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The Local's Guide to Oahu by Guest Blogger April Cheng

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of connecting with April at an entrepreneur meet up. We instantly went deep diving into all chatter small business and dreams for our brands and I knew right away she’s be an awesome guest blogger for our tribe! She runs a successful travel agency out of Honolulu and links people up with some amazing deals and itineraries for both locals and honeymooners all over the world. Our family is taking our first trip to Osaka this winter and she put together a super fun, toddler friendly schedule that took all the stress of booking hotels, travel, tickets off my shoulders and we scooped up some major savings!

Both family and clients are frequently asking us the best places to visit when on island, and while we love to share our faves, I thought it would be fun to share tips from the travel pro herself. Enjoy!

April says, when you live in Hawaii, you are automatically a tour guide to one of the most famous places in the world! Since our company, TravelChic World, is based in Oahu, we have your “Locals Guide to Oahu” for all visitors traveling to the “gathering” island. Visit these locations to experience Oahu at its best.

 
Photo by Elana Loo

Photo by Elana Loo

 
  1. Waikiki

One of the most famous beaches in the world, with a ton of shopping and restaurants to satisfy any want, need or desire.

 
Photo By:  Edmun Garman

Photo By: Edmun Garman

 

 2. Diamond Head

This spectacular state monument trail, “takes you to the edge of a 300,000 year old crater. While the hike isn’t that long in terms of distance, it can be somewhat challenging due to its ascent. Parts of the trail are over uneven rock, and the 99 steps near the end of the hike are steep. Also, the only water fountains are at the beginning of the trail, so you’ll want to bring a water bottle or bottled water to stay hydrated” (hawaiistateparks.org).

Our advice, arrive early in the morning before the crowds hit, bring water, wear a hat and put on your sunscreen and prepare for beautiful views of South Oahu.

Visit the Hawaii State Parks website for more info.

 
Photo By:  All Trails

Photo By: All Trails

 

3. Shave Ice

It’s not shaved, it’s shave ice. Cool down with different flavor syrups after a surf session or hiking.

Our favorite spot, Waiola Shave Ice, right by Waikiki. (Marina’s fave is creamsicle or matcha flavors with mochi and ice cream inside!)

 
Photo By:  @ieatsf

Photo By: @ieatsf

 

4. Malasadas

A donut-like dough deep fried with sugar or filled with any filing or flavor you can imagine.

Our favorite spot, Leonard’s Bakery.

 
Photo By:  @justheretoeat

Photo By: @justheretoeat

 

5.  Pearl Harbor and USS Arizona

Visit this historical site and pay your respects to those who lost their lives on this faithful day on December 7, 1941.

 
 

 

6. Iolani Palace

The only palace in the United States, Iolani Palace is rich with Hawaiian history of the royal family. (Roam Rentals agrees this is a must see to learn something about Hawaii beyond the luaus and mai tais!)

 
Photo By:  Grace J. Silla

Photo By: Grace J. Silla

 

7. Lanikai

One of the most famous beaches in the world, Lanikai beach is located in Kailua. There are tons of small local shops and eateries that represent the east-side vibe of Oahu.

 
Photo By:  Lauren Masden

Photo By: Lauren Masden

Photo By:  Lauren Masden

Photo By: Lauren Masden

 

8. Haleiwa

Located on the North Shore of Oahu, this is the perfect place to experience a little bit of old Hawaii. Take a picture with the famous Haleiwa sign before you enter the town.

 
Photo By:  Christie Kanani

Photo By: Christie Kanani

Photo By:  Christie Kanani

Photo By: Christie Kanani

 

 9. Kahuku Shrimp

Large shrimp farms are situated in this small area of Oahu. Eat the freshly caught shrimp with garlic and white rice and chili oil. Simply onolicious!

 Our favorite spot, Romy’s Shrimp Truck. Get there early!

 
 

 10. Dole Plantation

Did you know pineapples grow from the ground? A lot people assume they grow from trees, but when you visit Dole Plantation, you will see how they grow from the ground up, and the different stages of a pineapple before it reaches the ripe stage to be eaten. Cool down and enjoy pineapple dole whip, a soft served frozen treat.

