Fri. Jun 21st, 2024

Are you planning a trip to Hawaii for the first time and hoping to avoid common mistakes? Discover the most frequent tourist errors made in Hawaii

Have you ever taken a vacation, only to realize later that you could have saved a great deal of time, money, or stress by doing things differently?

This article discusses how to avoid committing tourist-obvious errors in Hawaii.

I’ve been to Hawaii over 35 times in the past 20 years, so believe me when I say I’ve seen everything.

Therefore, I compiled a list of all the errors I’ve witnessed people make over the years. And yes, I have created some of them myself.

However, I want you to learn from their mistakes and plan your trip to Hawaii like a pro! Here are some things you should know before visiting Hawaii.

Hawaii Mistakes FAQs

What are some negative aspects of Hawaii?

The high cost of living in Hawaii can have an effect on tourism. On a small island with a large population and an influx of tourists, traffic can be extremely congested. There is also a significant issue with illegal drugs.

What am I advised to avoid in Hawaii?

The most important thing to avoid in Hawaii is to only visit major tourist attractions, chain restaurants, and your resort. There are so many cool, totally worthwhile activities in Hawaii.

How frequently do shark attacks occur in Hawaii?

They are not as common as one might believe. When they do occur, they make the news for a reason. Florida has significantly more shark attacks than Hawaii. Recent shark attacks on Maui have been the deadliest because sharks enjoy the environment there. The risk is slightly elevated from October to December, and the majority of incidents occur during daylight hours.

25 Hawaii Mistakes Every Tourist Has Made

25 Mistakes Every Tourist Has Made in Hawaii

1. scheduling an excessive number of activities

If you’re a first-time visitor to Hawaii, you’re likely trying to pack as many activities as possible into your trip.

25 Hawaii Mistakes Every Tourist Has MadeAnd that makes perfect sense. A Hawaii itinerary can be easily filled with luaus, snorkeling tours, scenic drives, beach time, sightseeing tours, surfing lessons, boat excursions, etc.

No matter how much you schedule, you simply cannot accomplish everything. It is preferable to tell yourself that you will return someday and simply enjoy what you can do now.

2. Spending money on an expensive resort to sleep

This is a mistake I made while traveling to Hawaii. There are so many lovely places to stay in Hawaii that it is simple to splurge on one with exceptional amenities.

However, if you plan to spend the majority of your day away from the resort exploring the island, it may not be worth the additional cost.

We prefer to spend the first half of our Hawaii vacation in a budget-friendly hotel or condo. Thus, we do not feel guilty about being out all day and returning to bed to sleep.

Then, we head to a more upscale resort (such as Disney Aulani) to relax and enjoy Hawaii resort amenities such as amazing pool areas, kids clubs, on-site luaus, restaurants, room service, etc.

25 Hawaii Mistakes Every Tourist Has Made3. The omission of resort and parking fees

When booking accommodations in Hawaii, it is of utmost importance to read the fine print.

Most hotels and resorts in Hawaii charge an expensive resort fee. Just be sure to take this into consideration when researching the best Hawaii resorts for your family.

The most deceptive fee is the parking fee, particularly in Waikiki. Numerous Waikiki hotels charge exorbitant prices for parking.

If you are staying in Waikiki and considering car rental, you may want to consider renting a car for only a portion of your stay to save on parking fees.

25 Hawaii Mistakes Every Tourist Has Made4. Attempting to visit too many islands during a single trip

When I see people planning a one-week trip to Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island, I cringe. I’m a member of numerous Hawaii-related Facebook groups.

25 Hawaii Mistakes Every Tourist Has MadeThere is no other way to reach these islands besides by inter-island flight. This wastes vacation time because every other day is spent at the airport, dealing with car rentals, and packing (and unpacking) at the hotel.

And with so little time, you won’t be able to see much on each island.

I recommend at least three to five days per Hawaiian island. Thus, you will have the opportunity to visit the top attractions on each island, as well as explore and relax.

I believe the best Hawaiian island-hopping trips are 10 days long, with 5 days spent on two different islands.

5. Selecting the incorrect island

I am aware, I am aware. All of Hawaii’s islands are spectacular and make for excellent vacation destinations.

However, some individuals fail to do their homework in advance and wonder where they can see lava on Maui or believe Pearl Harbor is on the Big Island.

