February 16, 2020
So you want to visit Kauai, huh? I mean who wouldn’t right?! It’s called the Garden Isle for a reason and it’s definitely a must see vacation destination! It’s slow paced life, laid back vibe, and uncommercialized surf towns make for an ideal place to get some gooooooood R&R.
I’ll never forget the first time Ryan & I laid eyes on this island for our vacation 2 years ago. We didn’t grow up traveling much, so we were both left STRAIGHT UP SPEECHLESS. After making the move and living here for almost a year now, we wanted to share our best tips to help you plan for your Kauai vacation.
I always joke about why I even brought underwear?! lol. Seriously I’m always wearing a swimsuit, because when you’re here, you never know when you’ll jump in the ocean just because. But on a serious note, we only used 1/3 of the things & clothes we brought when we vacationed here two years ago. We were stressed the first time around and brought a big luggage & duffle bag, and it ended up being extra dead weight during our actual travels there and back.
One thing we’ve learned in our time here is how much “stuff” we actually don’t even need or use. Hawaii has a way of helping you realize that. 😉 To be even more helpful, I put together a packing list with all you should need for an amazing week (or two) here.
– 1 pair of slippers (what we call flip flops here on island)
– 1 pair of sturdy closed toed shoes for hiking (trust me you need to see these views)
– 2 swimsuits (these don’t take up as much space and are most likely what you’ll wear all the time under clothes. So if you wanted more of something, I’d bring more of these)
– 1 pair of jeans with 2 blouses OR 2 dresses for dinner dates.
– 1 large bottle you can refill with water
– a few tank tops & gym shorts
We highly suggest this option because the hotels here are ESSSPENSIVE! Sure they can be really nice, but we also love the uniqueness of the different options for our own “private” stay. It feels more like you are staying in tropical paradise when you look out your window and see amazing plants & even fruit trees outside your door. Kauai has some really cool, fun, and quirky airbnbs that really give you the Hawaii vibe at a great price.
Want to stay in an airbnb, but desire the luxury of using the resort pools? No worries! You can buy day passes for those that are MUCH cheaper than the actual cost per night! Win-Win!
This one can’t be stressed enough. Kauai has so many AMAZING things to see around the island, and staying in the resort all week would be a major bummer for your trip. Sure, I love days where I plop my towel down on the beach and don’t plan to move a muscle too, but trust me when I tell you that it is worth it to get a car to EXPLORE. There are buses that you could jump on, but having your own car will allow you to go at your own pace and get to places they don’t go.
*BONUS tip. If you can, rent a four wheel drive. This will allow you to get to polihale, one of our favorite camping spots!
We’ve been adventuring the whole island for several months and still haven’t seen all Kauai has to offer. All four shores of the island offer something different, unique, and breathtaking, and trust me friend; you don’t want to miss out on the epic ness.
There is something so beautiful about being immersed in a different culture. Hawaii isn’t just a tourist destination, but instead a whole community of people who celebrate the Hawaiian way of life. Sure it’s beautiful, but so are the people, music, food, and language that was established here.
For ways to learn the culture: attend a Luau, read information before you come, meet and engage with people from here, visits museums or look up events.
This is a biggie. Do you ever have a hard time relaxing because you want to post what you’re doing or maybe want to get the instagram worthy shot? I get it friend, I’ve been there. While social media and the internet can be used for good, sometimes it makes our mental and emotional health suffer.
Kauai is a great place to spend time breathing deep. To really get away from our everyday distractions and remember what’s important. We need down time in order to be healthy and function properly, even if we don’t feel like we do. So here’s how I tackle this sort of pressure during vacations:
I want to remember our time and have memories to look back on. So sometimes I still use my phone for photos, videos etc. BUT I vow not to post ANYTHING until my vacation is over. That way I can be fully present and engaged with Ryan, what we are doing, the views, and as a detox. If you are looking for some restorative time during your trip, try this and see how it works for you.
I can’t wait for you to experience Kauai whether for your first time, or a returning trip. Those are some key tips to keep in mind when planning your vacation here. Kauai is seriously the best, and we have been SOOOO thankful to live here and enjoy this little island.
Since we call Kauai home and have been on the journey of adventuring and exploring for some time, we’d love to share our favorite recommendations with you!——> If you’d love to know our FAVES when it comes to EATS, HIKES, BEACHES, AND MUST SEES click HERE to get the scoop on those!