What are some of the negatives about vacationing to Hawaii that some people donu2019t realize or think about?

Helicopter ride Great Ocean Road price

I have been a resident here in Hawaii for 17 years.

There are many positive attributes to Hawaii like its weather and beauty.

However there are some drawbacks about the islands also.

Iu2019ll direct my comments only to vacationing here.

,Hawaii is very remote from any mainland landmass and from other populated areas.

It is also relatively close to the equator being even in latitude with Mexico City.

This means that it can take a very long flight to get here.

Where a flight across the United States is 4 hours long, continuing on to Hawaii adds another 5 hours to the trip.

So a couple of days of your vacation is used up just getting here and back home.

,We are quite tropical and the weather is fairly consistent.

The sun can be brutal if you donu2019t watch out.

,Many visitors try to cram too much into a vacation.

They pack as though they are going to a 3rd world country.

We have stores here like Walmart, Target and so on.

Most people wear t-shirts and swim trunks or short.

Unless you are planning upon seeing the top of Mauna Kea (where it is almost freezing at 14,000 feet), you donu2019t need lots of heavy clothes.

You can always buy what you need out here.

Pack light.

,Hawaii is part of the United States, so your cell phone will work (although some carriers have better coverage than others).

Your U.

S.

electrical appliances also are the same.

One drawback is that if you need money you will find that Hawaii does not have regular mainland banks and credit unions.

That is not to say you are out of luck, only that you will need to use an ATM rather than find your own branch.

My mainland credit union, like all others, is part of a nationwide network and thus any credit union ATM works for me.

Your bank is also part of one or more networks, so you should have no problem at ATMs.

Local banks here may also provide you with services if you need them.

,Hawaii politics are quite liberal and along with that are higher taxes.

There is no sales tax but rather 4u20135% general excise tax which is levied upon goods and services.

That plus many items having to be shipped into the islands causes some products to be fairly high in cost.

Many chain fast food and stores have prices higher than you might have at home.

It is possible to find less expensive products if you look hard enough.

,Along with pricing, you will find that some of your favorite stores and restaurants are not here.

This is due to a number of reasons which include the costs required to ship proprietary ingredients to the islands.

That added cost plus the possibility of not being able to source local ingredients of the same quality might keep a chain from wanting to be here.

,The islands are scattered and no bridge connects them.

Getting between islands requires a plane or boat trip.

,There is no ethnic majority in the islands, however Caucasian and Japanese ethnicity are plentiful.

The population consists of those and many other countries.

This also means that there are many different languages spoken, although most people speak English.

,Both landscape and ocean can be treacherous.

As you may have followed this past year or so, we had a volcanic event on the Big Island which included flowing lava.

While no one died, we have had explosions in the crater and a massive number of earthquakes.

Our volcanoes are shield volcanoes which generally donu2019t explode, still they can be dangerous.

Especially on the Big Island, you may find loose rocks on hikes as the island is made of rock.

Because of the varied beaches (like green sand, black sand and so on) and because of the tropical nature of the islands, people gravitate to the beaches.

Because we are in the middle of the Pacific there can be large changes in wave heights and conditions.

It is important that people not treat the islands or water as a theme park.

We had one family visit and they pulled up to a lookout.

Their children jumped out of the car and ran up to the edge and one child fell over and died.

The parents complained there was no guard rail.

There are many places without guard rails.

Many roads are winding.

You might drive half an hour in some places without a gas station.

,Hawaiian language is used in many places, although you can get along just fine not knowing it.

However streets and cities might have similar names and be confusing.

,As with any tourist location you may find tourist traps.

While not cheating you, their costs to provide service to you can cause prices to be higher.

Another issue can be who runs a venue.

A popular Hawaiian theme park is run by a religious group, so their view of Hawaiian history and culture may be different than other peoples perception.

,A pet peeve of mine is some products for sale.

I am a coffee farmer with a small farm and along with neighboring farms offer you coffee directly.

However there are large coffee companies whose only goal is to make money and will offer u2018blendsu2019 of coffee.

Those blend might have the name of the region (such as Kona, Kau, Maui, etc) but contain little of that local product, relying upon a majority of the filler from another country.

If you are looking for a locally grown coffee, ensure it is 100% from that location and says so on the label.

A 10% Kona BLEND will usually consist of 10% locally source coffee and 90% filler from overseas.

A 100% Kona coffee for example would contain only coffee from Kona on the Big Island.

Watch labels and ask questions.

,Another issue can be the marketing slogan allowed called u201cMade in Hawaiiu201d.

