- Only bring what you need (10 days of clothes, jacket for rain/nights, lightweight long pants, waterbottle, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, insect repellent, toiletries; Temperature ranges from 70 at night to 85 during day, on average. You can get pretty much anything you forgot, but be prepared for often a 100% markup!)
- Adapt to local foods (if you want Peanut Butter, be prepared to pay at least $5/jar. Costco is a great cheap option. Got to love tropical fruits!)
- Gas is Expensive (like $4.50/gallon, but it only takes about 3.5 hours to drive from end to end of the island)
- There are four distinct regions (West, South, East and North Shore) so either know or give time to explore each region you want to live in (West is known for its missile range and big-AG GMO testing, the South for its sun, big-AG and tourist resorts, the East for its larger towns - Lihue, Wailua, Kapa'a - relaxing beaches and convenient location to other island locations, and the North for its rugged terrain, hidden beaches and rain).
- Bikes: be prepared to pay at least $250 for a decent mountain bike. I brought mine over on the plane by checking it in a bike box I got from a local bike store, taking it apart myself and paying for oversized - but not overweight - luggage.
- Activities: There are tons of activities (hiking, biking, surfing, SUP - Stand-Up Paddleboarding, kayaking, ATV, ziplining, tubing, sailing and more) and renting is most accessible but not that affordable. There are several navigable rivers on Kaua'i which I'm planning to explore!
- Rent: Be prepared to pay about $1000 for a one-bedroom place. Cheaper places exist, especially in and around Lihue, but also do not forget about utilities! Kaua'i gets most of its energy from diesel generators, making energy costs here 4-5 times higher than on the mainland. For those coming on vacation, a good deal is $500/week or under $100/night.
- When to Come/Visit: There are more tourists than locals on the island at almost any given time, especially the high seasons around Christmas and summer (June - Aug). A great time to come is early November before the rainy season (late Nov - early Mar, roughly) sets in. April/May and Sept/Oct can also be a wonderful time to visit to avoid the rush and the rain, although to see the whales Dec - Mar is the best time.
Look for more posts about my time here - I can't wait to explore this jewel in the Pacific!