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How to Get the Most of Your Vacation in Hawaii

a bridge over a body of water hawaii

We get it. You’re very excited to leave everything and go straight to your dream vacation in Hawaii. But, do you really know what to do before, during and after your trip to the Aloha state? Hawaii may still be part of the United States of America, but, there’s no harm in planning ahead your trip to make sure that you’ll make the most out of your time.

Things to do before:

Do some research

Thanks to the Internet, it is possible to prepare yourself (at surface level, the least) on what to do, expect and do in the island paradise.

Read on articles about the popular (and not so popular) destinations in the area and what activities you can do once you’re at it. Know about the must try food and delicacy Hawaii has to offer. Think of the research part as hyping yourself for your upcoming trip.

Plan Ahead

While you’re researching, take down notes that would be useful for your vacation. Stalk blogs that narrates their travel story. Usually, they give out tips that would make your trip easier.

Compile these notes and construct your trip’s itinerary. Although some may argue that a vacation is more enjoyable if it doesn’t follow an itinerary, make one. It’s better to prepare than sorry. Plus, you can always  set aside the itinerary any time you want.

Make an Itinerary

Arrange it by days—starting from Day 0, which is the day of your flight to Hawaii. It doesn’t need to be as detailed as possible, but it should cover the basics:

  • Time/Schedule
  • Addresses and how to get to it (mode of transportation)
  • Contact persons and their numbers
  • Expected expenses

You don’t have to memorize it. Just make yourself familiar with it, at least know the flow. Having a handy itinerary can save you during desperate times you’re not expecting.

With all the information you have gathered, it’s now time to set a budget. Note that it’s more expensive to travel there between roughly mid-December and mid-April.  These months are the peak seasons of the Hawaiian tourism.  Local holidays also tend to be more expensive.

(Tip: try to plan your Hawaii vacation between mid-April and mid-June, and also between September and mid-December)

Because of its location, basic geographic economics tells us that majority of the ‘imported’ goods in Hawaii would cost more than the usual in the mainland. At almost 2,400 miles away from California, the isolated nature of the state leads to higher costs of imported goods and services.

Depending on your planned activities and sightseeing to do, decide a budget range that is estimated considering your data.

Also consider unexpected and additional charges such as impulsive buys and emergency situations.

Learn some facts

Technically, this is still part of your research. Know the basics of the Hawaiian culture, their traditions and customs—especially when welcoming guests. Also, read about the locals, how to approach them and how to befriend them. It’s not that hard, thinking that Hawaii is a multi-racial island with diverse locals and tourists alike, so chances are, you have someone from your home enjoying the island life too!

Pack Strategically

You will not enjoy a trip if your baggage is too heavy, full of clothes you won’t even wear and things you won’t even use.

You see, this is why making an itinerary is helpful. Using it as a guide and basis, pack according to the activity: swimwear, dress for socializing, hiking and trekking gear, etc. Make room for one extra outfit, just in case,

For your personal stuff, opt for the travel sizes. Most of the hotels and accommodations in Hawaii give complementary toiletries. You can also stop by their local stores and buy your stash.

Make and verify reservations

Verify your hotel booking at least two days before you fly in. Also, let the hotel know if you are flying to Hawaii to celebrate a birthday, anniversary or other significant event, they may upgrade you or provide an amenity for the occasion. Print or otherwise electronically store your travel details such as car, hotel, tour confirmations.

Things to do during:

Enjoy Hawaii

Sit back and relax. This is your vacation, there’s no need to fuss in case you did bit follow your itinerary religiously. Go with the flow! Sometimes, there is more fun when you don’t know what to expect.  It is now time to do all the activities, see all the views and eat all the food you read about in step 1.

Earn new friends

The people of Hawaii are arguably one of the best people in the world. They are welcoming and hospitable and they are the proudest when it comes to their culture. It would be a privilege to call some as friends.

Use your travel a chance to expand your connections. Maybe, in your next visit, you can skip checking in hotels, instead, lodging at the crib of your new Hawaiian friend!

Know Hawaii past its surface

Hawaii is popular for its beautiful views and sites, let its past will even captivate you more. You can earn about their history through museums and chit chats with the locals. Ask how the names of their mountains and shorelines came to be. Expose yourself to the local art and music scene.

Get active

Be it watersports or mountain or cliff hikes, Hawaii has something to make you move your feet. Dancing their state dance, Hula, will make you go sweating like crazy.

Observe environmental reminders

Hawaii is a natural wonder and home to many endangered flora and fauna. Be one with the locals and the government in protecting them by following regulations set by the authorities.

Things to do after:

Make a scrapbook/write about it

Make your memories linger longer by preserving them through a scrapbook, a memory box, or writing about your trip on a journal or a blog. It may be a cliché but organizing your thoughts, new learning and realizations in to a single compilation would make driving back to memory lane more enjoyable and arranged.

Watch the films

Great films such as the Jurassic Park movies and Just Go With It were filmed in Hawaii . There are a lot to choose from because the Garden Isle is such a photogenic place to shoot some great cinematography.

Spread the word

One of the biggest industries of Hawaii in general is Tourism. Let your experiences in the island inspire others to visit it too. Encourage friends and family by sharing your stories about your vacation.