It was my first trip to Hawaii and my husband’s second time back when we went together in 2010. We went for our friends’ wedding and stayed for 10 days on the island of Oahu. We rented a car, drove around the island, hung out on the beach during the day, and ate so much Hawaiian food. It was such a great and fun experience!
For first time visitors to Hawaii, I highly recommend going to Oahu first. From what my Hawaiian friends tell me, it’s the most commercialized island, which isn’t a bad thing because there’s a lot of things to do. Whether you’re into shopping, surfing, snorkeling, or just wanting to lounge on the beach, there’s options.
Places that I recommend:
Kailua Beach – this beach has gorgeous white sands that stretch for 2.5 miles. This is our favorite beach on the island and we loved coming here to walk.
North Shore – although crowded, we went for the shrimp trucks and Hawaiian shaved ice.
Koko Head – this is a great hike if you want some physical activity on your trip. For less intensity, there’s Diamond Head
Boots & Kimo’s – banana mac pancakes. YUM.
Shark’s cove on the north shore – come here for an intimate snorkeling session.
Safety is always a priority when I travel. Before choosing a place to visit, I first research what neighborhoods or areas to avoid. Despite great deals on Hotel.com, Expedia, or other sites like Priceline, I base my accommodations on location. I even go as far as looking at Google streetview, and if I’m happy with the vicinity, then I go ahead and book. The other thing that I research especially when leaving the country is common tourist scams. I don’t think anyone wants to be scammed, and I sure as heck don’t want to be kidnapped like the movie, Taken. So other than researching safety, below are some other things to think about before jetting off to another country:
Adapter plug for your phone and electronics.
Check to see if the country you’re visiting requires a visa. For Americans visiting Australia, it’s a requirement before entering the counter. However, if you’re going to France you don’t need one.
Your passport. Invest in a passport holder so you don’t lose it. For me, I put mine in a wristlet to be hands free when going through airport security.
A credit card that doesn’t charge international fees.
Currency exchange for transportation costs. I’ve only used Travelex, but you can probably exchange currency at the airport.
Initial transportation. Are you going to take a taxi, a bus, shuttle, train, subway, or Uber?
Earbuds for watching movies on the plane. You can use the ones provided in-flight, but for germaphobes, bring your own.
Hand sanitizer and/or wipes if you want to wipe down your pullout tray and seat belt buckle.
Water. This will help you stay hydrated. I once landed with a huge migraine because I didn’t drink enough water on the plane.
Comfortable walking shoes if you plan to do a lot of walking. As tourists, it’s recommended.
In my opinion, a carry-on is enough for a trip. A checked bag is okay if you have a direct flight, but I wouldn’t recommend it otherwise. The less stuff you bring, the less that gets stolen.
Dramamine if you get motion sickness.
What to Wear on your flight:
Comfortable clothes. Just remember you’ll be sitting for at least 10 hours or more. For those on birth control, overweight, or of old age, compression socks are highly recommended to prevent an embolism. Yes, that’s right an embolism.