There’s one thing I really don’t like and that’s standing in lines … and I know you probably feel the same way. That’s why I learned from an early age the value of holding elite status with airlines, hotels and car rentals. It’s also why I signed up for TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, NEXUS and CLEAR so that I can speed through security (CLEAR & TSA PreCheck) and immigration in the USA (Global Entry) and Canada (NEXUS). RELATED: The Trick to Getting TSA PreCheck Fast and 4 Other Tips You Need to Know

So, if your disdain for long lines equals mine, then you will probably appreciate this tip …

I just returned from vacation in Hawaii and one of my favorite places to get breakfast in Waikiki is Island Vintage. I love their incredible acai bowls but I hate the long lines. FYI: My favorite is their Waialua Moana Bowl, which has acai and Wailua dark chocolate, Big Island cacao nibs, house-made coconut peanut butter, local banana, strawberry, seasonal berries, granola and Big Island organic raw white honey. Yum!

Island Vintage is super popular so unless you get there right at 6am when they open, there’s almost always a considerably long line. Prior to my last two trips, my secret was to call them and place my order in advance so I wouldn’t have to stand in that line. Here’s what the line was like on my latest visit:

@johnnyjet Don’t ever stand in a long line like this. Here’s what to do instead. #foryoupage #fyp #traveltips #travelhack #hawaii ♬ Vacation – Dirty Heads

When I went two years ago, I learned that they no longer take orders over the phone but instead, they had a QR code for online ordering by the entrance. But what’s shocking is that not one of the 30-40 people in line saw the QR code or used it. I know you have to be careful of public QR codes but this one was obviously safe so I ordered my acai bowl from my phone.

However, you can also go straight to Island Vintage’s website and order from there. When I did it, it said the wait time was going to be 38 minutes, which was just about the perfect amount of time to get dressed and take a leisurely stroll along the beach from my hotel.

When I rolled up, I noticed they had moved the cash register to the front of the cafe, which is smart so the line isn’t as long as it used to be but it’s still long and slow.

When I walked past everyone to the pick-up counter and then walked out seconds later with my tasty bowl in hand, I could tell they were thinking, “How the heck did this dude get his food so fast?!’

The same is true for the Cheesecake Factory in Waikiki and most other restaurants all over the country.

I know what you’re thinking: You go to Hawaii and eat at Cheesecake Factory? I don’t normally eat at big chains but occasionally, it’s super easy with kids as I can order spaghetti with meatballs and a couple of flat bread pizzas and my kids love it. Plus, it’s enough food for all of us. Sometimes, you just need the easy option.

That’s another story but the point of this tip is that one of the positive things to come out of this pandemic is the fact that many companies used their downtime to invest in technology so many places now offer online ordering for takeout, which will make your vacation (and life) so much more pleasant. So if you’re heading anywhere to pick something up (not just food), find out if you can order it online and just pick it up so you don’t have to waste time waiting in a line. These days, a lot of things can be done online so it’s worth taking a few minutes to check that option out first.

In 2022, Starbucks announced they have finally rolled out mobile ordering in major U.S. airports but it’s not available in hotels which I learned when I stayed at the Hilton Hawaiian Village.

This article was originally published in 2022 but has been updated.


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6 Comments On "Don't Waste Your Precious Vacation Time Waiting in Long Lines - Here's How To Avoid Them"
  1. Vickie Noyes|

    Great advice, love your life and helpful hints Johnny!

  2. Ted Eckman|

    Great tip Johnny. Thank you!

  3. Dianne Autenzio|

    recently we were booked with Handicap on Jet BLue row 6
    our boarding passes also said row 6
    Our family of 5 was in row 7, 2 adult 3 kids
    The lady at the gate changed my husband who has medical issues and is
    deaf, and I have a bad knee to row 34. I pleaded with her to not do that
    as we clearly were suppose to be row 6 and had used points which meant
    we had to go the higher grade. We were charge 99,000 points from Boston
    to Orlando which wiped out our points.
    Calls to Jet Blue would only get me a $50 credit or 1000 POINTS
    Where is the best place for me to call or write to
    It was a bad start to our trip I had to ice my knee on the plane and for 2 days.
    It was difficult for my husband, we were crammed in our seats for the whole
    Getting off the plane we were over 35 minutes as we were the last to get off
    Thank you for any advice and help getting me in the right place to make the calls
    Dianne Autenzio

    1. Johnny Jet|

      That’s awful. I would try

  4. Angel|

    I used the starbucks app at the Venetian and Westin in vegas.
    Better than standing in line along with the rest of the morning vegas zombies.

  5. Marlin|

    I can’t believe how many times I order with the app at Starbucks (for pickup inside) and roll up and there are 10 or more cars in the drive thru. I am in and out with my drink before one car makes out of the drive thru. is it just laziness? or stupidity?

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