Planning a first-time trip to the Hawaiian Islands? Read these Hawaii travel tips so you know how to save money and enjoy your trip to Hawaii.
Hawaii is, without a doubt, one of the most beautiful travel destinations and best vacation spots in the United States. The Hawaiian Islands have it all, from sandy beaches to waterfall treks to delectable restaurants.
Whether you dream of taking a Hawaii holiday for honeymooners, going on a family vacation to Hawaii, or considering a workation Hawaii holiday for singles, it can be intimidating if this is your first visit to the Hawaiian Islands.
If you have questions about taking a trip to Hawaii, these Hawaii travel tips will help you learn all about the best things to do in Hawaii so you can make the most of your dream vacation.
Hawaii tourism & travel restrictions in 2021
Although Hawaii saw relatively low COVID numbers compared with other US states, Hawaii travel restrictions were some of the strictest lockdown and travel measures.
Hawaii began easing restrictions earlier this year and recently ended its pre-travel testing and quarantine requirement for domestic travellers if they’ve been fully vaccinated for COVID-19 in the United States.
All travellers within or entering the State of Hawaii must complete the mandatory online digital form and fill in their Profile, Trips, and Health Questionnaire on the Hawaii Safe Travels App to obtain a QR code. The app stores the traveller’s profile, trip, health status, and quarantine information.
Non-vaccinated trans-Pacific travellers and all international travellers must take a state-approved pre-travel test if they wish to travel to Hawaii and bypass the 10-day mandatory quarantine requirement.
As per CDC guidelines, those who have been in Brazil, China, the UK and the European Schengen Area, Iran, India, Ireland, and South Africa in the past 14 days will be denied entry.
So will Hawaii be open in 2021 for Indian travellers? You may want to check the HawaiiCovid19 website for updates before planning your family vacation to the Hawaiian Islands.
Which Hawaiian Island is the best to vacation on?
If you’re hoping to travel to Hawaii, one of the best holiday destinations from the US and Canada, you’ll probably be wondering which Hawaiian island to stay on.
So which island in Hawaii is most beautiful and what is the best vacation island in Hawaii? That’s like asking a mother which one of her children she loves best because they’re all unique and have something to offer.
The four main Hawaiian Islands visited by a majority of visitors, are Oahu, Maui, Big Island, and Kauai. Here’s what you need to know about each of them.
Named the Gathering Place, Oahu is the most visited and developed island in Hawaii, with the largest population and the nicest nightlife. It is a melting pot of East and West cultures steeped in Native Hawaiian beliefs and customs.
Honolulu, the capital of Hawaii, is a major city with a packed beach and there are many things to do in Honolulu, while Waikiki is a laid-back surf town.
There are many visitor attractions and things to do in Oahu, including visiting museums, the Pearl Harbour memorials, shopping, and nightlife. On Oahu, public transportation makes it easier to get around.
Hawaii’s second most beautiful island is Maui, often known as the “Valley Isle.” In addition to its natural features, you can find a large number of Maui resorts, food and shopping options, and recreational activities.
There are many things to do in Maui as this Hawaiian island is famous for whale watching and the road to Hana, Maui is where you can view waterfalls and bamboo forests, as well as sandy beaches.
In fact, Condé Nast Traveler readers have chosen Maui as the “Best Island in the United States” for more than 20 years.
Big Island, Hawaii
Since the largest island is also the youngest, its sceneries are less lush and more lava-like. It appears that Hawaii’s Big Island is determined to break convention and defy the idea of a typical tropical island.
Visit this island if you’d like to see an erupting volcano. The landscape includes gorgeous white sand beaches and snowfall mountains.
Hawaii’s largest island, Kauai is also known as The Garden Isle. The picturesque Napali Coast is known for its jagged green cliffs, but there are also beautiful beaches, waterfalls, and multicoloured valleys.
Some regions of Kauai can only be accessed by water or air, exposing views that will blow your mind. There’s a lot more to the island than just dramatic scenery.
There are many things to do in Kauai, including a variety of outdoor activities. Although Kauai has grown in popularity, it is not as developed as Maui or Oahu.
5 must-know Hawaii travel tips for first-time travellers
Here are some well-known Hawaii travel tips for first-time travellers to Hawaii. They include the dos and don’ts of travelling to popular luxury travel destinations that many experienced travellers are already familiar with.
1. Plan everything in advance
One of the most important travel tips for first-time travellers to Hawaii is to plan your vacation as clearly and early as possible.
- Plan your Hawaii holiday budget
Is Hawaii expensive for a holiday and how much is a Hawaiian holiday? How much does a holiday to Hawaii cost?
