Plan ahead- Despite popular belief, you are usually better off planning a Hawaii vacation up to eight months in advance, and NOT the month before your departure date. Have your travel dates in mind and use the theme of the vacation (whether it’s a family vacation, honeymoon, business trip, bachelorette party, or some other occasion) to plan your activities, accommodations, dining, etc.
Work with someone knowledgeable– To get the most out of your Hawaii vacation, it’s best to work with some knowledgeable, someone local. Travel agents who are based in Hawaii usually offer the best insider tips and secrets, and can give you advice based on their experience as a resident. Locals know best when it comes to traveling in Hawaii.
Budget– The price of a Hawaiian vacation can sometimes come back to haunt you (and your bank account), so make sure to budget ahead of time. Spontaneous splurges on expensive dinners and pricey activity spiels are a sure way to overspend. Plan the financial part ahead of time and stick to it. Hawaii offers a ton of free things to do, so don’t get caught up thinking you have to break the bank to enjoy your vacation.
Get to know the area– Familiarizing yourself with the area in which you’re staying is a good idea for a few reasons. It will help you determine whether or not you need a rental car, whether or not you have affordable dining options nearby, and whether or not your prioritized activities are close. If a beach vacation is ideal for you, make sure to find accommodations that offer this, or if you’d prefer a jungle bungalow that is secluded from the city, be sure to plan this into your trip as well.
Consider your travel party members– Whether you’re traveling with grandma, a new baby, a flock of business men, or an array of teenagers, make sure to consider each member individually. We don’t necessarily mean aim to please everyone (all the time), but it’s a good idea to be comfortable with splitting people up for different activities to be sure everyone enjoys their vacation on their own terms.
Pack accordingly– Sometimes over packing is inevitable, but when traveling to Hawaii, your suitcase will probably remain relatively light. It’s a good idea to bring a few different bathing suits, a light sweater, walking shoes, and a pair of slippers, but aside from that, your sundress or t-shirt will probably act as your main outfit while in the islands. And remember, anything you forgot at home will be available out here too. (Like sunscreen, shampoo, and toothpaste, so you don’t have to worry about the 3oz. rule!).
Don’t over plan- While our first tip is to plan ahead, this doesn’t necessarily mean to over plan. Over planning can take away from the relaxation of the trip, and tends to put one person in a stressful position of “the planner”. With too many activities, tours, and dinners on your itinerary, chances are you’ll forget to simply lounge by the pool or finish that novel you’ve been saving for summer.
Prioritize your activities– There are way too many things to do in Hawaii to cover in simply one vacation. Which is why it’s a good idea to prioritize what the absolute must-dos and must-sees are for you and your fellow travelers. This way you don’t leave disappointed, because you’ve covered everything on your Hawaii bucket list. Just make sure to be reasonable with your activities and how you prioritize them, and don’t expect that everything will go perfectly as planned.
Add in spontaneity– Leave a couple days open for something unprompted. And don’t plan every meal out from start to finish (unless of course, you’re doing an all-inclusive vacation!) But if the friendly couple at the bar from last night invites you to a luau tomorrow, leave your plans open to add in a little bit of that spur-of-the-moment excitement. It’ll keep the vacation fresh, lively, and natural.
Take advantage of any deals or discounts offered– Travel companies can often times get you great rates on things like hotel room upgrades, rental car discounts, activity deals, and more. Ask your local travel agents about this and take advantage of what’s being offered at the time. There are always seasonal specials in Hawaii and it’s a good idea to work with an agent to be sure you’re getting the best bang for your buck.
Remember to use your travel agent from start to finish- Your travel agent is there for you, from beginning to end. You don’t have to feel like you’ve worn out your welcome with them once you’ve landed in Hawaii. If you have problems, questions, or need help with anything, your Hawaii Aloha Travel agent is at your side and only a phone call away to ensure your vacation exceeds your expectations.