• Rose@WhereToGoTravelCo

Top 10 tips for having the best Hawaiian vacation

Updated: Sep 12, 2021

For many, Hawaii is a once in a lifetime experience (until they get there and decide they must return)! Below are the top 10 tips for having the best Hawaiian vacation possible so you can have the vacation you've dreamed of.


1. Learn about the culture before you go. The beauty of Hawaii is so much deeper than the sacred land and sea. It’s also in the “aloha spirit” of the people. A good place to begin learning is https://www.gohawaii.com/hawaiian-culture. Hawaiian culture has deep roots, and learning about it will make your trip to these storied islands richer.


Hula dancer at sunset, Hawaii island
Photo: Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Kuni Nakai

2. Hawaii is all about self-paced exploration. Plan lots of downtime in your itinerary, so you have ample time to:

  • Drive around the island and stop at places that look interesting. That could be a waterfall, a beach, a clifftop vista that’s particularly beautiful… the gorgeous scenes unfold before your eyes as you drive.

  • Eat at locally-owned restaurants.

  • Walk through quaint towns.

  • Eat shave ice.


Honeymoon couple exploring small town in Hawaii
Photo: Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA)

3. Make sure you are choosing the right island for your getaway. Each island has its own unique flavor. Take my quiz to find the right island for you.

4. Take strong reef-safe sunscreen. Did you know that many sunscreens are toxic to coral and sea life? Make sure you are only taking reef-safe sunscreen with you to Hawaii.

5. Adjust to the time change before you travel. Hawaii is a significant time change from us on the mainland. Going to bed early for a week before your trip will make the adjustment a little easier for you. (Tip for coffee lovers: make sure you have a coffee maker in your room… speaking from experience, you don’t want to be stuck waking up 4 hours before the coffee shop opens.)

6. Be on “Hawaii time”. Hawaiian Islanders are generally laid back, and there is a much slower pace of life here. Being on Hawaii time means not being too concerned with how long it takes to get your food at a restaurant, or how quickly the line moves at the supermarket. Don’t be too surprised when your schedule activities don’t start right on time. (That doesn’t mean YOU can be late!) Adopt the laid back attitude, and everything will work out!


7. Weather in Hawaii- don’t be worried if you see rain forecasted for every day of your trip. This is not uncommon, and it doesn’t mean you won’t have sunshine! It probably will rain every day, but it usually doesn’t last long. Just remember that each island has a rainy side and a drier side. If it’s rainy where you are, take a day trip to the other side of the island.

8. Watch the sunsets every day. There are no words for the beauty of a Hawaii sunset. You just have to experience it.

9. Take a few reusable grocery bags with you. Plastic bags are outlawed in Hawaii, so if you want to stock up on a few groceries for your room, you’ll want to have a few reusable grocery bags for the store.

10. Respect the land and the people. Remember that you are a guest, clean up after yourself, and leave Hawaii better than you found it. If you are really interested in giving back, ask me about the Malama Hawaii program!

Hawaiian sign
Photo: Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Brooke Dombroski / @brooklynhawaii

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