Helpful Tips to Know Before Travelling to Hawaii

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Hawaii, USA is nothing short of a tropical paradise, encapsulating a perfect blend of relaxation and adventure. Throughout the islands is a mix of lush green landscapes, tropical beaches and buzzing cities, continuing to captivate travellers from all walks of life. Here are a few handy tips to know before you travel to the beautiful Hawaiian Islands.

An ESTA may be required to visit

Although this tip may seem obvious, it is very important to know if you need a visa before you begin your journey. Hawaii is the 50th state of America, therefore depending on where you are travelling from you may need a visa. For many countries, this is easily obtained by getting an ESTA before you visit. Applications can be filled out online and cost $14 per person (at time of writing).

Make sure you sort this well before your holiday to prevent any hiccups and to ensure you can enter the country. Head to the official site from the United States government to find out if you need an ESTA and how to get one.

For help with your visa consider a service such as iVisa. This does come with a processing fee.
Visa stamp - CC0 (Pixabay)
Visa stamp

Transport around Honolulu

When it comes to getting around Honolulu, travellers have plenty of options. Tourists often purchase a pass to ride the Lea Lea throughout the city, and these visit popular destinations around Honolulu, whilst providing an in-depth tour of the city. A seven-day pass can be purchased for approximately $50. Passes have to be purchased prior if you would like to ride the Lea Lea.

A much cheaper option that other travellers go for is the public bus system. Tickets are about $3, and transport guests all throughout Honolulu. Uber and Taxis are also available in Hawaii, although these are more expensive options.

If you staying in Waikiki you’ll find everything is very close together, which means you can walk between many attractions. If you are travelling on a budget this can help save on transportation costs.

Enquire with your hotel about their shuttle services

Many of the hotels around Honolulu offer free/ cheap shuttles to various attractions located in and around the city. A few popular destinations include Ala Moana Shopping Centre, The Waikele Shopping Outlets and the International Airport. As well as spots around the city that are nearby but a little too far to walk. This benefit is often included for guests of the hotel, so it’s always worth double-checking at the front desk to see if this is offered.

Consider staying on other islands

Oahu is known to be the tourist hub of the Hawaiian Islands for a variety of reasons. The state’s international airport is located on this island, along with the capital city and an extensive range of attractions. However, visitors should consider exploring the other Hawaiian Islands during their visit.

It is possible to see some of these islands on single-day tours. So visitors in Honolulu can depart from there, fly to another island, explore and then fly back all in one 16 hour day. This can get expensive (not to mention, exhausting). So try and maximise your time by staying on a different island for a few days and exploring its treasures at your own pace.

Different islands in Hawaii offer different experiences. Kauai, known as the Garden Island, is renowned for its seclusion and sweeping tropical rain forests. Hawaii’s Big Island, on the other hand, offers visitors beautiful waterfalls and up-close experiences with volcanoes.

Hawaii Islands
Hawaii Islands

Keep an eye out for scam artists

The streets of Honolulu are packed with talented buskers hosting a range of musical and dancing acts. Although, on rare occasions, you may come across some thriftier patrons. For example, keep an eye out for individuals offering you a photo with their beautiful tropical birds. Following this, they will ask for a tip, and if they don’t feel your tip is sufficient enough for their ‘trouble’, you may have difficulties retrieving your phone or camera.

Regardless of anywhere you travel to, there will always be individuals trying to take advantage of tourists. To quote our well-informed tour guide – even paradise has its parasites.

Events during the week

Throughout weekdays, various shows are put on for the public free of charge. This includes a Hula show, taking place on the iconic Waikiki Beach. Seeing a hula show is a must when it comes to Hawaii, so this is the perfect opportunity when staying in Honolulu. Grab a shaved iced, sit back, relax, and enjoy an authentic performance by talented musicians and hula dancers.

Another great event is on Friday nights when the Hilton put on a fireworks show and Waikiki beach is the perfect spot to kick back and admire the spectacle.

Fireworks - CC0 (Pixabay)


Hawaii is an ideal destination for any type of traveller, being home to adventurous outings, and secluded tranquil treasures. Before embarking on an unforgettable trip to Hawaii be sure to do your research so you’re able to maximise your visit. Also, have a chat with some of the friendly locals for some inside tips.

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Written by

Nicholas Hastie

Nicholas Hastie is a travel and health writer located in Brisbane, Australia. He is passionate about documenting his journeys through writing and photography. Nicholas enjoys sharing his travel stories online and encouraging others to travel and create unforgettable memories. [Read full bio]

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