Hi! I'm an MBA grad, an avid reader, writer, podcaster and journalist. During COVID 19, plan your get-a-way to a tropical paradise, Hawaii.
As you know, we are in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic which is happening world-wide. As a result, travel to various locations are restricted or there are requirements you must meet before visiting or travelling there. This holds true for Hawaii as well.
If you plan to travel to Hawaii, I recommend you check travel advisories and follow any instructions, i.e. quarantining, etc. before you step foot in Hawaii.
My travel excursion to Hawaii discussed here, took place long before COVID-19 was even thought of. With that being said, I would like to share with you all the fun things I did and enjoyed while visiting beautiful Hawaii which you may choose to do also, should you visit Hawaii.
Visit the Hawaiian Islands on Your Hawaiian Vacation or Getaway
When you visit the exotic and tropical Hawaiian Islands, you may feel as if you are literally in paradise. You may marvel at just how beautiful Hawaii is.
Once you experience for yourself how breathtaking the islands of Hawaii are, you may want to make many return visits to see and experience more of their beauty. In fact, some people enjoy Hawaii so much so that after visiting Hawaii, many return to make this state their new home.
Research the Hawaiian Islands
Hawaii is made up of several islands, including the island of Hawaii as well as the largest populated island, Oahu, which means "gathering place." Hawaii is actually made up of eight different main islands: Hawaii, Maui, Oahu, Kaua, Moloka, Lanai, Niihau and Kahoolawe. Additionally, there are numerous smaller islands referred to as iselets. Of the main islands previously mentioned, I will focus on the beautiful island of Oahu.
You may choose to research Hawaii thoroughly as I did before your trip. It is quite different to imagine that you are going to Hawaii but becomes real when you have an actual departure date for your visit. You will probably want to know or have a general idea of what to expect prior to to your visit.
Go online or obtain Hawaiian books and travel magazines at stores before your trip or even in the airport before you board the plane. Note: I flew to Hawaii; however, there are cruises that travel to Hawaii as well.
Before your trip, you can make mental notes to visit the scenic shorelines of beaches that are featured as suggested places to visit in Hawaii, or other locations of interest.
Where and How to Have Fun in Oahu
Where and how do you have fun in Oahu? There is so much to do and enjoy in Hawaii, it will take books for me to attempt to share with you just half of all there is to do and enjoy! There are numerous travel books and articles about Hawaii that delve into this topic. Don't forget to check out youtube or other videos as well to get a visual idea of what to expect once you visit Oahu.
Oahu is basically a tourist site, even though ordinary people reside there as well. As a result, there are plenty of fun and exciting things to do in Oahu. Check online and elsewhere for current schedules and prices to attend any of the events I will discuss here. Just remember that due to the COVID-19 virus pandemic, some of these events and happenings may be streamlined or limited.
Weather Conditons and What to Wear During Your Hawaiian Vacation
Once you decide what you would like to experience in Hawaii, check the airlines schedules to book your flight. It doesn't matter what time of the year you plan to visit. Beautiful Hawaii's pleasant weather always awaits to welcome you.
The months of June, July and September are purported to be the best months to visit; however, Hawaii has pleasant weather all year round. I vacationed to Hawaii during the month of June and the weather was almost perfect. It rained maybe once or twice during my visit, and each time the rain was more of a sprinkle and did not last long.
If you choose to go during the colder months in your area, you may have to get used to seeing people wearing summer outfits and shorts once you reach Hawaii. After your first shock or surprise at the beautiful weather and if you did not bring them with you -- you can embark on buying outfits specifically made for Hawaii. Enjoy the Hawaiian experience with outfits with that Hawaiian look and feel to suit Hawaiian weather. Remember, you have to dress the part to really feel connected to being in Hawaii.
Ladies, during your stay, don't forget to put a flower in your hair and make sure the flower is either on the right or left, depending on whether or not you are married or single. Guys, remember to wear at least one, if not more tropical Hawaiian shirts for at least one day during your visit.
Once you reach Hawaii, you will be greeted with pleasant weather, other friendly tourists and native Hawaiians. If it rains in Hawaii while you are there as I alluded to previously, be happy in the knowledge that the rain never lasts long. In fact, sometimes within minutes the sunshine and blue skies return as if they never left.
Time flies when you are having fun.
Schedule Fun Events During Your Hawaiian Vacation
You have probably heard the saying, "Time flies when you are having fun." This will be especially true during your visit to Hawaii. It may seem as if you have just arrived on the Island before you have to start preparing to leave. This is why it's important to schedule as many fun events as you can squeeze in during your Hawaiian vacation.
