Due to Hawaii’s isolation, diverse people and culture, Hawaii has many divergent qualities that create a unique type of island life. I feel that there are some essential tips that would be helpful to people visiting the islands, so here are 8 Do’s and Don’ts that will help make your Hawaiian vacation a little more stress-free and enjoyable.
Hawaii Travel Tips: 8 Things You Should Know Before Visiting Hawaii
Don’t…Stay Only In Waikiki
If you are heading to the main island of O’ahu (which you should), you’re most likely going to be visiting or staying in Waikiki. Waikiki is quite famous and definitely one of the main touristy areas of the island, but it would be tragic to limit your vacation to only that one spot. While Waikiki is fun and has an abundant amount of shops and restaurants, there is so much more of the island to explore! If time and means allow it, venture off to the other parts of the island such as the North Shore – you won’t regret it!
Read More: 8 Free Things To Do On Oahu, Hawaii
Do…Respect the Culture
The Hawaiian Islands and people have a unique and incredible culture that the majority of the residents inherently respect. Unless you want to upset some of the locals, please do not tease the Hawaiian language, harass/touch the marine life such as sea turtles, and be disrespectful of sacred grounds.
Do…Try Some Local Food
I love exploring a place through the food, and it would be a mistake to not check out all the delicious food that Hawaii has to offer! From spam musubi, to shave ice, acai bowls, and poke bowls, there are a ton of things to try!
8 Foods You Must Try In Hawaii
Don’t…Take Some of Nature Home with You
A general rule here in Hawaii is to not take objects of nature, (such as lava rocks) home with you when you leave the islands. While some may say it’s just superstition, there are countless stories of people who took home lava rocks and had terrible bad luck after. Every year, many people even send back lava rocks trying to be rid of their supposed curse! Whether you believe in the superstition or not, I’d advised not to risk it, as it’s also frowned upon in general and seen as disrespectful.
Do…Put On Sunscreen
This may seem like an obvious one, but the sun is nice and hot here! Nearly half of the visitors I see are sadly donning some type of painful looking sunburn, so make sure to protect yourself from those strong sun rays – and make sure to reapply after jumping in the water!
Do…Account for Island Traffic
Traffic on Oahu is terrible. TERRIBLE. Some of the worst in the nation by far, and you definitely have to plan your schedule around rush hour commutes. Avoid making long drives around 3:30-6PM if you can manage. (Also the North Shore has heavy traffic from about 2-5pm). June and July aren’t too terrible due to school being out, but it’s still heavily apparent.
Read More: Transportation in Hawaii
Don’t…Leave Your Valuables In Your Car
While Hawaii is definitely one of the safer places when compared to the rest of the United States, we do have an unfortunately higher rate of property crime, such as cars getting broken into. There are some unseemly groups that do target tourists at popular locations (such as some famous beaches or hikes), and I’ve heard of too many sad cases of rental cars getting broken into. Please don’t leave any valuables in the car!
Do…Watch Those Waves
Growing up in Hawaii, we were taught to never turn our back on the ocean – I wish all visitors were aware of this rule! The ocean is beautiful and serene, but it is also a powerful force of nature, and it’s unsettling to see people knocked down by rogue waves because they weren’t paying attention. The last thing you want is to get injured on vacation, so please use caution and be aware of your surroundings!