It’s officially winter, and, if you’re like me, you may find your mind wandering to tropical destinations with warm ocean breezes and beautiful scenery. This is the perfect time of year to plan a trip to Hawaii. Below are some facts about Hawaii that you should consider when you start planning. And, of course, I encourage you to give me a call when you’re ready. I can help you sort through all the information and plan the best Hawaii vacation according to your interests.

GETTING THERE: For the most part, your options are pretty limited on how you get to Hawaii. You can come by boat or by air, and that’s just about it. Either method of transportation is fine, but we personally prefer to arrive by air – and that’s an understatement! A long cruise can spoil the joys of arriving on Hawaii’s shores, as the journey simply takes too long. There is something to be said about that built-up anticipation of just waiting to step foot on the island, and a flight is the best way to do just that.

EACH ISLAND HAS AN AIRPORT(S): Oahu (HNL), Maui (OGG), Kauai (LIH), Kona on the Big Island (KOA), Hilo on the Big Island (ITO)

LANGUAGE: English, although, the Hawaiian language, ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i, came to the shores along with the first people to arrive from the ancestral homelands of Polynesia. The language evolved alongside the culture into the nuanced, multi-layered ‘Ōlelo Hawai‘i we know today.

CLIMATE: Weather in The Hawaiian Islands is very consistent, with only minor changes in temperature throughout the year. There are really only two seasons in Hawaii: summer (kau) from May to October and winter (hooilo) from November to April. The average daytime summer temperature at sea level is 85° F (29.4° C), while the average daytime winter temperature is 78° F (25.6° C). Temperatures at night are approximately 10° F lower than the daytime.

MONEY/CURRENCY (CREDIT CARDS, DEBIT CARDS, TIPPING, ATMS): The main currency is the United States Dollar with all restaurants, stores, and resort hotels accepting credit cards, debit cards, and cash. While ATMs are readily available throughout the resorts, they do charge a fee for each withdrawal. Tipping for servers, custodial staff, and the bell desk is customary. For servers, it’s recommended to tip at least 18%.


1. Hike Diamond Head on Oahu
2. Visit Pearl Harbor on Oahu
3. Road to Hana on Maui
4. Haleakala National Park on Maui
5. Whale Watching on Maui (November through May)
6. Na Pali Coast sail and snorkel on Kauai
7. Waimea Canyon on Kauai
8. Volcanos National Park on the Big Island
9. Maunakea on the Big Island
10. A luau, any island
11. Helicopter tour, any island


1. Hawaii has 11 of the world’s 13 climate zones.

2. Hawaii has the two tallest mountains on earth. When measured from their base off the ocean floor, both Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa rise over 1,000 feet high.

3. Vog is the local term for “volcanic fog,” and it describes the hazy air pollution that occasionally hangs over the islands. Vog is caused when sulfur dioxide and other gasses from Kilauea’s Halemaumau Crater (on the island of Hawaii) mix with moisture in the air and sunlight.

4. The average water temperature is 74° F (23.3° C), with a summer high of 80° F (26.7° C). Wave action varies dramatically between island coasts and seasons. Summer waters are typically gentle on all beaches. During the winter, on many north shore beaches, Pacific storms drive ocean swells toward the islands, creating The Hawaiian Islands’ legendary big waves.

5. Average rainfall on the island varies dramatically. The Kohala Coast on the Big Island of Hawaii averages around 10 inches per year where the island of Kauai averages 450 inches per year.


In Hawaii, every day feels like Aloha Friday. Clothing is casual, and except for one or two upscale restaurants, jackets are not required for dinner. Men in Hawaii have it easy because aloha shirts (casual button-down or collared shirts) are appropriate for just about any occasion. Hawaii’s year- round tropical climate ranges from bikini weather during the day to a light sweater or jacket in the evening. Comfortable shoes or sandals are fine for most occasions.

If you will be hiking or will require specialty clothing/equipment, consider buying your gear before you arrive, as the selection can be limited on some islands. A light jacket is recommended for wind and rain. This is especially important if you will be spending lengthy amounts of time on the summits of Haleakala on Maui or Maunakea on the island of Hawaii, or camping in higher elevations like Upcountry Maui or Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

Hawaii’s proximity to the sun makes for gorgeous tans and nasty sunburns, even on cloudy days. If you want that golden glow, tan slowly with a high SPF sunscreen. Bring reef-safe sunscreen to help prevent bleaching of coral and other damage to the islands’ ocean habitat. Also, protect yourself with a brimmed hat and sunglasses.

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