I’m not really much of a shopper. And frankly, I get a bit irritated by the assumption that all women like to shop. I seldom shop when I’m travelling – usually because there’s no time – and tend to go clothes shopping at home in bursts, about once a year or so.
But when I’m in the USA, I do tend to buy up. Usually on books and clothes – because both are so much cheaper than in Australia. The currently favourable exchange rate with the strong Aussie dollar, coupled with generally lower prices in the USA made it silly not to shop while I was in Hawaii.
I was staying in Waikiki, just a handbag toss from the wonderful array of shopping at the Royal Hawaiian Center and the Waikiki Beach Walk. On Kalakaua Avenue, the main street of Waikiki, there’s a Macy’s department store, the trash-and-treasure of the International Market Place, and several of the ubiquitous ABC stores that are found throughout Hawaii (great for cheap Hawaiian themed gifts). And most stores were open until 11pm every day!
Although I resisted the urge to splurge TOO much, I did succumb while visiting the Waikele outlet stores. Top of the list was the much-loathed shopping for jeans, because I know from past experience that American fittings are more flattering, and the prices just can’t be beaten. After an hour – with most helpful and obliging staff flitting back and forth to the racks – I left with a pair of GAP jeans for US$42, a steal compared to Australian prices, as well as a few other items – all discounted at between 20 and 50 per cent.
Of course, you can’t leave Hawaii without a Hawaiian shirt. Buying one is a challenge though – there are so many to choose from! I resisted this time (I already have three in my wardrobe and I think that’s enough) but my travelling companions were buying up big for Christmas gifts.
The other great thing about shopping in Hawaii is that if you are travelling on Hawaiian Airlines, the baggage allowance is one of the most generous around, letting each passenger check in two bags, each weighing up to 32 kg.
A Glass Half Full travelled to Hawaii as a guest of Hawaiian Airlines.