Hawaii is a particularly easy place for visitors to explore as English is widely spoken throughout the islands and tourism is at a high level, meaning that there are plenty of good hotels, restaurants and other facilities for guests. Although many attractions are best explored by private transport, there are plenty of public buses available.
Customs and etiquette
Although Hawaii has developed its own cultural practices over the last few centuries, the American state now largely follows the accepted practices in the rest of the USA. Visitors should refrain from speaking pidgin English as native Hawaiians speak a good level of English.
Although a sales tax is added to the price of most goods, tipping is common practice in most restaurants, where 10% on top of the bill is usually the rule of thumb.
US dollars are the local currency and are accepted throughout all the islands. There are plenty of banks, ATMs, and money changing offices to be found in all cities and towns. However, ATMs are scarcer on the North Shore of Oahu and in rural areas.
Visitors who carry a supply of US dollars should have no need for money changing facilities, although they are available in major banks. All major credit cards such as Visa and MasterCard can be used to pay in restaurants, hotels and large stores.
Hawaii is blessed with a tropical climate, meaning that the weather remains hot and sunny virtually all year round. The climate on each island is similar, and the south-western coasts are dry and sunny, while the north-eastern sides tend to experience slightly more rainfall.
Summer and fall are the driest seasons, when temperatures rise to 28°C, falling to 20°C in the winter months, which is also when the most rainfall occurs.