I believe the criteria is not stricter, however when it was rolled out, u201cMADE IN HAWAIIu201d could be used on any product to which had 51% of its value added here in the state.

That meant that if you imported a product like macadamia nuts from New Zealand and roasted them here, their value would greatly increase and you could say they were MADE here.

,Many people travel to Hawaii having little understanding where they are going.

We have had people end up on the wrong island or the wrong side of an island with a flight or many hour drive to their intended destination.

Some islands are quite small and the Big Island is, wellu2026 big, taking most of a day to drive around the circumference with a few brief stops.

Making reservations without understanding distances and logistics can ruin plans.

,Some people try to cram multiple islands and/or multiple excursions into one trip.

On one flight the family behind me was making an itinerary.

It consisted of breakfast at 7:30am, a drive into town to shop at 9:30, snorkeling at the bay, lunch at noon, a helicopter ride to the volcano at 1pm, a trail ride into the valley and a luau for dinner.

I had to interrupt.

From where they were staying, the trail ride would be a 1/2 day event (getting there, riding and getting back).

The helicopter company they chose was the opposite direction, etc.

This sounded more like a military invasion then a vacation.

While it is not critical you have someone book events for you, you still need to do some research and use common sense.

,These are some of the items I believe people should be aware of.

Hawaii can be a relaxing place to visit if you keep in mind that it is NOT a theme park with its inherent security and protections.

Nature can be dangerous.

Go with the flow and donu2019t get overly anxious if your plans much change.

Leave your problems at home and enjoy your vacation.

Great Ocean Road scenic flights

Right now? No.

Covid-19 restrictions mean you canu2019t come here from overseas and you canu2019t travel through certain places (Melbourne is locked down for now).

,Potentially? Yes.

,Practically? No.

,It would be an enormous enterprise, requiring specialist equipment (I doubt many off-roaders in Australia would favour a Jeep-brand vehicle for going a long way off-track) and pre-arranged supply dumps.

,Plus a lot, a serious amount, of time and money.

,You can drive from Sydney to Cape York (Sydney to Bamaga).

You could potentially do it in a Jeep.

You wonu2019t be on the coast the entire time, but you could follow the coast or be in short distance to the coast for most of it.

,Cape York Road Conditions - CockatoursSuggested Cape York Self-Drive ItineraryRoad Trip Far North Queensland: Cairns to Cape YorkFurthermore, it is a very attractive drive for someone looking at being reasonably adventurous.

,Getting around the Gulf of Carpentaria on the coast would not be a tourist drive.

Not even an adventurous tourist drive.

You can divert from the main road in to some of the coastal (semi-coastal) communities but going to places inside Arnhem Land will require special permits.

,In any event, short of having a literal army in support, you canu2019t follow the coast in a car or 4WD around the entire Gulf.

You are taking the inland road to Darwin, where you can arrange a tourist flight over Arnhem Land and look down on all the places where your 4WD would have been bogged, flogged and broken.

You can divert through Kakadu on the way (or get to Darwin and make a Kakadu trip).

I highly recommend it.

,You leave Darwin on the same inland road you came in on, although again you can divert to coastal communities.

,After you cross into Western Australia, the road goes inland again with a massive Kimberley region between you and the coast.

Yet again, you can divert to coastal communities but I recommend taking a scenic flight.

It will soon become apparent why even the Australian Army isnu2019t worried about an overseas invading force arriving on the Kimberley region coast and making their way inland.

,An option from Kununurra would be the Gibb River Road.

The Ultimate 14-Day Gibb River Road Guide.

Again, highly recommended but definitely for the adventurous and self-supporting.

,Broome to Port Hedland takes you back to the coast (or close enough).

This stretch has few highlights.

The almost complete lack of, well, anything, was the reason this area was chosen as the part of the path for British rocket testing in the 50u2019s.

If something went wrong with the rocket, there wasnu2019t much to hit.

RAAF Woomera Range Complex - WikipediaPort Hedland to Exmouth takes you back inland again.

There are 4WD tracks through here or you can stay on the main road and divert to Onslow (one way in, same way out).

,There are 4WD tracks in Cape Range National Park but not really through-routes.

Enjoy the coast here, this is the Ningaloo Coast.

A spectacular reef which has much in common with the Great Barrier Reef on the East coast except it is basically directly off the beach and not 200 km offshore.

Time your trip right (August to October most years) and you could also be swimming with Whale Sharks around here.

,Exmouth to Denham mostly follows the coast and from Denham you drive out to Steep Point.

