Hawaii
Hawaii

Hawaii Travel Guide for First Timers


Planning a Hawaiian vacation can be both exciting and overwhelming, especially for first-timers. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources available to help travelers get the most out of their island experience. From choosing a hotel to booking activities and navigating the local scene, this guide provides the information needed to make the most of a Hawaiian holiday.

When to visit Hawaii

Hawaii is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. It offers stunning beaches, lush rainforests, and a unique culture that make it a great place to visit any time of year. With its varied landscape, Hawaii is a great destination for all types of travelers, from beach bums to nature lovers.

The best time to visit Hawaii depends on what type of activities you’re looking for and what kind of weather you prefer. The islands experience an average temperature of 77 degrees Fahrenheit throughout the year, so the weather can vary from warm and sunny to cooler and wetter depending on the season.

For beachgoers, the best time to visit Hawaii is between April and October. This is when temperatures are at their highest and the sun is shining. For those who don’t mind a bit of rain, the wetter months of November through March can still be enjoyable. During these months, the days are usually sunny, but there will be more rain in the evenings and at night.

For those looking to explore the natural beauty of Hawaii, the dry season is the best time to visit. From April to October, the islands are mostly dry and the vegetation is lush. This is also the best time of year for hiking, camping, and other outdoor activities.

Whichever season you choose, there’s always something to do in Hawaii. Whether you want to relax on the beach or explore the islands’ many attractions, Hawaii is sure to provide an unforgettable vacation.

Documentation required to visit Hawaii

When visiting Hawaii, there are a few important documents that must be in order to ensure a smooth entry into the state.

First and foremost, all visitors must have a valid passport. This is mandatory for all foreign travelers, and it must remain valid throughout the entire duration of the stay. If the passport has expired, the visitor will not be able to enter Hawaii.

In addition, visitors from certain countries may also need to obtain a visa before entering the state. Visas are specific to each country and the requirements vary, so it is important to check with the nearest US consulate or embassy for the most up-to-date information.

Travelers may also need to provide proof of onward travel out of Hawaii. This can include tickets for airfare, bus, or boat travel that shows the traveler’s final destination.

Finally, if visitors plan on driving while in Hawaii, they must have a valid driver’s license from their home country. An International Driving Permit (IDP) is also recommended, as it provides an additional layer of identification in case of an emergency.

It is also important to remember that all visitors must declare any food, plants, or animals that they bring into Hawaii upon entry. Declaring these items ensures that they are free of pests and diseases that could harm Hawaii’s unique ecosystem.

By following these guidelines, visitors can ensure that their trip to Hawaii is a safe and enjoyable one.

💡 Tip: Get your money back if the trip is canceled. 

If your trip gets canceled, instead of losing money, you can get your money back. If you had bought travel insurance that is.

Most plans only cost less than $20 a day.

Check out popular travel insurance plans and choose one that suits you for your trip.

Which flight to catch

When it comes to flying to Hawaii, there are a few factors to consider when deciding which flight to catch.

The first is cost. Hawaii is a popular destination and flights to the islands can be expensive.

As such, it’s important to shop around and compare prices between airlines. Additionally, travelers should look for deals that bundle flights and hotels together, as this can help lower costs.

The second factor to consider is the length of the flight. Depending on where you’re flying from, the flight to Hawaii can range from five to eight hours or more.

This means you’ll want to make sure you choose a flight that’s comfortable and has plenty of legroom. Longer flights also mean more time spent in the air, so you’ll want to make sure the airline you choose offers in-flight entertainment and snacks.

Finally, you’ll want to consider the time of day you’re flying. If you’re flying into Honolulu International Airport, you’ll want to try and book a flight that arrives during daylight hours.

This will make it easier to navigate the airport and get to your hotel without having to navigate in the dark.

Additionally, if you’re looking to experience some of the natural beauty of Hawaii, try and book a flight that arrives during the daytime.

Overall, when it comes to choosing a flight to Hawaii, it’s important to consider cost, length, and time of day.

By shopping around, you can find the best deal and ensure you have a comfortable and enjoyable flight.

