Hawaii Travel Guide
 

Hawaii Travel Guide

Hawaii The fresh, floral air energizes you. The warm, tranquil waters refresh you. The breathtaking, natural beauty renews you. There’s no place on earth like Hawaii. Whether you’re a new visitor or returning, the six unique islands offer distinct experiences that will entice any traveler. Home to one of the world’s most active volcanoes and the world’s tallest sea mountain. Birthplace of surfing and the hula. Former seat of a royal kingdom. Hawaii is one of the youngest geological formations in the world and the youngest state of the union. But perhaps Hawaii’s most unique feature is its Aloha Spirit: the warmth of the people of Hawaii that wonderfully complements the Islands’ perfect temperatures and pristine beaches.

Pre-Arrival

Climate: Beautifully balmy best describes Hawaii's weather. Plenty of sun and cooling trade winds combine for year round comfy conditions. Short, intermittent showers are "blessings." Sometimes you barely feel drops, and when you look around, you see a rainbow. Average temperatures: April- November: 75°-88° F. December- March: 68°-80° F. Average water temperature: 74° F.

How to Dress: In the daytime shorts, sandals or some good walking shoes, short sleeve shirts, hat, sunglasses and swimsuit for the beach. In the evening casual pants and shirts for both men and women, dresses for women, sport coat (if you plan to visit a fine dining restaurant) and a light jacket or sweater.

What Can I Bring: Many plants and animals from elsewhere in the world can be harmful to Hawaii's unique environment, agriculture, and communities. Aboard your flight you will be required by state law to fill out an agriculture declaration form and items may be inspected. If you are traveling with animals, you must declare them and all animals must be turned in to the airport's Animal Quarantine Holding Facility by the airline.

Getting Married in Hawaii? Hawaii is a beautiful place and a marriage here is an ideal way for a couple to start life together. For any person to lawfully marry in the State of Hawaii, a license for that purpose must be obtained from an authorized agent. Once the license has been issued, there is no waiting period before the marriage can take place. Blood tests are not required. The legal age to marry is 18 years for both males and females. Proof of age is required. A certified copy of a birth certificate must be presented for anyone 18 years of age or under. A valid I.D. or driver’s license may be presented for anyone 19 years of age or over. For more information check on the Hawaii State Dept. of Health's web-site.

Packing Tips: Avoid wearing shoes, clothing, and jewelry that contain metal. Refrain from bringing wrapped presents. Carry on baggage is limited to one carry on bag plus one personal item. Personal items include laptops, purses, small backpacks, briefcases, or camera cases. All gels and liquids must be in 3oz containers or less and placed in a clear plastic zip-top one quart bag. One zip-top bag per person. Keep the plastic zip-top baggie out of your hand carried bag, as you will need to place it in a security bin for screening. Exemptions are larger amounts of required medications, baby formula and diabetic glucose treatment, which must be declared to security officers at the entrance to the check-point for screening.

Security Screening Tips: Recommended times for passengers to check in before scheduled departure is 120 minutes. Only passengers holding a boarding pass will be allowed through the security checkpoint to their departure gate. All passengers will need to provide a valid state or federal government-issued picture identification at time of check in, and is required at security checkpoints. Knives and other cutting instruments, club like items such as baseball bats, golf clubs, pool cues, are prohibited beyond the security checkpoint. If your bag is selected for secondary screening, it may be opened and examined on a table in your presence. Passengers are required to take off their shoes before going through metal detector.

While in Transit

During your flight: Chew on gum, yawn or suck on hard candies to help relieve the pressure that builds in your ears. Drink plenty of water. Do light stretching exercises. The relatively low humidity in the cabin can increase allergy or asthma symptoms. Take preventative measures as necessary.

To combat jet lag: Reset your watch to the destinations time as soon as you get on the plane. Eat before you get on the plane so hunger does not prevent you from sleeping on the flight. If you're using a blanket, buckle your seat belt over the blanket. That way, a flight attendant checking seat belts won't awaken you. If it's daytime when you arrive but nighttime at home, don't sleep. Instead, try doing some light exercise, like walking, to help revive your body and stop it from producing sleep-inducing hormones.

Flying during pregnancy: It is generally recommended that women not fly at all during their last six weeks of pregnancy. Some airlines require pregnant passengers to provide a doctor's statement and women should always consult their obstetricians before traveling.

Traveling with Children: Consider a red-eye flight. This increases the chance that your youngster will be able to sleep through the majority of the trip. While any child under two is not required to have their own seat, they may be happier if they do. If you do use a car seat, make sure it has been certified for air travel. Bring toys the children have never used, the newness will hold their attention longer. Bring plenty of juice. Finger foods are a great distraction. When traveling with your baby, give him or her a bottle or pacifier to suck on during takeoff and landing. This will help normalize pressure on the ears and keep your baby comfortable.

Travelers with Special Needs: Please advise your airline in advance to arrange any special services to ensure assistance. Most airlines transport personal wheelchairs including folding, collapsible or non-folding manual wheelchairs, and electric/battery powered wheelchairs and electric powered carts.

Post Arrival

Baggage Claim: The baggage claim area of the Honolulu International Airport is located on the lower level of the Main Terminal. You can get there on the free Wiki-Wiki (Hawaiian word for speedy) Shuttle, or by walking and following the signs. It's less then a 10-minute stroll if you want to stretch your legs. For other islands directions to baggage claim areas are clearly posted. To get to the inter-island or commuter terminal at Honolulu International Airport the free Wiki-Wiki Shuttle will take you otherwise it is a ten to fifteen minute walk.

Transportation: We do offer rental cars on the islands of Oahu, Kauai, Hawaii, Maui and Molokai and are suggested, as public transportation is limited (except if you are staying in Waikiki). Oahu does have "The Bus" that is a public bus that goes around the entire island for only a couple of dollars. We can provide airport transfers in Oahu, Maui, Kauai and Hawaii. Oahu has a lot more to offer than just Waikiki, so you may want to consider a daily car rental to do some exploring to the North Shore or Kailua Beach on the east side.

Returning Home

What you can't take: All baggage from Hawaii to the U.S. Mainland is subject to pre-flight inspection by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Restrictions on fruits, plants, and other items from Hawaii to the Mainland are enforced to prevent the spread of fruit flies and other hazardous plant insects and diseases. Non-certified fruits, vegetables, flowers or plants cannot be taken in your checked or carry-on baggage. Non-inspected agricultural items will be confiscated. Once you have checked in for your flight you will be required to go through a security screening process. Keep your boarding pass and picture identification card readily accessible.

Getting to the Airport: Allow plenty of time. If you're driving a rental car be sure to leave yourself enough time to fill the gas tank, get the car turned in and transit to the departure terminal. Plan to arrive at the airport at least 2 hours prior to departure for interisland flights and three hours prior to flights to the U.S. Mainland.

** Information provided by the Hawaii Tourism Authority **

Photo courtesy: Hawaii Tourism Authority (HTA) / Tor Johnson