One item that should be on everyone’s bucket list is a Hawaiian vacation. This mystical group of islands will undoubtedly bring you closer to yourself and your loved ones. In fact, once you step one foot outside the airport, you’ll know for sure that you’re in for a real treat.

The largest airport in Hawaii is the Inouye International Airport (HNL) located in Honolulu. Once you land there, it’s time to let the games begin. No matter how much time you have to spend in Hawaii or the number of islands you plan to visit, you’ll find value in this article.

#1) Be Ready to Hike

If you were a fan of the show Lost, then you know how beautiful island life can be in Hawaii. The key to this tip is to not limit yourself to staying inside the cities or beach resorts because hiking in Hawaii is simply amazing.

Hikes on the Big Island are especially breathtaking since its home to the largest active volcano on the planet, Mauna Loa. Additionally, there are plenty of picturesque hikes along the coast and through the rainforest where you’ll run into pristine waterfalls, rare green sand, black sand, and wild fruit trees.

Lastly, even if you’re not big on hiking, there are short hikes requiring minimal energy to enjoy while soaking in the positive vibes of your Hawaiian getaway.

#2) Always Protect Your Feet

If you’re not accustomed to living in a tropical climate, it’s important to be aware of the different types of bacteria. For example, leptospirosis is a common type of bacteria passed from animals to humans in Hawaii. For this reason, it’s very important to keep your feet covered to avoid cuts on lava rock, coral, and other jagged terrain.

The best way to protect your feet is to invest in a good pair of water shoes for the beach beforehand. Before now, water shoes were mostly cheap and unlikely to protect your feet in demanding conditions. Nowadays, there are a ton more options, so it’s wise to get a pair of protective lightweight water shoes that’ll easily tuck into your carry-on or checked baggage.

#3) Load Up on Sunscreen

As the title suggests, load up on sunscreen or you’ll be paying the price later. The sun in Hawaii isn’t anything like the summer sun on the mainland. In contrast, the Hawaiian sun is much stronger, which can leave you with sunburn quickly and without realizing it, especially if you’re enjoying some island cocktails.

While it may seem like a better idea to buy sunscreen when you land there, it’s wiser to have it stocked and even wiser to choose a good brand of sunscreen that won’t wash off easily. Plus, you’ll want to apply it to yourself and your family between swimming sessions to prevent the dreaded island sunburn.

Finally, if snorkeling and scuba are a part of your trip, you’ll want to respect the island by choosing reef-safe sunscreen.

Read More: How to Choose a Destination for a Family Vacation

#4) Don’t Skip the Poke and Avocados

For sushi lovers, there’s almost nothing better than poke in Hawaii. Even if you aren’t a sushi lover, you’ll find it hard not to love poke. Essentially, poke is bit-sized chunks of fresh tuna or other local fish marinated in a special combination of spices. If one thing is for sure, the spicy tuna poke is not to be missed.

Also, you’ll probably want to go one step further by sampling a tangy poke bowl. If you’re smart, you’ll go during avocado season. In addition to poke, avocados in Hawaii are in a league of their own. In fact, there are so many different varieties of avocados in Hawaii that you’ll never have enough time to try them all.

First Trip to Hawaii

#5) Plan Your Activities Well Ahead of Time

While no one wants to travel with someone who has every minute of the day planned, Hawaii isn’t a place you want to wing it either, especially if you’re traveling with your family. Clearly, Hawaii is big on tourism, and the tourism industry is a huge part of the economy.

For this reason, there are loads of activities to do on the islands. A good way to get the most out of your trip to Hawaii is to commit to a single island and choose activities that interest you the most. For example, the Big Island is a great place to explore for a week, and you might find that renting a car to do a circle tour around the island is right up your alley.

Plus, the unforgettable hikes on the Big Island are something truly special. The bottom line is to do some research and check popular travel blogs to see what other people are saying about their trips. This is one of the best ways to see firsthand pictures and get an accurate idea of what to expect once you arrive.

Final Tip

The most important tip of them all is to have fun. Hawaiian culture is laid-back, slow-paced, and full of happiness. If you find yourself experiencing stress on your Hawaiian vacation, then you’re not doing right. A good way to instantly melt that stress away is to check out a local kava bar where the locals will take care of you.

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