HAWAII TRAVEL TIPS &
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 dont mind getting really muddy. If you plan to walk the lava fields of Volcanos 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 80s during the day and mid 60s to mid 70s at night. It rains more often but it doesnt last very long. May to October it averages mid to high 80s during the day and mid 70s 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.
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.
If you will be taking a CONNECTING FLIGHT TO YOUR FINAL HAWAIIAN ISLAND DESTINATION airlines will forward checked luggage to your connecting flight if you request it when you check in on the day of your flight. This is available even if you are will be traveling with more than one airline. You just need to advise the airline agent of your entire travel itinerary to your final destination when you check in your luggage. This will save you from having to recheck your bags and going through security again.
TO SOOTH A SUNBURN apply aloe lotion with LIDOCAINE. This blue gel by Banana Boat is sold at island stores along side the sun screen. Be sure to choose the aloe lotion with LIDOCAINE. This ingredient will numb the pain of the burn. The most effective protection against sunburn is wearing WATERPROOF sunscreen SPF 15 or higher whenever in the sun. The ocean, pool, and sweat will wash away non-waterproof sunscreen and you will burn if you are not careful. The sun is very strong in Hawaii, the strongest between 11am to 2pm. If you have no base tan limit your expose to direct sunlight to 45minutes - 1 hour, or 2 hours if you have a nice base tan . Please note some people have allergic reactions to Lidocaine but for most people it provides amazing relief from sunburn pain.
Whether you enjoy your pineapple in the islands or in the comfort of your home, when selecting a fresh pineapple the skin should be yellow in color and should smell sweet. The night before you want to enjoy the pineapple break the top off then turn the pineapple upside-down on to a plate and place in the refrigerator. The sweetest juice settles in the bottom of the pineapple. When you turn it over the sweet juice on the bottom is distributed through out the entire pineapple! Pineapple not only tastes delicious but it is very good for your digestion system too. If your pineapple has an acid bite to it sprinkle a little salt on it. It takes the bite away and leaves the pineapple tasting sweet!
You may want to consider bringing a light jacket or sweatshirt. The nights can be cool (high 60s) and restaurants and stores are often chilly with their air conditioning blasting!
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 wont be carrying on you.
$ 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.
Beware of activity booking agents who lure you in for a low price but then tell you they are sold out and try to sign you up for a more expensive tour. Also beware of special deals where you get a free dinner or rental car if you go to a time share presentation. They will waste your time by talking to you for several hours. Your time in the islands is so limited, use it wisely. Remember... if it sounds too good to be true it probably is!
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.
A few items to have with you when going on an island driving adventure are: beverages, snacks, full tank of gas, tissue paper (in case the rest stop is out), map, proper clothing and footwear for each of your destinations, camera with extra film, and sunscreen.
It is illegal to use your cellular phone without a hands free devise while driving. This includes dialing the phone, answering the phone, texting, or playing games/music on the phone. You are not permitted to do any of these activities while in the drivers seat of a vehicle, even if you are pulled off the side of the road.
It can be dangerous DRIVING AT NIGHT. Some streets are not well lit and are very winding. For your safety, limit driving long distances at night.
To preserve Hawaiis delicate ecosystems please DO NOT LITTER any trash or cigarette butts while in the islands! Take only pictures and leave only footprints.
It is unlawful to have an open container of alcohol in your car or in public places like beach parks and street side.
WHALE WATCHING is a popular past time in the islands, especially December-April when the Humpback Whales migrate from Alaska to the warm waters of Hawaii to give birth. Whales can be seen from the land and ocean of all islands. In 1998 the Pacific Whale Foundation reported 352 individual whales in Hawaii's waters and recorded the songs of 42 different whales. Look for narrated whale watching tours offered on by the Pacific Whale Foundations on several of the islands.
You can HELP PROTECT our unique MARINE CREATURES and habitat by having a experience without handling, feeding, or removing sea creatures from the ocean. Just relax and enjoy the amazing environment happening naturally, you never know what you may see. NOTE: It is unlawful to approach or touch Humpback Whales, Hawaiian Monk Seals, and Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle. These animals are endangered and your contact could injure or cause sickness to the creatures.
The Hawaiian Islands are the home to many animals that may cross the road. Please drive cautiously, especially at night. Signs are posted in areas where certain animals cross frequently.
You may encounter Hawaii's State bird the Nene (Hawaiian Goose). It is a very aggressive bird and will defend it's nest and young. They have the right of way anywhere in the State. Because they are endangered it is unlawful to approach or touch a Nene. Admire these amazing creatures from a distance for everyone's safety.
To prevent the spread of unwanted insects Federal Law prohibits bringing or sending certain plants, vegetables, and fruits to the US Mainland. Violators are fined up to $1,000 for mailing or carrying items that require quarantine. There are items (pineapples & papayas) that are sold pre-quarantined and approved for shipping. For more information call the USDA at 808 861-8490, Monday-Friday.
Disclaimer : This page was created by and is maintained by Mike & Kim Crinella. All information, graphics, and photos contained in this web site are property of Mike & Kim Crinella. If you would like to contact us with questions, orders, or to notify us of any problems while navigating through our site please email us at email@example.com
We are NOT affiliated with any activity provider or services! We are concerned with the quality of our suggestions and welcome positive and negative feedback about our suggestions and our web site. We, Mike and Kim Crinella, and our company, "A Friend in the Islands", will not be held responsible for any accidents, loss of property, or any other misfortunes associated with information provided on this web site.