First time visiting Hawaii can be a bit overwhelming. Below is a list of tips from fellow travelers to help guide you to having the ultimate vacation in Hawaii!
1. Stay On One Island
Though “island hopping” might be a fun concept, nowadays with the cost increase and increased regulations, that may not be exactly what you want to deal with for a vacation. There is so much to do on each island, that you won’t even see it all even on a week long vacation.
2. Try Local Foods
You will definitely want to try the local food when visiting. Poke is one that cannot be passed up. This dish is tuna or another type of seafood chopped up and marinated in spices, sauces and vegetables. Recommended that you sample for yourself at a local restaurant instead of a chain to get the true authentic flavors (and also help support local business!).
3. Don’t Schedule A Luau Your First Night
Luas are amazing, but can be costly and most don’t end until the end of the evening. With the time change, and the long flight, trust that you will probably feel like a zombie before the hula is over. Try scheduling it a few nights after or on the last night of your vacation to truly get the most out of the expierience.
4. Use Reef Safe Sunscreen
If we want to continue to have and enjoy the beautiful blue ocean waters and all the sea life it inhabits, you need to use Reef Safe sunscreen. Most sunscreens have an ingredient called oxybenzone which is harmful to the coral reef system in Hawaii. If you happen to forget to bring with you, most of the local store on the islands will carry some.
5. Research Beaches Before You Go
Hawaii’s position in the ocean makes for unique and dangerous conditions, so make sure to do some research before you get to the island to determine the best beach for you!
6. Always Check The Weather Before Hiking
Always check weather conditions and flood plans before your hike. There are many areas where there is a rapid rise in water levels or water overflowing that can create a dangerous situation.
7. Go On A Circle Island Tour Of Oahu
Going on a circle tour (or renting a car) is a great way to see the island. There are spots like Sharks cove, Pearl Harbor, Byodo Inn Temple and beautiful beaches of Lanikai and Kailua.
8. Take A North Shore Tour
Hop on the Surf Bus and stop off at a bunch of places around Oahu. This allows you to have time to snorkel, hike or go on a kayaing excursion.
9. Snorkel With The Manta Rays
An absolute must is to snorkel or dive with the manta rays at night. As it gets dark, lights are turned on and that attracts plankton. Plankton is manta rays main food source, so their presence attracts the mantas. It is a truly once in a lifetime experience!
10. Hike to Papakolea Green Sand Beach
Located on the Big Island, this green sand beach offers quite the adventure. Hike is about 2.8 ,miles, and familys with children 10+ can easily accomplish. Make sure to have plenty of water, food, sunscreen and hats since there are no shaded areas or food vendors.