Hawaii Vacation Tips: Best Ways to Get There and Live Like a Local

View from above looking down on hotels and tourists on Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head in Honolulu, Hawaii
Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head, Honolulu, Hawaii

It's no secret that the Hawaiian Islands are a top tourism destination. According to the Hawaii Tourism Authority, more than 8.8 million visitors are expected to take a trip to Hawaii by air or cruise ship in 2016—and trips to Hawaii aren’t slowing down.

If you’re one of the millions with Hawaii travel plans, here’s a list of tips to keep in mind. A better idea of what to expect once you arrive can help set the stage for an amazing experience. 

Tips for Getting to the Hawaiian Islands

  • Travelers with one or two layovers should pack a swimsuit, undergarments and other essentials in their carry on so they can begin enjoying their Hawaii vacation even if their checked bags don’t make it to the islands on time. Many travel insurance policies include coverage that can be helpful if baggage is lost or delayed.

  • When looking to get a good deal on flights, subscribe to weekly emails to track fares on popular carriers, including Hawaiian Airlines.

Hawaii made the list of the 10 Most Popular Trips Covered by Travel Insurance. Find out why.

Live Like a Local While You're There

  • Hawaii is very casual. Stay in the aloha spirit and don't over pack. 

  • Flip-flops (called slippers on the islands) and sandals are staples for a Hawaii vacation.

  • Hawaii has a tropical environment. So be aware what that humidity can do to your hair and plan accordingly!

  • Be vigilant about sunscreen. Twenty minutes of sunshine on the Hawaiian Islands is the equivalent of one hour in the Midwest.

  • When shopping on the islands, make sure you sign up for the discount cards at the local grocery stores, such as Foodland or Safeway.

  • Keep Hydrated. Tap water is good to drink when you’re in Hawaii.

  • Always seek out local experiences such as farmer's markets and hiking. Hawaiians are very friendly people, so don't hesitate to ask them questions or get their recommendations for fun things to do.

  • Stick with beaches that have lifeguards on duty. As the Hawaiians say, approach the ocean with respect and don't underestimate the sea. You should always have one eye on the wave and one eye on the shore. Never go out swimming by yourself—use a buddy system for a safe Hawaii vacation.

Other Hawaii Vacation Tips

Be sure to keep these tips in mind the next time you plan a trip to Hawaii. For any tips we missed, the Hawaiian Islands website is a great resource.

Aloha and mahalo!

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