Where to stay in Hawaii

When planning a vacation in Hawaii, one of the most important things to consider is where to stay. With an array of accommodation options ranging from luxury resorts to budget-friendly condominiums, choosing the best place to stay in Hawaii can be overwhelming. To help make your decision easier, here are some of the top places to stay in Hawaii.

1. Luxury Resorts:

If you’re looking for the ultimate in indulgence and relaxation, then consider staying at one of the many luxurious resorts located throughout the islands. From world-class spas and golf courses to exquisite restaurants and private beaches, these resorts offer the perfect setting to escape reality. Some of the best resorts in Hawaii include the Grand Wailea Resort on Maui, the Four Seasons Resort on the Big Island, and the Ritz-Carlton Kapalua on Maui.

2. Beachfront Hotels:

For those seeking a more traditional hotel experience, there are plenty of beachfront hotels to choose from. Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway or a family vacation, these hotels offer great amenities and breathtaking views of the ocean.

Popular beachfront hotels in Hawaii include the Sheraton Waikiki on Oahu, the Outrigger Waikiki Beach Resort on Oahu, and the Aston Maui Kaanapali Villas on Maui.

3. Vacation Rentals:

If you’re looking for a more home-like experience, consider renting a vacation home or condo. With fully equipped kitchens and plenty of space for entertaining, vacation rentals provide a great alternative to traditional hotels.

Plus, you’ll have access to the same amenities that you would find at a resort, such as swimming pools, tennis courts, and golf courses. Popular vacation rental options in Hawaii include the Islander on the Big Island, the Kona Coast Resort on the Big Island, and the Royal Kona Resort on the Big Island.

4. Bed & Breakfasts:

For those who prefer a more intimate experience, bed and breakfasts provide a cozy and welcoming atmosphere. From quaint Victorian homes to modern beachfront properties, bed and breakfasts offer a unique and personalized way to experience Hawaii.

Popular bed and breakfasts in Hawaii include the Ahihi Bay Bed & Breakfast on Maui, the Haleakala Bed & Breakfast on Maui, and the Banyan Tree House on the Big Island.

No matter what type of accommodation you choose, you can rest assured that you’ll have a comfortable and relaxing stay in Hawaii. With its beautiful beaches, stunning scenery, and endless activities, Hawaii is the perfect place to escape reality and unwind.

Places to visit in Hawaii

Hawaii is an incredibly beautiful and diverse destination that offers something for everyone. From its breathtaking beaches to its lush jungles and active volcanoes, Hawaii has something for every traveler.

For first-time visitors, the best places to visit in Hawaii are Honolulu, Maui, Kauai, and The Big Island.

Honolulu is the capital of Hawaii and is home to Waikiki Beach, one of the world’s most famous beaches. Here you can find a variety of activities, including surfing, swimming, snorkeling, and whale watching.

There are also plenty of shopping, dining, and nightlife options. Don’t miss Diamond Head, a volcanic crater with stunning views of the city and ocean.

Maui is known as the “Valley Isle” and is home to some of the world’s most stunning beaches.

From the charming seaside towns of Lahaina and Kaanapali to the dramatic cliffs of Hana, there’s something for everyone here. Haleakala National Park is home to Haleakala, a dormant volcano that offers amazing sunrise views.

Kauai is nicknamed “The Garden Isle” and is one of the most beautiful spots in all of Hawaii.

Here you can explore the lush jungles of the Na Pali Coast, take a boat tour of the Waimea Canyon, and relax on the stunning beaches of Hanalei Bay. Don’t miss the Kalalau Trail, a challenging but rewarding 11-mile hike along Kauai’s rugged coastline.

The Big Island is the largest of all the Hawaiian Islands and is home to Kilauea, an active volcano.

Here you can explore the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and see the lava flows firsthand. There are also plenty of beaches and opportunities to go snorkeling, scuba diving, and whale watching.

No matter which island you decide to visit in Hawaii, there’s sure to be something that appeals to everyone. Whether you’re looking for an adventure-filled getaway or a relaxing beach vacation, Hawaii has something for everyone.

