There are many resources on what to do in Hawaii. We thought it would be just as beneficial to offer a few things not to do when you visit Hawaii.
When planning a trip to Hawaii, there is no shortage of fantastic resources of incredible things to do in Hawaii. However, just as important, there are some things that you want to make sure that you do not do when you visit Hawaii. The main thing is not showing respect.
So, let’s go ahead and dive into the five things not to do in Hawaii.
1. Not Renting a Car
Though it may seem fun to just try and experience Hawaii without a car, it just isn’t feasible. If you’re trying to save some money don’t take it from the rental car budget line. If you like the idea of traveling around the islands via a tour bus, then maybe you can get away without renting a car.
To fully experience the best of Hawaii you want to get out there and explore on your own and at your own pace.
Many hikes require some driving to get to the trailheads. Outside of Honolulu, there isn’t a lot of options when it comes to public transportation.
One of the best ways to experience Hawaii is by renting a car and utilizing the Shaka Guide app, which is like a tour guide on your smartphone.
And a quick tip, don’t leave valuables in your car. There are a lot of turnoffs and hikes in Hawaii, which makes cars parked on the side of the road easy targets for “smash and grab” thieves.
2. Spending All Your Time in Waikiki
Waikiki is designed to keep you happy and content not to venture out. With its world-class dining, hotels, and shopping, it is easy just to stay put in Waikiki your entire vacation on Oahu. However, Hawaii is meant to be explored.
A day-trip to the North Shore will provide some perspective of the many wonders of Hawaii. Even a short drive over to Kailua will transport you into the beauty of Hawaii that can be hard to find in Waikiki.
Don’t get us wrong, Waikiki can be an incredible place! However, there is so much more to Hawaii than Waikiki.
3. Ignoring Warning Signs
When it comes to having someone else tell you what to do, I am the first to say, “Don’t tell me what to do! Mind your own business!”
That’s different in Hawaii. The lifeguards genuinely care about your wellbeing and have your best interest in mind. They are an amazing group of men and women that deserve more appreciation than they get. They risk their lives every day fighting some of the craziness rip currents and surf in the world. They know what they’re doing!
When there is a warning sign of strong current or sharp coral, please pay attention. The surf in Hawaii can be unpredictable. One minute it can be calm and then the next completely different. When in doubt, don’t go out! And NEVER turn your back on the ocean and always be aware.
What’s great about Hawaii is that there are so many world-class beaches that if there are rough conditions on one side of the island, try the other side.
The same can be said for hikes. Please be aware of signs at the beginning of trailheads and heed local advice.
4. Using Chemical Sunscreen
Before we get into which sunscreens we recommend, it is vital to acknowledge that protecting yourself from exposure to the sun is critical. With an average of 271 days per year of sunny days in Honolulu, there is an excellent likelihood that your stay on the islands will be mostly sunny. And the sun in Hawaii can be hotter and stronger than you may be used to.
If having to remember to put on sunscreen and reapplying isn’t your thing, then wearing a short-sleeve or long-sleeve rashguard and a hat is a great alternative.
Beginning in 2021 Hawaii will start to ban sunscreen products that contain oxybenzone and octinoxate. These chemicals, which can be found in familiar sunscreens, are known to cause bleaching and death to coral reefs. Not to mention, they are also linked to hormone disruption in people.
Rub-in sunscreens with zinc oxide or titanium oxide as the active ingredients are a good alternative. However, just make sure that oxybenzone is not listed in any of the ingredients, because some sunscreens are labeled “reef-friendly” and still contain that ingredient.
5. Not Showing Respect
Aloha is more than a warm and fuzzy thing to say. It is a way of life. How you interact with people on island will make or break your experience.
By simply showing love and appreciation for people, in Hawaii, you will receive 10x’s back. The love and community of Hawaiians and locals is something truly unique and special.
Along with showing respect for others, showing respect for the land is just as important. Check out our interview with Matty Leong and Spencer Lee, a couple of professional landscape photographers, about how you can explore Hawaii responsibly.
