A trip to Hawaii is an exciting adventure and makes for one of the most perfect vacations imaginable. If you’ve never been you might be wondering what to think of this little chain of islands, as well as where to stay and what to do. Read on for five tips to help you make the most of your time in Hawaii.
Forget the Hotel
While staying in a hotel might be the obvious choice, it’s far from the best. Consider staying in one of the many vacation rentals in Hawaii instead. Vacation rentals afford you all the luxury and amenities of a hotel without the crowds. Hotels often affiliate themselves with tourist traps— like overpriced restaurants, shops, and tours. When you stay in a real neighborhood of Hawaii you lose all of that, exchanging the bad restaurants for the good ones recommended by locals, and the overpriced tourist shops for the unique ones in your area. Tours are abundant all over the island so don’t just settle on the first highly-price one that you find. Whether you want to kayak, snorkel, or zipline, there are a ton of places offering great packages on all of these activities and more. Another great aspect of ditching the hotel is having more space at your disposal. While hotels offer small rooms and even smaller bathrooms, luxury rentals provide full homes and apartments that are furnished to be comfortable and allow you and your family to completely stretch out and relax. These homes come with kitchens and gardens so you can actually enjoy more of your downtime, or even cook a meal one night during your stay. No more crowded hotel pools for you, as luxury homes have more private accommodations which are better suited to the experienced traveler.
Don’t Worry About The Weather
Weather in Hawaii can be unpredictable to say the least. So unless there’s a hurricane headed towards the islands, don’t let a few raindrops get you down. It rains (or is overcast) for a part of nearly every day in Hawaii, but this gloomy weather doesn’t last. A few minutes or hours of rain keep the islands looking green and lush, but sunny weather is almost always around the corner.
See The Landmarks
Hawaii might not be the first place you think of when it comes to national monuments, but surprisingly it has its fair share of them. Places like the Pearl Harbor Memorial on Oahu are an obvious choice to visit but throughout the island there also exist several amazing natural landmarks worth exploring. Places like Waimea Canyon in Kauai, which has been compared to the Grand Canyon of mainland U.S. is certainly worth a visit, as are the national parks and protected lands scattered throughout the Big Island and Maui. Two active volcanoes still exist on Hawaii Island, and several craters and famous dormant volcano sites make for interesting day trips as well.
What’s local to Hawaii you ask? Certainly not its hamburgers. While you might find more than one delicious restaurant serving up American style cuisine, it’s always better to eat local when traveling to a remote destination like Hawaii. Hawaii has ample fish markets making for delicious cooked filets or raw Poki bowls. It also excels at offering up an amazing array of native fruit, including acai bowls and pretty much anything involving pineapple or coconut— Pina Colada, anyone? In recent years the islands have experienced an influx of new chefs offering some pretty incredible fusion cuisine blending traditional Hawaiian dishes with other kinds of food from all over the world and mainland U.S. Food trucks have also become incredibly popular on the islands and plenty of food truck parks can be found in more populated areas. In all food you order try to eat as locally as possible for the best experience, and also for the most memorable one.
Find Your Perfect Beach
If you’re spending any time at all on the islands of Hawaii, you’ll want to find your perfect beach. Beaches in Hawaii are as diverse as the islands they’re on, and can vary from the most remote to the busiest. Decide how you’d like to spend your beach days, and guaranteed there’s a plot of sand that can accommodate. Plenty of beaches host world-class surfers which make for great entertainment, like the North Shore in Oahu. Others are backed by famous resorts and offer luxurious beach service, like Waikiki in Oahu. Even more are known for snorkeling, hiking, or ultra remote camping and spotting wildlife— all of which can make or break your experience. Find something near a town for great shopping or just a private little castaway space to spend your afternoons. Either way, be sure to incorporate a little beach time into most of your days, which will make for the ultimate relaxing experience.
Hawaii is a great place to spend your vacation for a number of reasons, and you hardly ever hear of someone having a bad time. Locals are extremely accommodating to visitors and the combination of amazing weather, food, and scenery makes for a foolproof vacation. By following these simple travel tips you can experience all the luxe of Hawaii without blowing your budget on bad food or hotels. The only thing left to do is pack your bags and plan on saving some time for relaxation everyday— a requirement when visiting these idyllic islands.
Thanks to my sponsor, Luxury Retreats, for providing this informative article for the EGE readers!