Visiting Hawaii for the first time? Well, that has got to be one of the best decisions you've ever made in your life! Hawaii offers some of the world's most spectacular attractions, both natural and man-made, as well as some of the most exciting adventures one could ever experience! To make your stay in the Rainbow State truly memorable, avoid committing Hawaiian faux pas once you get there.
1. Don't tell a local that you are from "the USA"
If someone asks you where you are from, never ever say the "USA" as it may sound that your are implying that Hawaii is not part of the U.S.. To avoid being considered rude and arrogant, just say "the mainland" or specify the city where you live.
2. Don't shout "what" to a local
Yelling the word “what” to anyone local is a brawl waiting to happen. People in Hawaii have made this a fighting word!
3. Don't spend your first day soaking up Hawaiian sun
Fight the temptation of lying under the sun to get some tan immediately after setting foot in the islands. The sun in Hawaii is very hot and it is very easy to get a severe sunburn. Apart from unsightly, sunburn is painful and may ruin the rest of your vacation! If you decide to spend time in the sun, do it in the early mornings or late afternoons and use plenty of sunscreen.
4. Don't take lava rocks or sand as souvenirs
Taking home lava rocks and sand from Hawaii is considered bad luck. Don't take our word for it. Check the local post offices for boxes of returned Hawaiian artifacts to understand what we mean. Apparently, many who disregarded this superstition met misfortune after misfortune after taking home the forbidden souvenirs. Also avoid disturbing or removing rock, shells or anything from a heiau (Hawaiian temple), marine preserves and cultural sites, as doing so also entails similar misfortune.
5. Don't get anywhere near a Hawaiian Monk Seal or Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle
It is common to encounter these interesting creatures in the beach but it would be best for you to observe them at a safe distance. Both are endangered species that are protected by laws prohibiting anyone to touch or interact with them. Violating this rule could result in a fine up to $2,000 or 30 days in jail.
6. Don't leave your hotel room without cash
Make sure you have enough cash or acceptable credit cards when you go around Hawaii. There are no major banks on the islands and ATM fees are attrocious!
7. Don't refuse a flower lei
Hawaiians traditionally welcome guests with a flower lei. Do not refuse the flower lei as well as the customary kiss and hug that come with it. Also never remove a lei in the presence of the giver as doing so is insulting and disrespectful.
8. Don't enter a home with your shoes on
Because a large population of Hawaii has Asian heritage, it is customary for visitors to take off their footwear before entering a Hawaiian home. Unless the owner specifically says that there is no need to, always remove your shoes as a sign of respect.
9. Don't leave valuables in your rental car
While Hawaii is safer than many other U.S. cities, property crime accounts for about 92 percent of all crime in the islands . Theft at tourist hotspots is rampant and rental cars are prime targets. When you park your car, do not leave any valuables anywhere in the car even for a minute.
10. Don't spend your entire vacation in your resort
Granted that Hawaii is home to some of the most beautiful hotels and resorts in the world, the rainbow state has other attractions to offer apart from beaches. Explore its many islands and experience unique sights and exhilarating adventures.