Tour Hawaii App

Don't just tour, EXPLORE!

  • E Komo Mai!

    So youʼve decided to take the leap! Youʼve booked your dream vacation to paradise and from here on out, itʼs sand, surf, sea, and beautiful sights. Our app will help you see the Big Island in style; weʼll plan exactly where youʼre going each day so you donʼt have to. Sit back and let our app guide you through paradise, while you do what people do best in Hawaii: relax! Weʼve put together this handy travel-guide so you know all about what to expect when you get here. So leave your fuzzy ear-muffs at home! Weʼll tell you what to pack, how much to budget, and more in our guide. With one last zip of a suitcase, tropical bliss awaits you.
  • Temerature

    Ditch the snow, because youʼre in the tropics now! Here in Hawaii, you will not find extreme variations of temperature during the four traditional seasons. Instead, we have two main “seasons”. Thereʼs summer (May through October), with average daytime temperatures of about 85 degrees, and winter (November through April), with average daytime temperatures of 78 degrees. During the winter, the average nighttime tempera ture at sea level is 68 degrees. Depending on where you are adventuring, however, temperatures can vary. Areas above sea level, such as Hawaii Volcanoes National Park (4000-foot-elevation), can be 10-15 degrees cooler than sea-level temperatures. Also, if you plan to visit the summit of Mauna Kea, temperatures are much cooler and regularly dip below freezing at nighttime. We recommend checking weather conditions on the summit the day you plan to visit. Winter gear is recommended for the summit of Mauna Kea, however if you are visiting with a tour group, most have jackets and gloves for you to borrow.
    If you plan to stay on the west side of the island, temperatures
  • Weather, Seasons, and Surf

    Summer on the Big Island is known as the dry season, and winter is the rainy season. In the winter, it can rain up to 7 days a week on the east side of the island. Rain showers usually only last for part of the day, however, and if youʼre hoping for a beach day you can head to the west side. It rains much less frequently there. We call the rain here “warm rain” meaning that the air temperature doesnʼt change much when itʼs rainy. We recommend bringing a light rain jacket that you can layer over a t-shirt, and purchasing an umbrella when you arrive.
    One other important thing to note is the change of ocean swells during the winter season. Several beaches around the island that are calm swimming spots become high-surf areas during the winter and are not safe for swimming. Be sure to follow any advised warnings you see.
  • Who Youʼll Meet

    You will see a lot of friendly faces here in Hawaiʻi. This is a very culturally diverse place with a high concentration of people of Asian descent dating back to the sugar plantation days when thousands of migrant workers moved to the islands. People here are generally glad to help, however they are also very big on respecting each otherʼs boundaries. You may see signs in residential areas that say “private property” and itʼs best to just stay clear.
    Hawaiʻi faces many sensitive cultural issues, including the Hawaiian Sovereignty movement. Some feel that the way Hawaiʻi became a state was a very unfair process and are still vocal about it today. A small few of these people behave in negative ways towards people who appear to be “tourists”. Though unlikely that this will happen to you on your trip, our best advice for this is to smile and turn the car around or walk away from people like this.
  • Where To Go

    Many visitors to Hawaii are surprised to find that businesses here have some unusual hours. Most breakfast cafes open early in the morning, but many shops do not open until 10 a.m. and are closed by 5 p.m. Most food establishments close by 9:30 p.m. unless open late on weekends. Some restaurants also close between lunch and dinner from approximately 2 p.m. until 5 p.m. for a break. The best way to plan a day of dining and shopping is shopping is to call ahead and make sure theyʼre open.
  • Budget Your Trip - Cost of Living

    The cost of living in Hawaiʻi is on the higher side. You can expect to pay a bit more for groceries and gas here, however there are some ways to plan ahead. Gas prices vary around town and may be cheaper across the street or around the block, so donʼt be afraid to price things out! For groceries, you can also buy cheaper local produce at farmers markets rather than the grocery store. There are several well-established regular farmers markets on the island.
  • Budget Your Trip - Food

    When driving between tour locations, you may find yourself in rural areas with limited food selections. Places that are generally known as “tourist areas” usually have a café or some restaurants that are more expensive nearby. For day trips, we recommend buying a portable Styrofoam cooler and filling it with ice and snacks from the grocery store or farmers market. Once you get to a bigger town, you will find more a wider variety of food options as well as spend less to eat out. When it comes to eating out, we also recommend you try smaller, locally owned restaurants. You will spend more at a restaurant that is used to accommodating “tourists” and the food is
  • Accommodations

    You can expect to pay much more (sometimes triple) for accommodations on the west side of the island, as itʼs known for having warm weather and beautiful beaches. With the rise of several popular vacation-rental websites, we recommend you shop around rather than splurge for a well-known hotel right away. There are many vacation rentals on the west side of the island that are on the beach, can accommodate a whole family, and are cheaper than hotels. On the east side, there are many quaint bed and breakfasts in locations that far-surpass the traditional hotel environment for their beauty and unique settings.
  • Pack It Up! - What To Bring

