You know that person at the beach, whose hat gets yanked from their head by a sudden gust of wind; or worse yet, the person with the ridiculously over-sized beach umbrella tumble-weeding across the sand?
That’s been me at one point or another; sprinting across the beach in pursuit of my windblown belongings (and dignity). But I have since learned to spare myself from embarrassment and unnecessary physical activity in a time of leisure by simply securing my items – even on those non-windy days. You never know when a strong gust will surprise you!
Some would say that wearing a hat on a windy day is a bad idea. I tend to disagree because although it’s windy, doesn’t mean it won’t be sunny, too. Protection from the sun should always be a priority, and if that means strapping a hat to your head, then so be it! Most beach hats come with strings that can be secured to your chin; otherwise, adjust your hat to the tightest notch.
As far as beach umbrellas go, well, I would avoid using them on those really windy days because they may become a hazard for other people on the beach. Imagine the damage a dramatically tumbling umbrella could do to someone’s eye! The metal spokes are awfully sharp and unassuming.
If there’s just a little bit of wind, then an umbrella would be fine. I would suggest buying or renting those umbrellas with straps. The straps can be anchored into the sand with metal weights, preventing it from turning inside out with one strong gust. In addition to the straps, make sure to bury the umbrella post in the sand. The larger the umbrella, the longer the post, so that shouldn’t be too difficult to secure.
If you rather avoid the hassle of a beach umbrella all together, then seek out shade from a nearby tree or beach pavilion. That would also be a sure bet you will stay dry, in case a passing shower sneaks up on you, too!
Posted by Alyssa S. Navares Follow me on Twitter @Uamalie87
January 29th, 2014
One of the biggest aspects to creating a Hawaii vacation is your hotel. It dictates your ‘home’ for however many days you’re away, but also plays a big role in your comfort level, the state of relaxation and your sense of satisfaction. Why? Because your hotel room is typically where you rest, relax and rejuvenate. Whether you enjoy a mid-day nap on the bed, reading out on your personal lanai or cooking a meal in the kitchen, your hotel provides a sense of solace that is necessary during a much-needed vacation.
Which is why we’re giving you tips on how to make the most out of your hotel. Putting in a request at your desired hotel property can go one of two ways. You are either granted the request or you’re not. Remember, just because you request something doesn’t mean you’ll get it. Most hotels try their very best to accommodate and please their guests, but some requests might conflict with prior arrangements. Or your request might not be possible within the hotel’s limitations. Whatever the case, do know that the people at the front desk are trained to be accommodating and helpful.
The number 1 thing visitors request of a hotel is bedding. Can I get a king-sized bed please? I need two doubles. I’d like a foldout couch please. I need a rollaway. We’ll need a crib. Most of these comments are simply requests, not guarantees. But placing a request is a good start to your Hawaii vacation. Especially if it means the comfort of your sleeping hours. Be sure to call 1 to 2 days prior to your arrival to check on your request. This is a good way to make sure front desk is aware of the request you put in when you booked your room.
Here’s something you might not know. Most 1 to 3-star hotels don’t usually have king-sized beds in their double (or even single) occupancy rooms. They only have queens. But if you’re set on a king bed, call the hotel in advance to check if they even HAVE them at the hotel. You don’t want to fly all the way out to Hawaii only to discover the hotel you booked doesn’t even stock king-sized beds for their rooms.
Also, some requests are free while others may cost money. Like a rollaway bed for example. Free amenity or costly request? Rollaway beds almost always cost money, so don’t be surprised when you request one and see it show up on your final bill at checkout. These types of amenities are not per gratis, and neither is a crib. Although most hotels have them if you need one.
If you are booking multiple rooms in one hotel, you can request either a connecting room or an adjoining room. Here’s the difference. A connecting room has a door inside the rooms that gives access to both rooms, whereas an adjoining room is just two hotel rooms next door to one another. You can also request things like a room on a higher (or lower) floor, non smoking rooms (but these days we’re actually seeing more people requesting rooms where they CAN smoke), ADA compliant rooms, pet-friendly rooms and rooms with special occasion amenities like jet tubs, his and hers sinks, fireplaces (in Hawaii?!) or a more spacious corner room.
