Jul 12, 2014

Virtual Vacation: Honolulu Must-Do's

In an ideal world, we would all go on vacation for one week out of every month. We would travel to different beautiful locations of our choice to take in the sites, have some relaxing mornings watching the sun rise quietly, and enjoying the best company, food, and experiences.

However, that's also the world where taxes pay you, writing whatever you feel like all day is financially  productive, and you get paid to go shopping on Fifth Avenue.


So in the long gaps between taking your last vacation and earning your next vacation, it's fun to build dream vacations in the clouds...

Buckle your seat belts and disregard your safety pamphlets, because it's time for lift off - to Honolulu!

When to go:

Clearly there will be lots of mixed opinions on this one. Frankly, there's probably no wrong time to go Hawaii. But since you asked (fiiiiiine, you didn't, but we'll pretend since this is my blog) here's my opinion.


Before you give me flack for picking one of those anticlimactic filler months, here's my (very solid) reasoning:

 - Summer is too pricey. Fact.
 - Christmas is nicer with a pine tree and snow.
 - Spring break in Hawaii will be super packed in.
 - August is bound to still be a little pricey with the last delinquents summer break stragglers who aren't back-to-school-yet.

So September it is! It's still warm and perfect for chillin' on the beach, it's not too long to wait for your 'summer' vacation, it's much more affordable than a month or two earlier, and it doesn't detract from your enjoyment of Christmas!

For the flight:

A fun, funny travel companion, some snacks (it's a long flight, especially from the east coast), and a laptop with some DVDs. Hopefully your flight will have you covered on the entertainment and sustenance fronts, but it never hurts to be prepared.

You want to start your trip on a good note!

Where to stay:

According to TripAdvisor, you should stay at the Trump International Hotel Waikiki Beach Walk. By all means, do!

If you're Daddy Warbucks.

Rooms go for over $550 a night, however, and that's on the budget travel sites. For those of us with more grounded budgets, or who prefer our castles in the sky to be at least mildly realistic, try the Hilton Waikiki Beach.

It's still a quite nice hotel with very positive traveler reviews (2,100 reviews average out to 4 out of 5 thumbs up) and it's four stars with an internationally trusted brand. Best of all, it's beachfront and it's clean!

The few complaints mostly seem to come down to it not having particularly much character. But when it comes down to it, you're in Hawaii for Hawaii, not to spend all day in your room! Get character out on the beach!

What to try: 

I personally think you can't go to Hawaii without trying surfing or SUP (stand up paddle boarding). I would want to try both!

Don't let the puppy show you up

You'll also want to try your hand at a round of hula dancing, even if it requires the cover of the night and some liquid courage. Vacation is about having fun and doing things you don't do every day!

What to eat:

Shave ice. If you've learned anything from President Obama's double-term, let it be that there are few less iconic Hawaiian foods than shave ice. Our favorite political celebrity is beloved fodder of tabloids and I think we've all seen some photo or another of the Obama family enjoying shave ice on a Hawaiian vacation.

Source: Nalu Island
And, heck, you're practically halfway to Asia - have it with some sweet azuki beans!

To bring back:

Pass on the half-naked hula dancer bobby head dolls and the lame t-shirts. Choose something you'll actually use, whether it's an artisan serving platter in the local style or a grass skirt if you're someone who likes to dance around your room in the evening with props.

That way, you'll get to relive your vacation!

Don't forget:

Hawaii is far away! There's a six hour time difference from the east coast, so be sure to factor the possibility of jet lag in when making plans for your first day or two of vacation!

Trying something crazy, like surfing epic waves when you've never even been able to get a boogie board going, is torture when you're tired and grouchy.

It should be fun!

Have you ever been to Hawaii?

How often do you go on vacation?

What's the next place you want to go on vacation to?

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