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May 3, 2023

5 Tips for Planning the Ultimate Oahu Summer Vacation

Summer is almost here, and as the rainy season moves out of Hawaii, we’re preparing for an epic season of surf, sand, and fun in the sun. As the school year comes to an end and you’re beginning to look for family vacation destinations, there’s no better place than beautiful Oahu. With our stunning beaches, crystal blue water, unique wild and marine life, vibrant culture, food, and festivals, a Hawaiian summer vacation is one you’ll remember forever. At Island Water Sports Hawaii, we’re taking the stress out of planning and giving you 5 tips to ensure the ultimate Oahu summer vacation. From the best snorkeling and offshore adventures to must-have items for your trip, this guide will have you ready to pack your bags for your Oahu summer vacation in no time!

Plan Your Excursions

Two people underwater riding submarine scooters

If you’re traveling to Oahu, you’ll likely want to partake in some of the island’s exciting activities. Figure out what your group wants to do, and then book your excursions in advance. As a popular vacation destination, there’s sure to be a high demand for tours and guided experiences. Booking early can ensure you and your family experience everything you want on your Hawaiian summer vacation. If water activities are on the list, Island Water Sports Hawaii has you covered! Check out our top adventures:

  • Submarine Scooters, Snorkeling & Cruising – Take a truly unique underwater adventure when you book our most popular excursion. This tour takes you on a scenic catamaran cruise to Maunalua Bay’s crystal blue waters, where you’ll snorkel and ride on an underwater scooter. Get up close to all kinds of marine life, from octopuses to starfish and even the mesmerizing Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle!
  • Sea Bob Super Dolphin, Snorkeling & Cruising – Ride your very own eco-friendly electric Super Dolphin. With speeds up to 12 mph, you’ll cut through the surf and jump waves like a real dolphin. This tour is fun for families and kids 10 years and up!
  • Sport Fishing – Book your fishing excursion with Island Water Sports and let us show you an incredible day on the water. Keep some of your catch and have a delicious fresh-caught dinner that night!

You can also consider zipline tours, ATV off-roading, or guided waterfall tours for adventure on dry land.

Pack the Essentials

Did you know Hawaii has 11 climate zones?! And with so much to see and do, you’ll want to be prepared for whatever comes your way. From the right shoes to some more obscure must-haves, here are our most recommended essentials for your summer vacation to Oahu.

  • A Waterproof Phone Case + Flotation Strap – From the beach to deep-sea adventures, these are a MUST to ensure your phone’s safety while you splash and play this summer.
  • Mesh Water Shoes – These are perfect for hikes that include waterfall destinations or for hiking over sharp volcanic rocks. The terrain can change quickly, so packing a lightweight mesh shoe will come in handy as you explore the island.
  • Deet-Free Bug Repellant Bracelets – keep the bugs away without spraying chemicals all over your body. These natural ingredient bracelets are one-size-fits-all and are a lifesaver for hikes through the Hawaiian rainforest.
  • Children’s Full-Face Snorkel Mask – While adult-size snorkels are often easy to rent, it’s harder to find children’s sizes. So, bringing your own will save time and hassle and let your kiddos dive right into the fun.
  • Packing Cubesthese will help you compress and organize your items, saving you space in your excursion bags and your luggage. Throw in some light layers so you can dress for the changing weather. Pack an extra pair of shoes or a hat and beach coverup, so you’re prepared to go where the day takes you without worrying about returning to your hotel first.

There’s nothing worse than landing at your vacation destination to realize you forgot an important item and now have to find a store in an unfamiliar area. We hope these less obvious suggestions will make you feel more prepared for your Oahu summer vacation.

Research Summer Events and Festivals

hawaii luau fire dancers

One of the best ways to experience Oahu’s culture and history is to go to a local event or summer festival. If you want an immersive experience in all things “Hawaii,” check out the Waikiki Moonlit Festival. Happening June 3rd, this festival features musicians, dancers, and artisans showcasing their talents and skills from hula to contemporary Hawaiian music, as well as local food and drink. For the foodies among you, take advantage of a Saturday KCC Farmers Market located on the side of Diamond Head. With over 80 vendors, this market features pop-up restaurants and many local delicacies you won’t want to miss.

Choose Your Perfect Accommodations

Each part of Oahu is different and has unique things to do and see. That’s why it’s important to do your research. Do you want to be in the heart of all the action? Then Waikiki may be the best place for you. If you want a less crowded area with more opportunities for easy access to hiking and parks, Diamond Head is your spot. No matter the area, each location will offer a mix of luxury, all-inclusive, private homes, and condos. Wherever you stay, remember that booking directly with the property manager or owner is often more advantageous than going through a third party. There are often special discounts or even concierge services you can get that you just won’t be offered with companies that aren’t local to the area. Check out this resource for an extensive breakdown of Oahu’s best areas and vacation accommodations as you plan your summer vacation.

Make Time for Rest and Relaxation

Group of five happy people sits on background of empty sunset beach. Travel or sea vacations concept

It’s easy to get caught up in the day trips and scheduled events, and before you know it, your vacation is over, and you’ve barely had time to rest! Be sure not to leave your Oahu summer vacation more tired than when you arrived. As you plan your trip, be sure to schedule in time for some simple R&R. A day (or more) on our beautiful beaches, relaxing in the sun, and listening to the waves is what makes this place a piece of heaven on earth. For recommendations on all things Oahu, please feel free to reach out to our team at Island Water Sports Hawaii. We hope to see you this summer!

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