Seven Tips for Planning the Perfect Hawaiian Vacation

The beautiful islands of Hawaii are a popular destination for families, couples, or anyone looking to have the perfect beach escape. An ideal stopover to the South Pacific, Hawaii features something for every Globetrotter – from the cosmopolitan city of Honolulu and world class beaches in Maui, to natural waterfalls and rainforests in Kauai and an active volcano in Big Island’s National Volcanoes Park.

Hiking at Waimanalo, Oahu | Image courtesy of Hawaii Tourism Authority and Tor Johnson
Hiking at Waimanalo, Oahu | Image courtesy of Hawaii Tourism Authority and Tor Johnson

Here are some tips to help make your vacation in Hawaii even more enjoyable:

1. Use jetlag to your advantage!

If you’re someone who wakes up really early on your first morning (typically east coast travellers who are experiencing the most jet lag), take that opportunity to go for a morning hike, or even plan to do the beautiful Haleakala sunrise tour in Maui (which starts at 2:00AM).

2. Book a car, but don’t wait until you’re there.

Renting a car in Hawaii is a wonderful way to explore the islands, so we highly recommend it. However, cars sell out fast in Hawaii, especially convertibles and 4WD, so ensure you book your vehicle well in advance.

3. Visit Pearl Harbour on a tour.

Tickets to the USS Arizona Memorial (a floating memorial, accessed by a boat shuttle) sell out very fast, but you will be guaranteed entry tickets should you book a tour. The tours are also very educational.

Pearl Harbour. Courtesy of Hawaii Toursim Authority and Tor Johnson.
Pearl Harbour | Courtesy of Hawaii Toursim Authority and Tor Johnson.

4. Island hop… slowly.

There’s a LOT to see and do in all of the Hawaiian Islands, but you’ll be disappointed if you rush it. We recommend spending at least four days on each island. Furthermore, some distances are quite far apart, especially on the Big Island. For example, it would take you a full day to circle the Big Island and visit its main attractions: Waimea, Volcanoes National Park, and more, but you wouldn’t have much time at each site.

5. Splurge on an Ocean View room.

The scenery is beautiful, romantic, and unforgettable – especially if you’re travelling during the whale season (December to May), as you are likely to spot the majestic humpback whales from your balcony.

6. Pick activities that suit your fitness level.

If you want to hike the Kalalau Trail, it’s an 11-mile walk along the Na Pali Coast on the island of Kauai, making it pretty strenuous. Whereas, you can hike to the summit of Diamond Head in Oahu, which is a moderate 1.5-mile round-trip walk.

7. Eat like a local.

Hawaiian resorts don’t offer all-inclusive packages for good reason: its best to get out and explore the local restaurants! You can sample the local shrimp trucks on Oahu’s North Shores, dine on some of the freshest sushi in the world, or stop and have a picnic on the beach.

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Bronwyn Hodge
Bronwyn Hodge

Idyllic Islands General Manager - Growing up in a family travel business, Bronwyn has been travelling from a very young age. Her favourite experience was 3 months spent backpacking through India and Southeast Asia. She counts many countries among her ‘favourites,’ but is especially fond of Australia for its lifestyle, Cambodia for its culture and resilience, and Japan for its contrasts. She holds the proud distinction of being Goway’s only former Bollywood star – having once starred in a Coke commercial in Mumbai.

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