Planning the Perfect Honeymoon in Hawaii
(TIP: It's more than just buying the air fare!)

I recently had a bride call to book a honeymoon cruise in Hawaii. I asked her if they might like to fly to Oahu a day early to have some time on the island before the cruise. I told her about Honolulu, Waikiki, Diamond Head, Don Ho, and of course, Pearl Harbor. To my utter amazement she said (in all seriousness) ?What?s Pearl Harbor??

Hawaii is an amazing and diverse collection of islands in the South Pacific ? most with non stop flights available from SFO. If you want a fabulous honeymoon with an opportunity for Polynesian Culture, white sand beaches, tropical rainforests, adventure and activities, gourmet restaurants and more, then Hawaii is for you! Each island offers a different atmosphere and different opportunities. If you have the time to visit more than one island, you should! We recommend at least 4 nights on each island, which islands you pick is up to you!

Clothing: The islands of Hawaii each have many different climates ? including snow! Consider what activities you plan to enjoy, then pack (fleece jacket if going to Haleakaka, sturdy hiking shoes if hiking on the lava fields). There are many useful guidebooks that offer in depth information on various activities and what to wear. Overall dress is ?aloha wear?. Be casual. You do not need to bring a suit, dress slacks, or fancy cloths (unless you want to!)

Weather, Water and Sun: October to May the temperature averages mid 80?s during the day and mid 60?s to mid 70?s at night (light jackets or sweaters are recommended for the evening). These months see more rain but unless there is a weather system, the rain doesn?t usually last long. May to October averages mid to high 80?s during the day and mid 70?s at night. The year-round average water temperature is a warm 74 degrees. The sun is very, very strong. Waterproof sunscreen with maximum protection is essential.

Hotels, be sure to ask: Many hotels offer discounts for honeymooners or extended stays. They may also offer room upgrades or amenities for honeymooners. Just because a hotel is on a beach does not mean it?s on a ?swimmable? beach. What does ?partial? ocean view really mean? Is there a charge for parking? Is there a ?daily activity fee??

Time and Money: Hawaii does not observe daylight savings time. During the Spring and Summer months, when the clock is turned ahead, Hawaii is 6 hours behind Eastern Standard Time (EST), 3 hours behind Pacific Standard Time (PST). The islands have many banks and ATM?s. We do recommend traveling with more than one ATM or credit card in case something happens to your primary card. Check with your bank before you go about fees they may charge for using your ATM out of network.

Common Sense and Need to Know: Do NOT leave valuables in your rental car, on your beach blanket, or loose in your hotel. Use the safe in your hotel room if you must bring valuables that you won?t be carrying on you. If renting a convertible is a MUST (which we think it is!) rent a convertible with a lockable trunk.Be sure to ask about discounts when booking activities (AAA, military) and do book the most popular activities in advance. Research and read up on vendors and talk with them directly before you arrive. Beware of special deals where you get a free dinner or activity if you go to a time share presentation. Although you may actually get a free dinner, what?s the point.? Your time in the islands is so limited, use it wisely!

Car Rental and Driving: The islands are easy to get around on ? and with the exception of Honolulu, you will need a rental car. There are major roadways that will take you along beautiful coastlines, to waterfalls, through rainforests, and even to a live volcano! If you are under 25, do check with the rental agency about their policies. Auto insurance is a must. Be sure to check with your auto insurance policy and your credit card about what, if any, protection they offer before you leave. Start your honeymoon planning at the Hawaii Visitor?s Bureau :

Before you go to Hawaii, buy yourself a guide book and do your homework!HoneyLuna recommends, Wizard Publications: Ultimate Kauai, Big Island Revealed, Maui Revealed, Oahu Revealed.

When you arrive at the airport, be sure to look for, and pick up, the updated ACTIVITY and VISITOR GUIDE for that island. They?re often in stands near the baggage claim. Go, relax and have the honeymoon of your dreams!

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