IMPORTANT TRAVEL TIPS YOU MUST KNOW BEFORE VISITING HAWAII
April 22, 2020
I just came back from my longest holiday ever since I started my full-time job 2 years ago. Travelling to Hawaii has always been on my bucket-list and I was extremely excited for this trip (not to mention it was also my very first time in America). We learned a lot during our trip there. On top of our itinerary which can be found here for Oahu andhere for Kauai. I’ll be sharing with you the things I wish I knew about before going to Hawaii as well.
Table of Contents
The Hawaiian Islands
Below is a map of the 4 main islands people tend to visit in Hawaii. We visited Oahu, Kauai and The Big Island during our stay. What I wish I knew, was to visit Maui as well. We thought that we wouldn’t be missing out much if we skipped Maui, but we were so wrong. After talking to many other tourists and locals, they highly recommended us to go to Maui. So if you don’t have the time to visit all 4 islands, it’s a better choice to visit Maui instead of The Big Island.
There’s lots to see and do on The Big Island, however, if you’re tight on time it may not be the best decision to go there. The reason being is that you’d probably spend more time driving from attraction to attraction than actually visiting an attraction.
Tip #1: If you’re short on time and can only visit 3 islands, go to Oahu, Maui and Kauai
Getting Around Hawaii | Best Mode of Transportation and Road Rules
The best mode of transportation around each of the Hawaiian Islands would be by Car. Yes, it is possible to take public transportation but it would limit your by mobility a lot. In addition, renting a car in Hawaii is reasonably priced and you’d appreciate the convenience of having your own vehicle. For example, we paid around SGD 408 (all-in with insurance) to rent a Ford Mustang convertible for our first 3 days in Oahu.
Driving in Hawaii is relatively easy with the use of google maps on your mobile device. However, parking can be challenging at times especially around crowded areas such as Honolulu. What I wish I knew more about was the parking rules in Hawaii. We were unaware of certain parking road signs (as we were not used to it), and this resulted in our car being towed away the next morning.
Tip #2: Do not park anywhere within 10 feet from a fire hydrant.
Tip #3: When there’s a sign that says ‘tow away zone’ it refers to the entire stretch of the street, NOT between the area where the first & last sign post is located at.
Tip #4: No parking to corner signs mean you cannot park from the corner of the road till where the sign post is located.
You can click on this link for more information. We had to pay a USD 167 fine to get our car back, so to avoid the harsh reality of this, familiarise yourself with the road rules before driving.
Weather | Best Time to Visit Hawaii
The best time to visit Hawaii is from April to October, where there is less rain. November to March are their rainiest and cooler months. We decided to take a gamble and go in March anyway, hoping that the weather would be on our side. The week we arrived in Hawaii was all bright and sunny, but by the time our second week came, it started raining almost every day. It did disrupt some of our plans as rain meant that many hiking routes would be extremely muddy and slippery, so there were some routes we did not get to accomplish.
Hawaii is generally warm all year round, with temperatures ranging between 25-31 degrees celsius. However, what I wish I knew was how extremely cold it can get when being blown by the pacific ocean winds especially during the early mornings and night time. The waters were also icy cold and you would have to just brave it and get used to the temperatures after swimming it in for awhile.
Tip #5: Bring along a jacket and dress in covered swimming wear such as rash guard when going snorkelling. It will save you from the freezing ocean waters + strong winds when you get out of it.
Things to Bring Along for Hiking in Hawaii
Before this trip, I have never really experienced difficult hiking trails. Hawaii has given me a whole new experience of what muddy hiking means.
Many of the most beautiful places in Hawaii are found in secluded places and you’d have to hike through muddy and slippery paths to get to them.
Tip #6: Always be prepared for the muddiest situation you can imagine. Even if it is a bright and sunny day, just prepare yourself for it anyway.
Tip #7: Bring along bug spray (mosquitos are everywhere!)
Tip #8: Bring along a hiking stick (unless you are confident of finding a sturdy branch everywhere you go)
Tip #9: Wear proper hiking shoes. Your shoes are going to get extremely muddy so don’t wear your fanciest pair. As I didn’t have hiking shoes, I wore my wet shoes which worked out pretty well too. It was relatively easy to wash after the hikes.
Expenses in Hawaii
Hawaii is in general quite an expensive place to visit. I’ve elaborated more on the costs of certain attractions in my Oahu & Kauai travel itineraries. For easy reference, expect to pay SGD 160 for a 5-hour boat tour around Na Pali Coast and SGD 109 for a 3-hour dolphin excursion in Kona. However, the good thing is that parking is free in most places & many natural attractions such as waterfalls, do not require you to pay an entrance fee.
Tip #10: Expect to spend above your budget for tours in Hawaii.
All in all, Hawaii has one of the most beautiful coastlines and beaches in the world. It’s an experience I’ll never forget and one that I’ve learnt so much from. Remembering the above tips will definitely make your overall experience more convenient and enjoyable!