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Hawaii Travel Tips & Things To Know

Hawaii Travel Tips & Things To Know


WARDROBE: The islands of Hawaii have many diverse ecosystems, each with different climates. For example, the tops of Mauna Kea (Big Island) and Mt. Haleakala (Maui) get snow in the winter while it is in the 70’s at beaches around the islands. Consider what activities you plan to enjoy, then pack. If you plan to explore trails through rainforests bring shoes you don’t mind getting really muddy. If you plan to walk the lava fields of Volcano’s National Park on the Big Island keep in mind that some lava is very sharp and proper hiking shoes are necessary. Just be casual. You do not need to bring a suit, dress slacks, or fancy cloths. The attitude and dress code for the islands is “hang loose”. Even at the fanciest of restaurants aloha wear is all you need.

WEATHER: October to May the temperature averages mid 80’s during the day and mid 60’s to mid 70’s at night. It rains more often but it doesn’t last very long. May to October it averages mid to high 80’s during the day and mid 70’s at night. The sun is very, very strong. Even if you have a base tan, about an hour or so of tanning is plenty. Protect yourself whenever enjoying activities in the sun. Waterproof sunscreen with protection of SPF 15 or over is highly recommended.

TIME DIFFERENCE: Hawaii does not observe daylight savings time. During the Spring months, when the clock is turned ahead, Hawaii is 6 hours behind Eastern Standard Time (EST), 3 hours behind Pacific Standard Time (PST). In the Fall, when the clocks are turned back, Hawaii is 5 hours behind EST, 2 hours behind PST.

LOCAL TERMS AND CUSTOMS: Hawaiian words and names are used frequently in street and place names. The Hawaiian language is very easy to get used to. To pronounce a word begin by sounding out one syllable at a time. (Aloha= A-lo-ha) Aloha means hello, goodbye, or love. Mahalo means thank you. When directions are given Mauka means towards the mountains and Makai means towards the ocean. Kama’aina means Hawaii resident. Malahini means visitor to the islands. When going to the rest room look for Wahine for women and Kane for men. If some one asks you if you are pau, that means are you finished. A shaka sign is when you stick your pinkie and thumb out and fold your other three fingers down. This is a form of greeting and also means the same as a thumbs up. A flower lei can be given on any day as a symbol of love and friendship. A flower worn behind the left ear means you are taken, behind the right means you are available. A Luau is a celebration where friends and family gather and lots of food is served. Birthdays and graduations are popular reasons for a luau. It is customary to remove your shoes when entering someone’s home. Rubber slippers are a popular and practical footwear in the islands. Hang Loose is a popular local phrase that means just relax and take things slow, no worries. Pidgin is a local dialect spoken in the islands. It is like slang English with a heavy accent. It takes getting used to to be able to understand what is being said.

TRAVEL TIPS: People often ask us for suggestions of activities that LOCALS enjoy. On weekends you will find all beach parks packed with local families. Beach parks are a great place to get together with friends and families for the day. Also, many locals enjoy surfing, snorkeling, diving, wind surfing, hiking, swimming, and sunbathing in their free time. On our vacations we also enjoy playing tourist in the islands and visit many of Hawaii’s attractions.

Not all tour packages to Hawaii include a traditional FLOWER LEI GREETING. If this is important to your Hawaii experience inquire with your travel agent prior to your trip.

PRESERVE YOUR FRESH FLOWER LEI by putting it in a plastic bag and placing it in the refrigerator. If you have a lei made of SCENTED FLOWERS place the lei on your pillow each night prior to going to sleep for sweet smelling dreams. Return it to the refrigerator prior to going to bed and reuse it the following night. Your lei will give you sweet dreams for several evenings.

DO NOT LEAVE VALUABLES in your rental car, on your beach blanket. or loose in your hotel. Use the safe in your hotel room if you must bring valuables that you won’t be carrying on you.

DISCOUNTS:  When booking your activities inquire about military, senior, or Kama’aina (HI Residence) discounts, if eligible. Many activity providers also offer a discount when booking 3 or more on a tour.

TRANSPORTATION: The islands are pretty easy to get around on. There are major roadways that will take you along beautiful coastlines, to waterfalls, through rainforests, and even to a live volcano! When renting a car the rental agent will provide you with a map of the island. If you have any specific activities in mind ask the renal car agent to circle your destinations on your map. There are also maps with popular attractions noted in free guide magazines available at the airport, hotels travel desks, and on Waikiki curb sides.