‘Aloha’ is a fine thing to say
Just don’t yell it out like a typical tourist using it as a novelty. Use it as a genuine greeting, and learn to say Thank You as well (Mahalo).
Leave the native sands and lava rocks where you found them
Whilst tourists may be tempted to fill a trinket with different colours of sand from Hawaii or some lava rocks – remember it is considered bad luck and many tourists have reportedly returned to Hawaii after feeling cursed to return these items. It is also disrespectful – not to mention illegal if taking them from national parks.
Leave your shoes at the front door
It is common for visitors to be asked to remove their shoes before entering a home in Hawaii. Even when renting a place in Hawaii do not be surprised to find a sign on the door with a request from the owner to remove your shoes.
Leave your fancy clothes at home
The dress code in Hawaii is strictly casual. So men can leave their suits at home and invest in an Aloha t-shirt! Women can dress as equally casual but by all means – avoid wearing matching Aloha t-shirts!
It is good etiquette to tip your waiter
Hawaii can be an expensive place to live for the locals, so waiters here always appreciate tips. If you find service particularly impressive – don’t just tip, tell the manager how good the service was. Sometimes monetary contributions pale in comparison to praise.
They are called sacred sites for a reason – treat them that way
Hawaii has many sites that are considered sacred after being created by ancient Hawaiians. Conduct yourself in a quiet and respectful manner and if you see flowers – don’t pick them. Treat them like a museum – look and appreciate, but don’t touch or disturb.
Leis are treated as a sign of peace and love, so appreciate them
Wear them correctly and do not show disrespect by putting it on your head or wrapping it around your wrists like a bracelet. Remember not to remove the lei in front of the person who gave it to you.
Don’t touch the sea turtles
The green sea turtles in Hawaii are endangered and by touching or disturbing them you may be causing them unnecessary stress. Attempting to ride the turtles is a definite no-no. Fines and potential jail time enforce the rule that sea turtles should be watched from afar and not to be touched.