If you request something like an ocean view or poolside room, please note these types of inquiries more than likely cost money. But I’ve always stuck by the motto of it never hurts to ask. As long as another guest is not within earshot, try your luck with front desk. And also inquire about the amenities of the hotel, because chances are there are some freebies you never even knew about. Like continental breakfasts, free kids activities, bottled water in the hotel room, or complimentary toiletries like razors or toothbrushes. Hey, if you’re paying for it, you might as well take advantage of it, right?
January 28th, 2014
Have you tried a hula pie yet?
It’s basically a slice of heaven on a plate, topped with whipped cream and drizzled with fudge. Did I mention that it is also packed with macadamia nut ice cream and sits on a crunchy chocolate cookie crust?
This is, by no means, an ad for the hula pie. I promise! Just an honest review about one of my favorite desserts in Hawai‘i. “Favorite” might be an understatement because like the hundreds of others who’ve devoured this sinfully-delicious slice over the past few decades, I quickly became OBSESSED with the hula pie.
The sweet treat originally came from Kimo’s, a restaurant in Lahaina, Maui, that describes it as something “the sailors swam ashore for in Lahaina.” Funny, but I would not doubt that to be true! The hula pie tends to have that lasting effect on all kinds of dessert lovers.
I first became enthralled with the hula pie at one of Kimo’s sister restaurants, Keoki’s on Kaua‘i. Today, the hula pie can be found at various other restaurants around the islands, including Duke’s Waikiki. So you never have to travel very far to get your hands on some hula pie!
Here are a few things to make note of when devouring a slab of this spectacular pie:
- It’s BIG! Plan on sharing the slice with at least one other person, but even that might not be enough to mop up the ice cream mess. My fiance and I usually share but never seem to be able to finish it.
- Turn it on its side. The slice seems to be more like three slices combined. Don’t count on your fork slicing through the pie in one motion; it’s like five-inches tall, so it might take a couple hacks! Instead, turn it on its side and scoop at your leisure. A generous portion like that is definitely worth the $8.
- Savor the flavors. The best part of a hula pie has to be the blend of flavors. From the rich fudge sauce to the chocolate cookie crust, there’s seriously an ample supply of enjoyment for your taste buds.
Posted by Alyssa S. Navares Follow me on Twitter @Uamalie87
January 28th, 2014
Shortly after moving here, I was slightly amused to learn that an evening TV weather forecast of giant surf was underground lingo for an island wide ‘call in sick’ day. But who can resist the desire to experience firsthand one of the legendary gifts from Mother Nature that the North Shores of Maui and Oahu provide each winter. Last week provided a once in ten year swell, bringing momentous waves to both islands. I was in my car before dawn to see these giants IRL, and I was not alone, as crowds of locals and tourists headed up to the country. Only really early birds got legal parking places but local police tend to loosen up parking restrictions in the spirit of the event.
The swell that moved in last week on Oahu did not quite hit the 50 foot predicted size, and was too sloppy to be surfed, but was wonderful to behold anyway. It was a visual display only as all beaches were closed to all swimmers and roped off with yellow warning tape. Waimea Bay was so dangerous the entire park was closed, even to parking. My favorite snorkeling spot, Tables, was unrecognizable, as was its neighbor Shark’s Cove (Pupukea). In fact, both were completely underwater, with a total wash over that covered all the rocky ledges that are their landmarks. Waves breaking onshore were dangerously high. While I was walking down the sidewalk on the ocean side, a rogue wave came up and swept over the pavement, knocking a tourist right in front of me completely off her feet. She lost her shoes and got soaked, but was luckily uninjured. Further down the road I saw a man come running out of the public restroom as it was inundated by a giant wave. And I wish you could hear the sound. I’m sure news bureaus all over the mainland covered the event with striking images, but that roar has always made a big impression on me.
Winter surf is something I look forward to every year. Only the most experienced surfers are allowed in the water when it is deemed safe, and the lifeguards do a superb job of managing the beaches during this period. I’m always happy when the person next to me on the beach turns out to be a tourist who is seeing this for the first time. Most are on the phone calling someone trying to describe what they are seeing. If travel to Hawai’i during this time of year might be in your future plans, there is no guarantee that you’ll hit it just right, but certainly don’t miss watching the local evening surf report, cause – hey – your calendar is already clear!
