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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Common Hawaiian Phrases

Knowing the meanings behind these common Hawaiian phrases will help you to understand and use them properly while Enjoying your Kauai vacation. 

Hawaiian is a beautiful and very expressive language. By taking the time to learn a few Hawaiian phrases, you can ensure that you understand what is being said and the deeper meanings behind the words.

Common Hawaiian Phrases

Aloha written in the sand of Kauai


One of the most well-known Hawaiian phrases is Aloha. Most visitors from the mainland are familiar with this term before they arrive in Kauai. However, you may want to know more about the full meaning that the word conveys.

In its simplest terms, Aloha is a phrase that is used as both a greeting and a goodbye, though it is not a literal translation of either word. At its core, Aloha is a phrase that embodies the entire way of life on the islands. To live with love in your heart, in a peaceful state with compassion for all – that is Aloha.

When you embrace the feeling of Aloha, you may be moved to spread the spirit of the islands to everyone around you. Hawaiians believe that when you have the Aloha Spirit in you and share it with the world, that love and acceptance will be returned to you over and over again.


Along with Aloha, Mahalo is one of the most powerful words in the Hawaiian language. In everyday conversation it is used similar to the English phrase “thank you,” yet again it has a much deeper meaning than that simple definition implies.

In Hawaiian, Mahalo is a blessing and should be used when you are truly thankful in your heart for what you have received. To feel Mahalo towards someone is to feel a deep respect for them and what they have done for you. Mahalo is to recognize that every day is a gift, and that the people and places we share them with are what makes living in Hawaii so special.

Makai and Mauka

If you ask someone for directions in Kauai, you may hear them use the terms Makai or Mauka to indicate on which side of the road a place is located. Makai means on the mountain side of the road, and Mauka means on the ocean side of the road.

You will find that these terms are much more useful than “right side” or “left side” when navigating Kauai’s winding roads. No matter which direction you are facing, Makai will always be towards the mountain, and Mauka will always be toward the ocean. Easy!

Pau Hana

Pau Hana is a phrase that literally translates to “finished work.” It is used to describe the end of the work day, especially on Aloha Friday when Hawaiians typically leave work a little early. It is a time to gather with friends and family to eat, drink and celebrate while Enjoying the beautiful sunsets for which we are known.

Kane, Wahine and Keiki

These are the Hawaiian words for man, woman and child, respectively. In many establishments you may see the restrooms labeled with Kane (Men) and Wahine (Women). Likewise, you may see playgrounds, kid’s menus and activities geared towards children labeled with the word Keiki.


If you come across a sign reading Kapu on your adventures in Kauai, treat it as you would a “no trespassing” notice. Meaning taboo, forbidden or sacred, Kapu originally referred to the strict set of ancient rules that governed all aspects of life in Hawaii.

There are many types of sites on Kauai that are Kapu: ancestral burial grounds, sites reserved for religious ceremonies, and private property not open to the public. Please be sure to respect these areas with the reverence they deserve.

Monday, June 13, 2016

What to Pack for your Kauai Vacation

Here are our suggestions for what to pack for your Kauai vacation to make sure you bring everything you need, and nothing you don’t!

Most of us have been guilty of packing too much for a vacation at one time or another. We get it, nobody wants to be the most under-dressed at an event. And ever since your scouting days you have prided yourself on being prepared for whatever comes your way.

However, your back and your wallet both will thank you if you bring only what you are likely to actually use. Having a lighter suitcase will not only be easier to carry, it can avoid the costly overweight luggage fees charged by most airlines. 
Kauai Vacation Rentals Pro Tip: Weigh your suitcases on your bathroom scale before leaving for the airport! The weight limit is 50 pounds per bag for most airlines today. Check with your airline to get the exact details, then make sure you are at or under that limit to avoid overage fees (which can run from $25 to well over $100!).
When you are planning what to pack for your Kauai vacation, follow these suggested guidelines:

What to Pack for your Kauai Vacation: Clothing and Shoes

There is one guiding principle to follow when deciding what to pack for your Kauai vacation: keep it casual! You will find very few circumstances that call for fancy dress in Hawaii. Indeed, the most common daily wear in Kauai is a short sleeved shirt, shorts, and flip flops (locally referred to as “slippahs”) or sandals.

With comfortable temperatures and generally mild weather, a light jacket will typically be all you need to keep comfortable in evening breezes. And for the occasional rain shower we see in the coastal regions, bringing a light poncho can keep you dry when you are out exploring.

One of the main reasons visitors spend their vacations on Kauai is to Enjoy time in our beautiful waters. We suggest bringing two swim suits with you. That way, you can leave one at your rental to dry while you head out for a day on the water in the other.

In addition to flip-flops or sandals, we recommend bringing a sturdy pair of walking shoes if you like to get off the beaten path. Hiking through our tropical landscape will be much more Enjoyable with good support and covered toes.

What to Pack for your Kauai Vacation: Equipment and Accessories

The islands of Hawaii are one of the best places in the world to Enjoy outdoor activities. From snorkeling to surfing, paddle boarding to sunbathing, you will be hard pressed to find a better location.

Having the right equipment and accessories is vital to many of these activities. However, unless you are a seasoned pro that needs specialized or custom-fit equipment, you are generally better off renting what you need here.

Masks, fins and snorkels are available for rent at many stores and resorts, often at lower rates than you can find on the mainland. And if you are looking to ride the surf, there are just as many shops offering boards (and lessons) for all skill levels.

For other activities, we again suggest that it is often much more reasonable and easier to rent what you need on the island. If you need some assistance, give us a call! We will be happy to speak with you and point you in the right direction. See you in Kauai!