* (We has some issues with our audio skipping at min 27. We are sorry about this and trying to fix the issues) Mahalo for your kokua~

THINGS NOT TO DO in HAWAIIEveryone knows some of the great things to do in Hawaii…but what about the things NOT TO DO in HAWAII? Yeah…there are plenty of shitty things not to do while in Hawaii…may it be while on vacation or if you live here…there are somethings you can avoid and others you should just forget about doing all together. We give you guys a good list of things to NOT do while here, why you shouldn’t and what to watch out for while in HAWAII…We even did some Blog searching and found some NOT SO SERIOUS and FUNNY posts on what to NOT DO from a few HAWAIIANS and LOCALS that will be sure to make you laugh as we did…This will be a serious, yet funny show… so sit back, relax, have fun and enjoy this Podcast!

SUN ALL DAYDon’t spend all your time in Waikiki or at your resort…

Don’t lay in the sun all day to get a quick tan or any day while in Hawaii.

Don’t Forget to TIP!


NO BUS TOURSDon’t take a Bus Tour.

While on Oahu don’t go to places like Sealife Park, the Dole Plantation Store or The Polynesian Cultural Center.

Don’t leave anything of value in your Car Rental.


MONK SEALS AND HONUDon’t Approach or touch Hawaiian Monk Seals and Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles called Honu.

Don’t make a choice that can risk your life that you saw in a book, blog or video for a cheap thrill.

Don’t try to speak Pidgin…ever.


LAVA ROCK AND ROCK PILESDon’t take Volcanic Lava Rocks from the islands, Don’t pile Rocks and don’t write your names on volcanic rocks with white coral…this means actually writing with them and placing them in the shape of your name.
Don’t forget to Take your shoes off indoors.
There are countless more we shouldn’t do when we come to Hawaii like: Don’t make a choice that can risk your life that you saw in a book, blog or video for a cheap thrill. Don’t forget to be courteous to other drivers while on the roads here. Please let others through in traffic and if someone lets you through always give them the Shaka/Hang Loose sign out the window. Do not go in the ocean if you see signs or flags telling you not to and never turn your back on it…it’s best to be safe here in Hawaii as our ocean is the most dangerous place to be. Don’t think it’s safe to cross the streets here in Hawaii, our cross walks are not the safest and jay walking has gotten many killed here in Hawaii…don’t be a statistic…Do not get too close to the Coral, touch or walk on it…it is a living breathing being like you and me. Do not leave trash or litter anywhere when you go on a hike…always take out what you took in and if you find some trash on the trail do your part, your kuleana as we say in Hawaii and pick up any trash you find…Be one wit the aina…Hawaii and her mana will be with you if you do this the rest of your trip. Don’t tell locals how it’s done on the mainland…We don’t give a shit how it’s done back there…this is Hawaii. Don’t come to Hawaii without understanding the basics of Hawaiian words and cultural history.  Don’t call Locals “NATIVES or HAWAIIANS” only KANAKA MAOLI are Native Hawaiians and they hold a high PRIDE LEVEL. Don’t try to fit in if you just moved here or are on vacation, be yourself. Don’t come to Hawaii thinking you own the place, always be humble. Lucky We Live Hawaii wanted to give you all an awakening when it comes to Hawaii…We Americans are well aware Hawaii is the 50th State, but the Hawaiians (Kanaka Maoli) who had their land stolen and their culture all but destroyed don’t believe the same things we do…for the locals born here in Hawaii they are in the middle and for those who moved here and live here we see both sides, not just the American side to the matter we see the plight of these islands in the middle of the pacific. So when coming to Hawaii, visiting or living here…remember…Respect and a little humble pie goes a long way here in Hawaii…it’s ALOHA, it’s our KULEANA…so please carry and bring it with you wherever you are or may go.


40 thoughts on “THINGS NOT TO DO in HAWAII

  1. Thanks for answering my questions on the destruc……I mean the construction that’s going on around Oahu. As far as tipping goes, I tip, but probably not as much as I should but when you know more then the guide (i.e. LOST tours) you tend to want to tip less. Wayde, feel better and remember opiates and alcohol don’t mix. Do you guys take music requests? I’d love to hear “Margarita” from Bruddah Iz! Keep up the good work.