Posted by: Katherine Finch
January 27th, 2014
Snorkeling is one of the best beach activities for travelers visiting Hawaii, but the truth about snorkeling is it’s not just for the tourists. Locals often snorkel because it’s such an incredible way to experience the warm ocean and underwater life. And no one wants to miss out on that! It’s exciting yet calming, a free activity yet such an incredibly rich experience, outdoorsy yet protected. Snorkeling is such a fun adventure and it can provide hours if not days of entertainment for families, couples, travelers and locals.
We receive a lot of questions about snorkeling in Hawaii, particularly for beginners. Things like where the best spots are, what the gear is like, how to rent it and what the basics of snorkeling is are just a few of the inquiries. On today’s podcast we’ll be covering these questions and more, including two of the very best snorkel locations on the four main islands of Oahu, Kauai, Maui and Big Island.
Learn the basics of snorkeling so you can be ready for the water when you arrive. And for those of you already experienced, you might learn something new from our tips and recommendations we have for you today. With snorkeling being such a popular and truly fun Hawaii activity, we highly suggest you take advantage of the tropical waters and explore the unique underwater life of the Pacific.
Snorkeling Gear- The first thing you need to know is what snorkeling entails. For maximum comfort and safety, a mask, snorkel and fins are recommended. The snorkel is what you breathe out of and is attached to the mask, while the fins are slipped on your feet to allow quicker and more fluid kicking motion underwater.
You can rent gear for anywhere between $5-$20 a day, but if you plan to do a lot of snorkeling you might just want to invest in your own gear. You can purchase a decent mask and snorkel set at the local grocery or convenience store for $10-$20, which might be the more cost efficient way for you and your family to snorkel. And if it’s too expensive, go without the fins. They’re not super necessary for snorkeling and if it ends up saving you money then it might be worth it. If you do snorkel without fins or reef shoes on, be careful of your footing when getting in and out of the water. Sea urchins (a.k.a. wana) are known to lurk in the nooks and crannies of reefy areas.
Snorkel gear rentals are easy to spot and easy to come by. They are usually near most popular snorkel locations in the form of activity huts, shops and windows. The people renting the gear are typically friendly and helpful and will brief you on the equipment and how to use it properly. The snorkel takes the most time getting used to, as many people aren’t comfortable having their nose restricted by the mask and breathing out of just their mouth. But after a few strokes in the water with your face down, you should be just fine. Stay calm and try to slow your breathing down, this helps you get used to the snorkel.
If you’re nervous about snorkeling in the open ocean, try getting familiar with the process in the hotel pool first. Once your comfortable with the gear, the ocean experience will be much easier and more fun. Now here are some of our favorite snorkel spots on each main island of Hawaii.
Oahu- Our first snorkeling recommendation on Oahu is Haunama Bay near the east end of Waikiki. And we’ll be honest about this place… It’s crowded. But the marine life in this protected bay is so beautifully overwhelming it is definitely worthwhile. Just be sure to arrive early, and if you have your own gear you should bring it. There is a short video before you hit the beach that is mandatory for all visitors. It informs guests of proper snorkeling protocol, which includes not standing on the reef or harassing the wildlife. The video is a good way to learn about the fragility of the reef ecosystems so that you can be informed and aware throughout your entire stay in Hawaii.
Our second favorite snorkeling location on Oahu is Shark’s Cove on the North Shore. Many visitors mistake the shallow, rocky pool next door just beyond the beach as Shark’s Cove, but it’s actually the deeper blue pool of water that is protected by two points in the reef. Here you’ll see a variety of fish, from humumunukunukuapuaa to angelfish to schools of triggerfish and stick fish, plus turtles are common to see as well as manta ray sightings. There is a snorkel gear rental shop directly across the street from Shark’s Cove, as well as a local grocery store (Foodland) that sells mask and snorkel sets.
Kauai- The number one snorkel recommendation on the south side of Kauai is Poipu Beach. Here you can snorkel the reefy underwater world and spot turtles, fish and eels, and then enjoy a gorgeous beach park afterwards. There is also a neighboring beach called Waiohai that is good for snorkeling, just make sure you don’t get in the way of any surfers! Poipu Beach is fun, safe and a great introductory snorkel spot for beginners. It’s also ideal for a family beach day, since showers, restrooms, pavilions, picnic tables and lifeguards all help to make up this beach park.
