Sometimes you don’t have any other choice but to travel right smack in the middle of the Christmas vacation. Between December 24th – January 1st is a busy time for your Christmas Holiday in Hawaii.
Not all of us have the luxury to avoid the peak season. In December you will find crowded beaches and long queues in practically most of the tourist sites on every hawaiian island. Getting Tickets to Pearl Harbor is almost impossible, unless you want to line up at 6am – gates open at 730am. It makes perfect sense to take a Pearl Harbor Tour, where everything is organized and you get to enjoy the day. Click the button to find more info about the Pearl Harbor Tour with Daniels Hawaii.
We have prepared this short guide to help you make the most out of your Hawaii vacation with the unexpected stress you can have.
1. Go to the beach early!
Christmas is the time to relax. If you like to enjoy the peace before the storm and take a short morning stroll along the ocean during your Christmas Holiday in Hawaii, get to the beach early. 7-8am is a good time. From 10am onwards, tourists start swarming especially Waikiki beach. There’s barely space for you to walk without zigzagging your way around beach chairs, surfboards, empty beach towels and people sunbathing!
2. If you want more peace, pick less crowded beaches.
What we mean is, avoid Waikiki beach!
It’s where everyone goes. Families, friends, even groups doing stag parties or bachelorette parties with drinks and booze (it’s technically not allowed), so unless you are prepared to deal with noise and rowdy kids splashing sand on your whole body when they run around the beach, find a smaller, more peaceful beach. Here are our top picks!
- Kaimana Beach – on the other end of Waikiki, towards Diamond Head. Our favorite beach in Waikiki.
2. Eternity Beach – Featured in many movies. Not easy to get to, but worth the hike.
3. Waimanalo Beach – Was rated the #1 beach in the USA. Fine white sand at this longest beach on the island.
4. Velzyland Beach – Popular Surf Spot on the North Shore with big waves in the winter. Perfect place to relax and watch the surfers or just sunbath.
If you like to find out more about these empty beaches on Oahu, please click the button.
3. If visiting sites, go early, EVEN IF YOU HAVE BOOKED TICKETS IN ADVANCE!
Chances are, everyone else have booked tickets in advance and think that they can just walk in with a breeze. The day after Christmas is especially chaotic because most sites are closed on Christmas Day (and eve). Arrive early, for example, if you want to go to Pearl Harbor, be there around 6am to avoid the crowds. It’s a coin toss between waking up early and making the most of your day or wasting extra hours falling and waiting in line.
4. Going shopping? Go early, too!
Remember that stores and groceries close a little earlier on Christmas Eve, and are most likely closed all day on Christmas Day. Shops and malls normally close around 4 or 5pm on Christmas Eve. Don’t believe everything Google says, because sometimes the store hours you see there are not updated. Save yourself the hassle and call before going!
Some stores have extended shopping hours during the holidays (except Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day), some are even open until 11pm or 12 midnight, so check your stores.
One of the most popular Spots to shop close to Waikiki is the Ala Moana Shopping Mall. Click the link for more infos about the biggest outdoor Shopping Mall in the USA.
5. Driving to the North Shore?
Avoid weekday traffic by going the opposite direction. Drive to the North Shore between 8-10am, and drive back into Honolulu between 1-3pm. Times outside this, especially on weekdays, is gonna get you sitting in rush hour traffic.
6. Make reservations at restaurants.
Especially in Waikiki, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day can be a bit stressful with long waiting lines. Either reserve a table online or call in before coming. We just asked a restaurant-bar last night at 6pm, and they said they are full until 10pm.
Christmas Holiday in Hawaii – Visit Santa
Of course, these are tips, no guarantees, but it is better to come prepared with something rather than nothing. Always worth a visit is the giant Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus in downtown Honolulu. Mele Kalikimaka!