Things to do in Hawaii

Hawaii is a premier vacation destination for beginners and experienced travelers alike. Whether you’re looking for an adventure-filled getaway or a relaxing beach break, Hawaii has something for everyone. Here are some of the top things to do in Hawaii for beginners:

1. Visit The Beaches:

Hawaii’s beaches are some of the most stunning in the world and are a must-see for any visitor. From the Big Island’s black sand beaches to Maui’s white sand crescents, there’s no shortage of stunning shorelines to explore. Grab a beach chair, your favorite book, and soak up the sun.

2. Take A Hike:

With its rugged terrain and lush rainforest, Hawaii is home to some of the best hiking trails in the world. Whether you’re looking for a short day trip or a multi-day trek, there’s something for everyone. Be sure to wear comfortable shoes and bring plenty of water.

3. Go On A Boat Tour:

If you’re looking for a unique way to explore the islands, consider going on a boat tour. From whale watching trips to dinner cruises, there are plenty of options available. It’s a great way to see the beauty of Hawaii from a different perspective.

4. Enjoy A Luau:

No visit to Hawaii is complete without attending a luau. This traditional Hawaiian celebration features music, food, and dance, and is a great way to experience the local culture.

5. Check Out The Volcanoes:

Hawaii is home to five active volcanoes and is the only state in the US that has them. For an unforgettable experience, take a guided tour to the top of one of these fiery giants.

6. Explore The Waterfalls:

From towering cascades to hidden gems, Hawaii is home to some of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world. Take a hike to see some of these natural wonders up close.

7. Go Snorkeling Or Diving:

With its crystal clear waters, vibrant coral reefs, and diverse marine life, Hawaii is a paradise for snorkelers and divers. From beginner dives to deep sea adventures, there’s something for everyone.

8. Shop Till You Drop:

Whether you’re looking for souvenirs or unique local goods, Hawaii has plenty of shopping opportunities. From open-air markets to boutique stores, you’re sure to find something special.

Which island to visit in Hawaii

If you’re a beginner planning to visit Hawaii, the best island to start with is Oahu. Oahu has something for everyone, from its vibrant city life to its stunning beaches, lush green jungles and exciting activities.

The island offers a variety of beaches to choose from, including Waikiki Beach, which is known as one of the world’s best beaches. The clear blue waters and white sand make it an ideal spot for swimming, surfing, or simply relaxing in the sun.

In addition to its beaches, Oahu also has a variety of attractions that are perfect for beginners. It’s home to Pearl Harbor, the USS Arizona Memorial, and the Bishop Museum, all of which offer a unique insight into the history and culture of the Hawaiian Islands.

Other popular attractions include the Polynesian Cultural Center, the Honolulu Zoo, and the Waikiki Aquarium.

For outdoor enthusiasts, Oahu has some of the best hiking trails in the state. The Koko Head Trail is a great option for those looking for a challenging hike, while the Manoa Falls Trail is perfect for those who prefer a more leisurely stroll.

For thrill-seekers, there’s also the Diamond Head hike and the Makapuu Lighthouse Trail.

Oahu is also home to some of the best shopping and dining in Hawaii. Whether you’re looking for high-end fashion, local crafts, or delicious local cuisine, you can find it all on Oahu.

All in all, Oahu is the perfect place for beginners to experience the beauty and diversity of Hawaii.

Whether you’re looking for a relaxing beach vacation or an adventurous outdoor adventure, Oahu is the perfect place to start your Hawaiian journey.

Can international tourists visit Hawaii

Yes, international tourists are allowed to visit Hawaii. However, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, all travelers must adhere to certain protocols and guidelines.

For starters, all international travelers must present a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of their departure from their home country.

The only exception to this rule is for those coming from Japan and South Korea, who do not need to present a test. Additionally, all travelers must fill out a mandatory State of Hawaii Safe Travels form prior to arriving in the state.

In addition to the testing requirements, all international travelers must also follow Hawaii’s quarantine guidelines.

Visitors must quarantine for 10 days upon arrival, and they can choose either a hotel or a residence as their quarantine location. All travelers must also submit a daily travel and contact log and maintain social distancing while in public.

To ensure that all travelers comply with these protocols, the state of Hawaii has implemented a QR code system, which allows travelers to easily report their whereabouts and activities. The QR code system is linked to an app called AlohaSafe Alert, which is available for both Apple and Android devices.

