Say the words "Hawaiian Vacation" to 100 people and you are likely to get 100 positive responses—and all 100 will differ from one another. The fact is, one person's dream vacation is another person's bummer. A great vacation depends on your likes and dislikes, and your style.
Enter No Worries Hawaii: A Vacation Planning Guide for Kauai, Oahu, Maui, and the Big Island. This e-book uses 36 categories—that together summarize what people want out of a trip to Hawaii—and lets you pick the stuff that will ring your bell.
The Polynesian Cultural Center on Oahu (above) is Hawaii's top attraction, but not a must-see for everyone.
A simple-but-ingenious self-test is the key: For each of the 36 categories, the self-test asks if you "gotta have it," "it would be nice," or "don't care." If you are not into beginner snorkeling, then undergoing the crowds at Hanauma Bay (above) isn't going to be a priority.
Among the 36 categories are hike-to wild beaches, museums and galleries, walk-around tourist towns, mountain biking trails, tropical ridge hikes, scenic drives, attractions and visitor centers, horse stables, golfing, beaches to get lost on—a spectrum of ranging from relaxing in pampered luxury to sweating it out at the outer edge of adventure.
Your self-test answers are keyed to which island scores highest for the category. If family picnic parks are high on your list, you'll want to see Kualoa Regional Park (above).
For each category. No Worries Hawaii lists the Top 5 in the state, as well as the Top 20, and also some honorable mentions. Every island scores in each category—they are all in Hawaii, after all. But for each category (like Best Places to Watch Surfers) a winning island is noted.
The preferences from your self-test are added together, and your winning island is selected. The Kuilau Ridge Trail is among the Top 20 among Tropical Forest Hikes, and Kauai is best in this category.
No Worries Hawaii also has a special section on how to avoid dangers and stay safe on the trails and at the beach. These rules can save your butt.
You will also find a chapter on which type of accommodation you are looking for—from camping and rustic cabins to swank destination resorts, like the Big Island's Mauna Lani (above). Details for many dozens of hand-picked hotels and condos are included.
The authors have spent more than 25 years exploring Hawaii, and have published guides for each island. NWH is full of tips on how to save money, both in trip planning and during your visit. You'll also learn about common hassles, and how to avoid them.
Many people want to schedule tours and lessons (helicopters, sightseeing, horseback riding, etc.). NWH has a rundown on how (or whether) to book a tour, and the specific operators to use.
No Worries Hawaii is available as an e-book (link below), as well as full-color paperback and a full-color Amazon print-on-demand version published this hear (ISBN 9781973213666).