Hawaii is a very unique and diverse vacation destination. It isn’t a big surprise that travelers are heading there in droves during this time when domestic travel feels “safer.” After all, Hawaii can feel like an exotic, international vacation without ever leaving the USA. The Hawaiian Islands offer a wide range of activities and experiences. It’s tempting to feature “what to do,” however, I’d like to share my top tips for what NOT to do when visiting one of my favorite vacation destinations.
Hawaii has a laid-back vibe meant to experience slowly, so why do so many people want to visit all five main islands in 10 days? Don’t forget that each time you island hop, you eat up a day of your vacation packing:
Whew! why waste your precious time in paradise doing all that? I recommend visiting no more than two islands in a week to 10 days (just one is even better). If time permits, try visiting three islands in 14 days so you can enjoy each destination to the fullest.
Don’t expect an all-inclusive resort in Hawaii. State law prohibits the inclusion of alcohol in a hotel room rate/package. It would be a shame to eat all your meals at one resort when there are so many culinary delights waiting outside. The best-case scenario is to find a good resort package that includes a fabulous breakfast each day and explore the many delicious options elsewhere. Plus, Hawaii is an accessible driving destination, and you can find some of the best experiences outside of the resorts.
The Hawaiian locals have the utmost respect for the sea and understand its power. No selfie is worth your life when a rogue wave or unexpected blowhole decides to make itself known. Enjoy Hawaii’s stunning waters safely and smartly, and ALWAYS observe warning signs, flags, and lifeguard’s advice. And “No Trespassing” means just that. Don’t wander onto private land looking for a nice hike.
“Formal” attire in the islands means putting on a fresh Aloha shirt and your best flip-flops. Men do not wear ties under normal circumstances, and women can get by with sundresses and sandals. DO remember to bring strong, reef-safe sunscreen and your favorite sunglasses, and a sun hat. The rays can be brutal, and you don’t want to ruin your vacation with a gnarly burn.
Life moves more slowly in the islands, and you need to adjust your expectations. NEVER honk your horn unless it is an emergency (it is also soooo rude!). Always let locals pass you or allow people to merge or turn into traffic. If it takes a moment for someone to acknowledge you because they are “talking story” with someone else, take a deep breath and smile. Your turn will come! And a meeting time usually means 10-15 minutes later. Get used to it – you might even relax a little!
Before you leave for your vacation, do a little research on the fascinating Hawaiian history and culture. There is so much more to Hawaii than the beach! Learn some much-used Hawaiian words; Attend cultural workshops and classes that are often offered free at your resorts. And, most of all – be respectful of the Hawaiian ways and customs. Even though it is still the USA, you are a lucky visitor.
Please, do not join the hour-long wait for that table at the Cheesecake Factory, or stop at McDonald’s for lunch! You can do that at home. The cuisine in Hawaii is one of the best and most diverse in the world, so take advantage of it (and you all know how much I love a good, authentic meal in a fabulous destination)! There is an incredible Food Truck culture with gourmet quality food at reasonable prices. Some local diners/shacks offer the freshest seafood or most finger-licking good plate lunches you will ever experience. Farmers’ Markets and road stands are everywhere, offering freshly baked banana bread (halfway to Hana comes to mind), local fruits and veggies, and incredible just-squeezed juices. Eat like a Hawaiian local during your stay, and you will thank me later!
If you’re ready for your OWN adventure to our nation’s 50th state, reach out to Premiere Luxury Travel today. As a certified Hawaii Destination Expert, we are uniquely qualified to help you have the most relaxing and memorable time in the Islands. Click HERE to get started!
Our bespoke itineraries are uniquely designed to completely immerse you in your destination, with delightfully unexpected surprises along the way.
We have a special passion for all things culinary—and we would love to introduce you to your destination’s distinct (and delicious!) food and wine traditions through one-of-a-kind culinary experiences. The best part? You won’t have to do a thing except relax, recharge, and create memories that last a lifetime!
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