Aloha from Hawaii

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Well it's been a week...reality has set in and I've well and truly slumped into post-holiday depression (first world problems I know). But, they say the best thing to do is recount your experiences and well, plan your next holiday! At the moment I'm thinking it could be a fabulous plan to escape every Australian winter and head to a tropical destination instead. Could I call it market research?

But first I'll take a step back and give you some of my tips and suggestions, rookie errors and favourite moments from Hawaii. Aloha to the sunshine, salt and sand...

Tips & Suggestions:
  • Use Hawaiian Airlines
    If you're stuck trying to find a hotel I suggest jumping onto the Hawaiian Airlines website. We booked our flights and hotel stay as a package and managed to get it cheaper than any where else. However, even though it is an Australian website the prices are still in USD. We got a little bit over excited and then realised a bit further down the track. There's plenty of other options when booking your stay but for a couple that haven't traveled much this was easy, fast and reliable.
  • Do stay at The Modern Honolulu!
    This was our hotel for the whole duration of our stay and it was so beautiful! 5 star rating (reasonable pricing - we got every 4th night free), cocktails by the pool, comfortable yet beachy decor. It's not right in the middle of Waikiki so you beat the hustle and bustle but it's certainly not too far. One quirky fact is that the hotel smells amazing, they had their own 'hotel scent' fabricated and it is divine - the essence of Plumeria. It has now taken to the top of my list as favourite Island scent
The Rooms (Image from The Modern Honolulu)
Our View from the Room
Daybeds by the Pool
  • Eat local!
    Sure we tried our fair share of American eats but when you're in your togs and on the beach there's only so many cheeseburgers you want to stomach for the fear of sinking...My personal favourite was a cafe not far from our hotel - GOOFY Cafe & Dine.
    Their tagline was "Local First, Organic Whenever Possible" and it truly made a difference. Great service and delicious fresh food! It's safe to say that we went there a couple of times.
What's island living without an Acai Bowl?
Eggs Benedict with Taro Potato and Kale
Omlette, brown rice and kale - delicious!
  • Visit Pearl Harbour -
    I found the experience moving and educational. I would suggest reserving your tickets online the day before as the USS Arizona Memorial only has 2000 tickets a day. Not booking online means getting up earlier, not being guaranteed a ticket and having to wait for your time slot which could be a couple of hours. We opted not to do a tour because we prefer to do things in our own time and it turned out to be a lot cheaper. We also did the USS Missouri experience which proved to be worth the entry cost! If you don't mind a selfie get involved on the #BattleshipSelfie.
USS Arizona Memorial 
  • Catch Public Transport!
    Depending on your disposable income or holiday budget, catching the bus can be one easy way to save money! Consider Pearl Harbour - public transport was only $2.50 each, each way, as opposed to $40 each for tour packages. The travel time was relatively the same and we were relaxed as we didn't have time constraints!
  • Be a Tourist!
    I was not ashamed to take too many photos, buy inflatable sun lounges from the cheap store (and float for hours I might add), get too sunburnt (unintentionally), google "how to tip", eat at chain restaurants, see below, and buy silly souvenirs - it added to the whole experience. I could say that I had an instagram worthy holiday the whole time but that would be a lie, and the experience was so much better than the photos (one would hope). 
One of many cocktails!
Bubba Gump Shrimp Co
Rookie Errors:
  • Pack a Straw Hat:
    You wouldn't think I worked for a lifestyle brand because I packed a felt hat - and yes, it did look good...but in 30 plus heat my head felt like it was on fire. Invest in a good hat before you leave - the tourist prices were inflated big time for headwear!

  • Pack Plenty of Kaftans:
    I honestly over packed, I think the thought of 32 kilos of baggage excited me too much. I hardly wore any of my day outfits and absolutely LIVED in kaftans. Should have packed more - I only had a couple on rotation.

  • Pack Your Own Sunscreen:
    You can clearly tell we hadn't travelled much because my partner and I didn't know that you could take liquids in your suitcase. We thought that you had to put everything in 100ml bottles - yes we squirted the shampoo into these, talk about a rookie error.
    I realised the thing I missed most was my sunscreen and the retail for it in Hawaii was expensive!

I could go on forever but I simply think I could be borderline gloating and wasting your time. If you have any questions please post them below! Finally, check out some of my favourite moments -

What's your favourite tropical holiday destination? 
Where should we travel next?



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