  2. Hey guys, overall nice podcast. That’s why I was a bit surprised to hear you discourage the number one tourist attraction on Oahu: The Polynesian Cultural Center. As a member of the Church, I can tell you that it’s no big secret to the visitors that the Mormons and BYU run it. Everyone I’ve always encountered already had known it was owned and operated by the Church. But there’s no proselytizing. You’re not going to find a pair of clean-cut missionaries with white shirts and scriptures at each table! That’s not its purpose. 🙂

    The fact is that most employees are students who are NOT members of the church. And most of them are NOT American citizens either. They are recruited from all over the Pacific to gain an education at BYU and celebrate their cultures at PCC. (Normally, non-American citizens would have to jump through a ton of INS hoops to gain employment). The Church lets students work part-time at PCC and this takes care of their tuition and living expenses. Stop and think about how it would be if you had all of those students looking for work, without the PCC in operation? Can you imagine? Yikes. The Church celebrates the cultures of the students who work there. This is a great service and a brilliant exchange program. More people should be happy for these students and support them at the PCC.

    What would you think if the State of Hawaii, or say the University of Hawaii were to try to implement a similar program? Would it be celebrated then for the huge success it is? Maybe. But as long as “those Mormons” are running it, some people seem to shake their heads. Hopefully, less judgmental minds will prevail.

    And as far as the “culture” of Hawaii goes, get this: there are 70,000 members of the Church in Hawaii. And we have a long history here and in the Pacific islands. Not just missionary efforts. Our people have been in Hawaii since the 1850s guys! We’ve contributed a lot to the place. Our people have created jobs, (with some of the first sugar cane factories and other farms), employing locals and starting businesses on the North Shore. Many of our people also have stories about their ancestors serving (and giving their lives for) the lepers colony in Molokai.

    Even Queen Liliankualni adopted several of the Church programs into her government after attending many of the meetings. The monarchy would often travel to Laie to meet with the Saints. The Church had a good relationship with the monarchy. Queen L was baptized later in her life, and ever her original Book of Mormon is in the Queen’s Palace downtown. It’s a global church and we have a rich history here.

    Locals who are members who are third or fourth generation here (and Polynesian) are really proud of their heritage and faith. They see the Church as part of their Hawaiian culture. So be nice to my Mormon braddahs. Thanks! 🙂

    • Thanks Rick for the great comment…actually, not many know…in fact many are shocked…everyone we deal with, which is a huge group of vacations who book with us from all over the world, have no idea Mormons are the head of the PCC…The Mormons converted a good amount of Hawaiians back in the day with fear tactics and the concept of Heaven and Hell, but we all know this is not the Kanaka ways…this is not the ways of old and has nothing to do with Kanaka Maoli traditions or culture…the 1850s was not the start of Kanaka Maoli history is was however the start of the Kanaka Maoli genocide…Tahitians came to Hawai’i Nei between 800AD-1300AD…there was a DEEP history and Culture of the Kanaka Maoli people long before Mormons, a culture that some Kanaka turned and betrayed…It wouldn’t matter if muslims or christians had been the head of the PCC…we would feel just the same…it’s not pono to use a religion as a front for HAWAIIAN Culture.

  3. Hey guys thanks for the response from the last episode I can not wait to hear about the old gas rail system!
    I enjoyed the episode as usual however some of your “what not to do’s” my wife and I did on our trip last year and it made me wish I had heard this show a year ago before we were practically running through Pearl Harbor on a Discover Hawaii tour and I feel like next time we go to Hawaii we need to hit Pearl again.
    I was also wondering if you guys were having some audio issues with the new podcast as I both streamed and downloaded it and got some skipping audio at various places (for example 37:30 into the episode). Did anybody else have this issue or was the problem on my end? Thanks guys keep it up and Wayde I hope your feeling better buddy!

      • Yeah, I 3rd the skipping issue. I thought it was my iPod filipping out! But still another great episode otherwise. You two both sound re-energized (OK, Wayde off/on due to the meds but all it took was mentioning development to get him roaring back again…) after seeing that Hell yes we care about the show and really missed it.

        • Dale…everyone…YES…we have a little skipping after min 27…IT’S GETS BETTER after the SONG BREAK, but it’s still there a little…sorry about this guys…we are just getting back…we’ll do our best to stop this.

    • Yes TIM…we have skipping issues…sorry about that…we’ll look into it and see if we can repost the podcast or make sure it doesn’t happen again for next week…WE HATE THIS…it’s not professional and we are truly sorry.