It’s a fact that Hawaii is not one of the cheap places to travel and Hawaii vacation packages are expensive, so draw up a detailed budget before going on a trip to Hawaii.
In case you’re not overly concerned with your Hawaii holidays cost, you can opt for luxury Hawaii vacation packages and have a better time staying in luxury resorts and eating out at restaurants.
If your budget is limited, you can travel during the off-season, and avoid expensive beach resorts, beachfront properties, and those pricey Hawaii holidays island-hopping tours to save money.
- Book your accommodation in advance
Booking your room well in advance is vitally important if you plan to travel to Hawaii in peak season and want an ocean view. Booking in advance is also required for some regions like Hana or Upcountry Maui where hotels and resorts are scarce.
Unless you plan on a luxury Hawaii vacation and don’t mind paying for luxury villas and luxury beach resorts, booking in advance will help you avoid paying top dollar on mid-range Hawaii hotels and Hawaii resorts.
- Stay updated on the weather forecast
It is critical to examine the weather and floodplains before and during your trip to Hawaii. If you plan to go on a hike and there’s a chance of rain, you should determine if your hike passes through a floodplain or crosses any rivers.
If it does, there’s a danger of flash floods from water levels rising quickly and overflowing into the region where you’re trekking.
2. Dress appropriately
Wondering what to wear on a vacation to Hawaii? The best thing about the Hawaiian Islands is that the weather is stable throughout the year, and there is always sunshine.
However, unexpected showers are another feature of Hawaiian weather and there’s a high likelihood you’ll be subjected to a lot of thunderstorms.
The better question to ask is, “How should I dress to stay fresh and cool on my Hawaii beach vacation?” While on the islands, casual clothing is acceptable for most vacation activities and Hawaiian shirts are famous for their casual chic.
Some suggestions for appropriate women’s attire in Hawaii include:
- Maxi dress
- Crop top or tank top
- Beach cover
- Linen cardigan
Men can wear these items when going to Hawaii:
- Unique men Hawaiian shirts
- Long-sleeved shirt
- Joggers/ Pants
- Lightweight jacket
- Water shoes
3. Avoid peak travel season to save money
Which is the best time to go on Hawaii holidays? Although Hawaii is a great vacation destination any time of the year, the best time to go to Hawaii is the period between March and September.
This is especially for travellers who intend to spend most of their summer vacation by the beach as it is the warmest and sees the least rainfall.
According to Travel & Leisure magazine, flight tickets to Hawaii are generally most expensive from mid-December through mid-April. In 2019, Skyscanner estimated that flights would be cheapest in January and September and most expensive in June and December.
The off-season in Hawaii is between April and May and from September to the middle of November. During this period, the islands are less crowded, and holiday packages are cheaper.
The weather is also favourable, but Kauai is very rainy in April. On the other hand, during national holidays, the vacation packages for Hawaii are more expensive.
Because of the enormous volume of guests that visit Hawaii, the Hawaii holidays tours and activities sell out rapidly, so you may face difficulties in getting travel deals and last-minute vacation deals if you wait too long.
4. Pick one island for your trip
Island hopping between two or three islands in a week used to be easy when flights were cheap and there were fewer travel restrictions. If you plan to travel to Hawaii in 2021, it makes sense to pick one island and enjoy it for a while before planning your return journey.
Although travelers to Hawaii are not required to do pre-travel testing or quarantine for COVID-19 when travelling between islands, it’s best to choose the best island to visit in Hawaii based on your budget and the activities you’re interested in.
On the island of Oahu, you’ll find Hawaiian history, shopping, and white sand beaches. The Big Island is the place to go if you want to see volcanoes, lava, black sand and animals.
Choose Kauai if you’re looking for peace and quiet, breathtaking landscapes, and beautiful beaches, and if you’re looking for a Hawaiian island that offers all of these, Maui is the best choice for golden beaches, breathtaking landscapes, and small beach towns.
5. Wear coral-safe sunscreen
Because the sunscreen you use may have an adverse impact on the coral reef, chemical sunscreen has been banned in Hawaii due to its harmful effects on marine flora and fauna.
A lot of sunscreen creams include ingredients that are detrimental to marine life. So check the ingredients carefully to make sure it’s coral reef-safe.
According to Hawaiian law, travellers should only wear sunscreen that doesn’t contain any of the ingredients prohibited by Hawaii’s sunscreen laws.
For first-time visitors, planning a trip to Hawaii may be a daunting task with so many things to take care of. These travel tips will provide you with helpful guidelines for your dream vacation in the Hawaiian Islands.
Follow these Hawaii travel tips for first-time travellers to know exactly how to organize a trip to Hawaii and have a wonderful vacation at one of the best vacation spots in the USA. We wish you safe travels in Hawaii!