HAWAII TRAVEL GUIDE

HAWAII TRAVEL GUIDE

Navigate the Hawaii travel guide:

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WELCOME TO HAWAII!

State of Hawaii image
State of Hawaii
State of Hawaii Flag
Hawaii State Flag

Hawaii – “The Aloha State”, is the 43rd largest state in the USA and home to 2 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (contains two of the most active volcanoes in the world, Mauna Loa and Kilauea) and Papahānaumokuākea.

Entered into the USA as the 50th state, Hawaii’s capital, and largest city, is Honolulu.

Other popular Hawaii destinations are:  Waikiki Beach, Pearl Harbor and the USS Arizona Memorial, Diamond Head State MonumentKauai, Haleakala National Park, Waimea Canyon State Park, and Hanauma Bay Nature Reserve.

Hawaii is an archipelago of eight major islands, with several atolls, that are home to Hawaiian Kingdom history, WWII history, Kona coffee, sugar cane, craft brewing, green sea turtles, volcanoes, water sports, Spam eaters, Dole Pineapple Plantation, macadamia nuts, luaus, surfing, and more.

POPULAR THINGS TO DO IN HAWAII

Without a doubt, Hawaii’s top activities are water-based:  diving, snorkeling, kayaking, swimming, boating, sailing, fishing, parasailing, and so on.

However, don’t forget the volcanoes and other natural areas for hiking, enjoying waterfalls, and cycling.

Hawaii has some of the best marine life watching with its plethora of fish, green turtles, dolphins and whale migration season. If you like to volunteer to protect marine life and natural spaces, Hawaii has those opportunities as well. 

HAWAII TRANSPORTATION

Hawaii has all forms of transportation, including Carpoolworld, Uber, Lyft, and other possible regional ridesharing services and apps (research in advance if they are in your destination area). There are also taxis and rental cars, of course.

HAWAII HOLIDAYS

In addition to U.S. holidays, the Hawaii may observe additional state or local holidays.  It may be a good idea to check what state or local holidays they celebrate to see if there are any public service, school, or other closures as this may impact your tourist itinerary, ability to obtain travel or other services, or it could mean more tourists and/or higher prices in your Hawaii destination. Take a few moments to see if there are holidays specific to Hawaii to better help you plan your trip.

TIPPING IN HAWAII

See tipping guidelines in my USA Travel Guide for tipping in Hawaii.

HAWAII TRAVEL BOOKING

HAWAII ECOTOURISM TIPS

There are ways to reduce your eco and carbon footprint through air travel, accommodations, tours, and activities in Hawaii. To help avoid greenwashing businesses, here are some eco-friendly or sustainable travel (also called responsible travel) tips and resources, you can use to book your travel.

ECO-FRIENDLY AIR TRAVEL

Skyscanner provides a ‘Greener flights’ filter highlighting flights that emit less CO2.

Purchase carbon offsets through your airline or through a third party, like MyClimate.org, Carbonfund.org, or terrapass. Carbon offsetting allows you to buy a certificate to reduce carbon emissions, a major contributor to climate change, which in turn contribute community projects across countries to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

ECO-FRIENDLY GROUND TRANSPORTATION

When booking a rideshare in Hawaii, select the Uber Green option, instead of a traditional rideshare, to support the use of electric cars and carpooling for cleaner transportation in Hawaii.

ECO-FRIENDLY ACCOMMODATIONS

Look for accommodations with the following self and third-party assessed certifications when you book:

Green Globe – Green Globe certifies hotels, resorts, conference centers, transportation, attractions, tour operators, and other tourism businesses globally on sustainable operations and management. Look for USA Green Global members.

Green Key Global is an internationally recognized environmental certification for the lodging and meetings industries, including hotels and hostels, campsites and holiday parks, restaurants and attractions in 65 countries. Search for Green Key awarded sites.

Living Building Challenge – if you want to stay in a true, sustainable building, find one certified by the Living Building Challenge. LBC’s certification directory shows all project types globally. Hopefully they will put in a filter soon to allow searching by hotels or hospitality type.

LEED Certified – the USGBC’s LEED Certified label on buildings, like many of the Marriott’s hotels, are those that have verifiably employed multiple and varying green building strategies to improve human and environmental health. Search the LEED directory for USA certifications.

Green Lodging Program – Audubon International has an environmental stewardship certification through third-party verification. Search its certified members directory.

GSTC Certified – the Global Sustainable Tourism Council provides global standards for sustainable travel and tourism, as well as international accreditation for sustainable tourism Certification Bodies. Booking sites that offer GSTC certified sustainable are bookdifferent, EcoHotels, and Transat.

Another way to find an establishments implementing eco-friendly or sustainable practices, certified or not, is through Booking.com in which you’ll need to find and review each establishment’s ‘Sustainable Initiatives’ within the booking process. Starting 2022, however, you’ll be able to filter searches for accommodations with the Travel Sustainable badge. Finally!

ECO-FRIENDLY ACTIVITIES

Hawaii has ecotourism ideas available to explore for your next vacation.

Search Green Global and Green Key awarded members for eco-friendly activity providers in Hawaii. Some may also have the GSTC Certified logo.

When doing any type of water sports in Hawaii, use reef-safe sunscreen to protect marine biodiversity. Here are a few of the best recommended reef-safe sunscreens to get you started:

MORE ECO-TRAVEL TIPS

There are more ways to do your part for the planet in your responsible travel.  Read my 10 Easy Eco-Travel Tips and view my suggested Eco Travel Resources to learn more.

HAWAII SAFETY TIPS

HOW TO TRAVEL HAWAII SAFELY

Please see my U.S. travel tips. In addition, if you are planning on going hiking, backpacking or doing any other activity that will take you into remote places, please ensure you research the local travel and weather advisories in advance and respect warnings not to travel; let people know where are you going and provide them your itinerary; and, ensure you have safety and emergency measures provided for in your travel belongings.    

HAWAII BUDGET TRAVEL TIPS

BEST TIME TO VISIT HAWAII

Hawaii’s high tourist season and most expensive time to visit is mid-December to mid-April and July and August. The least expensive time to go to Hawaii is mid-April to mid-June or September to mid-December. April and May have great weather with decent prices. Plus, in April you can still catch whale watching. 

PERSONAL STORY

I’ve been lucky enough to go to Maui twice and Oahu once. Still, it’s not enough. Considering Hawaii has some of the best chances to swim with sea turtles, one of my favorite activities, I would like to go to every island possible – they are on my bucket list. Remember, you cannot touch or harass the sea turtles in Hawaii or you could be fined up to $10,500. No joke.

Hawaii also has great diving and beaches, and hiking, of course. Dining and wine tasting are also very enjoyable in Hawaii. Hawaii is laid back with much to offer at the same time. It is very Aloha.

HAWAII PHOTOS

HAWAII BLOG POSTS

woman on beach in Maui in 4 Days

4 Day Maui Itinerary for Travelers Over 50

Looking to plan a 4 day solo trip to Maui and not sure what to do? I did a Maui 2021 trip this past May (yes, during Covid) for 4 fabulous days. Use my eco-travel and Covid tips, with list of fun things to do in Maui, as your 4 day Maui itinerary and see if you have as much fun as I did.

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