What You Need To Know About Shopping Hawaii Island

Hawaii is the largest of the Hawaiian Islands and often called the “Big Island” or “Hawaii Island” to avoid confusion with the state name. This is the largest island in square miles – about 4,000 of them – but not in population. The island, host of an active volcano and black sand beaches, sits at the southeastern end of the chain of Hawaiian Islands. Hilo is the most populated city on this island. One of the most popular tourist activities is shopping Hawaii Island - here are some tips to make your shopping experience as fun as possible.

Shopping Hawaii Island


So if you’re interested in shopping on the big island, here are some tips to do so. 

  1. First, you need to know that Hilo is a cash economy. This means that when shopping Hawaii Island, most people don’t use their credit cards and shop on a whim; rather, they shop when they get paid. For this reason, retailers usually time their sales around paydays and even around food stamp distribution times. Coupon books are also popular in Hilo. If you want to duck into a shopping mall, no worries about sales or not. But if you’re looking for a good deal, you may want to check social media and some local blogs to see when the best time to go is.
  2. Plan your visit wisely. You may be interested in some Big Island Hawaii tours but just know that these take all day. Don’t get caught up shopping before your tour because you might miss it. Hilo is a great town for historic places, shops and local eateries. You should schedule a day to enjoy the downtown and see where the events take you.
  3. Be sure you schedule in a bite to eat! Shopping Hawaii island, while enjoyable, can work up an appetite. Be sure to schedule in the time for a lunch break or dinner after your adventure has concluded. While you might want to play it by ear, I recommend you look into Hilo’s lunch offerings before you set off on your adventure. There are some great seafood options and traditional Hawaiian eateries. You can plan your shopping around a great meal or to end at a spot you want to try.
Finally, make sure to pack accordingly if you plan to do some shopping. Either pack so that you have a little extra room in your suitcase or pack an empty duffel bag. This way you can bring all your souvenirs back with you! You may have to pay a little to check another bag when shopping Hawaii Island, but it should be well worth the price for the one-of-a-kind Hawaiian souvenirs you picked up in Hilo!

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