Lanai is one of the undiscovered jewels of the Hawaiian Islands. With a climate that is slightly dryer than many of the other nearby islands, it offers a different set of activities, like off-road Jeep adventures, in addition to some great beaches and water activities. Many people have never even heard of the island or they mistake it for other islands when they see it from the West shore of Maui. Because of this, and because it has only three hotels, two of them luxury Four Seasons hotels, many of those that know just a little about Lanai assume that it's just too expensive a place for them to visit.

But, surprisingly, there are a number of deals and vacation packages for Lanai to be found. You'd think that the economics would say that the hotel deals are for Las Vegas and Orlando, places with zillions of tourists and hundreds of hotels vying for their business. You would not think that with such a small selection of hotels on Lanai catering to more affluent travelers, that they would need to make special deals and Lanai vacation packages available, Why would they need to or want to make a deal to get hotel guests through the door?

Well, the answer is that even Lanai hotels like the Four Seasons Manele Bay Resort and the Four Seasons Lodge at Koele feel the pinch when the economy is down. And with the recent economic downturn, there are indeed several ways to get a good deal on Lanai vacation packages. You just need to be a little more creative in where you look and look where you might not expect to find the deals.

Anybody that is familiar with staying at a Four Seasons hotel or resort will know that the service and accommodations are generally excellent. You pay quite a bit for this level of luxury. But guess what? One of the best places to find a great deal on Lanai vacation packages is directly through the Four Seasons website or by calling them directly. Imagine that!

We did this last winter when we planned three days on Lanai after a week spent on Maui. The vacation package they offered was a "Stay for 3 - Pay for 2" deal which was essentially to stay three nights and pay for only two nights at either the Lodge at Koele or at the Manele Bay Resort. Plus they included a $50 hotel credit voucher to use in any of the restaurants or gift shops at either hotel no matter which one you stayed at. So, that brought the per night rate down by 33%! Plus we used the credit voucher to pay for lunch one day at the Ocean Grill overlooking Hulopoe Beach. Now, for such a short stay, that is one of the best deals you are going to find anywhere, not just on Lanai.

Another good place to look for Lanai vacation packages are the online websites like Expedia and Travelocity. They all have a section dedicated to vacation packages where you can search for a combination of airfare, hotel, and rental car for a special package deal. You will not always find such a vacation package for Lanai, but occasionally they do have some deals, sometimes as much as 10-15% off the retail price as a package. If you have some time to plan your trip, check each of the main online sites to see what kind of Lanai packages pop up. You can also sign up at each of the websites to get an email notification when a new deal is offered.

Lanai is a gorgeous island, far less populated by residents or tourists than Maui, and much more laid back. The small extra effort it takes you to get to the island will be more than paid back by an experience you will not soon forget. And with a little effort you can find a nice Lanai vacation package that puts the icing on the cake.