  4. Tipping…. ugh. Its a painful subject. Being a black man I always feel it necessary to over tip due to stereotypes…

    I think it would be perfectly acceptable to educate them when they purchase the tickets, that to keep initial booking costs low they have the option to show their appreciation for this one of a kind experience with gratuity. Some people just don’t know.

    As a person who has been moonlighting as a wedding DJ for the last several years I’ve learned that people just don’t understand that you are counting on it.
    While they may pay the company $600 for a show, the person that shows up and keeps the party moving only ever sees a small percentage of that.
    Pretty early on I made it clear to my clients that I will give put 100% of my energy into making sure they had the night of their life. All I ask is that if they think I did a good job feel free to show me appreciated it with gratuity. I don’t do tip jars, I don’t make people give me money for requests because in my opinion that is begging and takes away from the classiness. Eventually when I started booking my own shows and seeing a larger percent of the show cost, tipping was no longer an issue. I know that no matter what I’m going to get a bigger cut. I charged more… a lot more and didn’t see a reduction in clients. I priced out the cheapskates (who weren’t going to tip anyway) and booked only the kind of people who understand you get what you pay for.

    Why don’t you guys give people the option to pre-tip when they book the tickets?
    I know when I’m planning a vacation, I cant spend money quick enough. A few days on the island and I’m thinking twice about ALL my expenses. I know I’d rather pay a premium to know I’m going to get a solid experience every time. Increase the price and say gratuity is included or something. Either way, not having your hand out is going to set you apart from every other vendor on the island. A few days of seeing “Mahalo” jars everywhere probably just makes people ignore them.

    • Ken, you nailed it…great comment…at some point people just become numb…We actually raised our prices to make up some difference in the loses we get from Jeep maintenance and Gas…Everytime we take out a jeep for a tour…once you ad everything up…from Gas…maintenance, permits, fees, taxes and insurance…we are looking at $100 we lose…I highly, highly doubt a single one of our Guests understand this…they just don’t think about these things…many small tour companies like us FAIL & CLOSE DOWN…we are very, very lucky as we grow that 75% of our Guests understand private and personal service and tip knowing this…on average $40-80 is the norm…at least that covers half our costs for everytime we take a Jeep out…if everyone doesn’t remember…our tours started at $99…not anymore…we got sick of the cheapskates!

  5. Hi, I just wanted to tell you that this was a really great podcast and topic, in general. There were so many of your “don’t do’s” that I agree with. In particular, the one about don’t stay at your resort the whole vacation. Because of the Circle Island Tour that we took with Wayde last year, it has inspired us to stay on the North Shore when we come back next summer, so that we can spend more time seeing and experiencing the beauty of Hawaii. Thank you, Bruce and Wayde, for these fun and informative podcasts that you do each week. I missed hearing them when you were on hiatus, and I’m glad that you’re back!

    • Right on Christy!!! Let us know when you are ready…We can hook you up with Turtle Bay Resort or a B&B if you like. Just give us a heads up…We are glad to be back as well! ALOHA~

      • Great pod cast as usual guys! Glad to have you back… I’d like to hear your guys opinion on social media and the impact its having on business and life in general on the island… Seems to me to be having a very negative impact on the hiking community. Mahalo guys see ya in 30 days….

        • BIG IMPACT John…but humans seem to cause the most problems anywhere you go…The problem is the STATE of HAWAII is incapable of dealing with it in a mature way. We’ll talk about it in our next podcast 😉

  6. RE: No tipping. If I recall correctly, tipping is NOT customary in Japan. So much so that some claim it to be insulting. Given the propensity for HI tourism to lean heavy on the Japanese market, they simply may be unaware of US tipping etiquette?

  7. the resort thing drives me fucking insane!! some of my friends ask me why don’t we go somewhere cheaper like an all inclusive in the caribbean. why would i spend hundreds or thousands on flights to end up stuck in one place? i can get drunk, eat too much and sit by a pool at home for a lot cheaper.

  8. Another fine podcast guys. Cliff diving was briefly mentioned. Since people may do it regardless of the risk, it may be a good idea to talk about the dangers (such as currents, lepto, etc.) and safety precautions. When I was there, La’ie Point looked like it had calmer waters than Waimea Bay jumping rock. So I assume that the time of year is a factor. What are the safest places and when is the best time for cliff diving?

