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If you’re of the female species, packing for any trip is a challenge. Packing for a girly getaway is nigh impossible. And Hawai`i? Well, you’re done for.
Always on-hand to help, here’s our definitive list of holiday essentials, which ties in nicely with some of the top-rated things to do in Oahu.
1. A maxi dress
The perfect day-to-evening ensemble, every girl needs a maxi in her arsenal. The one item that looks just as good on the beach as it does at the bar, take it from casual to crazy-good gorgeous in one swift change of a sandal.
Stay at The Modern Honolulu and you’ll be spoilt with two deluxe swimming pools; the sunrise pool and the sunset pool (no prizes for guessing their appeal), as well as views overlooking the Ala Wai Harbour and a walkway connecting guests to both Duke Kahanamoku Beach, its lagoon and the ever-popular Waikiki Beach. So throw on your togs, step into your maxi and hey presto, you’re the epitome of beach chic.
Later in the day your maxi will work just as well for cocktail-hour at the hotel’s superbly sexy Study Lounge. In daylight, the lobby is nothing more than a simple wall of books, but as nightfall descends so does the dashingly handsome bar, complete with cocktail tables and plush fabric chairs. Pull up an ottoman and signal the bar man - his drinks are to die for. Treat yourself to a Champagne Haze (who are you kidding, treat yourself to a respectable seven!) Blended with fresh lemon juice, strawberries and honey, it’s absolute heaven. Mahalo Hawai`i.
2. Mirrored sunglasses
All the rage right now – just take a flick through the centrefolds of Vogue – mirrored sunglasses come in a medley of brash disco colours and they look stupendously awesome. And they also protect your eyes from the sun’s harmful rays, and boy does the sun shine in Hawai`i.
Of course if you don’t leave Hawai`i without dropping a shaka like a professional surf dude, people will never believe you ever set foot in Honolulu. Time to pop on the cool shades and take a surfing lesson on Waikiki Beach. A surfing playground, lessons with experienced instructors are available up and down the sandy beach line, with private lessons, group lessons and one-on-one options offered for all. Waikiki’s waves offer gentle rolls and a smooth, long ride – perfect for the inexperienced. You’ll have an entire hour to hone your technique, as well as your surf lingo. Say brah, you’ll be “biffin’ it” by lunchtime.
Sixty minutes done, you can hire the board for a little longer or drop, stop and practice the fine art of sunbathing. Push those shades a little further up your nose and praise their mirrored greatness – there’s nothing better for scoping golden-tanned surfers… for their surfing skills and nothing but, obviously.
3. Decent sneaks
Why do you need good shoe in a land of sea and sand? Because the girls are hiring a Mustang, that’s why.
Nothing completes the perfect girly getaway more-so than a convertible. And the Mustang is the quintessential American muscle car for any distinguished road trip. You needn’t worry about bunny-hopping your way out of the parking lot and into the heaving streets of Honolulu, the majority of Mustangs are automatic, but you’ll still need a pair of ‘sensible shoes’ for the pedals.
Wire up the GPS (you might be going ‘cool vintage’ with the Mustang but we draw a line at map reading). Get the top down and the tunes turned up; the roads slink around the coastline skimming craggy cliff edges and sparkling sand so you’ll want a soundtrack to match the magic of the moment. Stop roadside for salt and pepper shrimps served straight from a pop-up shrimp truck, followed by an afternoon siesta on the beach; the more swims, snorkelling and sunbathing the better.
Queen bees of the movies will appreciate Kualoa Ranch – the set of 50 First Dates, Lost, Hawaii 5-0 and Jurassic Park, while those with a penchant for history should continue towards Pearl Harbour, providing a highly interesting and highly poignant finale to the ultimate girly road trip.
4. Jandals and sandals
Try to tell a girl she can’t pack her heels and there will be tantrums and feet stamping all the way to the airport. But with a girl’s getaway to Hawaii - the island of bare-footed goddesses - swap your five pairs of heels for five pairs of jandals. Because let’s be honest, you’ve never seen a hula dancer in a stiletto!
It’d be a crime against the Hawai`ian gods to leave this blessed land without booking a sunset dinner cruise. Complete your girly adventure with cocktails, tasty cuisine and the world’s most idyllic coastline. From yachts to 170-foot catamarans, enjoy an evening of wining and dining, with coastal-skimming jaunts along Hawaii’s finest shoreline. The views are outstanding but the ambience is relaxed; a sandal-wearing occasion if ever there was one.
Departing just before sunset, with live acoustic music punching the shadowy vistas of dusk, you’ll dine on delicious seafood fresh off the grill before the sun finally surrenders to the ocean’s black abyss, By the time you’re surrendering yourself – to another devilishly delicious dessert – the night’s sky will signal it’s time for dancing. From Polynesian shows to the impossibly lucid hips of Hawai`ian hula dancers, you’ll enjoy an assortment of enchanting entertainment, and then, with the rhythm of the music compelling your jandals to involuntarily tap, it’s time to get up and dance yourself.
The night from there on in is nothing but fun and festivity; live music and daring dance moves; the periodic sit-down to relieve sore feet (because even bare-footed dancers fatigue) and plenty of pouting group photos - to laugh about in the morning.
So there it is, the definitive Hawai`ian packing list. But we have a feeling you might want to take more. The good news is, fly Hawaiian Airlines and you’ll be granted a 32kg luggage allowance…times two! That’s 64 magnificent kilograms. Just think of the shopping...
You’ll definitely need a decent pair of sneaks for that.
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