Jim & I traveled to Hawai’i for our honeymoon.
The deal was, I made most of the wedding decisions and he could pick & plan our honeymoon. When he said he wanted to go to Hawaii … I, well, rolled my eyes. Sounds bratty, right?! I am CLEARLY spoiled because I work in travel. I figured we would do something different & go to a unique destination. What about Morocco? Maybe New Zealand? Spain?
Hawai’i. Just so honeymoon cliche, no??
I agreed to become another statistic because truthfully, I’ve always wanted to go. The pictures I researched were absolutely breathtaking, and who really cares if everyone else goes too? It’s for a reason, right? It ended up being the perfect vacation.
Because we were traveling from the East Coast (Boston), we did a break away. We went to San Francisco (I had never been!), a fabulous day trip to Napa full of wine & cheese, road tripped to L.A., & went out in West Hollywood. I even spotted some of my favorite reality stars (Bravo, I love you).
Then, we hopped on a plane to Maui. After four days on the Valley Isle, we traveled to Kauai. Kauai was our favorite! To keep things simple for you, here are some dos & don’ts, tips & tricks for Maui & Kauai.
Maui Do’s & Don’ts:
Don’t: Take United Airlines into Maui. Just don’t. Awful small seats, no T.V.s, an overall bad experience.
Do: The road to Hana, but don’t go past the town of Hana because you won’t see much more than what you already have & you’ll be super tired by then anyway. It takes a full day so prepare to come home after dinner time. Also if you want to eat dinner after out, make a reservation! Popular Maui restaurants fill up FAST.
Do: Bring your own snorkel, you’ll want to snorkel more than once.
Don’t: Bring just one or two bikinis. Bring at least five; a mix of two & one pieces.
Don’t: Just my experience, but don’t take a snorkeling tour. We took a sunrise tour to Molokini and it was just meh for $200 plus tip for two. When we got back to our resort we snorkeled the next day at the beach and we saw HUGE sea turtles and pretty fish. It was awesome and did it all for free!
Don’t: Eat breakfast at your fancy hotel (It will be extremely expensive). Try to go out for breakfast, grab smoothies or an acai bowl. Acai bowls are EVERYWHERE on the islands.
Do: Stay at the Four Seasons, especially if you love laying by the pool or the beach! It’s a GORGEOUS resort.
Do: Always have cash with you. Especially $1s or $5s. You’ll always be tipping people at a resort.
Do: Rent a car at the resort for the day. We booked it with the concierge & it was super easy. You don’t need one the entire time if you stay somewhere like the Four Seasons, but it is nice to go out and explore, get groceries or eat.
Do: Go to Monkeypod Kitchen in Wailea for a Mai Tai. UNBELIEVABLE. THE MOST delicious. It has a foam at the top with liliko – or passionfruit. It is refreshingly tart. You’ll get more than one.
Do: Listen to the warning signs around cliffs, beaches, ect. Several tourists went missing or were seriously injured while we were there. Hawaii is no joke!
Kauai Do’s & Donts:
Do: This is obvious, but rent a car the entire time. You’ll want to explore the whole island! We did it in 4 days. It’s about a 3 hour drive from one end to the other (crescent shape).
Do: Pick up lunch at sushi girl in Hanalei & eat it on the beach. The beaches are barely ever crowded.
Do: Eat at a food truck! They have a ton around the island. Also try to eat/drink as many juices, smoothies, & fruit as you can. So fresh & delicious.
Do: Go to Java Kai for an iced mocha coconut coffee. So. Good.
Do: Visit Waimea Canyon, its absolutely breathtaking and is known for being the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. Afterward go to Porky’s food truck – DELICIOUS!
Do: Visit Hanalei and go in EVERY surf shop!!! SO cute!! Who cares if the prices are inflated. YOU’RE IN A CUTE SURF TOWN. My favorite was ‘I <3 Hanalei’ beach shop. Mara Hoffman bikinis on sale, Spiritual Gangster, & Wildfox vibes :).
Do: Hike the Kalalau trail. It is breathtaking. Bring plenty of water & pack lunch because it gets extremely hot & difficult. Its a 2 mile hike to the beach & 2 miles back on the same trail. Unless your an experienced hiker, don’t hike the extra miles to the waterfall. We heard it wasn’t worth it. Also if you like cats, you’ll find some wild ones at the end on the beach! Also, there was a local vendor with fresh juice in tall mason jars at the bottom of the trail. The freshest juices we ever tasted. We also ran out of water, so those were extra delicious at the time.
Do: Try somewhere different for dinner. All of the locals will recommend normal touristy spots, but we found a wine & tapas bar in Kilauea that had virtually no tourists. It was had 5 stars on yelp & lived up to its standards for sure.
Don’t: Try to get your nails done on the island. My gel nails were peeling and I was DESPERATE. It was so hard to get an appointment and where we went, there was only one person working! O-N-E. Thats unheard of in Boston. She was great, but the manicure was $40.
Don’t: Stay at a fancy hotel. We did, and we totally regret it. We stayed at the St. Regis in Princeville. Having to valet the rental car all the time gets old. We met a couple who rented a condo which was GENIUS because by that time I could have used a washer & dryer!
Don’t: Leave your phone on the car bumper and drive off. Ughhh!
Do: Take Jet blue back in the states. They. are. the. best. And if you are spoiling yourself, take Jet Blue Mint. It’s life changing. I hate flying and I wasn’t particularly dreading this flight because of mint. Unheard of.
Thanks for reading my first travel post! Any questions? Send a note.