kilauea’s caldera and snakes down the volcano flowing right into the sea at the Waikupanaha ocean entry. Watch the once-in-a-lifetime spectacle from one of the boats, which regularly goes out and see Mother Nature trying to recreate something as awe-inspiring as you.

All this the swimming and looking gorgeous on the beach can leave you with a bit of an appetite. Cue Pololu Beach on Big Island with its Merriman’s Waimea restaurant which has been a national treasure for over two decades. Ninety percent of its menus are locally sourced from home-grown vine ripened tomatoes to pineapple plantations, to the fresh pole-line caught tuna. Dig in to Kalua pig and sweet onion quesadillas, the blackened shrimp Ala Plancha and the Maui gold pineapple and toasted macadamia nut pudding.

Cue Pololu Beach

Ditch the white sand beaches for something a little different at Punalu’u Beach on Big Island, which thanks to Hawaii’s volcanic activity, is home to black sands. There’s still swaying coconut palms and the rolling ocean, but your vistas will be just a bit more unique. Hawaiian green sea turtles may also potter onto the beach to meet you. Well, who wouldn't?

Punalu'u Beach

Ok, so it lucked out on being the tallest volcano in the world, but the Mauna Loa weighs in as the world’s largest active volcano. It takes up over half the island (with most of it sitting below the ocean). The mountain is deceptively tall and the trail long, so do some lunges before you set off. It’s a rather challenging 12.4 miles round-trip and the hike is steep (take plenty of water on the way), but once you’re on it, you’ll be rewarded with spectacular views of its neighbouring volcano, Mauna Kea.

Mauna Loa

Located in the Wailuku River State Park, this 24-metre gorgeous waterfall is surrounded by tropical jungle and well worth an early morning visit when there is a chance you can see a rainbow. 

Rainbow Falls

No stranger to royalty, Waipio Valley was once the childhood home of King Kamehameha I and with a name like ‘Valley of the Kings’ you’re sure to fit in. Sitting at one mile across and five miles deep, its cliffs scale over 2,000 feet high and with its dramatic tropical landscapes, it’s an area of serious beauty. Entwined with taro fields, rivers and waterfalls, its pièce de résistance is Hawaii’s tallest waterfall, Hiilawe Falls, which sends water cascading down over 1,300 feet. Meet the locals, as to this day over 100 residents live amongst the falls.

Waipio Valley

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Your holiday may be affected by travel restrictions or cancellations

We are continually reviewing our flying schedules, taking into account the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice against all non-essential travel. Depending on when you are due to travel, your holiday may be affected and we’ll email you to let you know.

You’ll be away before you know it

Your next holiday is only a click away - our website has thousands of hand-picked options ready to book. But if you need more help, just let us know.

Looking for inspiration? Explore our destinations and holiday types and save your faves to your very own Wishlist. Or dive right in to our 2021 holiday offers.

For extra piece of mind, new bookings made before 31 August 2020 for travel up 30 April 2021 also have the flexibility to amend free of charge. If you need to change don’t worry, you can move your holiday as far out as 31 December 2021 subject to availability.

Latest Foreign & Commonwealth Office repatriation travel advice


Over the past few weeks, we have repatriated our customers from overseas who wanted to come home.  

Please visit this page to keep up to date with the Government’s travel advice on returning to the UK, and to register for email alerts.
 

How would you like to talk to us?

With many customers needing our help, we are prioritising those customers due to travel before 06 October 2020. Log in to Manage my booking where you can message us about your options or you can give us a call. Bear in mind you may have to wait longer than expected. We continue to review this and working to open up these options to more customers. In the meantime check out our FAQs to see if this can help answer any immediate questions.

Stay tuned for the latest updates


Rest assured; we will notify you as soon as we know if your holiday has been affected.  

We are prioritising those customers due to travel before 06 October 2020. Log in to Manage my booking where you can message us about your options or you can give us a call. Bear in mind you may have to wait longer than expected. We continue to review this and working to open up these options to more customers. In the meantime check out our FAQs to see if this can help answer any immediate questions.

Please look out for emails from us or visit our dedicated Covid-19 (Coronavirus) page for the latest updates.

Let’s talk


If you need to speak to us to change or cancel your booking, and you are due to travel before 06 October 2020, please log in to Manage my booking to call or message us. 

Payment flexibility


Don’t worry if you’ve missed a payment or just need a little more time to pay; we have options available to help you. If your holiday is going ahead as planned, you can continue to pay for your holiday in Manage my booking, even if travelling in less than 12 weeks. If you’re unsure, you can delay any additional payments by choosing a new time to travel by requesting a call back in Manage My booking for one of our team to look at options. If your holiday is more than 6 months away, you may wish to set up a Direct Debit to spread the cost. This can be arranged whilst rebooking or afterwards in Manage my booking.

We're flexible with your holiday plans


We understand that you may wish to change your holiday plans and we appreciate the need for flexibility. 

We'll be in touch by email letting you know how to register to change your holiday plans. You can also log into Manage my booking to find the details there. 

Please look out for emails from us or visit our dedicated Covid-19 (Coronavirus) page for the latest updates.

You're good to go


If we haven’t notified you of any changes, your holiday will be going ahead as planned but if you prefer to move your holiday to a later time we can help. Log in to Manage my booking to request a call back to amend your holiday. Please bear in mind we’ll work through requests in departure date order so may take longer than usual for us to get back to you

Please look out for emails from us or visit our dedicated Covid-19 (Coronavirus) page for the latest updates.

Thank you for your patience and understanding


Payments are being prioritised based on when the request was made, working in order from March 2020 onwards. We will always try to process refunds at the earliest opportunity, for requests before August our maximum timeframe is 120 days. As we are steadily reducing the maximum processing time for each new request, for refund requests made in August, we expect the maximum processing time to be 80 days, from the date the refund is requested. For those requesting a refund in September, we expect it to be processed within a maximum of 60 days, and then reduce to 30 days for refunds requested in October, before returning to normal levels.

We'll be in touch soon


To finalise the amendment, one of our customer advisors will phone you. We need to work through amend requests in departure date order so we can prioritise those with the most imminent travel plans, so you may have a longer wait than usual until we’re able to ring you back. We will help everyone that wants to move their holiday.

I returned early from holiday and have further questions?


You can contact our team by emailing feedback.backhome@virginholidays.com to discuss options on unused portions of your holiday. If you need to contact our team about amending an existing holiday or requesting a refund please log in to manage my booking.

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