Debunking Six of the Biggest Hawaii Travel Myths CheapOair Staff February 16, 2012 Destinations 1 Comment Every destination seems to have its stereotypes and misconceptions. Most Alaskans don’t live in igloos, most Californians don’t take surfing in school, most Texans don’t drive around with bull horns strapped to the hoods of their cars, and most Hawaiians don’t live in grass huts on the beach. Actually, there are quite a few myths about Hawaii that seem to be held by those who have never visited these exotic islands. We think it’s time to do a little debunking. Hawaii Travel Myth Number 1: You Need a Passport to Visit We thought this one might have gone without saying, since it’s the 50th state and all. But when we saw that passport inquiries were one of the most frequently asked questions on Hawaii’s official tourism site, we figured it was worth stating. Whether it’s via cheap flights in June or January, US citizens traveling to Hawaii do not need a passport. Hawaii Travel Myth Number 2: There Are No Snakes in Hawaii This one is technically untrue. There is an island blind snake, which most folks actually mistake for a worm so snake-phobes can still walk through the jungle without fear of a serpent invasion. Keeping the rest of the globe’s snake species off the islands is serious business because Hawaii is home to more endangered species per square mile than anywhere else in the world. The invasion of foreign brown tree snakes in Guam has lead to most of the bird population to fall extinct and up 13,000 slithery inhabitants living in a square mile! Since 1981, only brown snakes have been found on Oahu (and all were promptly removed). Hawaii Travel Myth Number 3: It’s the Smallest State Yes, it is true that several of the islands are quite small but the islands that make up the state of Hawaii have a land area greater than Connecticut, Delaware, and Rhode Island. As a matter of fact it six Rhode Islands could fit inside the land area of Hawaii! That’s a whole lot of land to explore. You may also enjoy: Want to Ride Some Waves This Winter? Fly to Hawaii! Hawaii Travel Myth Number 4: Mt Everest is the World’s Tallest Mountain I know, I know, Mt. Everest is most definitely not in Hawaii, but the world’s tallest mountain is! From its base on the sea floor to the tippy top of its summit Mauna Kea is approximately 33,000 feet tall which is almost 4,000 feet taller than Everest. Yes, it is true that about 17,000 feet of the volcanic mountain is under water but aren’t those just semantics? Maui’s Haleakala is 675 taller than Mount Everest when you consider 19,680 feet hidden under the ocean. Don’t believe me? Grab a submarine and a tape measure and start measuring! Hawaii Travel Myth Number 5: The Beaches in Front of Luxury Resorts Are Private Maybe you can’t afford to stay at the Four Seasons but you can always afford to visit the Hawaiian beaches they call home. On Hawaii, every single beach is public, free, and almost all have public access pathways. So whether you decide to sit on the beautiful white sands near the Grand Wailea or the populated beaches of Waikiki, soak up the sun and relax knowing they are all for you to enjoy. Hawaii Travel Myth Number 6: Visiting Hawaii Is Expensive A Hawaiian vacation is truly as expensive as you make it. Cheap airfare deals pop up all the time, especially when you avoid summer and holiday travel. Yes, there are resorts where guests pay well over $400 a night to stay but there are also very affordable budget accommodations as well. Fine restaurants that will set you back a pretty penny but grocery stores and Farmer’s Markets are great places to buy ingredients for budget friendly meals. Best of all, free entertainment in the form of swimming at the beach, stroll the lively streets of Waikiki at night, and hiking the forested trails to plunging waterfalls are all truly priceless experiences. Know of any other myths about traveling to Hawaii that need to be debunked? Tell us about them in the comments section below!