Also allow extra time to explore areas and events that you may not have already scheduled for your trip. In other words, do not be afraid to be spontaneous. Just be aware that the clock is ticking and before long, just as you said "Hello" (Aloha) to Hawaii, you will soon be saying "Goodbye" (Aloha).
Due to scheduling conflicts and considerations, you may not be able to visit all the places and do fun things on your Hawaiian to-do list. Simply do as many as you can to avoid stress so you can relax and enjoy your vacation.
You may use my activities discussed here be a general guide. You may decide you would like to partake of some of these events or there may be other exciting venues you prefer to visit instead. As I alluded to earlier, it is likely your time will be short in Hawaii so try to prioritize what you would like to see and do.
Also, do not hesitate to add more fun things to your to-do list during your Hawaiian visit. Maybe you are not a "list" person. In that case, be sure to have some sort of itinerary to follow as a guide so you will be certain to visit your "must-do" events.
Start Your Hawaiian Vacation Fun With a Luau
Participating in a luau is one of the most amazing activities you can do to experience Hawaii culture. You can enjoy their native drinks before the luau starts with a blast. You may prefer to wear comfortable shoes vice heels, etc. while walking on the grass at a luau.
Walking on the grass at the luau can be challenging if you wear heels (like I did), since your heels may sink deep in the grass -- depending of course on where you attend the luau. I was having such a good time, I not only survived but thrived in my complete enjoyment of the luau atmosphere in heels. So can you, if you like. Or you can simply wear flats. An extra bonus being at the luau is you may even get to take a picture with one of the handsome Hawaiian dancers (like I did).
An Hawaiian Dinner and A Show at the Luau
Before dinner, there are usually mini contests, for example some of the guests may be requested to dun grass skirts and dance the hula to Hawaiian music. How fun and hilarious this will be, since some of the most unlikely people are asked to dance the hula in front of the group.
You will see Hawaiian headdresses being made and will even be able to make a Hawaiian headdress of your own, if you so choose.
Then on to a delicious authentic Hawaiian meal! The dish will look like it is right out of a magazine, so of course feel free to take pictures of it before you delve into its deliciousness.
Next came the show and what a show it was. This may be the first time you see guys dance the hula. It is interesting, in my opinion, to see how they danced with their legs bending musically out and in to the beat of the tunes. The guys danced with and alongside the gorgeous Hawaiian female dancers who graced the stage.
All types of talented singing acts were featured. The exception was a gentleman singing who reminded me of a Ls Vegas act instead of singing suitable for beautiful Hawaii. I was glad when the next act started; however, this was just a bump in the road, and the other singers were amazing.
Now a note about the fire dances. I had never seen a fire dance performed before, where guys actually dance while throwing and swirling batons that have fire sometimes on both ends.
Due to the tremendous amount of fun you will have while being in Hawaii, you may leave saying that there were no parts of the luau that you did not thoroughly enjoy with the exception being the Vegas singing gentleman. Of course, the luau you attend may be totally different from the one that I did and it's possible that by now, the show has changed to some degree.
Enjoy an Outdoor Fair or Festival Event During Your Hawaiian Vacation
There are no guarantees a fair or festival will be available when you visit Hawaii. I think the one I went to was a special event that occurs annually. However, you never know when and if there will be such an event when you visit Hawaii. So be sure to check to see what events, including fairs, are scheduled.
You may, of course, surf the web, and other sources to see if there are any fairs, or other outdoor gatherings scheduled when you visit. You will be able to check out all the offering of the outdoor vendors, which sometimes include lots of seashell type jewelry, hand crafted bracelets and necklaces made out of rope and leather material. This seems to be a big draw of the crowd. Large groups of people would stand around the vendor and watch intently as he handmade these items. They are a little pricey, but only because they are handmade and I'm sure they are worth the price.
Other than shopping, there will be lots to see at the fair, including a stage of hula dancers who are dancing for your entertainment pleasure!
Enjoy the Drive To The Polynesian Culture Center While In Oahu
The Polynesian Cultural Center continues to be Oahu's top tourist attraction. This award winning cultural center is located on the outskirts of Oahu. Depending on where you are, you may have to drive a ways to get to the center, but the drive will be really worth it.
On your way to the Polynesian Cultural Center, uou can drive down a street located adjacent to the beautiful blue Hawaiian waters. In other words, take the scenic route which will definitely not disappoint you.
