Whenever people ask me my favorite place in all my travels, I think they’re expecting far-off locales like Singapore, Cambodia, Morocco, or Switzerland. but the honest truth is a little closer to home (but not that much closer)… It’s always Hawaii. It’s the most beautiful, most friendly place I’ve ever visited, and we happily return to our favorite islands year after year for our anniversary. (Well, except during the pandemic!)
I’ve written more about Hawaii than any other location I’ve visited, so I thought it was high time to pull together some tried and true favorites! These are some of the most viewed, most saved, most helpful blog posts on my entire website. If you’re planning a trip to Hawaii, this is your one-stop resource!
If you’ve never been to Hawaii, and if you’re like I was before I visited for the first time, it’s all “Hawaii!” It’s all close together (relatively), it’s all tropical, it’s all the same, right? Nope! Once you start researching, you start to find that each island has different pros and cons. Each island is home to different things to do. It’s too much to try to visit all six main islands (or even the 4 most popular!) all in one trip.
That’s where this guide comes in handy. In it, I’ve covered the pros and cons of each island, the types of people who might like (or dislike) each island, and the questions you need to ask yourself when you start planning. Hawaii has something for everyone, but if you need help narrowing it down, this post is the best place to start!
Read next: The Ultimate Big Island Bucket List
This one has been an unexpected hit! I’m a huge fan of locally made, locally grown souvenirs, but the practical, carry-on only side of me also wants to make sure anything I bring home with me is also something I’ll use! Hawaii has so many wonderful ways you can bring your special trip home with you.
I thought it would be a fun post to write, but much to my surprise and delight, thousands of my readers have loved it, too! From Hawaiian coffee to Aloha shirts, and from chocolate-covered macadamia nuts to coconut “post cards,” this post will help you figure out the best things to bring home from your trip!
Don’t miss this one: How to Mail a Coconut from Hawaii
Hawaii may be the 50th State, but it’s so different from the mainland USA. And that’s not bad! But there are definitely some noteworthy things to know before you go, and this post has that information organized in a clear, concise way. You’ll find everything from what sunscreens are legal to common Hawaiian words in this handy post, all of which will help you feel prepared for your trip to paradise!
Read on: What to Eat on Each Hawaiian Island
The answer is definitely more than to simply “fly home!” Many flights from the Hawaiian Islands back to the mainland USA are red-eye, or overnight, flights. That means you won’t be leaving until the evening on your last day. And that means you get a whole extra day in paradise! This posts points out all the best options, whether or not you’ll have a shower at your disposal before you go. There may be some ideas here you never thought of!
More here: 10 Things to Do in Waikiki
My husband and I love to hike wherever we go! And that goes double for Hawaii. I have Hiking Hawaii posts for O’ahu, Big Island, Mau’i, and Molokai, and when we can get back there, I’ll be doing posts for Kaua’i and Lana’i, too! This post is not about Hawaii in particular, but it’s one of the most helpful if you are a hiker visiting Hawaii–or even a non-hiker who still wants to see Hawaii’s natural beauty!
Yes, you can use your U.S. cell phone in Hawaii! But no, you can’t drive between the islands. Hawaiians are nice and all, but if you ask what they think is a stupid question, they may quickly become offended, or even hurt. So, before you start asking your new Hawaiian friend if they’ve ever been to the United States, please read this post. You’ll be glad you did!
More here: Your 3-Day Road to Hana Itinerary
I have a packing post for each Hawaiian Island we’ve visited, but there are a few things that you’ll need no matter what island you choose. The catch? You may not know you need them! So I pulled together the top five most forgotten, most necessary items that you will want to pack for your Hawaii trip!
My most-viewed packing post ever:
Packing for Ladies: A Week on Maui
This is the only island-specific post on this particular list. Why? Because it’s been viewed over 10,000 times, and it’s such a special event, you want to do it right the first time! Mama’s Fish House is a fine dining, beachside restaurant on Maui, and for us, it was 100% worth the splurge to eat here for our fourth anniversary. But, you’ll need reservations, and there’s a dress code. Check out the post for everything you need to know, including sneak peeks of the menu!
More like this: Where to Eat on Each Hawaiian Island
This is perhaps one of the most important posts I’ve ever written. Hawaii is an undeniably expensive place to visit (and more expensive to live there!), but with the right strategies and tips, anyone who wants to go can make it happen. We’ve found some tried-and-true money saving hacks in our trips to the islands, and as always, I’m happy to let you in on my secrets! You can save on everything from food to rental cars if you just know where to look.
Read next: The Ultimate Guide to Travel and Your Money
Want more? Check out my Hawaiian Islands Page for all your Hawaii planning needs, including helpful posts on each island!
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