One of the main things is to leave no trace. The seven principles of Leave No Trace provide a framework that anyone can follow when trying to leave a minimum impact while visiting the outdoors. The seven principles can be applied anywhere and can genuinely make an impact in your own conservational efforts!
- Plan Ahead and Prepare
- Travel and Camp on Durable Surfaces
- Dispose of Waste Properly
- Leave What You Find
- Minimize Campfire Impacts
- Respect Wildlife
- Be Considerate of Other Visitors
Following these seven principles can help you be more considerate of your impact on the environment. Keeping in mind these principles while exploring can help you leave a location better than you found it!
What about you? What are some things that are important to not to do in Hawaii?
- Episode w/ Matty Leong and Spencer Lee
- Free Consultation Call for Booking to Hawaii
- Shaka Guide App
- Leave No Trace Website
- Hawaii’s Best Instagram
- Hawaii’s Best Podcast
- Bumper music, Ukulele and Chill, provided by Coby G
Show Some Aloha
- Leave an honest review on iTunes. Your ratings and reviews help other people who love Hawaii find this podcast.
- Subscribe on iTunes.
Bryan Murphy 0:00
When planning the trip to Hawaii, there is no shortage of fantastic resources of incredible things to do. And I think a quick Google search will confirm that. However, just as important, there are some things that you want to make sure that you do not do when you visit Hawaii. And that's what we're talking about in this episode. So let's go ahead and let's dive right on into it.
Hawaii's Best 0:24
Welcome to Hawaii's Best travel podcast where we help you prepare for your next trip to Hawaii. Discover the experiences businesses and stories that make Hawaii the Aloha state. And now your host
Bryan Murphy 0:38
Brian Murphy Aloha and welcome to Episode 35 of Hawaii's Best where we provide tips, resources and support to help you discover the best of Hawaii. I'm your host Brian Murphy, the owner of Hawaii's Best and I just want to say thank you so much for joining me today on this episode. If you follow us on Instagram at Hawaii's Best Or you have been in tune to what's going on in Hawaii. You've probably seen that the date of Hawaii opening up August 1, which was the first slated date for reopening to Trans Pacific travel has been pushed back to September 1. So as of right now, that is the latest, greatest update. I don't know if it's greatest, but that's the latest news right now in what's going on as far as transpacific. That's you know, people come in from the mainland over to Hawaii without having to quarantine and what's still in place as far as travel on September 1 is that if you're wanting to travel to Hawaii, and you don't want to quarantine for 14 days, you're going to need to make sure that you get tested for COVID 72 hours before getting on the plane, and you're going to be hoping that that test is negative. So showing a proof of a negative covid test 72 hours prior to boarding the plane You will not have to do the 14 day quarantine. And who wants to do 14 days in their hotel room in Hawaii, even though that might sound really good. I mean, that could be a big bummer. So stay up to date. Be sure to you can follow us on Instagram at Hawaii's Best. That's where we give a little bit more up to date because this podcast platform we only do about once a week. So to stay up to date, go to Hawaii's Best on Instagram and follow us over there. But on today's episode, we're talking all about what not to do in Hawaii. And like I mentioned, there are many, many guides what to do. And we provide some of those guides at Hawaii's Best travel. But there's not a lot of guides of what not to do. There are some in a search that I did. There are some guides that show you kind of what not to do. But I think just as important of what to do in Hawaii, there are certain things that you just want to Be aware of. And when I say you don't want to do this, don't want to do that. I don't want to sound. Just don't do that just because because I said, So no, that's not the intent of this list. The intent of this list is to give you five things that you don't want to do in Hawaii, because it's in your best interest. And when we unpack these five, you'll see how by not doing these things, you'll be able to have even a better time on your next trip to Hawaii. So let's go ahead and we're gonna dive right on in to the five things not to do in Hawaii. Number one, not renting a car. And though you know, it may seem fun to try and explore Hawaii without a car. It really just isn't feasible. You can maybe get away with it a little bit on Oahu, especially if you're staying in Waikiki. The public transportation on Oahu is definitely a little bit more present, then the other islands but if you're trying to save some money, don't Take it from the rental car budget line. If you like the idea of traveling around the islands via a bus tour, then maybe you can get away without renting a car. But to really explore Hawaii, you want to be able to get out there, get out there on your own with your group, and be able to