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I’m just going to go ahead and guess that if you live in a cold, dark area of the country right now (hi, me), you’ve been spending a lot of time dreaming of your next tropical getaway. And chances are, if you are also a White Lotus fan (hi, also me), that place may just be the Hawaiian Islands. After all, Hawai‘i’s crystal-clear waters, gorgeous hiking trails, beautiful culture, and all of the poke bowls you can eat = true sun-on-your-skin vacay perfection.
But hold up! Before you book your flight, there are a few things you should know about how not to be an entitled Shane (or a Shane’s mom) when you go. While it was indeed hilarious to watch the insufferable newlywed get all twisted about the Pineapple Suite “mixup” in White Lotus season 1, his entire vacation vibe was also indicative of a much larger issue in the Aloha State right now: Overtourism has reached new heights—and both the locals and the land are suffering as a result. In October 2022 alone, an average of about 219,370 people visited Hawai’i per day, up from about 215,125 in October 2019. Because of this post-pandemic travel boom, there are congested roads, hospitality worker shortages, overrun hiking trails, reports of irresponsible tourists touching endangered Hawaiian monk seals and trespassing on private property….The list goes on. Some Native Hawaiians and locals have even started calling for people to stop coming to the islands altogether.
Now, does this mean you should not book the Hawaiian vacation of your dreams? Absolutely not. Like many