The following guest post was kindly written by Jim who writes daily about personal finance issues at Blueprint for Financial Prosperity. Jim recently returned from a honeymoon in Hawaii and, like many people, has fallen in love with the Aloha state. His favorite island is Kauai and thinks he saw a Menehune.
My wife and I recently had the great pleasure of honeymooning on the islands of Hawaii, the first trips for both of us, and picked up a few do’s and don’t along the way. Some of these tips are just good general vacationing tips, such as packing an extra suitcase, but some are specific to Hawaii. These are also tips that I hadn’t heard of before our trip, unlike the ubiquitous tip of not leaving
luggage visible in your car, so we hope they will be new to you all as well.
Do Remember Those Essentials
Hawaii is an archipelago, which means everything that isn’t grown there is shipped in. That also means everything is more expensive than on the Mainland so try to bring as much as you can with you so you don’t have to buy it. On our trip we actually brought a few bottles of wine, some trail mix, and other assorted items we normally wouldn’t bring on a trip with us. We figured that we
could carry the load so we might as well save a few dollars by bring it with us! And yes, wine is essential.
Do Get Those Blue Guidebooks [The Ultimate/Revealed Guides written by Andrew Doughty] The locals hate them but those blue guidebooks are a treasure. You could go on a drive, have nothing planned, and rely on the blue book to guide you the rest of the way. We used it every night to help decide where we’d eat, we used it to help us figure out what hikes to do, and we used it to help us find where the locals hang out (so we could avoid tourists like us!)
The one caveat about the book is that it sometimes tells you to take a departure from the trail and go down some path for a secret detour. Sometimes those detours have newspaper clippings of people who have died… I advise that you avoid any trail whose only trail head is an obituary.
Do Know Where Costco Is
Having Costco in Hawaii saved us a tremendous amount of money in gasoline. I don’t know how they do it but they are consistently cheaper than the competition, sometimes by a significant amount, and you can even take advantage of their cheap prices on food (and wine!) if you want to pick up some snacks you may have forgotten. If you don’t have a blue guide book for the island, Costco usually carries it.
Do Bring An Empty Suitcase
Invariably you’ll pick something along the way in Hawaii, or any vacation, so it’s crucial that you pack an empty suitcase to haul your booty back to the Mainland. Even if you have the space, the ridiculous weight restrictions on luggage (and surcharges) will often be killer unless you can offload that heavy Kona coffee and mac nuts into another roller.
Do Become Everyone’s Friend
Talk to everyone, become everyone’s friend, make conversation and remember you’re on vacation! Hawaiians are usually very friendly and very easy going. Sometimes you find people who are in a mood, we all get in those moods, but usually people are wearing their Hawaiian shirts and having a good time.
Don’t Try To Visit Them All!
We had planned to honeymoon in Hawaii for about two and a half weeks. Our first week was slated for Kauai, followed by a few days on the Big Island, then a few days on Maui, followed by a few in Oahu. About a month before our trip, as we were finalizing lodging and inter-island airfare, we decided to scrap Maui. Boy was that a great idea! We felt too compelled to visit everything on our first trip and we were both glad we removed an island from our itinerary because it gave
us more time to enjoy the three islands we did go. You never want to feel rushed when you’re on vacation, especially when it’s your honeymoon.
Traveling inter-island is not a hassle at all, we flew Hawaiian Airlines, but you do lose a few hours each day and those are precious hours you could be spent hiking, snorkeling, or lying on the beach. We decided that we’d be going back to Hawaii in the future so we should save some for the next trip.
Don’t Pack Snorkel Gear
Snorkel gear rental on the islands is so cheap, there’s really no need for you to pack a mask, wetsuit, and fins; unless you have a ton of room to spare and don’t mind lugging it around. The equipment won’t be as good as anything you can buy in a store but you don’t need to carry it all the way from home either.
Don’t Be In A Hurry
Nothing… happens… in… Hawaii… in… a… hurry… so… relax. 🙂 Some people make joke about Hawaiian time but it’s legit, stuff is simply more relaxed and everyone’s having a real chill time. Don’t rush people and they won’t look at you like you have four heads. Just hang loose, just have fun…
Do you have any Hawaii honeymoon Do’s and Don’ts that I missed? Please share!