Travel Tips: Your Hawai’i Survival Guide

by: Joy Andres

We know that traveling to a new place can be a little intimidating—no worries! We got you covered! Traveling to the islands of Hawai’i will be a trip like you’ve never experienced; it’s still within the United States, but the culture is so rich, and runs so deep, you might as well be in another country! In this month’s blog, I will show you some must do’s and must not’s when traveling to the beautiful islands. Here’s an extra bit before we get started: to clarify, the name of the state is Hawai’i, as well as one of the eight islands.

The second you land and step off the plane, you’re going to realize quite quickly that the humidity is no joke. The best way to keep cool is to wear your bathing suit under all your outfits (so you can unbutton your outfit if it gets too hot), and don’t forget to hydrate! Before you’re finished packing your bags, be sure to snap on a water bottle to your backpack—we’re not fans of plastic on the island, so do your best to help us malama da ‘aina, or be respectful to the land. We don’t recommend refilling your water bottle from the waterfalls (you’re not on an episode of man vs. wild), but unlike many other states on the continental U.S., our tap water is filtered, so you can stick your bottle right under the faucet!

When you head to the beach, it’s important to remember your footwear—but, DO NOT WEAR SHOES TO THE BEACH! I promise—you will stick out like a sore thumb, and you’ll spend more time dumping out the sand from your shoes than actually playing in the ocean. Instead, stop by Kaka’ako Kasuals and pick up your favorite pair of slippers, again, it’s not flip-flops, it’s slippers. They’ll keep the soles of your feet safe from the sharp rocks, give you a tan that you can show off to your friends at home, and the best part; they’re not bulky—so they can be taken on any and all future adventures!

While you’re packing for the beach, don’t forget to slide your sunscreen in! No matter how tough you think your skin is, the Hawaiian sun rays are always stronger. All it takes is one day to ruin the rest of your trip—c’mon, you’ve seen those viral videos of the kid on vacation being so red he actually can’t move from his bed. Even when it’s cloudy out, the sun can still get to you… in fact, it’s worse on cloudy days because you stay out in the water for longer, and don’t notice your skin is crispy’ing up. Lather up on the liquid skin glove!

Finally, and most importantly, in surviving Hawai’i, is knowing your swimming abilities. The current in Hawai’i doesn’t care if you won your high school water treading tournament, and it won’t go easy on you just because it’s your first time in the water—the ocean currents can and will pull you in. There are more likely than not, going to be some swimming spots on the island where you’ll see kids jumping off rocks, and swimming back up to jump again…If you don’t think you can handle it, please don’t jump! We have a saying on the island, “never turn your back on the ocean”. While I’m sure there are some philosophical deep meanings to it, I was taught to take the term in a literal sense. The waves in Hawai’i can be unbelievably strong—they can suck you under and spit you out like a sock in a dryer. With that said, be careful, but enjoy your time! If the ocean isn’t for you, then let the warm sand envelop and relax your entire body.

Whatever your plans may be, take a little time to stop and take in all the beauty that Hawai’i has to offer. I hope this survival guide gave you some tips that you might’ve not got on a mainstream travel blog. Be sure to come back next month to see what other inside scoops we have in store!

waimanalo
(Makai Pier in Waimanalo)

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