10 questions to ask yourself before planning a trip to Hawaii

We adapted these ten travel questions from the Lonely Planet blog and tailored it to your next Hawaii vacation.

1. What are your interests?

Hawaii has just about everything you need, save for a bobsledding team. It’s true, if you’re an outdoor enthusiast you could go snowboarding, surfing, downhill biking, hiking, kayaking, snorkeling..all on the Big Island. Which brings up another good point: find the right island for you! Oahu offers everything a big city has: museums, theater, dining, shopping, nightlife. Find the

2. How much time do you actually have?

If you’ve got a few days and want to see it all, we recommend an island-wide sightseeing tour to experience a little bit of everything. Then, with your remaining days in Hawaii, revisit your favorite destinations–say, the beaches of North Shore Oahu–and spend more time in a place you already love. If you’ve got extra time to island hop–but don’t want to book another hotel– we’ve designed one-day inter-island tours.

3. Can you be in the right place at the right time?

Do your research before coming to Hawaii. Are there interesting festivals while you’re in town? Will you be able to catch your favorite performing artist at a concert in paradise? What if you just want to see the sun setting on Waikiki? Know beforehand what’s possible in your agenda, and plan for that.

4. What do you want to get out of the vacation?

Are you traveling with friends or family? Some travelers prefer to take lots of pictures with family, others just want to hang out. And if you’re in Hawaii, you’ll probably want to spend a lazy day at the beach. Know your vacation goal ahead of time, even if it’s doing absolutely nothing under the sun!

5. What’s the weather like?

Ask around, check travel websites, look at reports from previous years. Hawaii’s surf spots see notoriously large waves in the winter depending on which beach you go to. Hawaii’s tropical climate means there’s sun and rain, so be ready to have fun in both situations.

6. How long will it take for you to get there?

Are you driving? Biking? Taking a tour? Taking public transportation? Walking? Think about what you’d like to see in Hawaii and how to get there. Don’t forget the cost of travel, too. Is car insurance something you need? What about a bike helmet? Will walking waste too much vacation time?

7. What’s nearby?

Take advantage of the amenities nearby you, whether you’re in Waikiki or Wailuku. There’s a reason why you chose to stay in that area, so be open to exploring the local meal spots, activities, and cultural landmarks.

8. How much money do you have to spend?

Free things to do in Hawaii abound. Check the local calendar listings for events you can go to. Museums often have “free admission” days during a month.  If you’re going shopping, ask yourself window shopping is sufficient (you can grab a few souvenirs for friends, though!).

Look for free events in Hawaii, like an outdoor concert by the Royal Hawaiian Band.

9. What’s on?

Entertainment is available in all shapes and sizes. Check out a local cafe for cool music, or head to town for dinner and a show. Locals know what’s going on, so ask around and check their favorite publications, too.

10. Is it open?

Hawaii has a few state holidays that other US states don’t. Observe special holidays and know when shops are closed. Especially on Oahu, you can find stores open 24-hours to satisfy your needs. If you’re looking to grab a bite to eat, search for eateries that have longer hours. Don’t risk running around Hawaii to find out that where you want to go isn’t open.

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