Instead of dining at chain restaurants, support locally-owned companies.
Eat at a one-of-a-kind local restaurant instead than a chain restaurant.
Two popular mainland chain restaurants, Chick-fil-A and Raising Cane’s, opened on Maui this past summer — but from what I heard, some residents weren’t delighted because these fast-food chains could take business away from locally owned businesses.
To me, it seems like a waste to fly all the way out to Hawaii just to consume the same stuff you may have access to back home. Instead, I advocate supporting local companies and taking the opportunity to sample true Pacific-island meals.
Avoid sunscreens that can damage the environment.
I always avoid sunscreens with oxybenzone or octinoxate.
Mykola Sosiukin/EyeEm/Getty Images
The Hawaii legislature outlawed the sale of sunscreens containing the reef-damaging chemicals oxybenzone and octinoxate in 2021, although these products are still available in select stores.
Spending money on things that are damaging to the islands’ natural ecosystems can badly effect the environment and locals. Even while sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate are slightly less expensive, the long-term effects of these compounds are not worth the savings.
I strongly suggest protecting the area you’re visiting by using only reef-safe sunscreen, especially if it comes in a bottle that is reusable or recyclable.
Instead of a synthetic lei, opt for real flowers.
If you made it all the way to Hawaii, skip the fake leis made from plastic.
As mementos, fake leis and other floral accessories are OK, but I believe that plastic lacks the aloha spirit. While in Hawaii, wear a lei handcrafted by a local artist or discover a free flower to wear in your hair.
If you must bring a lei back with you, try purchasing one fashioned from authentic kukui nuts, which grow on trees in Hawaii. Simply avoid fake repetitions.
Ignore the mass-produced, imported items.
I would prefer purchase artwork from a local artist than from a gift shop.
There are a great deal of inexpensive duplicates of the genuine article. The Tiki, for instance, is an iconic cultural and spiritual emblem that depicts Polynesian deities, but tourists may purchase a cheap version at a convenience store.
These trinkets are typically imported to the islands and manufactured of synthetic materials rather than hand-carved wood, which diminishes the mana or power of the totem.
It is worthwhile to purchase the work of a local artist who has spent years perfecting their technique, even if it is more expensive.
Matching ensembles have the potential to be adorable but frequently appear gaudy.
Wearing identical attire is not a fresh concept, therefore your family may twin with other families.
Matching outfits with your partner or family members is one method to stand out as a traveler.
I believe that matching outfits have the potential to be a cute photo opportunity, but you should consider whether or not these pieces will be worn again after returning home. I don’t recommend wasting money on something you’ll wear once and chuck away after the vacation is done.
Since so many tourist stores sell apparel with identical styles and patterns, you may end up twinning with more than just your family members.
Almost never are tourist traps worth the admission cost.
Popular attractions that are packed and cost a lot of money aren’t worth it.
There are tourist attractions on each island that, in my opinion, do not add much value to a trip. I have even regretted visiting a couple major sights since they were packed, unimpressive, and costly to enter.
If the gift store takes up the majority of the venue, you’ve undoubtedly been drawn into a tourist trap that will try to siphon your money without delivering much value in return.
Do not purchase beach toys that will be discarded.
I believe that renting snorkel equipment and other beach toys is preferable to purchasing them.
On the islands, convenience stores sell an assortment of water toys, including inflatable tubes, snorkels, and boogie boards. I’ve seen, though, that guests do not often take these items home, thus they wind up in landfills or on our beaches.
Instead of purchasing these products from a convenience store, consider renting them from a kiosk at a beachfront hotel or a local establishment such as Snorkel Bob’s.
Tropical beverages at the resorts are convenient yet pricey.
I suggest getting a drink at an off-site bar and arranging a safe ride home.
The hotel bars’ beverages are extremely pricey. “Upgraded” beverages presented in a coconut or pineapple are photo-worthy, but I find it obscene to pay over $40 for a single drink.
However, a portion of the drink’s worth rests in the experience itself, particularly if it is consumed poolside.
If you only want a mai tai before dinner or a night out at a bar, it is more cost-effective to seek alternatives off-property.