I’m a big fan of the Aqua line of hotels. It’s a vanity, but I feel like they were made for me. They’re cute and funky and have style, they’re a good deal, and they know you’re going to snack in your room, so they make it easy for you. I’ve not stayed at all of them, but I hear good things about the ones I haven’t stayed at. Bonus? I like the people I’ve met that run the brand and I appreciate their priorities and politics. I feel great about recommending their properties to anyone who’s Hawaii bound. And I feel REALLY great about giving you a shot at a certificate for three nights for two people at any Aqua hotel in Waikiki.
I also really like the Hawaii tourism people, they are genuinely wonderful people. When I asked them to help me out with Passports with Purpose, the Travelbloggers Fundraiser, they hopped to it. So not only do I have a voucher for three nights in Waikiki, I also have some other great stuff to go with it. I’ve got passes for two to the Waikiki Aquarium. Fun fact? It’s one of the oldest in the nation, plus, it’s home to a few chambered nautiluses – a crazy looking sea critter if ever I saw one. You can walk there from your Waikiki hotel. I’ve got two passes to the Polynesian Cultural Center — with the Alii Luau. Full disclosure here: This is Oahu’s most popular attraction, but I found it kind of, um, weird. That said, the poke at the luau was plentiful and delicious and the luau itself? The dancers and the musicians were amazing. I really enjoyed it.
And I’ve got something else that’s just busting with aloha for you, too, as part of this package. Nathan Kam, who’s a Hawaii tourism big shot, but also, an all around nice guy and wonderful human being, will take you and one travel companion on a personal food tour of his island. Nathan loves to eat well and he genuinely loves to share Hawaii with visitors. He’ll take you to some of his favorite eating spots and you’ll get to spend time with a local guy who’s good company and a generous host. Honestly, I’m kind of jealous of whoever gets to do this.
What do you have to do to get all this aloha? You have to donate 10 dollars to LAFTI via Passports with Purpose. Your donation goes directly to Land Tillers for Freedom (LAFTI) and will be used to build homes for a community of 25 Dalit (untouchable) families in India. That’s it. Do that, and your name goes into a drawing for this package of Hawaii goodness. You make a small donation, you might get an amazing trip to Hawaii. Okay, okay, if you get this, you’ll have to buy your own plane tickets — sorry, we really did try, hard, I promise you! — and there are some restrictions, but they’re reasonable “based on availability” kind of things.
Passports with Purpose is in year three — and this is Aqua’s second year of support. Last year, we built a school in Cambodia through a combination of sponsorship funds and donations like yours. For me, there’s a lot to love about the opportunity to share a place I absolutely adore with you through an act of generosity. There’s aloha there, both in your gift to LAFTI, and in the participation of the Hawaii folks who helped me pull together this great package. Keeping with that spirit, I’ll share my knowledge of the islands with you if you need help planning your trip. You probably won’t need it — Hawaii is so easy — but I’m delighted to advise you on questions like “Should I rent a car?” or “Where’s that crab ramen you keep going on about?” We’ll be in touch if this prize package goes your way, so please don’t hesitate to ask. I’ll tell you your biggest problem right now: Three nights won’t be enough. But it’s a great start.
Are you ready to make a donation? Go here.