Yes, Hawaiʻi is, for better or worse, part of the USA. US dollars are the local currency. We have standard US electrical current, so if you are coming from North America you don’t need an adapter for your hair drier or electric razor. We do generally take our shoes off when entering someone’s home. We have a wide variety of foods, and if you have never been here before, you may find some things you’ve never eaten before. They are probably quite tasty, so give them a try!
BUT the airports can be a challenge. I have been through airports in nine countries and 13 states, and my worst airport experiences have been in Hawaiʻi. Some of the best have been in Hawaiʻi, but all of the worst have been in Hawaiʻi.
- The airport food is crazy expensive.
- The WiFi was crazy expensive last time I was there (May 2016). The website claims WiFi is free, so maybe all the complaints accomplished something.
- The carts for your luggage are not THAT expensive, but you do have to pay for them. Use cash, not your CC. The CC readers don’t seem to be encrypted. My card info was stolen once, and I had to shut down the card to keep from paying for all the charges being made from someplace on the African coast. This messes up your credit score, because one of the things the credit reporting agencies go by is how long you have had your card.
- Baggage storage starts at $10 per day (for keys) and goes up.
- How luggage is treated is extremely variable. I have had it treated with kid gloves, and on other trips watched as TSA emptied my bags, repacked so it didn’t fit, and smashed the cover down, damaging things. I have watched as baggage handlers during other trips slammed my backpack against the asphalt several times while laughing. I have had significant amounts of things disappear.
It is super, super easy to open modern luggage. The lock does not do a thing because thieves go in through the zipper. The video below shows how it works. But preventing theft is actually pretty easy. Someone stealing from luggage has to move fast. So, to slow the thieves down, simply put things in bags, and tie the bags in place. Make sure the bags can be seen through, as TSA may want to know what’s inside.
Below the video are links to some of my favorite travel accessories.
Compression bags are great space savers. For security, you can put them in the net bags, and then safety pin the net bags to the inner straps of your suitcase. Anyone with nefarious ideas will have to spend a lot of time getting the stuff out! I use net laundry bags rather than the net travel bags because they are more durable and usually less expensive.
It is the rare hotel that has outlets conveniently located. Make sure your adaptors have extension cords!
Fresh, clean, and comfy!
I have not gotten ill from travel since I started using these tips I got from a flight attendant:
- Use Bacitracin instead of lip balm, and put a little inside your nostrils, too. Her idea: The dry air causes microscopic cracks which allow bacteria to get in. The Bacitracin helps prevent dryness and cracking, and kills anything that might be trying to get in.
- Carry the collapsable baggies of baby wipes. Clean every surface you will touch during the trip. You would not believe how utterly nasty some people are when traveling. I even clean the toilet cubical each time I go. I stay healthy, and the flight crew loves me.
- Take extra socks or a pair of zori (rubber slippers / flip flops), and a sealable bag. Take off your shoes so you can flex your feet. Keep that circulation going! But you don’t want your feet touching the nasties people track around in airplanes, so put on a pair of socks or zori when you roam around. Drop them in the sealable bag and clean them later.
I used to catch some terrible bug each time I flew. Since following this advice, I have not caught a single bug from traveling!