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Things to Know Before you Vacation on Hawaii

Hawaii is a popular vacation destination. I highly recommend going. But before you go, there are a few things that should be said. Now, not all of these things may apply to you, but you’d be surprised how often people don’t know or understand some of these things.

First off, Hawaii is beautiful, but it’s not a paradise. There’s trash and graffiti and worn buildings and all those other things that come along with being in a city. Not to mention that it’s crowded. It’s not going to be your own personal little paradise, so don’t expect it to be. It’s a place that has problems just like every other place.

Image via Hive Miner

Related to that. You have to remember that Hawaii is a place where people live and work. You may be on vacation, but they aren’t. So, when you’re walking in the street or driving on the road or looking through stores, remember that most of the people around you are hurrying to work or home just like you are when you aren’t on vacation. Try to be aware that you aren’t blocking walkways or such. And sometimes it’s better to just ask directions from someone than slowly wandering around.

–With that in mind, it is probably best to avoid vacations to the Big Island (The island of Hawaii) this summer. There is a lot going on with the recent eruption and, as Hawaii Civil Defense said, “This is not the time for sightseeing. You can help tremendously by staying out of the area,” (as quoted by CNN). For more information, take a look at this article by CNN.–

Like every place, there’s also a few unspoken rules that people learn and pass on just from living in a place. There are some roads that are one way without having any signs that say so. Some lanes are only for people planning to turn left. Make sure you keep an extra eye on the people around you so that you don’t accidentally put yourself or others in harm’s way.

With that, something people rarely think about is the traffic. I’m not exaggerating; there’s a ton of traffic. There are times when the highways become standstill and it takes forever to get anywhere (Be aware that there are also laws that prohibit the diver from using their phone, even if they aren’t moving. In this situation, have a passenger or someone else do whatever it is you need to do on your phone to avoid getting a fine.) There are some traffic lights that stay red for a much longer than usual time. Be prepared to come across these inconveniences. Like I said earlier, a lot of people live here and a lot of people are trying to go places along with the many tourists. Be aware and patient and courteous.

Image via Ilikai

Similar to the first point, the weather isn’t going to always be sunny and warm and perfect. It’s an island in the middle of the sea with a mountain in the middle, depending on the island. It’s going to rain. Usually, at any one time, it’s probably going to be raining somewhere on the island. And it may rain for a few minutes or a few days. Just be prepared.

Image via Surfer Today

Also, just please read and listen to the signs around you. Don’t be that headline the next morning talking about the tourist that fell off a waterfall after going too close to the edge or the tourist that’s in the hospital from inhaling too much sulfur after wandering away from the path while walking in the volcanic field.

Next time we’ll talk about another big part of visiting Hawaii that has rules not a lot of people know about: nature.

Cover image via National Geographic Kids

Zoe Philippou

Gettysburg '20

(she/her) From Arizona, Zoe is officially a Psychology and Anthropology double major, a German minor, and an unofficial a Theater inhabitor. She loves all thing having to do with culture or really just people in general. She's also a huge nerd who loves crafts.
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