Title: A two weeks family vacation in the Big Island, Hawaii - dining and commute
Dining: We ate in a nice restaurant within the huge hotel area and it was nice and also had great ocean views but the price is also pretty expensive. We could not afford to eat there all the time. So we drove a mile or so and found a grocery store in town and bought many nice hot meals there and the price was pretty reasonable. To save the meal cost, my suggestion is: 1. after you check in to the hotel, immediately search to see if there are grocery stores or local restaurants in town but not within the hotel, and then you can buy some nice hot meals to go which saves a lot. 2. try local fruits, especially papaya. Everybody in our family loved the papaya we bought from the farmers or local stores. We also bought some other fruits and all of them were tasted good.
Commute: We had rented a 4 wheel driven van which was OK when we drove through the mountain area. When we picked up the rental car, my husband also paid protection ( similar to the insurance) charges that cost us about $150 or $200 or so for 2 weeks. Later I heard a friend who told me that if you use some specific credit card to rent a car, then the insurance part would be covered by the credit card company. Also the price was different for with or without GPS system. We brought our own GPS and then used it. Of course, the smart phone also can do this for you.