Hawaii tips & tricks – keep cash on hand


We’re back from a trip to Oahu and Hawaii (Big) Island and stocked with lots of new reviews and advice to share. One of the first tips to share is the importance of keeping cash on hand. We were reminded of this several times on our recent trip as we ran a bit low on cash and the automated teller machine in our hotel was out of order.

Why is it helpful to keep cash with you in Hawaii? Let’s look at some examples of when and where cash might be needed.

Some restaurants don’t accept credit cards. That’s more the exception than the norm, but on our recent trip, we did go to one shave ice place that required payment in cash only.

Some shops require a minimum sales amount for using credit cards. Again, this is more the exception than the norm, but we were in one shop where we had $9 in merchandise to purchase, but the store’s minimum limit for a credit card purchase was $20.

Fruit stands and farmers markets require cash. You’ll probably run across several fresh fruit stands and farmers markets as you explore the Hawaiian Islands. These pop up markets generally deal in cash only.

You may wish to offer a tip of gratitude. Tipping in Hawaii is always at your discretion. At most restaurants, you can use your credit card for both payment and gratuity to your waiter or waitress, but restaurants aren’t the only places where you might want to tip. Tipping can be a controversial subject, so we’re not going to debate whether you should or shouldn’t tip. You do what you feel is right for you. When we experience either a high level of service or personal service, we usually tip. Some examples where we might tip for very good service are hotel housekeepers, valets, bell hops, beach/pool attendants and tour guides.

In your travels around Hawaii, have you ever found other instances where you needed cash?

[Just in case you aren’t aware, the currency in Hawaii is US dollars.]
1 comment
  1. If you are on the Island of Oahu and decide to go to the North Shore, be sure to stop at Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck for a plate of their delicious garlic shrimp. They are on a cash only basis so bring some dollars with you, you won’t regret it.

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