You have been counting the days until you and your wife board the plane to Honolulu. But being somewhat neurotic and even paranoid, you start thinking about everything that can turn your dream vacation into a nightmare.
After all, you have seen several episodes of Hawaii Five O and Lost you memorized the movie Jurassic Park. You know what can happen in this tropical paradise. What if you are robbed by a homeless person or plunge from a cliff while taking photos of a waterfall? A Tsunami could definitely put a damper on your vacation.
What if a hungry shark chooses to make you his next meal? What about those homicidal wild pigs and chickens that run loose on the island? Can a person die from sunburn, you wonder? How many incidents of food poisoning occurred at Luaus last year?
You picture yourself being driven away by ambulance to have your stomach pumped. All of these things run through your mind as you board the plane the next day.
Fortunately, as you nervously settle into your seat, your wife smiles and hands you a copy of “Safety Tips for Neurotic and Paranoid Tourists.” As the jet soars into the sky, your seatbelt pulled as tight as possible and your entire being on high alert for any little sound that might give you early warning that you’re plane is about to plunge into the sea, your eyes are riveted to this guide that will make your vacation safe, happy, and fun!
And, it should be noted that these tips are useful for vacationers who aren’t neurotic or paranoid, as well.
Take a Long Walk Without Dying
Try not to hike alone and bring more water than you think you need. It can get very hot and the last thing you need is to become dehydrated, which can cause delirium, embarrassing behavior, and land you in the local emergency room. Nothing is more disturbing than seeing a tourist who is frothing at the mouth and babbling incoherently during a group hike.
Mosquito repellant is another item to bring, as our local insects love to connect with tourists.
Wear comfortable running shoes or sturdy sandals, not slippers. Know where the hell you are going (as if you wouldn’t) and check the weather report. Heavy rains can cause flash flooding and put an end to a hike real quick.
Stay on designated hiking trails. Every so often the news covers a story about an overzealous, overconfident visitor who gets lost and has to be rescued by helicopter. Awkward! Take a fully charged cell phone with you and let people know your plans. If you are staying at a hotel, let the front desk know where you are going. That way, if you go missing, the police will have something to go on.
Make sure you research the level and severity of the hike. No need to overdue it to try and impress your friends. You can take a low impact, level 3 hike instead of an all-day, level 10 hike that will leave you sore, tired, and unhappy. Important, helpful information can be found here.
Love the Water, Baby
How can you not go to Hawaii and not snorkel, paddle board, or just splash in the shallow surf? It’s freezing cold and snowing back home. Enjoy the warm water…but:
Wear water sandals at rocky beaches. When snorkeling, don’t stick your arm in holes, you’ll regret it. In fact, don’t touch anything. Assume that everything you see will bite you, delivering a powerful paralytic that will cause you to slowly drown and be consumed by predators.
Have you ever dreamed of spending a night or two in a Federal prison? Go ahead and pet a sea turtle. Better yet, jump on his back. Don’t worry, the Feds have a HUGE sense of humor when it comes to endangered species. You’ll be fine.
Never turn your back to the ocean. The ocean can be like seductive lover who can turn on you in a minute. Watch out for rough waves and look for posted warning signs.
Remember: drinking and swimming can equal disaster. Drinking alcohol can result in cramping and other physical problems when you are in the ocean, not to mention that the locals probably aren’t that interested in how well you hula after a bucket of brews.
Try not to swim alone, and try to find a beach with a lifeguard. That, “off the beaten path nobody knows about it,” special spot is probably someplace that the locals avoid for a good reason.
Finally, make sure you know what’s under the ocean surface. Getting too close to debris or coral can be painful and if you cut yourself you could wind up with a nasty infection.
Burn Baby Burn!
While you are on the beach, trying to get that deep, impressive tan, don’t be afraid to slather on the sunscreen. The Hawaii sun can be sneaky, as many tourists have found out the hard way. Even apply it to your feet; in fact just apply it to any exposed part of your body that can burn baby burn. Better yet, apply it everywhere. Or, be surprised at the places you can get a sunburn.
You don’t want to look like a lobster in distress. Speaking of burns, stay a safe distance from flowing lava. Coming in contact with this is far worse than a sunburn.
You don’t want to add to the crime statistics. End the fantasy in your wife’s mind that McGarrett is going to show up to take your report.
Don’t leave your valuables, or anything for that matter, visible in the car. Rental cars are fairly obvious and popular targets of opportunistic thieves. Remember not to talk out loud in public after you leave your car, saying things like “hey, honey let’s go for a long hike. It should only be a couple hours” Someone within earshot may be checking you out and ready to seize the opportunity to smash your window and grab your stuff.
Please don’t tuck your money under your towel or bury your wallet in the sand and then go for a swim. Also avoid carrying a big wad of cash with you. Leave it in your room or the hotel safe. For more information on crime, check out Neigbourhoodscout
Okay, so now, having read your safety tip guide, you and your bride can relax and enjoy all that Hawaii offers. As you lay blissfully on the sand, your body covered with sunscreen, a scenis e unfolds before your eyes. A man in a neon-colored Aloha shirt is sprinting down the street behind you, shouting, “Hey, Stop!” He is chasing a man who has a purse in his hand. Following close behind the man is hwife, obviously distraught. “I told you we should have locked our stuff in the trunk!”
Yes, Leroy and Elvira were just going down to the beach to take a few photos, already burned to a crisp. “Your purse will be fine,” Leroy had said. But, when they returned to the car, the driver side window had been smashed and the purse was gone. With her face soaked in tears, Eliva snaps, “you are such a moron, Leroy!”
Don’t be Leroy! Before you leave on your next vacation, read this guide, Embrace this guide and be ready to experience the vacation of a lifetime.