For today’s topic we’re going to discuss jet lag, how to deal with it, and acclamation to Hawaii Time during your Hawaii Vacation. We asked our Facebook fans if they get jet lagged when traveling to Hawaii and what we discovered was that the jet lag experienced in Hawaii is much less than the jet lag experienced once you’re back home. Which makes sense. When flying to Hawaii, you’re traveling west, which means you gain time. For example, in the spring and summer months of California, if you travel to Hawaii you will gain three extra hours. In the fall and wintertime, yDealing wiht Jet Lag when yuou gain two hours in Hawaii, due to daylight savings time. Each state varies dependent on its time difference, but regardless, Hawaii Time is earlier than the mainland.

But when folks travel back home, it is much harder to acclimate to the time change than when they initially came to Hawaii. This is because you are now traveling in reverse, and you lose time, as opposed to gain it. Which means you lose sleeping hours, therefore, are much more tired. All we can say to this is, at least you got some good sleep and extra daylight hours while you were in Hawaii! Also, plan ahead for this jet lag. You can do this by getting on a (flexible) sleep schedule a couple days prior to your departure home. Make sure the kids are in bed at a reasonable hour, and try to sleep a solid 8 hours. This will prep your body for the transition back to the mainland.

Our Facebook fans also talked about the jet lag they experience in Hawaii, because realistically, you will experience it. But for most people, the jet lag came in the form of waking up early while on vacation (even though vacations are supposed to mean sleeping in!). Most travelers will wake up anywhere between 2:00am and 5:00am Hawaii time, because their bodies still regulate based on mainland time. 4:00am in Hawaii is really 7:00am in California during this time of year, which means many people will be waking up in Hawaii before the sun comes up. So for those early risers, you’ll probably be hitting the beach and your daily activities around 8:00am, because you will have already spent a solid three hours hanging out at the hotel already. However, a good advantage to this jet lag is that you’ll beat the crowds and the traffic when you get going early, and it’s a great way to fit in a lot of exploring in one day. Get an early start on your beach day, touring, shopping, or other adventures and be ahead of the rest of the vacationers. Also, another tip: hiking is best in the mornings because you don’t deal with the high noon heat- trust us when we say it gets hot when you’re exercising in the daytime!

For those who may be traveling to Hawaii from a further distance away (the east coast), or are more affected by jet lag, we recommend taking a day or two to acclimate, once you’ve reached the islands. You have your whole vacation ahead of you, so there is no need to overbook yourself during your first couple days or tire yourself out. Depending on what time you fly into Hawaii, we suggest taking it easy. Allow yourself a nap on the couch or the beach, don’t schedule any exhaustive activities (such as hiking or shopping), and let yourself settle into the new surroundings. Take it easy with a book, cocktail hour, or unpacking, and don’t worry about maximizing the first day or two. Also, getting acclimated can also mean adjusting to the weather, and this takes a day or two as well.

Most people step off the plane and think the humidity in Hawaii is almost unbearable. But give yourself a few days in the tropical air with the trade winds blowing and you’ll feel the idealness of the weather in no time. You wouldn’t expect this, but we also recommend packing a light sweater for those evenings when the winds are blowing from the north, because it tends to get a bit cool. Also, restaurants AC their indoor areas to the max, and many people get chilly when dining indoors, which is another good reason to bring a light sweater.

What I’ve experienced the most as far as Hawaii jet lag goes is, most people are tired after they arrive simply because traveling is exhausting. Also, the next day or two after the traveling, I feel people are mostly tired mid way through the day and in the evening. If this is the case for you, then I would plan to take a catnap during the day, so you can feel rested for the evening’s events. Ease yourself into the vacation; don’t try to cram a ton of things into the first couple days. Be aware of the fact that your body will need adjustment and don’t get upset if you feel tired at odd hours. This is your vacation; you’re supposed to get plenty of relaxation anyways!


  1. You were right on target for how we were in Hawaii….waking up at 4 or 5 am every day. But now that we are back in Chicago it is worse ! Couldn’t fall asleep last night, tossed and turned from 10 pm till 1 am…and got little sleep after that…HELP !

  2. This is fabulous! Took me 2 days to adjust to Hawaii time and then I felt great! Having a VERY hard time now that we are home, but feel good knowing I’ll be back to normal in a few more days! Thanks for the post!

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