The road is seriously corrugated most of the time, slow but not dangerous.

,Denham back to Geraldton goes back inland (coastal side trips possible) and from Geraldton to Perth you can take the Indian Ocean Drive.

Which, as the name suggests, follows the coast.

Some times just a few metres from the coast.

,South of Perth you can follow the coast all the way to Dunsborough, but there are national parks in-between Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin, so the road goes inland.

With coastal side-trips possible in many places.

,At Augusta (one-way in, same way out) you can visit the point (Cape Leeuwin) where the Indian Ocean meets the Southern Ocean.

Also get a pastry from the bakery.

,Now you are heading back East and you are away from the actual coast but close enough for side-trips.

Again, lots of national parks which makes through-trips problematic.

,East of Esperance there are 4WD tracks that roughly follow the coast but in some places you are a long way from supplies and support.

,Long stretches of the main road East/West (Highway 1) along the Nullarbor Plain follow the coast and there are many coastal lookouts.

,From Ceduna on, you can stay very close to the coast or on the coast all the way to the Great Ocean Road - another VERY scenic road that, as the name suggests, follows the coast.

,Your trip can follow the coast almost all the way from Torquay back to Sydney or you can go inland and visit Canberra (just donu2019t expect to be excited by Canberra nightlife).

,It will take a while, even if you stay on Highway 1 almost the entire way.

Maybe 14,500 km and more than 6 days of 24 hours a day continuous driving without counting the stops and without sleeping.

And a few thousand dollars just for fuel.

,Big ask for a tourist.

Great Ocean Road tour with helicopter ride

1.

Trek Through the Daintree Rainforest,Home to one of the most diverse variety of plants and animals on earth, the Daintree Rainforest is an epic destination north of Cairns in Tropical Far North Queensland.

Thereu2019s plenty to do in this world heritage listed rainforest, including bushwalks, early morning river cruises, 4WD tours and crocodile-spotting expeditions.

,2.

Helicopter Ride Over Great Ocean Road,Zoom along Victoriau2019s Great Ocean Road on a helicopter ride for an unforgettable perspective on iconic landmarks like the magnificent Twelve Apostles, historic Glenample Homestead, ill-fated Loch Ard Gorge and breathtaking 70m high Gibson Steps.

,3.

Charter a Yacht from Cairns,Aussies dream of Tropical Queensland the same way New Yorkers dream of Hawaii.

Thereu2019s no better way to see the Great Barrier Reef and Whitsunday Islands than to charter a fully crewed luxury yacht u2014 like the 52 ft.

Marcrista.

,4.

Burn a hole in your pocket, Crown Casino Melbourne,Youu2019ll need to whip out your credit card if youu2019re gonna enjoy Australiau2019s largest casino.

Players will find all the usual roulette and blackjack tables, but the Crown Casino is also a major venue for international performers.

Itu2019s a plush affair thatu2019s open 24 hours and has around 25 restaurants and 11 bars.

,5.

Swim at Lake McKenzie, Fraser Island,Fraser Island is the worldu2019s largest sand island and undoubtedly the most amazing spot on the island is Lake McKenzie u2014 a serene, crystal-clear, blue lake with soft sandy beach surrounded by forest.

And what makes this beautiful tropical spot even more mesmerizing is its location u2013 the lake is perched 100m above sea level, deep in the sand dunes.

,6.

Wine Tour Through The Hunter Valley,Two hours north of Sydney lies Australiau2019s oldest wine growing region, renowned for its Semillon and dotted with over one hundred wineries.

One of the best ways to discover the vineyards and olive groves of the Hunter Valley is to join a tour.

Kick back, enjoy the view and the tastes of each vineyard sip-by-sip.

Helicopter ride Melbourne

Really a good question.

I never thought of a bucket list!! But if i just try to think , yeah my dream is to travel through the world and to explore, to challenge myself continiously and to overcome my fears.

,I havent done much, but ill try to list few things i did so far.

,Came overseas in Australia from India as the first person in my family.

I really fell love with Melbourne, the best liveable city of the world.

,Did Ziplining in Tasmania,Did Paragliding in Bright, Victoria,Travelled to South Island, New Zealand.

Had an awesome helicopter ride and landed in Glacier.

A dream came true!!,Did Kayaking in Milford Sound , NZ amidst the beautiful nature,Ludge ride in Queenstown, NZ,Watched India vs South Africa, world cup cricket 2015 at MCG,Watched Real Madrid, specially CR7 playing live at MCG,Watched WWE and UFC live.

