All calls to destinations on the island are local calls; calls from one island to another via a land line are long distance, and you must dial 1; then the Hawaii area code, 808; and then the phone number. Many convenience groceries and packaging services sell prepaid calling cards in denominations up to $50. Many public pay phones at airports now accept American Express, MasterCard, and Visa. Local calls made from most pay phones cost either 25¢ or 35¢. Most long-distance and international calls can be dialed directly from any phone. To make calls within the United States and to Canada, dial 1 followed by the area code and the seven-digit number. For other international calls, dial 011 followed by the country code, city code, and the number you are calling.
Calls to area codes 800, 888, 877, and 866 are toll free. However, calls to area codes 700 and 900 (chat lines, bulletin boards, "dating" services, and so on) can be expensive -- charges of 95¢ to $3 or more per minute. Some numbers have minimum charges that can run $15 or more.
For reversed-charge or collect calls, and for person-to-person calls, dial the number 0 then the area code and number; an operator will come on the line, and you should specify whether you are calling collect, person-to-person, or both. If your operator-assisted call is international, ask for the overseas operator.
For directory assistance ("Information"), dial 411 for local numbers and national numbers in the U.S. and Canada. For dedicated long-distance information, dial 1, then the appropriate area code plus 555-1212.
Just because your cellphone works at home doesn't mean it'll work in Hawaii (thanks to our nation's fragmented cellphone system). Before you get on the plane to Hawaii, check your wireless company's coverage map on its website. There are parts of Maui (and in some resorts) where coverage is not very good. If you need to stay in touch at a destination where you know your phone won't work, rent a phone that does from InTouch USA (tel. 800/872-7626; www.intouchglobal.com) or a rental-car location, but be aware that you'll pay $1 a minute or more for airtime.
If you're not from the U.S., you'll be appalled at the poor reach of our GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) wireless network, which is used by much of the rest of the world. Your phone will probably work in most major U.S. cities; it definitely won't work in many rural areas. To see where GSM phones work in the U.S., check out www.t-mobile.com/coverage/national_popup.asp. And you may or may not be able to send SMS (text messaging) home.
Do NOT use your cellphone while you are driving. Strict laws and heavy fines ($92-$150) are diligently enforced.
Internet & Wi-Fi
On Maui, branches of the Hawaii State Public Library System have computers with Internet access. To find your closest library, check www.librarieshawaii.org/sitemap.htm. There is no charge for use of the computers, but you must have a Hawaii library card, which is free to Hawaii residents and members of the military.
Visitors have a choice of two types of cards: a $25 nonresident card that is good for 5 years (and may be renewed for an additional $25) or a $10 visitor card ($5 for children 18 and under) that is good for 3 months and may be renewed for $10. To download an application for a library card, go to www.librarieshawaii.org/services/libcard.htm.
To find Internet cafes in your destination, check www.cybercaptive.com or www.cybercafe.com.
If you have your own laptop, every Starbucks in Maui has Wi-Fi. For a list of locations, go to www.starbucks.com/retail/find/default.aspx. To find other public Wi-Fi hot spots in your destination, go to www.jiwire.com; its Wi-Fi Finder holds the world's largest directory of public wireless hot spots.
Most major hotels and interisland airports have Internet kiosks that provide basic Web access for a per-minute fee that's usually higher than cybercafe prices. Check out copy shops like FedEx Office (formerly Kinkos), which offer computer stations with fully loaded software (as well as Wi-Fi).