Ke’e Beach is our second snorkeling recommendation and is located on Kauai’s north shore. The parking lot can become congested, but the underwater adventure is definitely worth your time. Ke’e is great for beginners because there is a shallow pool of water with a sandy bottom to help you become comfortable and familiarized with your gear. You’ll also see schools of fish pass by in this saltwater pool, which is fun for kids. Just beyond the sandy bottom bay is the unique reef, with crevices, caves and arches to explore. Abundant with fish, Ke’e has clear waters and a beautiful backdrop of the Na Pali coast. Ke’e beach is also the starting point of the Hanakapiaia trail, which courses along the famed Na Pali coast and up to a breath-taking waterfall.
Maui- Along Maui’s west coast you’ll find the white sands and turquoise waters of Kaanapali Beach. At the west end of this beach is Black Rock and here is where snorkeling is best. There is a gradual slope from the beach into the water, which is a great introduction for beginning snorkelers. Like most sandy bottom swimming areas, you’ll spot a few schools of fish here and there, but it’s along the reef that the real underwater life comes alive. Which is why we recommend snorkeling along Black Rock. For the adventure seekers, you can even climb up Black Rock and jump off it into the clear waters below.
Kapalua Bay is our next snorkeling choice on Maui because the calm and protected waters make it perfect for families and beginners. A c-shaped cove, Kapalua Bay begins with a sandy bottom then levels off into the reef. The further north you swim the clearer the water becomes, so you might want to set your towel down on the northern point of the bay for ultimate underwater visibility. With public showers, restrooms and parking lot, Kapalua Bay is a great place to spend the entire day relaxing at the beach. And the fish varieties you’ll see will amaze you!
On the Big Island we like to recommend Kahaluu Beach Park, which is right in the town of Kailua Kona. We like this spot for snorkeling because the fish are so unusually tame and friendly. There’s nothing like feeding wild tropical fish right from your hand, and at Kahaluu you can enjoy this rarity. This small sheltered cove is great for beginners because it’s not overwhelming and it is very contained. Just about neck deep, Kahaluu barely gets deeper than 10 feet, even during high tide. With such shallow and calm waters and friendly fish, Kahaluu is perfect for the first time snorkeler.
Our last snorkel spot recommendation is Mauna Kea, otherwise known as Kaunaoa Bay. Uncrowded, expansive and incredibly picturesque, this beach is sandy, calm and clear. For the best snorkeling, be sure to enter the water at one of the rocky points on either end of the beach (Although the north/right side of the beach is better for snorkeling and water visibility). Since ocean life congregates around the coral and the rocky reefs, you’ll see a variety of tropical fish here, and then be able to enjoy the white sand after a good snorkel.
January 26th, 2014
Remember the days when the choice between checking or carrying on your luggage was a free one, and revolved around convenience? “Let’s carry on our luggage so we don’t have to wait at the baggage claim” or “let’s check our luggage so we don’t have to deal with the kids’ bags”. The choice was yours and ultimately, it was free.
Remember the days when you complained about airplane food? “Well this does not look appetizing” or “I wish they did not run out of the pasta option”. Now you’re stuck ordering fast food before you board or gobbling down mini pretzels and peanuts to satiate your hunger on a 6-hour flight. It’s that or pay $10 for the same mystery meat we were offered before at no charge.
Remember the days when you could bank on a free in-flight movie for the kids to watch? It was guaranteed entertainment for at least 2 hours. Now parents are forced to invest in iPads and video games to keep the little ones (and themselves) quiet and not bored stiff. A 6-hour flight with nothing to do is not a far cry away from torture.
Remember the days when airlines tried to make customers comfortable with a blanket and a pillow? Sometimes you even got TWO blankets if you asked nicely? Now you’re forced to make nice with your neighbor in case your head lolls onto their shoulder. That or wear those ridiculous neck pillows.
