For as many Hawaii activities are scattered across the islands, knowing what NOT to do in Hawaii is equally as important. Given that we don’t want you to learn the hard way, here are a few things to be avoided in Hawaii.
Don’t forget to put on sunscreen
Everyone wants to get a tan on their vacation, but foregoing the sunscreen in hopes of a golden brown is a surefire way to end up lobster-colored and blistering. Ease your skin into the all-day sunshine, and remember to get the out-of-the-way areas such as your ears, hands, and tops of your feet. If possible, avoid the aerosol sunscreen varieties in lieu of reef safe products
Everything in Hawaii eventually ends up in the ocean, and throwing cigarette butts and garbage on the ground will earn the scorn of locals. The word “mahalo” is written on many trash cans, and rather than meaning “trash”, it instead means “thank you”, which is a simple gesture from the local people to help protect the islands.
Don’t eat at fancy restaurants for every meal
A lot of visitors complain of the food costs in Hawaii, but in reality the prices are so high because they’re dining out where locals spend their anniversaries and birthdays. Prices will be double at an oceanfront venue simply because of the high cost of rent, and while an evening splurge is a part of any vacation, ask a local some of their favorite recommendations for money saving leads on meals.
Don’t drive too fast
There’s a good chance you’ll see a bumper sticker in Hawaii that says “Slow Down! This ain’t the Mainland!” All humor aside, speed limits in Hawaii are slower than the rest of the country, and island locals aren’t in much of a rush to get to where they’re going. While it might seem annoying at first, you’ll come to appreciate island speeds and the concept of taking it slow.
Don’t visit Haleakala in a tank top and board shorts
Even though it might be 80 degrees at the beach, the 10,023 ft. summit of Haleakala volcano is about 30 degrees cooler than the shoreline. Anyone watching the sunrise from Haleakala should remember that morning temperatures are close to freezing and you need to dress accordingly. Besides, the sunrise isn’t nearly as awe-inspiring when watching it from the inside of your car with the heater on.
Don’t stand on the reef
Coral is an animal and not a rock, and the state’s reefs are in a rapid state of decline due to too many people standing on the coral. When snorkeling and scuba diving, make sure that you keep clear of the sensitive coral reefs and help do your part to protect the island environment.
Don’t fail to obey warning signs
Even though millions of visitors go home unscathed, there are always a handful who get themselves into trouble. Waves and ocean currents are stronger in Hawaii than other parts of the world, and rocks are slippery where ever you are. Even though warning signs and placards are posted at many locations, not every location can have a sign, and a knowing your own limits and packing common sense will go a long way towards keeping you safe.
Don’t try to do too much
A vacation in Hawaii is supposed to be relaxing, but with all of the activities waiting to be experienced, sometimes visitors can schedule too much. Don’t book a snorkel tour, helicopter tour, and luau all in the same day, and instead leave time to simply kick back and relax on a tropical shoreline.