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Sunday, July 02, 2006

On Hawai'i: Cash Only

Joe and Lyn on Kailua BeachNow that we have returned from our first trip to Hawai'i *, I will take the time over the next few weeks to post some of my impressions of the island, the people and what it is like to be a tourist.

One item which we had never been told by any of our friends who visited Hawai'i before was how much of the island, O'ahu in our case, works on cash only. Sure, if you are in Waikiki and other established tourist spots this will be less true, but if you are venturing into more local areas, restaurants and stores, (and you should) be prepared to see the "Cash Only" sign a lot.

That said, it isn't that difficult to deal with this issue. The ubiquitous Long's Drug, Safeway and other stores allow you to use your debit card for a purchase and then receive cash back. This is far cheaper than paying ATM fees to access your money directly using a local bank's ATM. Long's has a $20 limit on cash back withdrawals, but that was plenty to make sure we had pocket change for lunch, drinks and trinkets.

You can find some of our Hawai'i vacation pictures on my Flickr account. A full photo gallery will be coming soon.

* That little apostrophe you often see in Hawaiian words is called an okina and represents a pause or glottal stop when pronouncing a word

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