“Hawaii: it’s not just for honeymoons anymore” (or once-in-a-lifetime trips). That’s my slogan of the day. Although a Hawaii vacation may well change your life, you needn’t put it on a bucket list of things to be done once before you die. Hawaii is way too special to hoard like that.

In my family, a trip to Hawaii was like a dream – something to be thought of with longing. It was in a whole other category from family vacations in the mountains or national parks. Perhaps, decades ago, that was true. However, Hawaii now is more accessible than ever. Air travel is far more reasonable and hotel rates are lower than many places on the mainland.

Sometimes, however, perception lags: Hawaii is remembered as an exotic luxury; something seen in movies or on television, something beyond the reach of mere mortals. One of my cousins married in Hawaii but only because he was en route to Viet Nam. Even so, that was considered extraordinary. My parents hoped to take a trip to Hawaii for a 25th anniversary as a huge extravagance. It was only in my adulthood that I met people who vacation in Hawaii regularly. When I did, it was like the V-8 slap to the forehead. But of course, why not?

The key, I believe, is to pretend you are vacationing in Hawaii. It costs nothing to pretend. Once you begin making pretend plans: looking at specific hotels, considering travel packages, Hawaii becomes a probability rather than an impossible dream. It seems real and do-able, as it is. Stop dreaming and start pretending – soon you’ll be planning!


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