Or they plan a trip to Kauai or the Big Island, only to be dissatisfied when they discover that everything closes early in the evening.

So, what is the best Hawaiian island to visit?

It depends greatly on what you wish to do during your Hawaii vacation. Each island is spectacular and offers something distinctive. Perform research before making any reservations!

25 Hawaii Mistakes Every Tourist Has Made6. traveling during peak season

While I completely understand that many families can only visit Hawaii during school breaks (high season), it’s astounding how many people plan trips during this time without realizing it.

I was in Hawaii and overheard families with young children who did not realize it was Spring Break and could have saved a significant amount of money had they waited a few weeks.

Between Spring Break and Summer Break, Hawaii’s shoulder season runs from mid-April to June in the spring and September to mid-December in the fall (after school starts until Winter Break.)

If your travel dates are flexible, you should try to avoid peak season. During this period, airfare and hotel prices are at their peak. In addition, it is more difficult to book activities, and attractions are typically quite crowded.

25 Hawaii Mistakes Every Tourist Has Made7. Budgeting insufficiently

Hawaii vacations can quickly become expensive. In addition to airfare, car rental, and lodging, there are also meals, attractions, and activities to consider.

25 Hawaii Mistakes Every Tourist Has Made

If you eat all of your meals in restaurants, the costs will quickly add up in Hawaii. Even grocery shopping is likely more expensive than at home.

However, the true budget killer is activities. When on the island and enjoying yourself, it can be difficult to stick to a Hawaii travel budget because there are so many fun things to do.

That doesn’t mean you can’t visit Hawaii on a budget. If you know what you’re doing, there are many ways to reduce the expense of a Hawaii vacation.

8. Skipping a packing list

I am aware that some individuals dislike packing lists and would rather wing it. However, this is also when mistakes occur.

In the past, we have forgotten various items, including swimsuits, medications, and my husband’s C-PAP machine.

25 Hawaii Mistakes Every Tourist Has Made

While it is possible to purchase items in Hawaii, they do not always carry the right brand or offer the same variety as at home.

Furthermore, do you really wish to spend your vacation time running tedious errands?

Instead, create your packing list several weeks in advance so that you can order any missing items.

And be sure to try on all of the clothing you intend to pack. You may be surprised to find that things do not fit identically.

9. Failing to apply sufficient sunscreen (or using tanning oil)

Almost every visitor to Hawaii has made this critical travel error. They choose a sunscreen with a lower SPF so they can return home with a nice tan.

In addition, they receive a severe sunburn on their first day in the sun and must spend the remainder of their trip in the shade. That is very unfortunate.

In Hawaii, you will undoubtedly need a higher SPF sunscreen to protect your skin. And a new law requires reef-safe sunscreen in Hawaii.

Also, if you tend to burn easily, avoid the sun between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. This is the strongest time in Hawaii.

Your best bet is to spend no more than an hour or two in the sun at the start of your trip in order to avoid getting a sunburn and spending your entire vacation with one.

25 Hawaii Mistakes Every Tourist Has Made
10. Please bring only shorts and tank tops.

One of the most common things I hear from visitors to Hawaii is that they only need to bring shorts and tank tops.

That’s fine if your vacation consists solely of lounging on the beach all day.

However, if you will be attending a luau, dining out, playing golf, visiting Haleakala, exploring Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, etc., you will require additional clothing options.

The same applies to shoe options. Some activities require shoes with closed toes, water shoes, or footwear other than flip-flops.

Create a list of all the activities on your itinerary for Hawaii. Then, check to see if any special attire is required.

25 Hawaii Mistakes Every Tourist Has Made11. Renting snorkel gear

I am aware that people believe they are saving money by renting snorkel equipment in Hawaii. But only if you rent it for a short period of time is it a good deal.

25 Hawaii Mistakes Every Tourist Has Made

If you are truly interested in snorkeling in Hawaii, it makes the most sense to purchase snorkeling equipment there.

You can find inexpensive snorkeling sets at ABC Store, Target, or Walmart that are ideal for recreational snorkeling.

Simply store the snorkel set in your rental car, and you can use it whenever you visit the beach.

12. Not consuming local cuisine

I am astonished when people in Hawaii only eat at chain restaurants, unless they have extremely strict dietary restrictions.

