Paying as You Go
Traveler's Checks Although we rarely use traveler's checks on trips to
Hawaii, they are readily accepted by most businesses of any size. If you can get
traveler's checks free at your bank, savings and loan, auto club, etc. they are a suitable
method of paying for expenses.
ATM Cards Normally there will be no problem getting cash from your mainland
bank account with an ATM card. Machines are available 24-hours a day in most popular
tourist areas on all the islands. Like mainland banks, most financial institutions in
Hawaii now charge a fee for withdrawing cash. The back of many ATM cards have an 800
number listed you can call to get specific machine locations. Once our ATM card was
disabled by the issuing bank while they were doing administrative work on accounts, so we
always take an alternative source of cash.
Credit Cards. Credit cards are readily accepted by most businesses in
Hawaii. An exception is some discount activity vendors who accept only cash to give
you cut-rate prices. We have occasionally had charges on credit cards turned down
for no obvious reason. We had used the card the day before and we used it later that
day without being turned down. So, we carry two different cards. If know your
PIN number you can get a cash advance charged to your credit card but you will normally be
charged interest beginning from the time you receive the cash advance.
Leave the ties, jackets, and pantyhose at home. Nice, but informal, aloha wear is
acceptable almost everywhere in the islands. We have only heard of a couple of fancy
restaurants (which we haven't visited) that require even a sport jacket. We usually
dress warm for the transpacific flight (it can get cold on the plane), take another set of
long slacks, and then pack short-sleeved shirts or blouses, shorts, and beach wear.
If we are going to hike we take a pair of sturdy shoes. If you are going to visit
high altitude sights such as Volcanoes National Park or Haleakala you should pack a warm
jacket. It would be wise to make it waterproof or water resistant too. Don't
pack too much because condo's and most hotels have laundry facilities. Even if you
spend two hours in a self-service laundry during your trip, it will be much easier to
carry your luggage and it leaves room to pack all your souvenirs.