Top 8 Things Not To Do In Hawaii

5 stars from 4 reviews
Looking to fit in on your Hawaiian vacation and not stick out like an obvious tourist? Then read our list of things you shouldn’t do in Hawaii.

• General: Educational

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Don’t Skip The Rental Car

Rental cars are always a common topic when somebody is coming to Hawaii. It’s so common that we have two articles dedicated to this subject alone (see Do I Need A Rental Car In Hawaii? and Do I Need To Rent A Car In Waikiki?). Should you get one or save money and skip it?

The bottom line is that you will want a rental car in Hawaii. While there are some exceptions to this if you’re only staying in Waikiki and have limited time, you want to get out and explore so get a rental car.

Don’t Forget About Non-Hotel Options

I love hotels and resorts. It’s always my first choice for lodging when I travel and I usually want something better than average. I just like the whole resort vibe and having all of those amenities is great.

But don’t forget that there are other options out there. Hawaii is full of condominiums and homes that are rented out. The advantage is that they are often cheaper than hotels, have more space, may have washers and dryers, and have full kitchens so you can save on eating out.

Don’t Drive Like A Mainlander

What’s a mainlander? Anyone coming from Mainland, USA (you know, those other 49 states) but in this case it’s anyone who doesn’t live in Hawaii. How does a mainlander driver? Generally they drive too fast, honk too much, cut people off in traffic, and are generally offensive in every way imaginable when it comes to ignoring the rules of the road.

In Hawaii it’s best to take it slow. Use your turn signals when you need to get into a crowded lane and somebody will let you in. Don’t force your way in. Don’t use your horn, ever, unless it can avoid an accident. Don’t be rude. Don’t speed. You’re on vacation, you’re in no hurry. Drive with aloha!

Don’t Skip Hawaiian Food

I have to say that Hawaiian cuisine didn’t reign supreme with me at first. Even now it’s not my favorite food type, not even close. But, there is a lot of excellent Hawaiian food out there on the islands and you should try it.

Trying Hawaiian food is a great to learn more about the Hawaiian culture and people. Go find a local Hawaiian restaurant and be adventurous. Don’t worry, it will taste better than the poi you tried at your luau.

Don’t Forget Sunscreen

We all know that sunscreen is a Protect Yourself From Sunburn & Skin Cancer, right? So why do we end up jumping in the pool or ocean without it? Why do we walk around in the sun for hours on end without screening up first? It’s one of those common sense things that we all know but often forget.

In Hawaii, sunscreen is more important than many other places. The sun here is intense and you will burn quickly and painfully if you aren’t sunscreened. The higher the SPF the better the protection. Be sure to reapply often as well. Oh, and “waterproof sunscreen” is a myth and lotions work better than sprays.

Don’t Stick To Your Resort

Okay, so you’re staying at a hotel or resort. That’s okay, but make sure you don’t spend all of your time there. Sometimes this isn’t easy to do because we have some amazing resorts like Aulani A Disney Resort And Spa, Grand Wailea A Waldorf Astoria Resort, and Hilton Waikoloa Village. These are amazing places and you could spend days or weeks without ever leaving your resort.

But you’re in Hawaii and Hawaii is so much more than hotels and resorts. On that note, it’s also more than beaches and Mai Tais too! Get out and see the scenery. Take a hike somewhere. Experience some culture.

Don’t Stick To One Beach

Ever find a great beach and you just keep coming back to it over and over again? It happens to us all. Day after day it’s the same beach because it’s just so good. But guess what, there are other beaches that are better. Get out there and find them! We have virtually every beach in Hawaii listed here so explore around and check out as many as you can.

Don’t Ignore Warning Signs

Hawaii is full of all kinds of dangers and that’s why we strongly encourage you to read Hawaii Dangers - Read Before You Go before you come here. We’re not trying to worry you, but you should be educated on things that can hurt or kill you.

In many cases, simply reading and following warning signs is all you need to stay safe. If a sign is telling you to keep out then it’s best to keep out even if that blue book tells you it’s okay. If a lifeguard warns against swimming at a certain place then it’s best to listen to them even if others aren’t. There’s nothing worse than getting hurt or killed on your vacation.

Vickey W
Joined: Mar 2017
Reviews: 123
Likes Received: 46
We try to respect the land and its inhabitants rather they be human or animal. Remember this is their HOME and you are only being given the privilege to visit and enjoy while. Do not trespass, so many abuse this rule. Obey all signs, they are there for a reason most of the time it is for your safety. Do not go against rules such as no swimming due to high tides, etc, and risk the lives of those who might have to rescue you. Do not get in a hurry, you are on Island Time.
Lori H
Joined: Apr 2016
Reviews: 234
Likes Received: 4
If you are invited to a local person's house, DON'T walk into the house wearing your shoes unless they tell you it's okay. Most people in Hawaii leave their shoes and slippers outside of the house. I've even been to some businesses that ask you to keep your footwear outside. It's just that they don't want to track dirt, mud, etc. into the house.
Tom T
Joined: Sep 2013
Reviews: 579
Likes Received: 33
A simple one is "Don't be a litterbug". But I'll take it a step further: don't be afraid to pick up litter EVEN if it isn't yours. I was photographing beaches from the road when I saw a group of several people standing on the beach near the ocean ignoring a bag that was floating near the shore. I was annoyed that no one did anything. They were ignoring it. Finally, a person came along, picked it up and threw it in the trash. I don't usually do this, but I went over and thanked the guy.
Joined: Apr 2016
Reviews: 237
Likes Received: 33
Dont skip the island favorites. Even if you are not sure of it, TRY IT! You might actually like it. Lau lau is a meal that we love. Along with poi and the fresh fruit is out of this world. The fish tacos are also good. Of course go to a luau!
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