Overall, international tourists can still visit Hawaii, but they must adhere to the above protocols and guidelines. Following these measures is essential to help keep everyone safe and healthy during the pandemic.

Do you need a visa to visit Hawaii

In general, US citizens do not need a visa to visit Hawaii. However, if you are a foreign national and want to visit Hawaii, you will need to obtain a visa before you can enter the United States.

The most common type of visa for travel to Hawaii is a B-2 visitor’s visa.

To obtain a B-2 visa, you will need to provide proof that you have sufficient funds to cover your stay in the US, as well as proof of a return ticket to your home country. You may also be required to show evidence that you have a valid passport and have no criminal record.

Additionally, you will need to demonstrate that you have an established residence abroad and have strong ties to your home country.

If you are planning on staying longer than 90 days in Hawaii, you may need to apply for a longer-term visa such as an F-1 student visa or an H-1B work visa. Other visas, such as J-1 and L-1 visas, may also be available depending on your specific circumstances.

It is important to note that visa requirements may vary from country to country, so it is best to check with your local US embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date information.

Finally, it is important to remember that even if you do not require a visa to visit Hawaii, you will still need to obtain an ESTA (Electronic System for Travel Authorization) before traveling to the United States.

💡 Tip: Get your money back if the trip is canceled. 

If your trip gets canceled, instead of losing money, you can get your money back. If you had bought travel insurance that is.

Most plans only cost less than $20 a day.

Check out popular travel insurance plans and choose one that suits you for your trip.

How much will it cost to visit Hawaii

Visiting Hawaii can be a very expensive vacation. The average cost of a trip to Hawaii is around $2,023 for a solo traveler, $2,986 for a couple, and $4,371 for a family of four.

These costs include flights, accommodation, meals, car rental, and activities. Depending on the type of activities you want to do, you should budget between $74 to $150 per person per day for transportation and food.

Flights to Hawaii are quite expensive, with prices ranging from $545 to $1,347 for the economy.

For the first class, the price range is from $3,040 to $4,961. Prices vary depending on the season and day of the week. If you are looking for a luxury trip, you should expect to pay a high-end price of $6,280 – $20,135 for a couple and $12,559 – $35,512 for a family of four.

Accommodation in Hawaii can range from $120 – $433 per night for a hotel room and $270 – $810 per night for a vacation rental. Food expenses vary depending on the type of restaurant you choose.

Fine dining with drinks can easily cost $551 per person or more, while a standard meal might be around $37 per person. Private tours can cost up to $1100 per day but self-guided tours to see the outdoor sights can be free.

For those looking to travel to Hawaii on a budget, it is possible. The cheapest trip to Hawaii is about $185 per person per day for travelers willing to take standby flights and limit other travel expenses.

Budget-friendly planning should include around $274 per day on your vacation in Hawaii. It is also important to plan ahead and book flights in advance to save money.

How to get around in Hawaii?

Visiting Hawaii for the first time can be overwhelming. With all the attractions, activities, great food, and shopping it’s important to plan ahead. When planning your trip, deciding how you will get around is an essential part of the journey.

When traveling to Hawaii, there are a few options for getting around. Most visitors enjoy taking bus tours to conveniently explore the islands. For most islands, you can also get around by shuttle, taxi, ride-sharing app such as Uber or Lyft, or public transportation.

In Honolulu, TheBus is the city’s public transportation system and fares are very affordable – journeys start at $2.75.

Renting a car is popular with visitors as it gives you the freedom to explore on your own schedule. This is especially helpful if you’re island hopping; getting to the other Hawaiian islands takes some traveling tact.

You can catch a flight to one of the other Hawaiian islands or take a ferry or boat.

Another convenient option is to use ride-sharing services such as Uber or Lyft. This is usually cheaper than a taxi and can be booked in advance. It’s important to do research before booking, though, as not all services are available in all places.

No matter which mode of transportation you choose, it’s important to plan ahead. If you’re looking for more tips for planning your trip to Hawaii, Tripster is here to help with attraction deals, discount hotels, and more.

With a little help, planning a trip to Hawaii for first-timers doesn’t have to be intimidating.

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