Honolulu, Hawaii is the dream right? You’ve heard songs about Waikiki Beach and have probably walked past an airport gate and longed to be on that flight to Honolulu. If you lived on the mainland in the United States and had a dollar for every honeymoon couple you’ve heard that were headed to Hawaii, you could be a very rich person by now. I had my chance to travel to Hawaii a few days before my Hawaiian repositioning sailing with Celebrity Cruises.

As per usual, I did a lot of reading and research. I wanted to best experience and photos naturally. My Hawaii trip left me with a very opposite feeling based off of my experience. These are the things that I know now that I wish I had known before I went.

  1. Waikiki Beach is an acquired taste. Don’t get me wrong, there are tons of people who love it and it is beautiful. It is picture perfect. For me, I wouldn’t do it again. Oahu is a pretty small island and the Honolulu/Waikiki area feels like a jam packed beach city. For me, it didn’t feel like a secluded piece of paradise. There is a lot to do in the area but the hustle and bustle is a lot. If you are looking to stay on Oahu, I recommend going to the north shore and doing a vacation rental or the Marriott up there.
  2. Be Ready to Fork it Out. When it comes to dining in this area, be prepared to spend around $100 per day on food and drink. That is a modest number too. Even a simple smoothie bowl breakfast will run you $10+. By driving around the island, we found way cheaper food options.
  3. It is Paradise but there is Crime. Honolulu actually has a very high crime rate, particularly when it comes to auto theft. As you know when you travel anywhere, you need to be smart. There is an unforunate large homeless population on this island as well.
  4. Don’t plan a lot of time for Pearl Harbor. I am a huge WWII history buff and the National WWII Museum in New Orleans is my mecca. There is not a lot to do at Pearl Harbor. It is still an active base (may have learned this by trying to cross the bridge). As of this post, you still cannot get on the memorial over the Arizona so it is just a 10 minute boat ride currently. It is a very somber feeling because it is a large grave site. I recommend going early in the morning when it first opens and the crowds are low. Remember you can reserve tickets online before you go.
  5. Early Bird Always Gets the Worm. As I mentioned previously with Pearl Harbor, getting to a location early is the best recommendation. There are a lot of sites like the Punch Bowl and Diamond Head that are still very quiet in the 8am-9am timeframe. This time of the day gives you some of the best lighting for your photos and less crowds for you to have to battle. There is an aspect to island life that comes into play here.

Hawaii is beautiful and it is a island retreat that doesn’t require a passport for US Citizens. My opinion on this destination will become clearer in a future post. I am definitely Team Big Island. Have you been to Oahu and do you agree? What did you think of this island?

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Written by Halee with a Flair

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