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3 Things That Will Shock Travelers When Visiting Hawaii In 2023

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Hawaii is beautiful and on most North Americans’ bucket lists of where to travel to at least once. Its beautiful beaches and fascinating Polynesian culture are globally known. Visiting here any time of the year will give you a good vacation. What people don’t know about Hawaii is that some things like traffic, food prices, and over-tourism plague the islands in crazy ways. You would think these places are eternal paradise, but sometimes things go out of whack.

Traffic in Hawaii.

You’re stuck in traffic for hours, buying overpriced food and visiting spots overfilled with tourists (taking the fun away). Hawaii is beautiful, but these three things will shock travelers when visiting in 2023. Don’t think you can’t come here because of these issues. Visiting is highly encouraged because the islands are beautiful at any time of the year. These warnings are only for entertainment and shouldn’t be used to avoid Hawaii. 

Car parked with scenery.


Hawaii’s traffic problems are well-known on the island, especially in well-known tourist destinations such as Oahu. When you have a group of hotels all nearby of each other and then combine that with locals rush hour, you’re bound to get massive congestion. This causes traffic to almost standstill at certain times of the day, and it’s super annoying if you’re in a rush or on a time crunch. Don’t fret; traffic can ease if you leave early or at odd times, like before and after lunch.

Overhead view of traffic.

While vacationing in heaven can be ideal, sometimes the gritty details ruin the entire picture. It’s common to be in front of a tourist who suddenly stops their car to get a good photo of a mountain or rainbow. This goes even further when tourists park their cars suddenly and get out at random parts of the street to get a good view of Hawaii’s natural landscapes. Another culprit for traffic is lost drivers. Many of Hawaii’s street names are in Hawaiian, which has a different alphabet than North America. This can cause GPS systems to get confused or send you to the wrong address. Check out where you get a hotel and where the nearest parking is. Picking a smaller property a little further out can be good since you’ll avoid rush hours during the day. 

More traffic in Hawaii.

Food Prices

While inflation is affecting most of the United States, its effect on Hawaii is even more drastic. Getting simple things like eggs, milk, and beer can be much more expensive here than on the mainland. In 2022, eggs cost people in Hawaii $9.73, while other states like Florida only cost $6.36. The recent inflation has increased prices, and it’s been hard to gauge how much anything will cost. Milk will run you about $5 here, while on the mainland, prices usually are around $3 for a gallon. This makes breakfast expensive if you ask us.

Someone buying milk at the grocery store.

Hawaii also has one of the highest prices for beer in all of the United States. Beers will cost you almost $10; we don’t understand why. One reason could be the import fee most beers (if not made locally) face when being brought to the islands. This can dampen any party. Opt for locally sourced products like Eggs Hawaii. You can avoid some of the costs. The same thing goes for beer. 

Expensive beer.


Hawaii has been hit by over-tourism, especially in cities like Honolulu, Kualapuu, and Kailua-Kona. This has caused locals and indigenous groups to be frustrated by the never-ending problems that come with mass tourism. On top of the traffic, inflation, and other nasty symptoms of over-tourism, only some travelers have the same carefulness for Hawaii or its land.

A crowded beach.

Maui has even started imposing fines for using too much water during a drought which can make daily living on the island difficult at times. If you are planning a trip to Hawaii, it might be best to check out alternative destinations that aren’t quite so mainstream. Not only do you help lessen the impact on locals and the environment, you might actually have a more relaxing and authentic vacation.

A lot of tourists waiting.

Hawaii is a fantastic place that shouldn’t be taken for granted, so try and show as much respect as you can while visiting the islands. Mass tourism is a problem the world will continue to face, but we as travelers and the small things we do can help make a difference.

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