If you are looking to travel to Hawaii, you may be wondering what it is you need to bring. This depends on where you are traveling from and what your vacation plans are. First, Hawaii is the 50th state of the USA, so if you are traveling from the US, you will not need to bring a passport. You will, however, need to bring a photo ID in order to board your plane(s). In most cases, this is a non-expired driver’s license or state ID. If you will be going outside the US from Hawaii (say, to Japan or Australia), you will need a passport.
If traveling from outside the US, you will need to bring a passport. It is also a good idea to bring a secondary photo ID for going through airlines. It is not necessary to bring any other items to Hawaii, other than the items you want to bring (and, of course, methods of paying for your various needs during your stay.)
Shots of vaccinations are note required for humans traveling to Hawaii, unless they are coming from areas known to have epidemics like cholera or yellow fever. If in question, look up your country on Hawaii’s government site.
However, if you are going to be bringing pets to Hawaii, you will need to be aware of the strict animal importing regulations in Hawaii. Note that many animals that are considered pets in other parts of the world may even be prohibited in Hawaii. For the animals that are allowed, you will need to make sure that they are up to date on their vaccinations, have valid bloodwork, and follow all of the regulations stated. For all of these regulations, please visit http://hdoa.hawaii.gov/pi/pq/travel-shipping-information/importing-animals-to-hawai%CA%BBi-from-the-u-s-mainland. If you bring a pet that does not meet all requirements, they will be subject to quarantine at your expense, so be sure to have everything cleared before you bring them.
On the flight to Hawaii, you will be provided an Agriculture Declaration form. These forms are required by state law from each passenger, and the purpose is to identify foreign plants, animals, and possible pests being brought to Hawaii. The islands have a unique ecosystem that is very fragile, and outside pests offer a great risk. For this reason, the Hawaiian Agriculture form requests information such as your name, home address, where you will be staying in Hawaii (which island and what hotel, etc.), how long you will be staying, and whether you have any plants, fruit, animals, or vegetables with you.
Beyond the legal requirements for entering Hawaii, you will, of course want to bring all of the items necessary for a great vacation. Warm weather clothing, a light jacket and one or two items of warmer clothing in case of unexpected storms, sunblock, sunglasses, hats, closed-toe shoes, and casual dress items are standard packing items. Other items will depend on what you plan to do during your trip to Hawaii.
It is also important to note the items you should NOT bring to Hawaii. Obviously, if you are taking a flight to the islands, you will need to check their prohibited items list and not bring items that could be considered weapons or liquid containers larger than 3 ounces in your carry-on. If you are bringing sunscreen, lotions, perfumes, shampoos, or other personal care items that are in larger containers, place them in your check-on bag in plastic bags so they will not leak all over your clothes. Light snacks are OK to place in your carry-on or personal item, and drinks can be purchased in the airport once you pass security.
These tips will help be sure you’ve got everything you need once you arrive at the airport for your trip, and that you do not bring items you’ll have to discard – saving you a ton of frustration right at the beginning of your trip!
As you leave Hawaii you will need to go through an agriculture check in the airport. This check is before you enter the security checkpoint, so be sure to look for the signs and correct line. This checkpoint ensures you will not be taking any unapproved plants or animals out of Hawaii with you. Many places in Hawaii offer approved food items for you to take with you (such as pineapple), just be sure you inform the agriculture agents if you have any in your luggage. There are many indigenous plants on the islands that are endangered or protected, so please be sure to check before attempting to take any seedlings, plants, fruits, or vegetables back home with you.
Finally, remember that in most cases, it is illegal to take items from parks, forests, hiking trails, and beaches back with you. This includes sand, shells, and glass/rocks. If you did not buy it from a gift shop, chances are you should leave it where you found it. By not bringing in foreign, unapproved items or removing items from the islands, you help to ensure they stay as natural and beautiful for future generations!