explore the island on your own time. And when you want too. Many hikes require some driving to get to the trailheads. So that's just another reason why renting a car is important. And if you rent a car and you're driving around the island, say on on a wahoo and you're not exactly sure where to go or what to do. There's a great app for that, that we recommend. It's called Shaka guide app and I'll link it in the show notes. You can actually go to Hawaii's Best travel comm slash Shaka and be able to download the app right there. And another quick tip is don't leave valuables in your car. There are a lot of turn offs in hikes in Hawaii which require you to park on the side of the road or park in a small lot. Which makes those cars an easy target for you know, smashing grab thieves so be sure to Yes, that happens in Hawaii happens quite a bit. Just be mindful that next time you're getting out there and parking your car, hide your stuff in the car or even better yet take any valuables with you as you hike. Number two it kind of goes along with the first one is don't spend all your time in Waikiki. Waikiki is designed to keep you happy content and really not to venture out I mean, you can it's obviously see why because there's world class dining, hotels, shopping, it's easy to just stay put in Waikiki your entire vacation while you are on Oahu. However, Hawaii, like I mentioned is really meant to be explored in to get out there. Say you're staying in Waikiki renting a car for the day a day trip to the North Shore. It'll provide Some great perspective of the many wonders of Hawaii and even a short drive over to the east side. in Kailua, it'll transport you into this whole other world of Hawaii that can be hard to find in Waikiki. Now, you know, don't get me wrong, Waikiki can be an incredible place and there's so many places there that are amazing. The iconic view of diamondhead from Waikiki Beach, you know, standing right outside the Royal Hawaiian hotel. That shot right there. Waikiki is incredible. And Waikiki is also a great place to learn how to surf and just get acclimated with Hawaii. But there's so much more to explore than this thing the whole time in Waikiki. Number three, ignoring warning signs, when it comes to having someone else tell you what to do. Like seriously, I'm the first one to say Don't Don't tell me what to do like Mind your own business, but it's a lot different in Hawaii. The lifeguards, there are amazing and incredible and genuine cares about your well being and have your best interest in mind. They are a group of of men and women who deserve I think more appreciation than they actually get. You know, they risked their lives every day, fighting some of the most crazy rips and surf in the world. They know what they're doing. And they deal a lot with like knuckleheads is getting out there thinking, thinking, you know, they were they swam in school, thinking they swam in high school on the swim team, and that they can just, you know, get out and just jump right into the ocean without heeding any warnings. And that's just simply not true when there is a warning sign of a strong current or sharp coral, for example. Pay attention is there for a reason. The surf in Hawaii can be unpredictable one minute, you know it could become and then the next completely different. So just when there's a saying, you know, maybe you've heard of it, just when in doubt, don't go out. And that just simply means if you feel a little uneasy about getting out into the water, just just Don't do it. And another thing to just keep in mind too is this never turn your back to the ocean always just be aware that could be that one rogue wave that just kind of wipes you, you've probably seen people just get face planted in, you know, some some gnarly shorebreak. So just be aware of that, to just know what the ocean is doing know what the waters doing. And that simply is just not turning your back on it. Just being aware keeping your eye on it is super important. And another thing is to go to beaches where there are lifeguards positioned, that that gives you just a good idea of, you know, good peace of mind, really to just to to know that there's some sort of safety net there and that's just a good peace of mind, knowing that that that part of the beach is patrolled by lifeguards, and I think the same can be said for hiking too, just to be aware of the signs that are being posted at the trailheads ask around, you know ask the locals about different hikes, different beaches, and they'll be more than happy to give you their advice, and to offer any warnings or any tips on certain hikes. So be sure to do that. Be safe, enjoy Hawaii, like it's meant to be enjoyed and the beauty of it. But also you want to make sure you go back home alive too, because that's super important. So those signs are there for a reason. And be sure to heed their warnings. Number four, using chemical sunscreen. Now, before we go into, you know what sunscreens we recommend, it's vital to acknowledge that protecting yourself from exposure to the sun is critical. And with an average of 271 days per year