Home Tips and Tricks The Only Guidebook You Need When Visiting The Hawaiian Islands

The Only Guidebook You Need When Visiting The Hawaiian Islands

by joeheg

When I was planning our honeymoon to Hawaii in 2001, I searched for guidebooks online. There weren’t many online travel sites back then and if you wanted an in-depth guide, you bought a book. I ordered books for Maui and Hawaii that were highly rated on Amazon (back when Amazon was just an online bookstore).

I can’t give any higher regard for the “Revealed” series of travel guides from Wizard Publications.

These books saved our honeymoon trip after the cruise we originally booked went under because of 9/11. Thanks to these two books, I found amazing things to do while on Maui, including our first Hawaiian luau.

Look at us! Babies!

Even more importantly, the Hawaii book helped me find our B&B in Volcano Village.

When we returned to the islands 10 years later for our anniversary, I used the guides to find a cheaper option for the same surfing lessons on Oahu that was offered by our hotel.

I never said I actually learned how to surf but I did try. 🙂

It also led us to drive up Tantalus Road to this overlook.

When we mentioned at dinner that we’d been there, our server asked “How’d you find out about that? Tourists don’t go there!”

As our 20th anniversary trip to Hawaii approached, I looked at the Kauai Revealed website, which now gives hotel reviews online. I was even happier to see that a new guidebook for Kauai (the 12th edition) was set for publication in a few weeks. I placed a preorder and waited for the delivery. It was initially delayed but arrived a few weeks before the trip.

It’s the way I found out about many of the activities we did during our trip to Kauai, including our Na Pali coast Sunset Sail.

When we got to Hawaii, I realized that one of the things I forgot to pack was the Kauai Revealed book. It was still sitting on my office desk because it wasn’t on my packing list.

Fortunately, the guides are now available as a smartphone app, so I purchased a yearly subscription for $17.99 while at the pool of the Grand Hyatt. This way I was able to look up everything I wanted to on my phone during the trip and didn’t feel like such an idiot for leaving the book at home.

I’m getting absolutely nothing for telling you that these are the best guidebooks for Hawaii that I’ve seen. The reviews are honest and funny. There’s a mix of the good and the bad and that helps you make decisions about what’s for you and what’s not.

And honestly, if you’re spending the bucks to travel to Hawaii, what’s spending $20 on a really good guidebook to make your trip more enjoyable?

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2 comments

Carl WV March 21, 2022 - 10:39 pm

I was always a fan of the “Hidden” series. When I last did Hawaii (late 80’s) I carried the Hidden Hawaii printed version. I’m kind of glad the smartphones, etc. weren’t around then. Back then when you went to Hawaii you really felt like you had gotten away from it all.

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Randy March 22, 2022 - 2:22 pm

Agree with you on these books. I bought them for four different islands when we went on a cruise there five or so years ago. Definitely worth it. I just like being able to look something up in a physical book and not on my phone.

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