,Did ice skiing at Mount Baw Baw,Been to the highest building of Melbourne, named Skydeck and had the Edge experience.

,Had a road trip to Sydney from Melbourne.

,Watched movies in the largest and 3rd largest Imax screens of the World, Sydney and Melbourne respectively.

,And the last, played the role of Obamas PA.

Joy flights Great Ocean Road

Thanks for the interest.

For whatever its worth, here are some of my favorite books.

In almost all cases (but not all) I love most other books by the same author.

,,nThe Garden of Forking Paths by Jorge Luis Borges ,Nobody writes like Borges.

His prose is deceptively dry and factual, but his stories are profoundly imaginative, penetrating, challenging.

It will not be an exaggeration to say that they changed me.

,My father told me the story of Funes the Memorious when I was a child, perhaps 10 or less.

Thirty years later I brought up that story in one of the most significant conversations I had with my dad, one which may even have impacted his own life to some extent.

n,nAtonement by Ian McEwan,I love Ian McEwan but I dont uniformly admire all his novels.

To me, Atonement is a masterpiece of pace, atmosphere, language, storytelling and a wrenching twist.

Im a fool for plot twists, I admit, but there are cheap twists and there are ones that carry deep significance, forcing the reader to reevaluate the entire story and with it - their own worldview.

,,,Disgrace by J.

M.

Coetzee,Great literature can be direct, real, unassuming and totally free of pretense.

I confess I never managed to brave Ulysses, for example, and moreover, I never felt like its really worth it to try; Disgrace, in my mind, lies at the other end of the literary spectrum.

,,nThe Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver,I picked this one up at an airport bookstore.

I was done before the flight was over, and despite it being a good number of years ago I still remember not just details from the book - I can still experience the smells and sounds of the jungle, the nights, the water.

Religious excess fascinates me.

,,,All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque,Perhaps its just my personal bias but when stories of immeasurable emotional impact are told, I much prefer the delivery to be detached, unsentimental, Borges-like.

I believe it is, in this way, much more universally effective and more deeply penetrating.

Vonnegut is like that, too (I see that I neglected to include him here), and in a different way so is Joseph Heller.

But this book by Remarque is earlier, simpler and gut-wrenchingly moving.

,,nWhat We Talk About When We Talk About Love by Raymond Carver,I must admit, I couldnt tell you any of the stories in this book from memory (I can relate almost every one of Borges stories on the spot).

I do remember the experience of reading Carver: this is love, told in ways I never thought possible.

Ive never experienced life the way his characters do, but while reading the book I felt like did.

,,nHouse of Sand and Fog by Andre Dubus III,Theres one thing which makes me particularly vulnerable to this novel: it takes place in the region that has been my home in the past 15 years.

But apart from that it is also a great story told with sensitivity and heartbreaking inevitability.

Its not a timeless masterpiece, but it is excellent.

,,n1Q84 by Haruki Murakami (also, Norwegian Wood),Nobody writes like Murakami, either.

Ive read Norwegian Wood years ago and felt, wow, I didnt know this was possible.

Then I picked up 1Q84 and felt the exact same way.

Its disturbingly unreal, yet at times touching and at times intellectually challenging.

,,nNine Stories by J.

D.

Salinger,Another confession: Im not a Catcher in the Rye fan.

I read it years ago.

Maybe I wasnt mature enough for it, but its a coming-of-age story thats supposed to touch teenagers and adults alike and it totally missed me as either.

,Nine Stories, on the other hand.

.

.

the first story in this collection, A Perfect Day for Bananafish, is in my mind one of the most immaculate short stories ever written.

I shudder every time anyone on Quora asks what is the most best awesomest X, I cant stand one-dimensional competitions, but if I had to pick one short story that comes as close to perfection as Ive ever read this will be a strong contender.

,I truly believe that anyone who wants to write anything - short stories, novels, user manuals, Quora answers, whatever - should read this story at least six times.

,,nStoner by John Williams,This is the most recent read on this list.

Ive never heard of the book or the author until a few months ago when I happened to come across it in my mothers library.

I felt compelled to read it and Im so glad I did.

Like other books on my list it is straightforward, unaffected, unassuming, and penetrating.

This, too, is what we talk about when we talk about love.

,,,Hunger by Knut Hamsun,If you havent experienced it, Im fairly certain you cannot imagine what it means to starve for food, to be so poor you cant afford a loaf of bread.

What is that like? What would it be like to need to write, to create, so badly that its the one thing that saves you? An experience so alien is very hard to write effectively about, to convey, to pull readers into.

