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Destination I Do
Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Hawaiian Airlines' Top 10 Travel Tips

Words by Candice Maniga
Photos courtesy of Hawaiian Airlines

Hawaii is a state with beautiful culture and breathtaking views. As a tourist hotspot, plenty of the elements that make it so heavenly seem like no-brainers to check off during a trip, but you only have so much time when you’re traveling - especially during a wedding trip! To ensure you’re able to embrace everything that makes Hawaii special during your destination wedding, two members of the Hawaiian Airlines’ ohana (family) – Kaipo Kauka (KK) and Levon Gardner (LG) – put together their top 10 tips before you travel. 

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  1. Take advantage of Hawaii’s adventurous side.
    KK: Hawaii has so much to offer and, with year-round great weather, the options are truly endless. I'm the adventurous type so I enjoy things like hiking, surfing, diving and stand up paddling. Hawaii has the best backdrop for zip-lining, paintball, ATV riding, rock climbing, sailing, fishing and horseback riding.
    LG: Hawaii has an amazing food culture that’s worth exploring. For a unique experience, try collecting taro (a native root vegetable), pounding it into a starch called "poi" and gathering your group to eat it together as an ‘‘ohana."

  2. Think outside of hotels.
    KK: As a mobile DJ myself, I've had the opportunity to work at several private functions around the island. These homes (which are priced in the millions), have million-dollar views to match. Other properties are privately tucked away in the mountains and provide a nice, sheltered approach. Some of my personal favorite venues are Lanikuhonua and the Beachfront Oasis in Hawaii Kai. If you prefer hotels, the Rainbow Suite at the Hilton Hawaiian Village is unbeatable.

  3. Pay attention to the sunset.
    KK: Hawaii has year-round beauty which makes it the ideal destination wedding venue. With that in mind, it's important to keep in mind that the summer months offer longer days and later sunsets while planning your reception and photo shoot timeline.

  4. Get a local’s perspective.
    LG: Flight attendants are a great resource for vast amounts of information for everything and anything that you might want to do while here!

  5. Take the stress off your guests.
    KK: The Hawaiian Airlines website is your one-stop shop for all your destination wedding needs. We provide options for air, room and car, all at a discounted rate with our travel partners.

  6. Embrace the aloha lifestyle.
    KK: Hawaii and Hawaiian Airlines define authentic Hawaiian hospitality. From the moment you step on board, you get a feeling of the aloha spirit. This relaxed, comfortable environment has led to many nervous grooms-to-be popping the question in-flight!

  7. Keep skincare simple during the travel journey.
    KK: Moisturize while traveling and always wear sunscreen!
    LG: As a certified makeup artist, my No. 1 recommendation is to wear sunscreen! Being burnt on your special day is never “cool.”

  8. Incorporate the local Hawaiian culture into your big day.
    KK: Our core values with our in-flight team are a great foundation for couples on their big day: Aloha, Ho'okipa, Malama and Lokahi.
    • Aloha: "Aloha" is the extension of unconditional love, trust and friendship. Couples can use this for both each other and for all the loved ones who are joining them on their special day.
    • Ho'okipa: "Ho'okipa" means hospitality. Do everything to make sure your guest have lasting memories. Make your wedding the most talked about wedding of the year.
    • Malama: "Malama" means sincerely caring for each other. In the end, it's all about the two of you.
    • Lokahi: "Lokahi" means harmony, unity and agreement. This is the ultimate goal of any couple getting married.
    LG: Instead of the standard chicken and steak options, offer a Hawaiian spread for your guests with raw fish, poke, raw crabs, pipikaula and poi. It’s an experience they won’t be able to find anywhere else in the world!

  9. The one item for brides and grooms to bring in a carry-on is…
    KK: A camera. Memories are priceless - so is making your friends jealous with postcard photos as your home screen wallpaper!
    LG: Extra underwear!

  10. Sometimes, it’s about the journey.
    KK: There was a flight where a gentleman proposed to his then-girlfriend just as the plane took off from the West Coast. They celebrated with the crew, an announcement was made over the P.A. and congratulations filled the aircraft. Shortly thereafter, a man approached one of the flight attendants and asked if the couple wanted to be married. The crew scrambled into action, collecting flowers to make the bride's bouquet. Another flight attendant grabbed his guitar out of the closet and warmed up his vocal cords – 30 minutes later, the couple had the ceremony in the first class galley with the crew members as their witnesses and musicians. An amazing experience when you think about a couple going from boyfriend/girlfriend to fiancés to newlyweds all during a 5-hour flight somewhere over the Pacific!

Kaipo Kauka grew up in Honolulu and worked as a bartender, emcee and promoter at Hawaii’s hottest nightclubs before becoming an in-flight instructor for Hawaiian Airlines. He also founded Status Entertainment, a lighting and sound company, in 2012. Kaipo spends his free time with family, surfing, standup paddle boarding and hiking. Levon, a Hawaiian Airlines flight attendant, also loves to spend his free time being active and going on family adventures. He has spent years competitively paddling outriggers, participating in major races including Moloka’i Hoe and the Liberty Challenge

Having spent years in Hawaii and built up their experience in travel and tourism, you can trust taking their tips to heart.

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