Hawaii Do's & Dont's

The Travel Channel’s 26 Top Hawaii Do’s & Don’ts

DO Slow down to Hawaiian speed. Things go slower in Hawaii so don’t be hurried. Slow down and enjoy the view and take it easy.

DON’T Bring your mainland driving habits here. Honking is considered rude unless you are in a wedding procession.

DO Say “Aloha”, it’s not corny, it’s used throughout Hawaii and is good for coming or going. Try saying other Hawaiian words properly. It’s not that hard. Also say “Mahalo” (Thank you).

DO Talk to a Travel Agent who is familiar with Hawaii to get best fairs. Don’t think that the internet will automatically get you a good room or the best airfares.

DO Book inter-island flights ahead. You’ll find that you can’t just jump on a plane the same day to go island hopping. The farther ahead you book these flights the better the rates.

DON’T Come on a Holiday if you can avoid it. Hawaii is always more crowded during Holidays. Consider traveling on the actual Holiday if you have to. Book flights during the week rather than weekends, Monday through Thursday are the best days to fly.

DON’T Expect to find a beach at your hotel even if it is a oceanfront hotel. Some hotels have a rocky coastline rather than a beach, so if it’s important to you to have a beach in front of your hotel, make sure before you book.

DON’T Go in the water if you see a Red Flag. These warnings are important to follow to prevent injury or death. The ocean can have high waves and strong undertows. Don’t go in the surf on the North Shore of Oahu in the winter when the surf is up. Leave this area for the professional surfers and seek a less dangerous beach.

DO Find kid friendly beaches if you have kids. There are many calm beaches like Keiki Beach in Lahaina and Kamaole Beach in Kihei.

DON’T Think that there will be public transportation everywhere. Although you can ride “The Bus” in Oahu almost anywhere, it’s not the same on the neighbor islands. Consider that you will need to rent a car.

DO Rent you car ahead of time to insure that one is available and to get the best rates. Talk to your travel agent or buy your rental car in a package. You will pay more if you walk in to a rental car company without a reservation.

DON’T Think that you won’t be doing a lot of driving. Even through you are on an island you can find yourself putting 300 miles on your car in a week. Make sure that you rent a car with unlimited mileage.

DON’T Forget to use sunscreen. The sun in Hawaii is stronger than it is on the mainland and you can get a nasty sunburn in only a few hours. SPF 30 is OK, but you are best going with a SPF 50 or higher and used it every time you go into the sun. Going through your vacation with a bad sunburn can keep you from doing the things you want and is definitely no fun.

DON’T Think that since it’s Hawaii it won’t rain. Determine the right time of the year to visit where you want to go. It rains somewhere in Hawaii everyday. In one day you could travel to 11 different climatic environments.

DON’T Think that all you will be doing is laying on the beach. Most people don’t realize all there is to do in Hawaii. So plan your extra time wisely and do your research so you can plan what you will be doing each day to make the most out of it.

DO Try SNUBA diving if you are not a certified diver. SNUBA is just like diving but doesn’t require certification. Even children can SNUBA dive.

DO Respect the environment from the forest to the ocean. In the water do not step on the coral reef, it takes years for these reefs to grow and they are very fragile. Don’t throw trash in the forest and do stay on the trails.

DO Visit the Bishop Museum and the Iolani Palace if you are in Oahu. This is the only royal palace in the United States. Learn about Hawaiian culture and history.

DO Take a trip to the top of the Volcano, whether it be Haleakala on Maui or Mauna Kea or Mauna Loa on the Big Island. Don’t forget to dress warmly and have a jacket and long pants. Tennis shoes are important if you are taking any trails through the lava fields.

DON’T Take rental vehicles to areas that are designated four wheel drive only. If you break down or get stuck the rental car company will charge big fees to rescue you.

DON’T Forget your golf clubs. With the 100’s of beautiful championship golf courses that Hawaii has to offer, you will be able to play golf on whatever island you are visiting.

DO Plan to attend events. See the unique stage performance “Ulalena” while you are in Lahaina. And plan to be at the Old Lahaina Luau, Maui’s best Luau, while in Maui. Tickets sell out sometimes weeks in advance so make arrangements with your activity or travel company ahead.

DO Try the Hawaiian Regional Cuisine when you go to the restaurant. The mixes of local ingredients along with local beef and fish are a sensation for the palette.

DO Try the Shave Ice at Matsumoto General Store while to are in Oahu on the North Shore. Shave Ice was invented here and is served like no other in the country. Shave ice is so much more than a snow cone.

DON’T Be afraid to try Poi. Poi is a Hawaiian staple that you will find at any luau you attend. Try mixing it with other flavors on your luau plate.

DO Take your time and enjoy yourselves. As we say in the islands, “Hang Loose”!


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