Watch out... I worked this out but my friend got hooked in. We were walking down the street and a guy had a parrot/ cockatoe and said "here hold this and I will take a photo of you with the bird', I was like no thanks but my un-travelled friend said ok. Anyhow after holding the bird, the guy asked for a $20 donation towards the wildlife. I said I dont have any money (which i did) and my friend handed him the money, she didnt take my hint. If you do want to hold a bird I suggest better to go to a wildlife park or any donations pay directly to organisations.
Do not let anyone put birds on you in Waikiki and take your picture. First off, this is completely illegal. It's called "Solicitation of Animals", and it is against the law for someone to charge you money and use an animal in doing it. Secondly, parrots are not even from Hawai'i! They are just pets being pimped out. Third, all of the guys with the birds are con artists and druggies. I met several of them when I stayed at a particular hostel. Any money you give them would be a waste.
As you stroll along the streets of Waikiki, you'll see people with birds (parrots) on their shoulder asking you if you want a picture taken with them. It's innocent enough, but when you are finished, they ask if you can give a small donation.
Unique Suggestions: It's not such a big deal, but if you get your picture taken, give them a couple bucks...no sweat off your back.
Fun Alternatives: If this is not for you, just say that you are not interested. Or better yet, JUST SAY NO!!!
Do NOT do NOT go on the tour buses. Sure the brochures will include wonderful pictures of upside down waterfalls & hieroglyphs. In reality, the tour buses are so unorganized; they pick you up at your hotel LATE and you spend much of the day driving. It is a waste of money. Only pro is that the guides are really informative and fun to listen to.
Unique Suggestions: The luaus are fun fun fun. The dancers are young, friendly, and attractive. After the show, you can take pics with your favorite dancers and show off to the folks at home.
Fun Alternatives: Do your research online and figure out what sites you really want to see. Meet a local i.e bartender, whatever and ask them where to go to beat the crowded tourist sites. Better yet, Im sure the locals are even nice enough to accompany you on your own personal tour of Oahu. Stay away from Waikiki too!
Waikiki is Hawaii's biggest tourist trap. The beach is beautiful but over crowded. The shops are over priced, and its just all very tacky. Just take some pictures of it, maybe enjoy one night of strolling the strip, but then head out around the island see things that unfortunalty not many people see because they waste to much time in this tourist trap.
You will for sure be asked to attend a Time Share seminar. They promise you tickets at a lower cost or for free to different exhibits, boat rides, trips, etc. These tickets you can purchase on your own pretty much thru out the island at lower costs. Unless you want to waste your valuable time sitting thru a seminar on Time Shares, don't get involved.
We purchased a package which included a free breakfast the day after we arrived. But we got sucked into buying several tours, then figuered out that it would of cost a lot less to rent a car, and take the tour on our own. You really can't get lost!
You are on an island, the worst that can happen is you will probably end up going around in circles.
Unique Suggestions: Research the best "Luau" in town.
Prices vary- from afordable to extravagant.
You haven't been to Hawaii if you've only been to Waikiki. This crowded boiling pot with its highrise hotels, world famous beach and souvernir shops is not what Hawaii is all about.
Unique Suggestions: Even though it may be tempting to stay at Waikiki beach all day and hang out in the beachside bars at night, do yourself the favour and see more of the island.
Staying in Waikiki all the time. Many tourists spend all their time in this money trap. Sure Waikiki is a great place to have fun, but there is too much more to see. Don't be afraid to branch out. I like to go here to walk around, run at the park, and go to clubs.
Obama Mania has struck the islands of Hawaii. Obama themed shirts, toys and even Bobble Head dolls can be found every where. We even saw an Obama themed Chia Pet....what the heck is going on....