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Know Before You Go: Hawai’i Edition

After living in Australia for a year and a half, my family and I decided that instead of flying to the other side of the world to see each other, we would just meet in the middle! We did our research and realized Hawai’i was the perfect halfway point between Boston and Melbourne and that became our destination. After lots of planning and research we decided to go for a week and a half and split our time between O’ahu and Kaua’i. After so much research and an amazing trip, there are a few important things to now before you jet off to Hawai’i.

Do your research before deciding what islands to stay on and where on the island to stay. We visited O’ahu and Kaua’i and both islands were completely different. Although both islands were absolutely beautiful but I found O’ahu to be more built up while Kaua’i held a lot more of its natural beauty. Some islands have active volcanoes, others have amazing waterfalls, challenging hikes and pineapple plantations; depending on what you want to do it will change which islands you want to visit! Similarly when you’re booking your accommodation, make sure you like the area that you’re staying in. Staying in Waikiki versus staying on the North Shore will give you a completely different trip. We stayed in an Airbnb near Laie while were on O’ahu and we had the most amazing time, we watched sunset on the beach, snorkeled with turtles and soaked in every second of the peace and quiet.

Do not fully trust the weather app! Weather on tropical islands can be unpredictable and Hawai’i is no different. We had random rain showers, perfect sunshine and some of the windiest days ever. The first couple days I checked the weather and it showed the same vague weather report, partially cloudy but other than that the weather for the day was a mystery! Be warned that it was very windy so be careful while wearing a dress or a skirt.

You will end up doing more driving than you think and you will definitely hit traffic! Before going to Hawai’i we did lots of research about what we wanted to do and tried to strategically plan out our days to minimize driving. Even though we were very organized with what we wanted to do, we still had to do a fair amount of driving to see everything. If you’re going to Honolulu during rush hour or visiting anywhere in Waikiki, you will hit traffic. I highly suggest giving yourself a couple extra minutes to get around in high traffic areas or you’ll end up like us trying to run to your destination! Kaua’i has even smaller roads than O’ahu so if there’s any roadwork you will have to sit for a couple minutes and wait your turn.

If you’re planning on hiking make sure you pay attention to the recent weather. If it’s recently rained a lot of the hiking trails will be muddy and because a lot of them are steep, you need to be extra careful. Also make sure to double check if any of the hikes you’re doing require you to book in advance or pay when you get there. We did a lot of amazing hikes, a few of them we had to pay for and one of them we had to book before we got there. We realized this on the morning of and called them and luckily they still let us come.

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