Traveling with Care in HawaiiWords by Lauren Ertl
Photos courtesy of R Hailstones
Aloha! Have you missed Hawaii? We have! Now that travel to the islands is open again, we are celebrating by sharing with you a unique Hawaiian honeymoon/destination wedding opportunity.
Founded by a luxury travel specialist, The Coconut Traveler is a leading travel company in Hawaii specializing in bespoke, private journeys combining beautiful residences with unique experiences to create transformational visits to the islands. As an on-the-ground operator, the company’s goals are to create positive change in the community, design exceptional itineraries, engage the most dynamic experts in the Hawaiian Islands, and deliver uncompromised luxury. The company works with those who do good on the island, such as their airline partner Private Jet Services, America’s first Carbon Neutral Private Aviation Company. Read our interview with The Coconut Traveler's Founder Debbie Misajon below:
Q: Why do couples love what The Coconut Traveler has to offer?
A: I believe couples love what we do because we listen to them and create bespoke itineraries that capture their dreams. If they want to be extremely active, they are; if they want to spend a lot of time in gardens, they do.
Q: What is your favorite unique experience to send couples on?
A: I wish I had a favorite; when I speak with guests, their ideas and dreams create the next experience. I do love getting couples out paddling a Hawaiian canoe with a local even though it conjures up trite images of a tourist in a brightly painted canoe with Diamond Head in the background. We do it differently. It’s a simple interaction that engages the guests with a local who happens to be the most awarded, and humble, steersman, in the world of outrigger canoe paddling. They meet in a park, walk together to the water, spend a few hours on the ocean, catch waves, see turtles pass by and have real-life conversations with a local. This magic happens, couples feel alive and sense they’ve shared something special, a moment in time together. Being in a Hawaiian canoe, “talking story,” being offshore, getting out in the ocean, the act of being with nature – it’s transformative.
Q: Have you done destination wedding travel itineraries before? If so, what are some of the best activities for these types of groups to do?
A: I’ve executed a couple of intimate, impromptu weddings which the romance in the islands tends to bring out in people. Bringing our hula halau’s tiniest baby girls to dance with a trio of musicians, flowers hanging from every tree limb, and hundreds of candles lighting paths with the backdrop of Hawaii is extraordinary. Hawaii’s photographers are well versed in lighting, timing, and capturing love. The Coconut Traveler aims to create regenerative travel practices.
Q: What does that mean and why is it important?
A: The regenerative word is being thrown around a lot, thankfully. To keep it simple, I explain regenerative like this, if ecotourism and sustainable tourism had a baby, it would be regenerative tourism – it’s the next-gen in responsible tourism. It’s important because it’s the only way forward, particularly for island destinations. It logically replaces the idea that successful tourism growth is only achieving increasing arrival numbers. The truth is, tourism and tourists, have a responsibility to the destinations they visit. These destinations are communities, an environment, an economy, and a balance of positive contribution has to be achieved among them equally.
Q: Any tips or things to know for traveling to Hawaii during COVID?
A: Follow the government rules, do the testing with the state’s testing partners, and please, whatever you do, wear a mask during your visit to protect yourselves and our community.
For more information, visit The Coconut Traveller's website.
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