Once you have received orders to Hawaii, you should take care of all military-related requirements such as temporary lodging allowance, housing assignments, etc. For military-specific information related to planning your move, see the chapter of this guide that covers your branch. The military-related requirements will be the most important part of your planning, so work as closely as possible with your command.Personal Documents
You will need many official documents while in transition. Make sure that your important personal documents are not packed with your belongings, and carry them with you in your carry-on baggage. Hand carry the following documents as applicable to your family.Family Documents
It is recommended that you make your hotel reservations well in advance, especially if you are going to arrive during the peak months of December through March, or May through August. Be sure that your TLA will cover accommodations before making reservations.
In addition to the advertisers in this guide, the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau provides many local resources for newcomers and can be reached at 808-923-1811 or by visiting www.hvcb.org.Getting the Most Out of Your Hotel
Whether it’s for a long weekend or an extended stay, check out these handy tips before you check-in.1. Choose the hotel that works best for you.
Find a hotel in advance using one of the many online sites like Kayak, Priceline, Orbitz, Expedia or Trivago, and ensure that the hotel is close to where you want to be. Many hotels charge more for ocean-view rooms in Waikiki, but the Diamond Head views or city views are just as nice. Plus, you’re so close to the ocean that you can see it for yourself.2. Be aware of hidden fees.
The nightly hotel rate might seem like a steal until you see the fine print indicating a daily resort fee and the self-parking or valet fee if you have a car. The resort fee generally covers internet charges, local phone calls, beach towels, movie rentals through DVD Now and other amenities specific to the hotel.3. Take a free ride.
Many hotels offer free shuttle service from the airport. If the hotel doesn’t have a shuttle available, there is a statewide airport shuttle that provides door-to-door service for a fee. For more information on one-way or round trip fares on SpeediShuttle, visit www.speedishuttle.com.4. Don’t raid the mini-bar.
ABC stores are everywhere in Waikiki. Stock up on drinks, snacks, sunscreen and cheap souvenirs here. There are also plenty of 7-Eleven locations throughout that offer delicious (yes, really), local bento boxes.5. Opt for an alternative stay.
Sites like VRBO.com and AirBNB.com offer travelers the chance to stay in a vacation rental, condo, bed-and-breakfast or beach house for less than what you’d generally pay for a hotel. Keep in mind that there won’t be as many amenities involved in booking a vacation rental through these sites but some benefits include more space, full kitchens and the chance to stay in some less touristy places. There are more risks involved in booking your stay through these sites so be sure to read reviews, research the neighborhood and host of the listing, and make sure you have a contract that fully outlines the cancellation policies.6. Get to know the island.
There is so much to see and do in Hawaii. Utilize the Waikiki Trolley or TheBus to visit the Ala Moana Center, Honolulu Zoo, Waikiki Aquarium, King Kamehameha statue, Pearl Harbor, Diamond Head and more. You can hop on and off the trolley or TheBus in front of many of the hotels and tourist attractions in the area. There are small fees for either form of transportation. Information can be found at https://waikikitrolley.com and www.thebus.org.