Must-Know Things Before You Head Off To Hawaii

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Hawaii is a dream destination for many people, with so many individuals including it on their bucket list of places to visit during their lifetime. This exotic location with white sand beaches and magical clear blue water is indeed a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

However, the beaches and the sun are far from being Hawaii’s only attraction. This state’s unique culture, customs, and people make it a wonderful place to visit and represent a pleasure to learn about. If you are planning to travel to Hawaii, have in mind that there is so much to know about this place and so much to do. In this article, we will discuss a few basics that you must know before you head off to Hawaii. 

Understand The Heritage

Hawaii’s population is made up of diverse cultural groups. Not everyone that is born in Hawaii is considered to be of Hawaiian descent, and you should be aware of that difference in order to avoid offending the individuals or the culture due to a lack of knowledge. Individuals of true Hawaiian heritage only make up around 9% of the whole population, whilst everyone else is identified as a ‘local’.  

This amalgamation of diverse cultural groups is what makes up Hawaii’s cultural environment. The unique values and customs of the Hawaiian population remain very apparent on the Islands, despite the fact that the Hawaiian race itself has somewhat been fading away over time, and as said before,  only a small percentage of individuals in the state are of true Hawaiian origin.

Learn Basic Vocabulary 

It is easy for visitors to any country to use the universal English language that the majority of people understand. English is indeed an official language in Hawaii, along with Hawaiian. Although locals will understand and speak English perfectly, you should attempt to learn basic Hawaiian vocabulary to use during your stay. This is an overlooked way of tourists showing respect for the culture and the people and people will definitely appreciate your efforts. Learning words such as Aloha, which can have different meanings, and how to use it in different ways, for example, will convey to others the respect you have for the language, the place and the culture overall.

Be Mindful When Driving 

Hawaii is full of magical wonders and amazing scenery to visit and explore. If you are on the road, it can be difficult to focus on driving when you are surrounded by unique beauty.  However, this can be dangerous, as Hawaiian roads are usually built on steep ocean cliffs and narrow highways with drastic fluctuations of altitude. For this reason, instead of attempting to take photographs from the car window as you drive, or rubbernecking to catch that breath-taking ocean view, please ensure you pull over to the side of the road so that you can do this safely.  Not only will this act show respect to other drivers who may be locals trying to get through their daily commute, but it also ensures you and other road users remain safe. 

Safety First! 

In every travel plan you make, it is important to always consider your own safety and that of others too. Going to Hawaii can be a wonderful experience. However, as in every country, there are a few hazards that may jeopardize your safety and if you are aware of these, you will be able to take the necessary precautions to ensure your dream vacation goes as smoothly as possible.  If you suffered an injury in Hawaii, you may consider hiring a personal injury lawyer in order to guide you through the process and ensure you receive the compensation you are entitled to. However, injuries can be avoided with some common-sense practices.

Some things to look for whilst in Hawaii are, for example, signs at the beach specifying that it is not safe to swim, possibly due to the existence of dangerous marine animals or strong rip tides. Signs at waterfalls may suggest the presence of leptospirosis, rare bacterial infection harmful to humans and animals, therefore swimming there would not be safe. Signs are there for a reason, even if you do not believe there is one for concern. Ensure you comply with the signs, respecting the location and avoiding unnecessary health concerns.  

Be Aware of ‘Kapu’ 

Along the same lines as the previous paragraph, during your stay in Hawaii, you are likely to see signs reading the word ‘Kapu’ – this simply means ‘keep out’. Although this word is more than an indication of a possible safety hazard ahead, if you see this sign in a location, it most likely means that the location is sacred and your presence is forbidden. These signs are most likely found in ancient burial grounds or sacred meeting places, therefore you must be respectful and honor the wishes of the local population.Hawaii is an extraordinary place; there is so much to see and visit, and lots to learn from the amazing unique culture. As a visitor, ensure that you take the necessary precautions before traveling to Hawaii so you know what to expect and what to do so that you remain safe during your visit and so that you show respect to their population.

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