Hawaii is a HOT destination right now, and we aren't talking about lava flow or the weather. U.S. travelers are rushing to the islands because domestic travel just feels safer right now. Hawaii makes a great destination because of its unique and diverse culture, and it actually feels like an exotic, international vacation without ever leaving the USA. I've written a lot about why you should visit our 50th state and what you should do there. This week, I want to share the top things you should NOT do on your Hawaiian vacation.
Don't visit too many islands.
Hawaii is not meant to be experienced in a hurry, so please don't try to visit the four major islands in 10 days. Each time you switch islands, you basically use up a day of your vacation with packing, checking out of your resort, returning your rental car, early arrival at the airport, baggage claim, picking up your new rental car, driving to your new hotel, and settling in. I recommend only 1 island in a week, 2 islands in 10 days, or 3 islands in 14 days to be able to enjoy each destination to the fullest.
Don't assume your resort will be all-inclusive.
There are no all-inclusive resorts in Hawaii because state law prohibits the inclusion of alcohol in a hotel room rate or package. That's really is a good thing, because eating the local food in Hawaii is a big part of the vacation. The best thing to do is find a resort package that includes breakfast so you can explore all the food options you can find for lunch and dinner.
Don't let a luau be the only cultural education you get.
Before you leave for your vacation, do a little research on Hawaiian history and culture. Learn some much-used Hawaiian words. Attend cultural workshops and classes that are often offered free at your resorts. And, most of all – be respectful of the Hawaiian ways and customs. Even though it is still the USA, you are a lucky visitor. There is so much more to Hawaii than the beach.
Don't pack your high heels and neckties.
Formal attire in the islands means putting on fresh Aloha wear and your best flip flops. Men don't wear ties, unless they're visiting for an occasion that dictates it. Women don't wear dresses or heels; a casual sundress or shorts is all you will need. The sun can be brutal though, and you don’t want to ruin your vacation with a burn, so sunscreen, sunglasses, and a hat are always recommended.
Don't forget to leave your road rage and impatience at home.
Life moves at a slower pace in the islands, and travelers need to adjust their expectations. Never honk your horn unless it is an emergency because it is considered to be very rude. Always let locals pass you or merge into traffic. If traffic is slow, take a deep breath, smile, and enjoy the beautiful surroundings. Remember, also, that a meeting time usually means 10-15 minutes later. It's just the way it is!