Okay, enough reminiscing, you get the idea. Within the past few years airlines have gone from a comfortable, reasonable experience to a criminally expensive and ridiculously uncomfortable means of travel. And unfortunately, it’s the only means for travel to Hawaii. Unless you’re planning a cruise. But for most travelers, flying is the only way to get around. And airline companies have taken full advantage of this. They know we have no other option.
Airlines now charge for all checked luggage and you’ll be hard pressed to find any that offer free amenities like seat choices, meals, earbuds and blankets. The airline industry has pushed a variety of fees onto the weary traveler in order to boost revenues and margins. Okay, we get this. Airlines need to make money too. But really, how far are they going to take it? It seems the fees have continued to become more and more absurd, yet travelers can do absolutely nothing about it. Except give in and pay in. We’re forced to comply because we have to travel.
So because the future is not looking too bright for the costs of air travel, we have compiled a list of fees you can expect from the major airlines. We’ll also give you our two cents on which airline is most cost effective when it comes to Hawaii bound flights plus a few pointers on how to beat the fees.
Here’s a quick list of major airlines and what they’re charging these days for the ‘additional luxuries’ of flying:
American Airlines charges $25 for the first check-in bag, $35 for the second and $150 (each) for any additional checked baggage. AA also offers Main Cabin Extra seating that offers 6 inches more of leg room and costs anywhere between $8 and $108 depending on the length of the flight.
We asked our Facebook fans if they would pay $50 for extra leg room and there was an overwhelming majority of yeses. No one wants to feel like a sardine, yet the only way to escape this is to pay. And most travelers are game. So what’s worth the extra money and what can you live without? Keep listening for some travel tips and in the meantime, here’s more about American Airlines.
As for free amenities, AA offers one tv per every three to five rows that drops down from the ceiling, this is usually called ‘overhead entertainment’. If you’re lucky enough to sit at a good watching distance, you can purchase earbuds to listen to the show. So be sure to bring your own because who doesn’t have an extra pair lying around their house? They also offer free magazines for your entertainment… Lucky for us those in-flight publications are getting more interesting to read. Our favorite is Hana Hou, which is found on Hawaiian Airlines.
Speaking of, Hawaiian Airlines is one of the few airlines that still offers a free meal. (Can you say ‘travel incentive’?) Passengers on morning flights from the continental U.S. and Canada to Hawaii can start their vacation early with a complimentary Mai Tai and a breakfast box containing Hawaiian bread, guava jelly, dried tropical fruits, and a macadamia-nut cookie. Free lunch and dinner options include teriyaki chicken, salad, and mango cake, plus a glass of wine. Baggage fees are $25 for the first checked bag, $35 for the second and $125 for any additional bags. But free food might help to offset these charges.
Hawaiian also does the overhead entertainment and charges $2 for earbuds. Again, bring your own on ANY flight.
United Airlines charges the same as Hawaiian for the first and second checked bag, but only $100 for any additional ones. A good trick to avoid the checked bag fee is to do it at the gate. This costs NOTHING. As for the free amenities, travelers can expect to receive the standard complimentary beverage service with ‘snack packs’ available for purchase. Beyond this I think you get a bag containing a few pieces of trail mix on flights longer than 2 hours.
Alaska Airlines charges $25 for the first checked bag, $25 for the second and $75 for anything additional. Alaska seems to be by far the cheapest when it comes to checked luggage. You can purchase hot meals and digi players (for movies, shows, music, etc.) but Alaska only offers free beverages and a small pouch of snacks during their Hawaii flights. Everything else you have to purchase.
Delta charges $25 for the first checked bag, $35 for the second and $125 for additional bags. And don’t think you can get away with the freebee at the gate. Delta charges $25 to check your bag even when you do it at the gate.
So what’s worth the extra money and what can you live without? Well, we found out from our Facebook fans that extra leg room is a big one, and many travelers are willing to pay the additional dollars for the chance to stretch out. Especially for anyone 6 feet tall and over. Unfortunately for these folks, their legs don’t even fit in the seat and often times they have to point their knees sideways. So we understand why this is a biggie.
As for checked bags, we recommend going with only one or two and paying the price. Anything beyond three checked bags ends up costing an arm and a leg, and you might as well deal with the hassle for 6 hours and save the money for that boat trip along the Na Pali coast or that fun luau in Waikiki. It’ll be more worth it.
