Vacations are healthy and great for our productivity. Taking time off to relax and enjoy ourselves is essential, no matter where we go. But let’s face it: Not all vacations are created equal. And when we think about the ultimate vacation destinations, it’s hard to think of anywhere on Earth that could compete with Hawaii for the top spot on the list.
A trip to Hawaii can be a once-in-a-lifetime event (or, if you’re lucky, an equally memorable but more frequent occurrence). With its stunning beaches, unique cities, incredible culture, and spectacular natural wonders, Hawaii is jam-packed with unforgettable sights and experiences. Here’s what you should think about as you plan your Hawaii vacation.
Where are you going?
Hawaii is one state, but it’s more than one island. Visiting more than one island in the same vacation is certainly possible, but you will probably want to focus your trip on just a few key spots at most. There’s no sense going on a vacation if you’re going to spend the whole time traveling between vacation spots.
So do your research and think about where in Hawaii you want to go. Experience the big city in Honolulu or visit the isolated beaches of some of the smaller Hawaiian islands — or do both. Your location focus is the first place to start when planning a Hawaiian vacation. From there, you can book hotels and flights — and start really getting down to the day-to-day planning of your trip.
Experience the culture
Hawaii has plenty to do — and plenty not to do. Relaxing on the beach without any activities or plans can be one of the best things about your Hawaiian trip. But, no matter what else you may or may not do, you’ll be missing out if you don’t include some cultural sights on your trip.
Hawaii had a people and culture all its own long before it became a part of the United States. That culture is still alive and well, and you can get a taste of it by heading to a luau or other cultural event. You can get affordable tickets to a Maui luau online, so don’t think that cost is a big factor in this part of your trip.
Remember to respect the local culture. Ask polite questions, but don’t gawk or disrupt things.
Keep some unstructured time on your schedule
Hawaii is a relaxing and laid-back place. It’s easy to lose a few hours on the beach taking in the sun — and that should absolutely be something that you do! Don’t ruin your relaxing vacation by planning too much stuff. Too many of us overplan our vacations. Be sure to leave extra time to get from place to place, so that you’re not rushing at a time when you’re supposed to be relaxing. And block off some spots on your vacation calendar for doing nothing at all. This will give you the flexibility to decide to do something spontaneous — and the freedom to decide to do nothing at all instead. Maybe you’ll take surfing lessons, or maybe you’ll just read a book on the beach. It’s your choice.
You have a few things to do before you hop on a plane to Hawaii, of course. You’ll want to bring the right clothes for the weather (you’ll want summery clothes, but bring a sweatshirt, too — some Hawaiian hotspots can get quite cool at night), check into travel insurance, and take care of other pre-trip chores. But this list will get you started, and you’ll be excited to keep planning once you see just how much Hawaii has to offer you!