Island residents are mostly casual and informal in their everyday life, but there are some (unspoken) rules of etiquette you should follow:

  • Take off your shoes when entering someone's home. Most residents wear 'rubbah slippah' (flip-flops) partly for this reason – easy to slip on and off, no socks required.
  • Ask permission before you pick fruit or flowers or otherwise trespass private property.
  • Drive slowly. Unless you're about to hit someone, don't honk your car horn.
  • Try to correctly pronounce Hawaiian place names and words. Even if you fail, the attempt is appreciated.
  • Don't collect (or even move) stones at sacred sites. If you're not sure whether something's sacred, consider that in Hawaiian thinking, everything is sacred, especially in nature.
  • Don't stack rocks or wrap them in ti leaves at waterfalls, heiau (temples) etc. This bastardization of the ancient Hawaiian practice of leaving hoʻokupu (offerings) at sacred sites is littering.