Hunger was written many years ago in a very distant time and place, but it manages to do just that.

,,nThe End of the Road by John Barth,Again, I must confess I dont remember much from this story, but I do remember the experience of reading it - fresh, different, original, unique.

,,nAll Creatures Great and Small (and the rest of the series) by James Herriot,I could write endlessly about these books.

For lack of space Ill relate just one anecdote.

,During the Gulf War, missiles were fired at Tel Aviv.

After the first few days it became routine: wailing sirens, get into the closet sealed room, hear the explosions, come out and continue doing what you were just doing before (one time my girlfriend at the time and I were interrupted during sex).

But the first couple of nightly attacks were genuinely, deeply stressful.

If you havent been through this it may be hard to understand, but having missiles explode in your home town, sometimes not half a mile away, is a disturbing, surreal experience.

,On those first few nights I was searching for something to take my mind away from that outlandish, subdued fear, and I knew exactly what can do it: Herriots stories.

I was far from being a child at at point - I was 20 something - but there was still so much joy, humor and humanity in these stories, they were just the perfect antidote.

It worked.

I dont think Id have been able to fall asleep on that first night without Tristan, Siegfried, Jim and the million perfectly-portrayed characters, human and otherwise, of these tales.

,,,Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling,Strangely, I find the ancient Hebrew translation of these stories even more poetic than the original.

But never mind: these short gems are just eternal.

Funny, special, unique and endlessly imaginative.

,,nGu00f6del, Escher, Bach by Douglas Hofstadter,I wrote many times about this book on Quora.

It is far from flawless, especially today, in retrospect, when I know a bit more about much of its subject matter.

But as a teenager it was a mind-expanding experience, not so much a book as a riddle to be solved.

Two friends of mine toiled for 20 years translating it into Hebrew, publishing their work just a couple of years ago.

I still think this the one non-fiction book most worthy of anyones efforts.

,,nNumber Fields by Daniel Marcus,This is a math textbook.

I worked through many such textbooks with varying degrees of success, and they are so very different.

I chose this one because I believe it strikes a perfect balance between accessibility and depth.

The subject matter isnt particularly easy but its incredibly beautiful and this book - despite its ancient, disorienting typesetting - conveys this beauty tremendously well.

,,nOn Numbers and Games by John Horton Conway,Stumbled upon this in the university math library one day.

I still remember it: I stood there for hours, in a musty room, reading and reading and not believing this can be real.

Conway is not a masterful expositor but hes such an original thinker one cant help but nod ones head in amazement.

,,nTrees by Jean-Pierre Serre,Serres Cours dArithmetique is the best introduction to advanced number theory that I know.

I always prefer learning directly from the masters, and Serre has few equals among 20th-century mathematicians.

Trees relates a tale as deep as the ocean about the relationship between graphs and groups, two topics which I find fascinating.

Its an amazing math book.

n n,n,,nThe following books were written in Hebrew, and I havent read their English translations.

,The Zig Zag Kid by David Grossman ,David Grossman is a writer of incomprehensible range.

He wrote See Under: Love which is a book about the holocaust that is unlike any book about the holocaust, or anything, ever written.

He wrote The Yellow Wind which looks at Palestinians the way nobody else could, Israeli or otherwise.

,The Zig Zag Kid is easily accessible, incredibly original, moving, deep and just pure joy.

I hope the English translation retains its spirit.

,,nMissing Kissinger by Etgar Keret ,I randomly found this book at a bookstore.

It was Kerets first and I still didnt know his name, which later became household in Israel.

Within minutes of browsing it I knew it is special.

The shortest of short stories you may ever have read, yet so brilliantly original, simultaneously outlandish and authentic, theyre just mind-expanding.

Im really glad (and not surprised) Ellen liked them, too.

,,nA Tale of Love and Darkness by Amos Oz,Oz wrote many brilliant novels, but this autobiographical account of his childhood stands out, in my mind, as his best, and the best autobiography Ive ever read.

Unflinching, touching, full of humor and sadness, elation and despair.

Unparalleled.

,,nThe Blue Mountain by Meir Shalev,This surreal novel is very different from Ozs book yet the same adjectives apply with even greater amplitude: peaks of joy and depths of darkness, a book without equal.

I fear the translation cant help but lose some of the mind-boggling richness of language in the original, but its ok: the story itself is just unbelievable.

Many have compared it to Cien Au00f1os de Soledad; I find it even more moving and profound.

,