25 Hawaii Mistakes Every Tourist Has Made

The food is a huge part of what makes Hawaiian culture so amazing. And it is a culinary destination.

There are many popular dishes, including Kalua Pork, Garlic Shrimp, Kalbi Ribs, and Beef Stew.

Extra awesome is the fact that Hawaii is a true melting pot, with Asian and Polynesian influences on all types of local cuisine.

And you should definitely try shave ice!

13. I have plans for a late dinner.

Although Hawaii is a popular beach vacation destination, everything shuts down extremely early.

A few times, we’ve needed to dash to the grocery store in order to have food for dinner.

It is difficult to find places open after 8 p.m.

Therefore, if you wish to dine out for dinner, you should either make reservations or plan to eat early.

If you are staying in a condo or vacation rental home, you can always purchase groceries and prepare your own meals.

25 Hawaii Mistakes Every Tourist Has Made14. Ignoring beach advisory signs

Beach safety in Hawaii is crucial. In addition, they post beach warnings to inform tourists and locals when it is unsafe to be on the beach or in the water.

25 Hawaii Mistakes Every Tourist Has MadeOccasionally, the signs are simply warnings that the beach or ocean may be inaccessible in the future due to testing or some other event.

However, sometimes it is a high surf advisory (meaning swimming is dangerous) or a warning that there is bacteria in the water (like with sewage spills.)

Occasionally, it serves as a warning that there are jellyfish or Portuguese Man-of-War that may sting.

Please take precautions and read all beach signs to stay informed.

15. coming too close to wild animals

Hawaii has incredible marine life, such as the renowned Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle and Hawaiian Monk Seals.

25 Hawaii Mistakes Every Tourist Has MadeThey enjoy tanning on the beach, and it can be extremely tempting to take a selfie right next to them.

However, it is illegal to get too close to wildlife in Hawaii, and it is prohibited to touch them.

We have witnessed tourists attempting to photograph their children on a sea turtle. Please refrain from that!

Instead, simply observe them from a distance.

16. Not renting a vehicle

There are numerous places in the world where a car is unnecessary. Hawaii is not included.

The islands do have bus service, but it is a slow and cumbersome method of transportation. In addition, there are few Ubers and taxis.

25 Hawaii Mistakes Every Tourist Has MadeInstead, plan to rent a car so you can drive to all of Hawaii’s best tourist destinations.

The only exception is if you’re staying in Waikiki and participating in activities that involve shuttles and hotel pickups.

Otherwise, renting a car is the best way to explore Hawaii.

Discount Hawaii Car Rental is the cheapest place I could find to rent a car in Hawaii. They offer the most competitive rates for leading national brands, including Alamo, Budget, Dollar, Avis, Thrifty, Enterprise, and Payless.

17. Driving too quickly (or honking)

One of the most obvious signs of a tourist is driving faster than the posted speed limit or honking the horn.

People in Hawaii are on “island time,” and there are many courteous drivers who allow others to merge in front of them.

And you won’t actually hear anyone honking their horn.

Part of the reason tourists drive so quickly in Hawaii (in addition to driving fast at home) is that they do not realize Hawaii has traffic, which causes them to be late.

When planning your Hawaii itinerary, it’s crucial to take travel time into account (instead of the distance.)

In addition, take a deep breath and perform a shaka before leaving.

25 Hawaii Mistakes Every Tourist Has Made18. Being sick in the car

Yes, motion sickness is possible in Hawaii. And it sometimes affects people who don’t normally experience motion sickness.

The drives up to Waimea Canyon (and beyond) on Kauai and Haleakala National Park on Maui are the most memorable to me.

25 Hawaii Mistakes Every Tourist Has Made

Both of these routes feature a significant change in altitude and winding roads. It is common to feel a bit queasy midway through a drive.

And then there’s the infamous Road to Hana, a winding highway with hairpin turns and one-lane bridges.

If you anticipate a scenic drive with a change in altitude (or a winding road), it is prudent to bring Dramamine.

19. leaving valuables in the vehicle

The simplest of my Hawaii tips is to always lock your car doors and never leave valuables in your vehicle.

Tourists in Hawaii are notorious for leaving their fully-packed suitcases, expensive camera equipment, and valuables in their rental cars while they go hiking or to a restaurant.

There are numerous signs in parking lots warning drivers not to leave valuables in their vehicles. Observe them!