Meals are definitely worthwhile. Unless you’re okay with bringing along fast food or cellophane wrapped sandwiches from Starbucks (which is fine too). Luckily the airlines haven’t gotten too outrageous with food prices and you can still get a decent snack pack for $6. And usually on a 6-hour flight you’ll want two small meals or so.
Earbuds- skip on this. Plan to invest in them before your trip, or just bring along your phone or iPod earbuds. They’ll work just fine.
As for preferred seating, this term is so loosely defined that any seat at this point can be considered ‘preferred’. When we think of preferred seating we think of exit rows, bulk head rows, window seats, aisle seats and seats situated toward the front of the plane. But in reality, preferred seating can mean all this and more, including any seat that is historically selected by more passengers, any seat that the airlines decide to set aside for last minute (highest fare, usually people on business that must be on the flight to make a meeting) passengers, and other criteria that are even less defined than this. Simply put, it’s probably not worth the price.
Here are some travel tips that we’ll reiterate to make your flight easier:
- Bring your own earbuds
- Keep a sweater in your carry-on so you can use it as a blanket or pillow
- Pack snacks
- Bring your own entertainment (i.e. books, magazines and iPads)
- Pack light
- Look into baggage fees ahead of time so you’re not shocked when you check-in
- Only check-in the really cumbersome baggage, the rest should be manageable as carry-on’s
- Wear comfortable clothes that allow you to stretch easily in your seat
- When you check-in, ask about seating. Sometimes they’ll hook you up with something ‘preferred’ if you’re nice
Given all this information, I’d say that the best airline to fly when coming to Hawaii is Hawaiian. They offer a little more than the rest of the airlines, like Hawaiian music upon arrival, friendly staff and an aloha vibe that is unmatched elsewhere. Plus, the free meal is a HUGE contributor. Aside from that, my other two favorites (which I didn’t mention on today’s show) are KLM and China.
I guess things will get really bad when they decide to charge for water and restroom services. Oh wait, has that happened already?
January 25th, 2014
Five years ago, I was the Hawaii Aloha Travel Customer. Yes, I was a customer! While working as a physician recruiter in Hawaii. I needed someone to handle booking all of our candidates. I was flying in two to four physicians a month to Hawaii for interviews and tours. Sure, I tried the big name travel websites. But I realized that it took a lot of time from my recruiting work, way too much time. I also had emergencies with candidates traveling to Hawaii and those emergencies often came during the middle of the night somewhere far away. There was no live person to help when someone missed their connecting flight or when they had a minor emergency upon arrival. I realized what a big headache it can be when you don’t have a live person to help you with your travel.
Then, the perfect people popped into my life. Bruce and Yaling Fisher own Hawaii Aloha Travel. They offered to help me coordinate and plan all the travel for my physicians. And they would do it at no charge! This relationship bloomed into something great. I was investing in a local company with people here in Hawaii. I also had a real person helping my candidates. Every time I found a cheaper flight, Hawaii Aloha Travel would match the price! They set my candidates up with great activities on the island and they kept them happy.
Fast forward to 2014, I now work for Hawaii Aloha Travel and I am the travel specialist with a focus on weddings and honeymoons.
Travel has always been a part of my life from the time I was a baby. I wondered how we really beat the big guy’s prices. It seems impossible but it’s absolutely possible! You see, Hawaii Aloha Travel has suppliers who buy their air, hotel, car rentals and cruises in bulk. You know what happens when you buy in bulk? Of course, you get a better price. This is called a “consolidator.” We have vendors or consolidators who supply us with all kinds of travel at a lower price.
One of my first lessons was helping relatives from Germany with a three week island hopping trip in Hawaii. Right in the middle of their trip, there was one day that all the hotels were booked on Maui. The entire island is booked because everyone wants to be on Maui that week. The week I’m speaking of is the President’s Day holiday, Valentine’s Day and the beginning of whale watching season. I searched all of our consolidators and spoke to countless travel experts within our supplier companies. Then, with a little help we found it. That help came from Yaling Fisher, co founder of Hawaii Aloha Travel. Yaling knew where to look within our travel suppliers and we found one of the last hotel rooms left on Maui for that week. At the same time, I was curious whether the big name travel website also listed the hotel. When I initially saw the price listed on the big name travel website the price looked lower. Then, I looked closer. I took a look at the taxes and added fees. The big name travel website price was $90 more! I was thrilled to save our travel customer $90. Hey that’s like buying our customer dinner! Or, maybe it’s like giving them extra cash to pay for a car rental, or maybe extra funds for a bucket list activity. At any rate, it’s money in your pocket. That’s why we are here to help you find a great Hawaii vacation for the best price.