of sunny days in Honolulu, there is an excellent likelihood that your stay on the islands will be mostly sunny and the sun in Hawaii. It can be hotter and a bit stronger than maybe what you're used to. So sunscreen in protecting yourself from the Sun is super simple. If having to remember to put sunscreen on and reapplying it isn't your thing, then wearing a short sleeve or long sleeve rash guard in the hat can be a great alternative to that. Also, it's important to note that beginning in 2021, why you will start to ban sunscreen products that contain the chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate. These chemicals which can be found in familiar sunscreens, and I'm not going to list what those are, but they can be found in some of the mainstream sunscreens. They're known to cause bleaching and death to coral reefs. And not to mention they are also linked to hormone disruption in people so are they good idea to not mess around with those chemicals. Now rubbing sunscreens with zinc oxide and or titanium oxide. As the active ingredients in those products, they're a good alternative. However, just make sure that oxy bend zone is not listed in any of the ingredients on on sunscreens, because some of them are labeling their products as reef friendly, and yet they still contain that that chemical oxybenzone. So just be aware of that when it comes to selecting a reef safe sunscreen. And finally, number five, the most important thing not to do in Hawaii is not showing respect. Aloha is more than just a warm and fuzzy thing to say is is really truly a way of life. And how you interact with people on island will make or break your experience truly, by simply showing love and appreciation for people in Hawaii. While you're on vacation, will you will receive 10 times back the love and community of Hawaiians and locals is something truly unique and special. So along with showing respect for others, showing respect for the land is just as important, you can check out our interview with Maddie liong and Spencer Lee. There are a couple professional landscape photographers that we had on the podcast show back on episode 34. You can learn more about how to do that tangibly when you're on Island. But the main thing I just want to just highlight is leaving no trace. And in that episode we talked about the principles of Leave No Trace, there's seven of them. I just want to kind of quickly rattle those off to you so you can have a better understanding of just what it means to being good stewards of the land when you travel. And this can apply for you know, Hawaii, obviously, but anything in your life or even when you're traveling to other locations. Number one is plan ahead and prepare. Number two, travel and camp on durable surfaces. And I would also add to that travel on camp to where it's permitted as well. Number three, dispose of waste properly. You'd be surprised to learn that there's many peaches in Hawaii, where there's a bunch of trash. And that's another thing that you can do while you're on vacation is looking into the local community of when there are beach cleanups, that's just a great way to be able to give back to such an incredible place. Number four is leave what you find. For example, don't take lava rocks that's like big taboo, like no, no, don't just leave the lava rocks alone. paella will get you it's just good, not good vibes. So be sure to not take any lava rocks with you. Number five, minimize campfire impacts. And also, I would add to that build a fire to where it's permitted as well. Number six is respect wildlife. Don't chase dolphins don't touch dolphins don't touch turtles. These are federally protected animals as well. So just be aware that enjoy them from a distance enjoy them in their natural habitat. Their beauty but don't chase after them to get the shot or anything like that. And number seven is just be considerate of other visitors as well. So I hope that this quick list of five things of what not to do in Hawaii gave me some perspective as you're planning your next trip. And I know we're like when When is that going to be, hopefully sooner rather than than later. A lot of people are starting to book for 2021. And if you're interested in booking or getting help booking your next trip to Hawaii, we'd be more than happy to schedule a free consultation call to help you plan your next trip. You could go to Hawaii's Best travel.com to do that. But if you found value in this episode, please leave a rating. Drop a review below that just would mean the world to me and helps other people who love Hawaii, just like you be able to find this conversation. But until we travel again, and until next time, be well. Aloha.
Hawaii's Best 14:56
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I’m having trouble finding reef safe sunscreens where I live. Should I order them before I leave on my vacation or should I buy them when I get to Hawaii?
Thank you for your question! Since certain chemicals used in some sunscreen products are now banned in Hawaii and to avoid any confusion, it would be easier to just purchase sunscreen in Hawaii.