    Throw a bathing suit in your bag, zip it up, grab your camera, and hop on a plane! You wonʼt need much else. Weʼre kidding…in all seriousness, however, the climate here should make it fairly easy to pack. You will definitely want to bring a bathing suit, or two if you like to change-it-up. Hawaiʻiʼs beaches are a big draw, and you will likely want to spend a lot of time on the beach. You can skip the towel if youʼre staying at hotel, as most will provide them.
    For day trips, you will need a hat, sunscreen and bug-repellent (if youʼre bothered by mosquitos and flies). Covered shoes are also recommended for hiking, as there is a lot of jagged lava rock along walking trails here. Many adventure tour companies will also require you to wear covered shoes. We recommend also that you bring “slippers” (flip-flops) to wear during the day or in the sand at the beach, as our warm weather and humidity make covered-shoes a less desirable choice.
    Attire is very casual in Hawaiʻi. Most people here wear shorts during the day, tank tops or light shirts, and will sometimes wear long pants at night. You should also bring a light sweater and a rain jacket. You wonʼt need anything much heavier than that, unless planning to visit the summit of Mauna Kea. Temperatures can dip to freezing there, however most tour companies offer jackets and gloves for you to borrow.
    We also recommend packing or purchasing a flashlight, as your adventures may take you into rural locations without many street lights around. Itʼs likely that wherever you are staying, there will be ocean gear (fins, snorkels, masks, etc), or your can find many places to rent these things.
  • Explore: Off The Beaten Path

    We know that part of the fun of a tour is deviating from the tour and finding something never-before-seen. We understand that you will want to make stops along the way and explore for yourself. We encourage you to be spontaneous, however we would also like to offer some safety guidelines.
  • Ocean Sports

    Never paddle a small ocean craft (paddle-board, boogie board, kayak, etc) or swim into the open ocean. Most popular areas for ocean exploration will designate a protected bay that is safe from currents and high surf, and supervised by lifeguards. Never paddle outside the bay on your own, as currents in the open ocean can sweep swimmers out to sea easily.
    If you plan to try surfing for the first time, do so with an instructor and stay on the “inside” of the bay (areas where smaller surf breaks). Be aware of those around you, wear your surfboard leash correctly, and never let go of your board, as its tip and fins are both very sharp and can harm you or others. In Hawaiʻi we say: if in doubt, donʼt paddle out.
  • River Explorations

    There are many beautiful rivers and waterfalls on the east side of the island that are visible from foot-paths. In general, itʼs not a good idea to leave the path or to swim in these rivers unless supervised by a tour-guide or a local who is very familiar with the swimming spot. Flash-flooding can and does occur in our rivers, where rain from spots higher up on the river can flood an empty river bank within minutes without warning. Many lives have been lost due to improper river safety.
  • Flora and Fauna

    You will find a lot of forested areas with many plants to see. You will likely even find fresh fruit growing wild. It is okay to harvest some fresh fruit as long as you follow several guidelines. Make sure never to pick fruit from someoneʼs property, so look to make sure there is no house nearby. Also, make sure you know what you are picking. Things like bananas and mangoes are easy to recognize, and you can probably take a few. Never pick fungus, or something that looks like an herb or vegetable you think you “might” recognize. Never eat any tropical flowers, fruit, or other plants unless you are sure they are edible. It is also generally not recommended to pick fruit alongside major roadways as it has likely been sprayed with herbicide.
  • Leaving The Path

    Be aware of where you are stepping, as there may be cracks or holes in the volcanic rock. Please also be aware of what you are stepping on. Many areas have high concentrations of protected native plants. Never leave a trail when you see signs that there are native plants nearby. In general, we like to leave natural areas untouched, as if we were never there.
  • Hawaiian Language

    You will find that there are many place and street names that are Hawaiian. The vowels in Hawaiian are pronounced as follows, and they never change, even when placed next to each other. For example, “Hilo” becomes “hee-low”. The “I” vowel sound is still “ee” and does not change to an “eye” sound even though itʼs placed next to other letters.
    aah “saw” ee “see” u- ooh “too” e- eh “let” o- oh “throw”
  • Street Signs

    Though many of our streets are named after Hawaiian words, you will notice that they are written without the okina (Hawaiian for apostrophe), a mark that stops the sound in the word for a moment. This may make it hard to discuss a location with someone verbally, since you may be pronouncing it differently. For example, Kinoole street, which looks like it would be pronounced “keen-ooh-l” is actually spelled: “Kinoʻole”. Remember the vowel sounds donʼt change, so the street name should sound like this: keen-oh-oh-lay.
  • Driving Tips

    The highest speed limit you will find on the Big Island is 55-mph. In towns, it is common for speed limits to be around 25-35 mph. Be aware of street signs delineating speed limit and also tell you which street are one-ways. Because of the development of many towns over time, without the space to enlarge roads, you may find that some one-way streets donʼt quite make sense at first. The best thing to do is plan your journey on a map first. Our app should also take the stress out of d out of driving and will lead you on precisely the correct streets to get to your destination easily.
    You might also experience the “go-ahead” or the “wave”. Drivers in Hawaiʻi are helpful, and will often wave another driver on to turn in front of them, if they see that driver has been waiting a long time. In this situation, remember to check your mirrors, as the other driving “waving you on” might not be fully aware of what is around him/her.
  • Live Aloha

    We hope this guide has been a useful resource, and want to close with one last thing. Everywhere you go in Hawaiʻi, you will notice the “aloha spirit”. In regular English, that just means that people are nice to each other! Theyʼre friendly, caring, and want to help, as long as you treat them the same way! Aloha can mean so many things; hello, goodbye, I love you, I care for you, etc. To live aloha means to live with a mindset of caring towards other people. So if you find yourself in an unusual situation on your trip, when in doubt just remember the aloha!