Flash Sale | $39 Deals on Hawaiian Interisland Flights

Ten Ways To Get The Most Out Of Hawaii Vacations

What makes for enduring Hawaii vacations? After the unprecedented $99+ Hawaii deals last month from Southwest and Hawaiian, many of you may have this question in mind. We love lists and following are the top ten ideas we came up with. After reading ours, please add your favorites in the comment section below.

1. Use social media and online resources to find deals for Hawaii vacations in advance.

That’s what you’re doing right now reading about Cheap Flights to Hawaii. Recent studies clearly show that more than half of travelers go to online resources and/or social media when making travel plans. And perhaps the same percentage of us will use both of these while traveling. Remember too that you often find restaurant and activity deals by going directly to the website of the vendor or on review sites like Yelp.

2. Once you pay, don’t keep looking back.

Take it from us, you can definitely make yourself crazy finding the very best airline, accommodation or car rental deal. Do you relate? Unless it’s a changeable reservation and you can easily recover a price change, and you have a lot of time on your hands, decide when enough is enough. Relax then go with the flow.

3. Prepare for some jet lag.

Even a few hours of time difference and many hours of east/west flight will have an impact, so don’t expect to be 100% on the first day of the trip. Ease into your vacation, perhaps at the beach under the tropical Hawaiian sun.

4. Pack your own food for travel and here in Hawaii.

Hunger doesn’t make for a fun vacation. We’ve written before that we pack food for air travel. It’s also a good idea to have snacks in the car while in Hawaii. Remember that even in winter, you’ll want an ice chest (or better yet, an insulated bag which can travel with you) in order to keep food cool. Costco sells sturdy, large collapsible bags that can also turn into a checked bag in a pinch.

5. Don’t come here to get fit.

Get fit before your trip. Jogging, hiking or snorkeling in poor physical condition could end with a trip to the hospital or worse. It happens here in Hawaii far more than you might think. We have seen visitors out hiking wearing slippers too which may lead to injury on trails.

6. Enjoy Hawaii’s spectacular sunrises and sunsets while at the same time resetting your body clock’s circadian rhythm.

Sunsets and sunrises here in Hawaii can be some of the most spectacular anywhere. Take time to be outside and enjoy them. At the beginning of your vacation they also provide cues to your body’s time clock that will help you recover more quickly from jet lag.

7. Get safely into and onto Hawaii’s unequaled water.

Whether you’re swimming or snorkeling in the ocean, or riding a kayak topside, remember safety first. You need to respect the ocean and not assume you’re invincible. When in doubt, err on the side of safety and always check with a lifeguard if you are not sure. Hawaii visitor drownings are a very serious problem.

8. A vacation is about quality, not quantity.

We recently read a comment from someone planning a one-day trip on Kauai and looking for lunch recommendations to fill a 35 minute time slot. Does that sound like a fun day? Think about the best vacation you ever had and what made it so. It’s not how much you did, or how long you were away, but instead the quality of the experience. Sometimes cramming everything possible into the allotted time actually reduces the quality of your vacation.

9. Anticipation and reminiscence are huge parts of a vacation’s enjoyment.

Enjoy planning your next Hawaii vacation starting now. When you see an interesting article online, clip and paste or bookmark it for easy reference. We save all of those into our phones in shared notes that can also be read on the plane or when otherwise off-line. It sure beats traveling with lots of guide books. Speaking of which, we highly recommend the acclaimed Hawaii Revealed series. Then bring home some Hawaii t-shirts and other memorabilia to capture the island state of mind back home.

10. Read our most popular post ever, which is all about getting here and saving money: Just Updated! The Cheapest Time to Fly to Hawaii.


Beat of Hawaii photo near Diamond Head, Oahu

Updated 9/4/19.

17 thoughts on “Ten Ways To Get The Most Out Of Hawaii Vacations”

  1. Loved this list, esp. #2 and #6!
    As you are the best at what’s happening right NOW, any word on how the runway repairs at SFO’s 28L is affecting HAL? Any news is helpful.
    Keep up the Good Work and Mahalo!

    1. Hi Val.

      Thanks. We have not heard a word about the SFO runway impacting Hawaiian Air flights.


  2. I enjoyed this article very much, thank you for providing such helpful reminders and tips, as always. 🙂

  3. Loved reading over your reminders again. Timely! We will be on Kauai and Maui again in a few weeks. (will shoot you an email)

    We try to slow down “from the get go” now. HA! At our age – that comes naturally :0) We try to DO one excursion – but the rest of the time we just go with the flow and enjoy each day. Of course, sunshine always helps. So, please order lots of that for December, ok?

    We love sunrises and sunsets. I have so many sunset photos! My hubs says they all look alike but I know where each one was taken! I must put them all into a photo book one of these days. Great idea, Colleen!

    We love just being in Hawaii, the slower pace, the beauty of the islands, the lull of the waves. This will be our 8th trip. Hope it isn’t our last.

    1. Hi Colleen.

      You always get our attention. 😉 Not sure what your travel dates are, so will send you an email right after this.

      Thanks for all of your comments and friendship.

      Aloha, R/J

  4. Here’s a tip that really works for those who are open to trying it.

    Bridging the cultural and geographical gap: As we often find, we end up hauling back far more when coming home from a trip compared to when we leave home to travel.

    Try bringing a very small unwrapped gift item to give to a local you meet while on vacation. It doesn’t have to cost a lot either- just something that represents the area you live. You’d be surprised as what this small goodwill gesture can do when you give it to a local that was nice to you!

    Some friends of mine recently visited the North Shore and stayed at a private vacation cottage. A neighbor asked them where they were from, and they explained that they brought jam and jelly they made at home, and wanted to share it.

    The local family opened up the doors! They invited my friends to an old school hukilau (fishing harvest) and a family fish cookout on the beach. Now both families have the gift of shared friendships and promises to visit each other! This is the TRUE spirit of Aloha. Local people really appreciate it when visitors show Aloha. It shows warmth and cultural respect.

    You never know what can happen when you have an open heart, a warm smile, and the gesture of a small gift!

    Aloha and happy travels!!

  5. HI! We will be traveling to the Big Island in November, Kona area. Any ideas as to where we can go shopping for some nice Hawaiian Shirts? We have a late flight out on our last day, any thoughts as to spending the time between check-out at hotel, 12ish, and the flight 8pm check-in?

  6. We want to go to Oahu for a month and understand buying tickets is best beginning in late August for flights Monday-Thursday. Is that true and should we buy the tickets now or wait to see when sales are offered? Also, we are flying from South Florida, either from PBI, Ft. Laud., or Miami. Help and thanks. We love your Best of Hawaii e-mails.

    1. Hi Dan.

      Thank you. Yes mid-week is cheapest with rare exceptions. Expect to pay $650 to $750 with higher price being faster connection. Unless things change, looks like FLL will be cheaper.


  7. Thank you for the reminders! I forwarded them to my son and “almost” daughter-in-law as they are planning their honeymoon in Hawaii in May. I think most of us planned way too many activities on our first trip. I’m hoping they will slow down and just”BE”in Hawaii and enjoy their honeymoon and time together there.

    1. Hi Colleen.

      Funny coincidence – just thinking of you earlier today. Your point is well taken.


    2. …and remind them to leave some “open” time their last full day. That leaves time if there was a rainy day for “make up activities” or to return to a very favorite place/activity. It has worked for us!

  8. you guys are the BEST. i always check on what you have to say and you are always right on it. thanks for being there and i willbe there in october. yayayayay

Comments are closed.

Scroll to Top