Planning a Hawaiian vacation is an exciting experience filled with anticipation, but there are so many options that would-be travelers can quickly become overwhelmed. Read on for a few tips to help you get through the planning process so that you can enjoy your luxurious Hawaiian holiday in style.
Even if you’ve long dreamed of a Hawaiian getaway, it can be difficult to narrow down which island is the best one for your visit. Outdoorsy types will likely enjoy Kauai, which offers miles of scenic hiking trails and kayaking on the Wailua River. On the Big Island of Hawaii, you’ll find ample opportunities for scuba diving and fishing, and those who love a little danger will appreciate that the Kilauea Crater has been actively spewing lava over 30 years. Oahu is the most visited island, so here you’ll find the best shopping, dining and places to stay. And Maui—known as the Magic Isle—is known for its natural beauty, with beautiful beaches, breathtaking sunset views and stretches of wilderness.
Of course, you can always travel between islands once you’ve arrived. Your options for doing so are to take a commercial flight (Hawaiian Airlines is a good choice for island-hopping via plane), book a cruise that sails between the islands or—if money is no object—charter a yacht to sail you and your family from point A to point B.
When to travel
Hawaii enjoys delightful, near-perfect weather year-round, so your decision about when to travel will likely have more to do with your own schedule and budgetary restraints. Airfare will likely be more expensive between December and April, so if you’re looking for a deal it would be wise to avoid these times. And of course, many Americans like to vacation in the summertime; if you’d prefer to steer clear of big crowds, plan your trip for early June or wait until the fall.
Where to stay
Hotels in Hawaii run the gamut from $20-per-night hostels to luxury resorts that can easily break the bank. Most travelers’ interests lie somewhere in the middle, and there are plenty of options in the mid-level price range. Check out sites like TripAdvisor for reviews on various lodging options; what seems like the perfect hotel may be less than ideal if it doesn’t serve breakfast or offer transportation to and from the airport.
Safety is a concern when traveling anywhere, but Hawaii—with its active volcanoes and its many water-themed recreational activities—offers some unique challenges. Take standard safety precautions, such as locking your hotel room and leaving valuables at home. If you go for an outdoor hike, keep an eye out for creatures like scorpions and centipedes to avoid stings. Pregnant women should steer clear of the Volcanoes National Park located on the Big Island so as to avoid inhaling sulfuric fumes. And use common sense when swimming in the ocean; heed any signs you see about water safety, and check to make sure a lifeguard is on duty before diving in. If not, use the buddy system.
Another consideration often overlooked by travelers to Hawaii is health insurance. Do a little research; chances are, if you’re an American with health insurance, your policy will cover you in Hawaii—but better safe than sorry. Companies like HCC Medical offer a variety of travel insurance policies for groups and individuals, so you’re sure to find one that meets your needs.
Once you’ve squared away your plans, your trip to Hawaii will no doubt be filled with a healthy mix of fun and relaxation. Do your research beforehand and travel safely, and you’re sure to come back with many fond memories of your wonderful trip.