    Wayde, you also mentioned in a couple previous podcasts that you weren’t happy with Yelp and were transitioning to Gogobot. I’m curious about what problems you have with Yelp. Your reviews look informative.

    • wayde has talked about it before. basically if you create a yelp account and write a review, then never return, eventually that review is going to get filtered way down in the yelp sort or filtered out entirely.

      so for all these people that are going on the jeep tours and sign up for yelp just to help them out by writing a nice review… well.. over time those good ratings no longer help. there’s also the whole thing about yelp calling businesses and, not in these words of course, but hitting businesses up for money to unfilter good reviews and filter bad reviews.

      i’m not sure wayde has been on gogobot much lately. i forgot about it after our trip last year and just remembered this year. when i go to places that i’ve been to and wayde has reviewed it shows this. kinda goofy. maybe he never clicked “i’ve been here!” even though he wrote a review for it?

  9. Another great, informative podcast guys. I agree with your sentiments about the PCC, i went there on my first visit 20 something years ago and didn’t like it at all. I felt ripped off and it didn’t feel it was particularly authentic. Being with my ex mother in law didn’t help of course, shame one of those spears didnt land in her? 😉 . I am proud to say i have never been into the dole plantation. Why anyone would go there is beyond me.

    I would probably add to the “do nots” do not go to the cheesecake factory or any of the other chain restaurants. Support the local places and if you can, get out of waikiki, there are some great places to eat just a stones throw out of waikiki (thanks for your tips when we were there last year Bruce!) have you noticed i am always talking about food??!! Haha.

    Oh and another BIG do not. Do Not spend your entire vacation in Waikiki , get out there on one of the jeep tours, or rent a car and explore the islands beauty.
    Where is the donation button guys?? !
    Cheers !

  10. Hi, I’ve been listening to your podcast and really enjoy it. I’m going to be moving to Hawai’i for grad school and was wondering if you have any travel agencies for flights that you can recommend? Thank you!

  11. One of the DO NOT things you mentioned (and something you have mentioned in the past) was the whole tendency of people to pile rocks on one another at various sites around Hawaii. As a Canadian, I thought I would add my two cents as to what may be going on.

    The piling of rocks onto one another (particularly when they resemble a modified human figure) has been imported into popular Canadian culture from the traditions of our Inuit people in the Arctic – those formations are known as Inukshuks. For us, the Inukshuks act as place markers often found in particularly beautiful spots. I would even venture to say that Canadian travellers have spread the notion of Inukshuks around the world.

    I appreciate you telling potential visitors to the Islands that the piling of rocks conflicts with Hawaiian beliefs because otherwise these things would continue to happen. The irony is that in honouring our traditions we are conflicting with the traditionally held Hawaiian beliefs. Still, it’s clear that the paramount concern has to be how these actions would be perceived on the Islands.

    • Mahalo Toronto girl…also the bigger picture goes WAY BEYOND HAWAII…here it’s a culture thing FIRST, but second here it’s also the destruction of the natural landscape…humans have a way of shitting on everything they touch…nature isn’t good enough so they need to piss their egos all over it and put their mark…This is why ALL AMERICAN NATIONAL PARKS outlaw this behavior…it is againt US STATE PARKS to pile rocks as it disrupts the natural balance of nature by putting mad made structures around the parks. There are cases are rock piles of 3 rocks or less to be created as Marker systems above tree lines on mountain ranges, because it the only way to create a trail system, but these are the only cases where they sould be used, unless it’s cultural, many just build them to have balance contents and see how many rocks they can balance, here in Hawaii they are not put on trails, travelers just pile them right off roads or at sacred cultural sites where they should never be under any circumstances…But hey…We can always say as SOUTH PARK Says…”BLAME CANADA!” lol 😉

  12. This was a great podcast. Two rules I live by after having visited numerous times by now are tipping and letting people in traffic. Some of the cultural differences will change you for the better upon return to the mainland if you let them change you for the better.