From your vehicle, you can look to your right and see nothing but a wide area of sky blue water, with white waves crashing on the shore under a clear blue, beautiful Hawaiian sky. It's an absolutely stunning sight.
Do not be anxious or afraid that you will get lost if you decide to travel to the center alone. Just be safe and always be aware of your surroundings. I arrived at the Polynesian Center during the early afternoon hours, and stayed until the center closed. I was having that much fun!
The above being said, it is sometimes difficult to get lost in Hawaii, but feel free to use your GPS if needed. Also always have your cell phone handy as well.
Marvel At The Award Winning Polynesian Cultural Center
When you walk in the Polynesian Cultural Center, it may appear to be a regular shopping center. The only difference is that there are an abundance of Hawaii items for sale. There is a shopping center section area in front, but this center had so much more. In other words, there is a lot more to the center than initially meets the eye!
For instance, you can sign up to see a live full production Hawaiian show, located in the Polynesian Cultural Center.
If you walk further into the open area within the palm tree lined center, you will see various exhibits celebrating Hawaii and its rich history and culture. Of the various different rooms, be sure to visit the sometimes standing room only center that was labeled "Hawaii."
The Hawaiian Center is where you can find out about the hula and Hawaiian dances. For instance, did you know that the hula is not an Hawaiian dance? The hula is actually a Tahitian originated dance, of which Hawaii had no part in creating. This was news to me since I always equated hula dancing with Hawaii.
Even more Interesting is Hawaii does have a native dance. Their dances vary. For example, the graceful dancer on stage will raise her hands and move her fingers around melodically as she dances, making little steps back and forth in her bare feet, her ankles adorned with leaves as ankle bracelets. She will explain that Hawaiians use their fingers to indicate different animals and meanings.
There is almost nothing more touching during an Hawaiian visit than hearing the history of Hawaiian dance from an actual Hawaiian dancer. I'm sure you will be thoroughly impressed just as I was.
I cannot leave out the many statuesque, magnificent palm trees. In fact, during your walk around the area, one of the events you will see is tree climbing performed by the native Hawaiians. You will be amazed at how high and quickly the climber goes up the bark of the palm tree and down again. This event is a must-see in Hawaii.
Be Thrilled At The Polynesian Cultural Center Show
The well choreographed show when I visited Hawaii was the Story of Hai -- which means "Breath of Life." Island dancers consisted of Hawaiians, Fijis, Tahitians,Tongas, and others to chronicle the birth of a son, destined and trained for greatness.
The dancing and background scenery were absolutely astonishing and even though the cast was singing in their native tongue, you could understand the story by the high quality of the dance movements alone.I also got a chance to shake some of the dancers' hands after the show! (Remember -- my visit was pre-COVID so handshaking was allowed).
When you go and if this particular show is not scheduled, be assured that another equally amazing show will be available for you to watch. I'm sure the organizers found a way to continue these type shows even under COVID-19 restrictions.
After you leave the show, don't forget to visit stores to buy Hawaiian souvenirs. I had to deliberate whether to buy a DVD of the show I had just seen, mainly because of the cost. Then I came to a realization -- Just when will I be in Hawaii again? A trip to Hawaii is not like an every day trip to the mall. So I convinced myself to purchase the DVD, and I'm so glad I did.
Anytime I want to go back to my beautiful Hawaiian vacation days, I watch the DVD and relive the magic I experienced. I recommend that you do the same. Go ahead and buy a DVD of the show like the one you have just saw if one was available. This DVD will not be the actual show you have just seen, but one that was recorded previously. When you watch the DVD, you may feel as if you are reliving and re-watching the actual show.
To give you an idea of just how much I loved the Polynesian Cultural Center, I actually stayed until they closed. I didn't want to miss a single minute of this experience!
Returning to Your Hawaiian Vacation
Someone asked me when I returned from Hawaii how did I feel. I replied ecstatically, "I felt like I was in a dream!"
Hopefully, one day you will be able to first of all go, and then return to Hawaii to pick up where you left out from your first visit. If I've hopefully convinced you that Hawaii is a vacation worthy of your valuable time, maybe we will meet along the beautiful beaches of Hawaii, and give each other a knowing wink and I can say to you from afar-- "Welcome to Hawaii!"
Have fun in Oahu Hawaii!
Courtlney Davis (author) on September 12, 2011:
Thanks for your comments and for voting up!
Husky1970 on September 11, 2011:
Great information. I would love to make a visit to Hawaii sometime in the future. You make it sound very, very inviting. Voted up and interesting. Looking forward to checking out a few more of your "how to" hubs.