Hawaii: Useful Information
Sip cocktails with hibiscus flowers in your hair!
- Arriving at the airport can be a spectacular start to your trip, especially when landing on the famous reef runway jutting into the Honolulu Harbor. Book a lei service to welcome you to the islands if your resort or hotel do not already offer it. The fragrance and freshness of the flowers will be the perfect start to your stay in paradise.
- If you plan to be doing a lot of hiking and outdoor activities, be sure to bring all the appropriate attire especially a set of long sleeved shirts and long pants if you plan to go off the beaten path where foliage can be quite dense along trails or if you plan to spend a lot of time on horseback.
- Hawaii is a state of the United States of America and thus the people of Hawaii are Americans not necessarily Hawaiians. Locals make up many nationalities from Portuguese to Chinese to native Hawaiian. Avoid referring to locals as Hawaiian in general to not confuse referring to the native population who are very proud of their heritage.
- There are two Hawaiian words that will be spoken many times over the course of your trip: Aloha which means hello or goodbye and Mahalo which means thank you.
- Although many people might think locals walk around in their bathing suits all day, this is of course a misconception. Dress appropriately with shirts and shoes wherever you normally would. Otherwise, you run the risk of being turned away.
- The people of Hawaii are very relaxed except when it comes to taking care of their islands. Drivers are courteous and do not overly speed or rush on the roadways so make note and slow down, be polite, and thank other drivers who let you in. On the flip side, be very sensitive to the natural environment, the locals are very protective of their beaches, parks, volcanoes, and natural spaces. Take care around plants and wildlife, disturb as little as possible, don’t ever litter, and always ask before taking anything – there a many protected species in the island.
- Taxi drivers should be tipped 15-20%. Maid service should be tipped $1-$2 a night. Tips are a big part of the services provided in Honolulu and throughout Hawaii. Salaries factor in certain tipping standards. If you are unsure, get a tipping guide online before you go or ask your concierge.