It took awhile, but after traveling around the world from Hawaii and back I can say that I’m pretty travel savvy. Travel can be stressful and even I still get flustered. These some helpful tips that I have garnished over the years which have helped save me and give me peace of mind. I hope that you find it useful when you plan your family reunion or vacation. These tips are especially useful if you are getting ready for a surprise engagement proposal or destination wedding in Hawaii.
- Planning activities in advanced. If you are planning on getting professional photos taken please plan at least 2-3 weeks in advance. It takes 1-2 weeks to get the beach permits for on location photo shoots and 2-3 weeks to order flowers for leis or wedding bouquets. Also, planning a professional photo session in Hawaii is less stressful if its not rushed or a last minute venture. I specialize in surprise engagement proposal photography and destination weddings. Send me an email if you need additional tips or information.
- Make a list. Whether you pack a week or a few hours before your departure, it’s important to make a throughout list. This list should be all inclusive from planning daily attire, gathering toiletries, to closing up the house. Do you have a nice neighbor or a friend that will stop by your home to make sure everything is in order? If the answer is “yes,”leaving them a separate list is most helpful. For example: Do the plants or yard need to be watered? What about the mail? Is there a spare key? When does the dog need to be fed? Who is the emergency contact if you cannot be reached?
- Final walk-through. After you have gathered everything on your list take some time to do a final walkthrough and make sure you haven’t forgotten anything. Most importantly make sure you have your ID, flight tickets/information, wallet, and phone/charger. Make sure major appliances (if applicable) are off. If you have forgotten something – don’t worry about the small stuff, those can always be bought when you land.
- The Airport and TSA. If you are a frequent traveler. TSA pre-check is your friend! However, if you are not, plan to be at the airport 2-3 hours in advance to anticipate the long TSA lines.
- Be Bright! Dressing the family in the same bright color scheme is so helpful for airports! For example if everyone is wearing bright green, yellow, or orange, this is a godsend! If you have small children, who could at anytime run off into a crowd at any direction they are easier to spot! I also like leash bags, but that’s just me, losing a child is just so heart wrenchingly stressful, better to be on the safer side.
- Restrictions. There are certain agricultural restrictions for fresh fruit and vegetables going to and coming out of Hawaii.
- TSA is a hassle! Pack clothes in packing cubes or laundry bags to make unpacking and repacking faster.
- Avoid foil wrapped gifts. These days we are required to remove shoes, jackets, laptops, and food for scanning.
Anything in foiled packages may also be deeply scanned and possibly need to be opened. Even if its something like bags of coffee, they will, at times, ask you to open the items so if you really want to avoid this it’s best to mail yourself a package a few days before leaving the islands.
- Remember less is more. According to Hawaiian Airlines, carry on items have a weight limit of 25 pounds. Checked baggage have a weight limit of 50. (Make sure you have a luggage tag).
- Lithium batteries have a limit of 100 watts. (The formula is (Amps x MaH) ÷ 1000 = watts) Check your airline for more details.
- Plan in an extra $50 for last minute luggage mishaps. I’m a strong believer in Murphy’s law. If something goes wrong, it will! It all depends how you will deal with the situation after that. Be be prepared and don’t sweat the small stuff!
- Be patient and kind to travel companions. I have often found that I don’t stop stressing until I have cleared the gate and boarded my flight. Remember that if you are traveling with your fiancee or family, be patient and kind to each other.
- A little bit of gratitude goes a long way. Everyone is just as stressed if not more stressed than you are. Its especially important to remember to say thank you. It might sound like a no brainier, but when I feel panicked this one is the first to go!
- Be Positive. You are all in this together and the last thing you want to do is start the Hawaii vacation with an argument or disagreement about something small. Remember your companions have got your back. Bribery with coffee, gelato, or ice cream is also a very helpful motivator.
At the end of the day you will look back on this Hawaii vacation as such a memorable adventure. What are you waiting for? Start packing! Oh and send me a message if you need fun destination wedding or vacation photos! Bye!