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Five Things to Know Before Going to Hawaii

Before jetting off to Hawaii, there are a few pieces of essential information you should know, from what clothing to pack to knowing the time differences. Check out these five tips on what to know before you go.

1. Clothing is casual.

Gone are the days where you had to pack a gown for the ladies and a jacket and tie for the guys. Even the fanciest of restaurants only calls for sun dresses and dress pants. Most of the time, though, you can get away with whatever’s comfortable: shorts, tee shirts, blouses, sandals or sneakers.

2. Money is the same.

Hawaii, being a U.S. state, uses U.S. currency like any other state. You can use any major credit card at most locations in Hawaii, plus there are plenty of ATMs and banks on all islands. When tipping, it’s the same as anywhere else in this country: between 15 and 20 percent is standard. Tipping works just the same way as everywhere else. Your Hoku Hawaii tour operator, taxi driver, bell hop and anyone else that provides a service will be most appreciative of your gesture.

3. Don’t forget the time zones.

Hawaii operates on the same day as the rest of the country, yet two hours earlier than California and five hours earlier than Philadelphia, PA. There is no daylight savings time in Hawaii so you don’t have to worry about changing the clocks. During daylight savings time, then, Hawaii time will be three hours earlier than CA and six hours earlier than Philly.

4. You don’t need a visa as a U.S. resident.

You won’t find any different entry requirements for Hawaii than you would for the rest of the country. Are you a U.S. citizen? You don’t need a passport. Are you a Canadian resident? You will need a passport, as will anyone coming from any other country around the world.

5. There is no bad time to go.

Visiting Hawaii any month out of the year will be wonderful in terms of weather. However, if you’re looking to avoid the crowds, avoid peak tourist season which is June through August and December through February. Waikiki tends to be crowded in late April and early May when many Japanese tourists take to this bustling place for Golden Week. Also going on at this time is the Merrie Monarch festival in Hilo right around Easter, which also draws crowds. As for weather, there’s no bad time to go, but as a general rule, the summer months tend to be drier while the winter is a bit rainier. Keep in mind Hawaii is a tropical climate, so at one point or another, it’s raining or misting on some part of the islands. These rains usually pass quickly and the sun comes right back out.

Before heading to the tropical paradise that is Hawaii, read up on these tips for essential information. Enjoy your trip!