  13. Thank you for all the good tips. We were afraid we really missed something by not getting to the Polynesian Cultural so I was glad to hear your feedback.
    The tipping issue was difficult for us. That might be an area to discuss on future shows. I had done a lot of reading about it and even discussed it with our travel agent.(fyi–he low-balled amount) The range of answers for tipping was so wide that it was hard to know what was correct. It varies so greatly around the country. I often found when working for myself people were confused about what was customary and they’d get embarrassed—often it resulted in no tip at all. I think it’s a lack of knowledge for most folks.
    I agree with you about the bus. We rode the bus while visiting. It was a great experience. No more tour buses for us. It was great to get to meet local people and share in their lives.
    Additional ideas for future shows:
    We enjoyed the music Wayde played on our tour. Just curious…what’s on your playlists?
    What should we see on a second trip to Hawaii? Could you give some information about the tour ships around the islands?
    Thanks for your continued efforts. I look forward to your shows every week.

  14. Churning my way backwards in time through all your excellent podcasts. While I do plan on visiting the PCC and Dole Plantation just to go once, I am doing it with eyes wide open. It’s my first time to Oahu, and I don’t mind doing a few touristy things. But then again, I’ve also happily paid to visit various Cathedrals and temples in Europe where I don’t particularly share their beliefs. I listen to you guys to immerse myself in Hawaiian culture and history, both ancient and modern. So it’s a balance between being a tourist hitting the highlights and a thoughtful citizen of planet earth trying to see things through the eyes of locals. I hope to do a little of both.

    Also, I’ve read that they serve Dole Whips in the Lava Shack at Disney Aulani. Given that they serve Whips in Disney Land and WDW, it only makes sense.

    Keep up the great, informative content!

  15. Wow, alot of Don’ts in there… Are there any DOs? I dont really understand why you expect visitors to speak local Hawaiian. Maybe when we go there, we want to learn some Hawaiian words, but as not having been there yet, maybe we dont know anymore than Aloha, WTF is wrong with that? When I travelled to Mexico, I learned alot of Spanish- but the locals, ie Mexicans didnt expect me to speak it before I got there. Don’t call locals, locals. OK.. Well calling a local, means they are local as they live there. It doesnt have anything to do with being Hawaiian or not, it is calling someone local because he/she lives there. They can be local black, local white, local Hawaiian (or KANAKA MAOLI)… So you say don’t call locals local, call them only KANAKA MAOLI. So your saying everyone that lives in Hawaii, that is a local (meaning having lived there for a long time) should instead be called KANAKA MAOLI? Ok so call Japanese KANAKA MAOLI, Filipino KANAKA MAOLI? Is that what you are saying? If I visit someplace I am going to do my utmost to respect the local people (its just an english word, it means the people from a certain place- no offense intended), but I am not going to be an expert in their culture and language from day 1, and to expect that I think is stupid. Now if they show no interest to learn the language/culture that is another thing, but to expect us to speak Hawaiian before we get there… is stupid. I can read it and study it online, but I can tell you already I dont know how to pronounce KANAKA MAOLI- it takes practice, which is best done by imersing yourself in the culture, when you get there!

    • Good Grief…Do you bitch this much in real life? We have like 75 episodes of the Lucky We Live Hawaii Podcast…If you listened to them all…Great…if you didn’t…That’s ok as well…You can take our advice or not…No matter to us…that’s your choice. We are the “don’t give a fuck what you do” kinda people…if you take our advice, great…if not you’ll learn the hard way yourself…Sometimes you need to let the kid touch the hot burner…it’s a hard lesson, but it’s a lesson they will remember either way. Bottom line…what we tried to get across was that the Native Hawaiian people are a race of people that have a High Level of PRIDE…Many people don’t learn about the Kanaka Maoli culture before they come here…Most Americans are ignorant to other cultures…when it comes to Hawaii…this is one of the few places you SHOULD NOT come and be ignorant…Learn the proper understanding of basic Hawaiian words…Learn about the Historical Culture as well before you come here…There is a reason why vacationers are called “HAOLE” it’s often because they come here being ignorant.

  16. Mahalo for this website. I will be in Hawaii for my first time with my new wife in Feb. I think its shame you have to tell people not to mess with the turtles but being from Florida its not unreasonable to have to explain to tourists on how not to lay out in the son. Looking forward to our trip and to catching some eepic Hawaiian waves Im not sure what this meaney person that posted February 2015 is pissing and moaning about with the do and dont of this site. Its not too much to ask to not fuck with the wild life or steal volcanic rock or flat out not be a dick on your island. Any one that thinks it is should probably just stay in doors. Any how I would like some ideas for things to do off the beaten path on the big island. I will be staying in Kona with an excursion to Mauii for the road to Hana. Any thoughts? I really wanna catch and release a marlin but everything i see is over $1k

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