|Best Time to Visit
Unlike most destinations, "high" and "low" seasons aren't dictated our weather, but rather by the weather everywhere else. Expect to pay premium rates during the winter months, mid-December through March. Family travel is most popular during the summer. Spring and Fall, while considered "low" season, offer great travel values and fewer visitors.
Creating a packing list, ahead of time and have the confidence of knowing you are unlikely to leave anything important behind. Having a vacation packing list will allow you to stay organized, and hopefully prevent you from packing items that you don't need. A good way to start a list is by dividing it into to groups, a couple could divide their vacation packing list into three categories: His, Hers, and Ours. Travel with one complete change of clothes, vital medicines, and sundries you can't live without in your carry-on. Use your business address on your luggage tags to avoid revealing your home address and phone number and attach bright tape or bag tags to make them easier to spot on the carousel.
What to Pack
Hawaii is one of the more informal places on the globe, it's warm all year long, and unless you are staying at a five-star hotel or visiting a five-star restaurant, there's seldom need for a jacket. During the daytime, board shorts, tee shirts, bikini, sandals and a swimsuit are usually all you will need and in the evening, sundresses for women and slacks and a shirt for men will take you most places in style. During the winter months, a light jacket or sweater might be appropriate for evenings or to protect against the occasional rain squall. Most restaurants require shoes and a shirt for service, but casual is definitely the order of the day. What you pack may depend on the activities you intend to take part in, sit down and think and set out a proposed itinerary for what you are going to do and then pack accordingly.
Make two photocopies of all your travel documents, tickets, passports and credit cards that show numbers and important details clearly. Pack a copy for yourself and leave a copy with a trustworthy friend. If you have access to a scanner, scanning a copy and emailing it to yourself can be a good way to store these documents.
Keeping safe in Hawaii is simple. Just follow the same common sense rules that you would follow anywhere. Lock your car and keep your valuables within sight and reach. Dialing 911 connects you to emergency assistance for police, fire and ambulance. In Hawaii, ocean safety is very important. If you are advised not to swim, don't. Heed the international signage at local beaches, which alerts you to rough sea conditions, rip currents, jellyfish, and high surf. When hiking the wilderness, be sure to check in with park rangers first.
The United States has no VAT (value added tax), but Hawaii does have a state sales tax 4.166% on all purchases, including groceries. There is also a hotel room tax and a road-use tax on car rentals.
There is no Daylight Savings Time in Hawaii. During the months when it's not in effect on the U.S. mainland, Hawaii is two hours behind the West Coast, four hours behind the Midwest and five hours behind the East. Add an hour to those differentials during DST. Hawaii Time is 19 hours behind Japan time.
The telephone code for the State of Hawaii is 808. Local calls on each island are 50 cents from a public phone. Long distance charges vary by location and telephone service provider and phone cards are available at retail stores throughout the islands. If you are traveling with a cell phone you should have no problem as coverage is in most areas but you may want to check roaming charges with your service provider.
Visa requirements for entry into the State of Hawaii are the same as visiting any part of the United States and vary according to country. Check with the nearest United States embassy or consulate for passport and visa information.
Tipping is as common in Hawaii as it is in the rest of the U.S. Tip 15-20% to bartenders and waitresses, depending on the level of service. It is also common to tip cab drivers, bellhops and others that provide similar services. This is a guide to follow for such services, Taxis 10%, Airport transport $1-$2 per person, Bellmen and Porters approximately $1 per bag, Hotel maids $1-$2 per day.
The weather in Hawaii is very consistent, with only a few degrees of change in temperatures throughout the year. Hawaii really only has 2 seasons, the summer months ("Kau") May to October and the winter months (Ho'oilo) November to April. The average day-time temperature at sea level in summer is 85F or 29.4C and the average day-time winter temperature is 78F or 25.6C. The night-time temperatures are approximately 10F or 5C lower than daytime. Visit our weather section for more detailed information on weather conditions in Hawaii.