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Lush green mountains, crashing waves, the soft strumming of guitar and a friendly laid back atmosphere entice people from all over the world to choose Hawaii as their vacation destination. For the first time visitor it can seem a bit daunting to break down how to plan a trip to this island state. The good news is with a bit of planning you can find some super vacation rentals in Hawaii and a healthy mix of save and splurge options.

To get your bearings, first it is a good idea to understand a little bit more about Hawaii. Hawaii is the only US state located in Oceania and the only one composed entirely of islands. Spread out over 1500 miles or 2400 kilometers, there is a life time of ground and water to cover. Here is a quick breakdown of a few of the main islands:

Kauai – The Garden Isle is the oldest and most northern island with dramatic natural beauty.

Maui – The Valley Isle is the second largest island with excellent beaches and whale watching.

Big Island of Hawaii – The Island of Hawaii is often referred to as The Big Island to avoid confusion. This island has 11 of the world’s 13 climatic zones from white sandy beaches to snowcapped mountains. Volcanoes National Park is also on this island.

Oahu – The majority of the population lives on this island with many cultural and natural wonders and is home to the state’s capital, Honolulu.


With so much to offer and so many unique places to visit around Hawaii it’s easy for visitors to get overwhelmed with how to plan their trip. Here is a breakdown of some do’s and don’ts so you can have the best vacation possible to the Aloha state.

Don’t Travel During the School Holidays

If it absolutely can’t be helped and then only time you can travel is during the school holidays then so be it. However if you can at all swing your schedule to travel in the shoulder season you will most likely reap the benefits. Flights are cheaper and rates for certain activities go down when it’s not peak season. The lines for almost everything will be shorter and you will have a much better chance of not getting booked out of activities and tours you may wish to take.

Go Off Season

Deals are to be found in May and October, particularly for booking flights. At these non-peak times it’s still not too hot nor too rainy making them an enjoyable time to go.


Don’t Try to See Everything

As tempting as it can be to want to try and see everything, don’t. Yes, each island has its own vibe and personality, but it is way too exhausting, not to mention expensive to try and cram in too many islands. Pick one or two and spend your time and energy exploring those. Keep in mind for ease and convenience of travel, Maui does offer a ferry service to Lanai and Molokai.


Splurge on Some Activities

Almost anywhere you will be arriving from chances are you will have made some effort to get to Hawaii. After going all that way pick out one or a few activities that are going to be your splurge options. You could be soaring over waterfalls in a helicopter tour, diving in the ocean, going on an unforgettable kayaking adventure or many other memory making options. So set aside something in your budget for one activity you really want to do.


Relax on the Beach

Perhaps one of the best, simplest and budget friendly ways to enjoy Hawaii is simply by enjoying their beaches. Hawaii is home to many of what are considered some of the world’s best beaches. Don’t miss your chance to simply sit there and enjoy. You can pack goodies and drinks and surround yourself with natural beauty and enjoy one of the most iconic parts about Hawaii lifestyle. There are many places where you can snorkel right off the beach, view monk seals, angel fish and sea turtles not to mention planning a day (or more) like this will definitely help balance some of the pricey things you might have in your budget.


Dine on Hawaiian Food Specialtities

Don’t miss the opportunity to try unique Hawaii food specialties. Delight your taste buds with items like fresh poke, kalua pork, hulihuli chicken, shrimp scampi or one of their many delicious varieties of shaved ice. If you don’t know what something is, just ask the locals. It’s a great way to connect and learn more about the lifestyle and culture.


Go on a Whale Watching Tour

On Maui December to April is prime whale watching time. Humpback whales are migrating down from the cold waters of Alaska to Hawaii’s warm waters to breed and raise their young. There is nothing quite like watching these massive and majestic animals moving so gracefully through the waters. If you are lucky hopefully you will get to see some breaching and watch them spout water up into the air.


Go to a Farmers Market

If you are on the Big Island, a must visit event is the Hilo Farmers Market. This has been named one of the top rated farmers market every food lover should visit. Every Wednesday and Saturday over 200 local’s farmers and crafters come to sell their goods to locals and tourists alike.


Hawaii is a bucket list destination for so many people. The key to a successful and enjoyable trip is to not plan too much and enjoy the place you are at one island at a time.

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