If it is a travel day, see if you can check out early or late or store your belongings at the hotel until your flight time.

If not, place your valuables in a smaller bag and carry it with you everywhere you go.

25 Hawaii Mistakes Every Tourist Has Made20. Visiting illegal locations

If there’s one thing social media has taught me, it’s that people love going to illegal locations in Hawaii to capture the perfect Instagram photo.

However, this is one of the greatest threats in Hawaii.

25 Hawaii Mistakes Every Tourist Has Made

The Stairway to Heaven is an illegal trail where people love to take selfies. No trespassing signs are posted because the stairs were damaged during a storm and were never repaired.

There are also numerous hikes/waterfalls located on private property that tourists are not permitted to visit.

If caught, you will be required to pay a fine. However, you also put your own health and safety at risk.

Just stick to legal locations.

21. Bringing home lava rocks and shells

Bringing shells and lava rock back to the mainland is a common Hawaii rookie error I frequently observe.

The issue with taking shells home is that if everyone does it, there will be no shells left for everyone to enjoy on the beach.

You risk the wrath of Pele, the Hawaiian goddess of fire and volcanoes, if you bring lava rock back to your home.

However, the primary reason why neither of these should be brought home is because it is considered disrespectful.

Leave these objects where you found them. Additionally, you can take a photo with them.

25 Hawaii Mistakes Every Tourist Has Made22. Failing to acquire a few Hawaiian words

We always attempt to learn a few words of the local language whenever we travel. Not only is it useful, but it also demonstrates respect.

25 Hawaii Mistakes Every Tourist Has Made

The majority of people are aware that “Aloha” means hello and “Mahalo” means thank you.

However, knowing that “Mauka” means toward the mountains and “Makai” means toward the ocean is also helpful. These terms will be used by locals when giving directions.

Additionally, the word “Kokua” appears on trash cans. This is not the Hawaiian word for garbage. It actually signifies aid.

Additionally, families should be aware that “Keiki” is the Hawaiian word for children. This is true for admission prices, children’s menus, and children’s activities throughout Hawaii.

23. Referring to all residents of Hawaii as “Hawaiians”

Typically, when traveling, you refer to the locals as being from the state or country.

We in Washington State are known as Washingtonions. Individuals in Italy are Italian, while Egyptians are Egyptian. You get it.

But, it’s different in Hawaii.

Native Hawaiians alone should be referred to as “Hawaiians.” “Locals” refers to people of other ethnicities who were born and raised in Hawaii.

Everyone else residing in Hawaii is referred to as a “Hawaii Resident.”

It is impolite to refer to every person in Hawaii as Hawaiian.

25 Hawaii Mistakes Every Tourist Has Made24. Referring to the continental United States as “the States”

When planning a first trip to Hawaii, it can feel like you’re traveling to a foreign country. But you’re not.

25 Hawaii Mistakes Every Tourist Has MadeDon’t tell people in Hawaii that you’re from “the States” or that prices in Hawaii are higher than in “the States.”

Hawaii is the fifty-first state, making it a part of the United States. It is crucial to recognize that.

The mainland United States is referred to by Hawaii residents as the “Mainland.”

25. Lacking knowledge of Hawaiian history

Despite being the last item on my list, this is a crucial Hawaii tip.

Hawaii is much more than a beach destination where you can sip mai tais and watch hula dancers while listening to ukulele music.

Many people are unaware that the United States annexed Hawaii in 1898 as a political move and that groups are currently advocating for Hawaiian sovereignty.

Hawaii’s Story by Hawaii’s Queen, which was written by the last queen of Hawaii, Queen Liliu’okalani, is one of the best books I’ve ever read.

This article discusses this time period and will help you understand current tensions in Hawaii.

And if you want to go even further back in time, it is helpful to be familiar with some Hawaiian myths and legends, as they are an integral part of Hawaiian culture.

25 Hawaii Mistakes Every Tourist Has MadeWrap Up

Hopefully, you now understand how to visit Hawaii like a pro! Now that you know what to do, you can easily avoid these Hawaii mistakes.

There are numerous incredible reasons to visit Hawaii. I wish you the greatest trip ever!

25 Hawaii Mistakes Every Tourist Has Made

Topic: 25 Hawaii Mistakes Every Tourist Has Made

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