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Hawaii Travel Guide: Tips for Tourists

Updated on October 18, 2010

If you’re a tourist travelling in Hawaii but you don’t want to stand out like a tourist, then this list of tips is for you.

Treat locals with respect. This is their home, and you are only visiting.

Don’t call the locals “natives.” There are relatively few true Hawaiians anymore. Hawaii has become a melting pot for Filipinos, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, Tongans, Koreans, Mexicans, Caucasians, etc. “Native” is not really an applicable word.

Remember that Hawaii is the fiftieth state, and when you go home, you’re not going back to America. You don’t need a passport to get here, and postage costs the same as anywhere else in America.

Don’t get sunburned.

Don’t say “aloha” or “mahalo.” You’re probably pronouncing it wrong anyhow.

Smile. It’s ok. Really.

Don’t clean your clothes so much. Just wear the same outfit over and over.

Don’t apply makeup if you’re just going to the beach.

Formal wear is nonexistent in Hawaii. No ties, no nylons, no suits.

Fanny packs should be outlawed.

Don't buy those aloha wear outfits so the whole family can match.

Pay attention while you drive. Sight-see later.

Drive the speed limit. We’re not all on vacation.

Don’t worry about straightening up the car when you park. The first try is good enough.

Live aloha. Never beep your horn in anger.

Don’t take pictures of the chickens. But don’t panic if you happen to run them over with your rental car.

Don’t leave valuables (such as money, iPods, and cameras) or bags that look like they might contain such valuables in your rental car.

Don’t park your rental car in lonely, creepy places.

Actually, don’t even get a rental car. Hitchhiking is the way to go. (just joking)

Don’t feed the fish, pet the turtles, throw balls to the seals, or ride the dolphins. Unless you want to declare bankruptcy or go to jail.

Don’t scream when you see a gecko inside. They’re friendly. And they eat bugs.

Don’t walk on the coral. It’s alive.

Just because there is a waterfall in front of you, doesn’t mean you have to jump off of it.

Never turn your back on the ocean. Beware the rogue wave.

Pay attention to posted signs. If it says dangerous current, then there is a dangerous current.

When hiking, don’t go off the obvious trail. You don’t want to fall of a cliff.

Don’t walk over the heaus. These are “sacred grounds.”

Don’t take hard-backed books to the beach. They don’t like it.

Don’t drink too many mai tais or lava flows.

Don’t order ahi poke unless you like to eat raw tuna.

No, it’s not shaved ice. It’s shave ice. Grammar has nothing to do with it.

Don’t buy any Ganja. It’s not a tropical fruit.

Relax. Chill. Hang loose. You’re in Hawaii, not Disney World. Don’t over-schedule, but enjoy every minute of your time in one of the most gorgeous spots on earth.


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    • Rose West profile image

      Rose West 5 years ago from Michigan

      Kauai is a great choice! I hope you enjoy your time in Hawaii!

    • Cardozo7 profile image

      Cardozo7 6 years ago from Portugal

      So Kauai then! I'm Trying to convince my girlfriend to go to hawaii on our honeymoon eheh

    • Rose West profile image

      Rose West 6 years ago from Michigan

      Hi Cardozo7, thanks for reading! Oahu is great if you like being busy with lots and lots of people - Honolulu is one of America's biggest cities. Kauai is the opposite - laid-back and quiet, but very beautiful. The Big Island has an active volcano, which is pretty awesome.

    • Cardozo7 profile image

      Cardozo7 6 years ago from Portugal

      Planning to go to hawaii in a few months. Nice to read your hubs about it. Any island you recommend?

    • Rose West profile image

      Rose West 6 years ago from Michigan

      totally serious :)

    • profile image

      Mosladder 6 years ago

      No seriously, you will fall off a cliff!

    • Rose West profile image

      Rose West 7 years ago from Michigan

      No don't buy the ganja! :)

    • Nikkij504gurl profile image

      Nikki Wicked 7 years ago from Louisiana

      hahaha i might just have to buy the ganja lol

    • Rose West profile image

      Rose West 8 years ago from Michigan

      Coolmon2009, thanks for reading!

    • Coolmon2009 profile image

      Coolmon2009 8 years ago from Texas, USA

      Good information thanks for sharing