- Posted by Angela Keen Follow me on Twitter
January 24th, 2014
When preparing for a six to eight hour flight to Hawai‘i, travelers tend to worry more about how they’ll pass the time than how they’ll stay comfortable. Tablets, books and music get tossed into carry-ons, but what should you bring to combat the chilly airplane temperature – and eventually the warm island weather?
This extreme difference in climate is probably what makes preparing for long flights so tricky. First, you’re too cold; then, you’re too hot. Definitely not a good way to kick off your dream vacation to Hawai‘i. Plus, there’s an increased chance of getting sick when you’re body goes through drastic temperature changes.
First and foremost, bring a jacket or sweater! It’s usually a given, but you’d be surprised how easy it is to forget that article of clothing. You might accidentally leave it on the coat rack back home or forget to take it out of your suitcase before checking it in.
Secondly, wear clothing that can easily be peeled off once you land in Hawai‘i, such as socks or extra layers of clothing. Those articles can be small enough to roll up and stuff into your carry-on afterwards. Slip-on shoes might be a viable option as well, especially when going through airport security.
To save time, start peeling off those layers and rolling up your long sleeves or pants as soon as you being your descent into the islands. I guarantee you it will be a stress-free way to start your Hawai‘i vacation!
Posted by Alyssa S. Navares Follow me on Twitter @Uamalie87
January 24th, 2014
Because Hawai‘i is the “endangered species capital of the world,” it is important to know what you can and cannot bring when traveling to the islands. In fact, we have more endangered species per square mile than anywhere else in the world, so we ask for your help in preserving our unique ecosystems.
During the flight, flight attendants will pass out an Agricultural Declaration Form to passengers. State law requires one to be filled out per family, in which passengers declare all plants, seeds, animals, soil or microorganisms they may have in their carry-on or luggage.
Should passengers have any of the above listed materials, their baggage will be taken to plant quarantine inspectors near the baggage claim area. This process has definitely helped to weed out any unwanted species that could potentially be a threat to the environment.
If passengers choose not to declare agricultural items, they should discard them in the Amnesty Bin near the baggage claim area before leaving the airport. As you can see, this process is entirely based on the honor system, so please do what is pono (right) and help to preserve our island’s natural beauty.
Posted by Alyssa S. Navares Follow me on Twitter @Uamalie87
January 23rd, 2014
Where is the best place to watch the sunset on Maui?
Anywhere on the west side of the island! But to be more specific, head to one of the following spots to experience this spectacle. I guarantee you that no sunset is the same, so soak it all in and enjoy the show!
Just like Waikīkī, Ka‘anapali can be best defined by its resorts and the tourists that cruise through town. This is one of the most popular spots for watching the sunset because there are numerous places on the beach or grass to sit down and relax. It might not be the most private spot to enjoy a romantic sunset, but it’s definitely one of the most convenient for tourists.
If you’re going to Kapalua for the day, then chances are you’ll be doing a bit of shopping. Whaler’s Village sits right along the water and is home to dozens of shops – from high-end designer ones to local boutiques. What better way to end a day of shopping than to kick back and enjoy the sunset? You can watch it from on a bench at the outdoor mall or from the nearby Ka‘anapali Beach.
Lāhaina is probably my favorite place to enjoy a Maui sunset. It brings back wonderful memories of my childhood, in which my family and I would stroll through Front Street before ending up at the seawall across of Hard Rock Cafe. I remember dangling my feet over the edge, watching the water bounce off of the wall in a steady rhythm. You’ll notice many others doing the same here; otherwise, they’re probably enjoying the sunset from one of the ocean-front restaurants.
Posted by Alyssa S. Navares Follow me on Twitter @Uamalie87
January 22nd, 2014