 
Photo By:  @linnyxvx

Photo By: @linnyxvx

 

 11. Luau

Want to experience the Hawaiian culture in one day? Visit Germaine’s Luau and eat Hawaiian food and experience local entertainment at its best. 

 
 

Written by TravelChic World, your go-to travel agency with a personalized touch. We specialize in personalized and customized itineraries around the world and of course, Hawaii. Visit us at www.travelchicworld.com.

Why You Should Become BFF's With Your Photographer

Best friend—by definition they’re our therapists, partner-in-crime, keeper of secrets, stylist, and personal photographer (to name a few).  They know what suits us, and what doesn’t; whether it’s what color look we look fabulous in, angles that make us look good, or lighting that highlights our natural beauty. Here at Roam Rentals, we believe that the people you work with when planning your big day—whether it be a wedding or birthday party—should be this way too! One of the people you’re going to be getting up close and personal with is your photographer, so it’s important that the two of you are practically BFF’s.  Keep reading to find out all the details.

 
Photo By:  Ashley Goodwin

Photo By: Ashley Goodwin

 

1. Style Match

First of all, we’d like to point out it is important that you know what type of style you would like to have your photos taken in.  If you prefer the darker, moodier types of photos, you probably don’t want to choose a photographer who uses a lot of exposure. How do you feel about film versus digital? –These are things you must consider when determining your style so you can begin your quest for finding a photographer.

We suggest you do your research and look through photographer’s websites, blogs, galleries, Pinterest, or even Instagram to get a feel of what their style may be.  Take a look at the types of photos they take, do they take more of landscape, portraits, or lifestyle pictures? Do they shoot indoors, outdoors, or both? Some photographers are able to do a blend of different styles.  You could even read reviews or ask for recommendations to get a better idea if they are the right fit for you.

 
Photo By:  Ashley Goodwin

Photo By: Ashley Goodwin

 

2. Personality Match

After you’ve done your research and determined your style it’s time to start contacting a few photographers.  And we say a few just in case something doesn’t work out then you’ll have options.  It’s probably best to ask if it would be possible to sit down and have a cup of coffee with them before you make any final decisions. 

This way you can discuss any important details such as venue, wedding style, and vision.  Hopefully, they share the same values and understand your request.  Observe the way they respond to you—are they excited for your vision? Do they make suggestions in a respectful manner or are they timid?

Don't forget, they will also be working alongside other vendors such as the videographers, caterer, DJ, etc. so they need to be able to get along with others as well.

 
Photo By:  Ashley Goodwin

Photo By: Ashley Goodwin

Photo By:  Ashley Goodwin

Photo By: Ashley Goodwin

Photo By:  Ashley Goodwin

Photo By: Ashley Goodwin

 

3. Comfort

When meeting the photographer ask yourself how comfortable are you around them? The more comfortable you are with them around, the more relaxed you will be and it will be better reflected in the picture results. Also, remember that your photographer will also be around your guests, so finding someone who is able convince even the shyest of guests to pose or smile for the camera will be able to capture memories for everyone.

Speaking of which, it is also important to let your photographer know of any details that they should be sensitive to.  Whether it is family or friends who don’t get along or a guest who is unable to stand and must remain sitting—find someone you are comfortable with enough to share this information with and who will respect it. There will also be a range of emotions at whichever event you plan for, but their job is to remain calm.  If they are calm and consistent, then there is no need to worry about how your photos will turn out! The last thing you need is for anyone to be feeling judged. If you are comfortable with your photographer having fun and making new poses should be fun and honest critique should not be an issue.

 
Photo By:  Ashley Goodwin

Photo By: Ashley Goodwin

Photo By:  Ashley Goodwin

Photo By: Ashley Goodwin

 

I guess what we’re trying to say is that it’s important for both you and your photographer that you get along well. When you do, your overall vision can come to life and be remembered forever through the amazing moments they capture. We wish you luck on your quest to finding the perfect photographer BFF for you!

All photos are taken by one of our favorites: Ashley Goodwin Photography —click on her name to see more of her amazing work!

xoxo,

Marina