Today’s post also features various Hawaii travel problems and issues you may encounter plus our advice for avoiding them. Read them below to have an easier Hawaii vacation.
Sold out signs.
As more and more flights head to the islands, a lack of willing employees on the ground to serve tourists has collided with capacity restrictions. Restaurants, car rentals, and activities are in short supply or limited by how many guests each can have. You may be surprised to learn that flowers (like beautiful Hawaii lei) are scarce too. These all need to be planned and booked in advance. Many comments this week confirm that this plan works.
Hawaii Jellyfish stings.
Don’t run into these. Instead, read our Hawaii jellyfish stings update for 2021 that includes all dates to stay current on where and when these could be a problem on your Hawaii vacation.
Tips: Check the full moon calendar when planning your vacation and add 8 days. This gives you a good approximation of when jellyfish arrive on the Hawaiian Islands’ south-facing beaches only. Expect them to be a problem for 3 days. The seriousness of the invasions varies from month to month and is not predictable.’
While perhaps not an emergency, these are definitely something you’ll want to avoid, and the best way is to slow down. Hawaii is known for strict speed enforcement with expensive fines, often using laser detection. Read our 2021 Ten Safe Driving Tips for Hawaii Visitors.
Oh yeah, we have mosquitos in Hawaii! While mosquitoes can be dangerous and transmit diseases like Zika and West Nile virus, malaria, and dengue fever, we have not recently had any of these problems here in Hawaii. The likelihood of being bitten is far worse towards sunset and when in wooded or especially wet areas. Unless you have a rare reaction, bites are usually self-resolving. To expedite that, don’t scratch no matter what. Doing so always makes the bites itch worse and/or last longer. Beyond that, breaking the skin can result in infection, and Hawaii is definitely known for nasty skin infections.
Tips: First, avoid the sting. We used to do that with Deep Woods Off, which works great in Hawaii. Also, try Natural Mosquito Repellents. Things to ease the itch include After Bite (we always have this on hand), cortisone cream, calamine lotion, or a paste made from meat tenderizer and water. Another suggestion is to apply cold papaya (save half to eat). Ice might make it feel better too.
Centipedes and scorpions.
Okay, on the subject of scorpions, yes, they are here in Hawaii. If you’ve ever seen one, please let us know. We’ve only seen one dead one, once. Centipedes – we have plenty. We’ve written about them before, and we’ve experienced them ourselves!
This is perhaps one of the greatest concerns for Hawaii visitors. Underestimating the danger of the ocean can, and frequently does lead, to injury or death. It’s always smart to read the ocean safety brochure in your hotel room on arrival. If you aren’t completely sure of the situation, swim where there is a lifeguard.
With the ocean all around and cruising or sailing experiences abundant, avoiding seasickness is a top priority. There are so many theories on how to take precautions, but for us, being on the ocean during relatively calm conditions is always number one. Things we have tried with varying degrees of success include:
1. Scopalomine patch. This took too long to work and really should be started well in advance of rough sea conditions. However, this works, albeit with side effects.
2. Dramamine. These should be called sleeping pills, given how drowsy they make you feel.
3. Bonine. It is better than Dramamine, but still completely unacceptable in terms of how they can leave you feeling and how ineffective they can be.
4. Wrist pressure bands. The manual bands have what feels like a marble inside that presses on the inner wrist. These just did nothing in our experience.
5. Ginger candy. Tastes great but doesn’t seem to do a thing to alleviate seasickness.
Keeping out of the sun or wearing covering (and SPF protectant) clothes during the hottest part of the day is obviously the best choice. The second is a good sunscreen. I’ve been sticking with the recommendations from the Environmental Work Group.
Read our update on Hawaiian Sunscreen.
These can be very painful and serious, with the distinct possibility of infection, and are clearly best avoided. If you get scraped, however, here are some basic suggestions:
First, clean the scrape with soap and water. Then clean with hydrogen peroxide diluted with water. Rinse again and apply an antiseptic/antibiotic ointment. If it’s at all serious or shows signs of an infection, consult a physician. Hawaii has lots of urgent care locations where these are most often treated.
Other medical emergencies.
Your Mainland health insurance “should” work here just fine. And in the event you need to seek medical attention, it’s good to know that you’re in good hands. Hawaii health care often scores near the top in the national healthcare scorecard.
Hawaii is a “no-fault state.” Therefore, your own vehicle insurance will pay the bills for your injuries and your passengers’ injuries. And you cannot sue or be sued unless there are serious injuries. “No-fault” applies to injuries, not to vehicles or property, so the driver-at-fault in an accident is responsible for damages to the vehicle and property.
Lost or delayed luggage.
As you know from our prior posts, we’ve experienced this more than once, and it wasn’t pretty. Nevertheless, we were so happy to have purchased trip insurance. Read about our experience in the post How Travel Insurance Just Saved Us Over $600.
Next, it’s helpful to photograph your luggage exterior and its contents in case of loss or delay. (It seems like we’re always running around at the last minute and never think to do this). If something doesn’t show up in Hawaii, the good news is that most bags are ultimately recovered and will be delivered to your hotel at no cost.
Tip: If your bag is delayed, ask about the airline’s policy for replacing things you may need in the interim.
Baggage delays must frequently happen, as we often see the lost baggage delivery truck driving around the island. In the unlikely event your bag is truly lost and not just delayed, the maximum liability of domestic flights is $3,300 per person. This is where your knowledge and photos of what’s inside may really pay off.
Please share your tips.
So many great ones already below. We welcome and appreciate yours!