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White-vector with bag for Hawaii packing tips

Aloha. Hawaii vacation packing tips is one of the top requests we receive when helping clients with their Hawaii vacation plans. Though Hawaii is a warm weather, beach destination, and everyone thinks of packing shorts, swimsuits and flip flops (‘slippahs’ in Hawaii), the following Hawaii packing tips are practical suggestions to help ensure you ‘don’t leave home with out it‘, and that you are well-prepared for your Hawaii vacation. 

  1. Pack any medications in the original bottles.
  2. Don’t forget sunscreen – 30spf or higher is best. The sun in Hawaii is intense and a sunburn can ruin a vacation fast. If you do get too much sun while in Hawaii, try rubbing Milk of Magnesia on the sunburn and leave on for 15-20 minutes, then rinse – this will help relieve the pain.
  3. Casual is the attire in Hawaii – there are only a few restaurants that require jackets for men. You will likely find that you will have dinner in the shorts you already have on. Grab a copy of our packing check-list to ensure you do not forget any essentials like a swimsuit, sun visor or hat, and comfortable walking shoes / sandals.
  4. Remember thy swimsuit! Even if you have stinking thinking like ‘no way am I getting into a swimsuit‘ or ‘I haven’t been in a swimsuit in years, and it’s not happening‘,  once you arrive Hawaii and see all the other sizes and shapes parading around in a swimsuit, you will let down your guard and want to go swimming also. Just keepHawaii packing tips in mind that these people don’t know you, and you will most likely never see them again. 
  5. Pack your phone and other electronic device chargers, and note that Hawaii is now ‘hands free while driving’ – no electronics of any kind (even picture taking with your camera or cell phone) while behind the wheel.
  6. Take an extra memory card and battery for your camera. There is nothing more frustrating to be taking pictures of gorgeous scenery and your battery goes dead, or your memory card is full.
  7. Try packing each day’s outfit together – this saves time figuring out what to wear each morning and ensures you don’t end the trip with shorts and tops that do not match … unless you would like to use that as an excuse to shop.
  8. Speaking of shopping, do not go out and purchase a lot of clothing or swimsuits before your trip to Hawaii … once you’re in the islands and see all the unique island wear & swimsuits, you will want to shop there. It is also a good idea to save extra room in your suitcase for your new purchases, or take a spare bag.  
  9. Try rolling your clothes before packing, it saves space and prevents wrinkles. Stuff socks inside shoes to save room and keep shoes from being smashed during travel. Take an extra bag to put your dirty clothes in to bring home.
  10. If you pack necklaces, try stringing them through a drinking straw to keep them from getting tangled.
  11. Take a light windbreaker jacket or sweater for the evenings and the higher elevations. Nighttime and early mornings in Hawaii can be chilly, especially with an ocean breeze … also some of the higher elevations (e.g. Haleakala on Maui, Waimea Canyon on Kauai, Volcanoes National Park or Mauna Kea on Hawaii Island), are much cooler. For every 1000 ft. you ascend, the temperature drops an average 3.5 degrees … the summit of Haleakala on Maui is 10,023 ft. high.
  12. Remember the 3-1-1 liquid rule for carry-on bags when flying. Liquids, gels, aerosols, creams and pastes must be 3.4 ounces (100ml) or less per container; must be 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic, zip-top bag; 1 bag per passenger placed in the screening bin. The quart-size bag limits the total liquid volume each traveler can bring.  Place the bag in an outside pocket of your carry-on so it will be easily accessible as you go through TSA screening. You may declare larger liquids. Medications, baby formula/food and breast milk are allowed in reasonable quantities exceeding three ounces, and they don’t have to be in the zip-top bag. Declare these items for inspection at the checkpoint. TSA officers may need to open them for additional screening. More detailed information may be found at
  13. If in doubt, put your liquids, gels, aerosols, creams and pastes in your checked baggage. Be sure to double bag (or even triple bag) liquids and gels you pack in your checked bag, and make sure each top is securely closed. The air pressure during flight causes items to leak, and you don’t want to arrive at your hotel to find your clothes are covered in lotion or shampoo. Most hotels provide travel size shampoo, conditioner, soap or shower gel, and body lotion.
  14. Always pack a change of clothes in your carry-on bag, just in case your bag is misplaced by the airline. It is also a good idea to split your clothes with your traveling partner – this way, should either of your bags get lost, at least you will have some of your clothes.
  15. Pocket knives, knives of any kind, metal finger nail files, knitting needles and such are prohibited in your carry-on bag. For more information on prohibited items, visit
  16. Frequent travelers should consider applying for TSA Precheck currently at $85pp (or Global Entry at $100pp if you travel internationally). Either will allow you to avoid the long security lines at most U. S. airports by going through the TSA PreCheck line which is typically much shorter – plus you’ll be exempt from removing your shoes, belts, light jackets, laptops and your 3-1-1- liquids as you pass through airport security.
  17. With most airlines, you are allowed one personal item (e.g. purse, briefcase) and one carry-on bag to take with you on the flight. Be sure to keep all important travel documents, cash, credit cards, jewelry, cameras, medications, etc., with you and never pack these items in your checked bag. Visit your airline’s website for their carry-on bag information – this is American Airlines / United Airlines / Hawaiian Airlines / Virgin America / Delta Airlines
  18. It is wise to leave any expensive jewelry home and locked up. Invest in an inexpensive wedding ring to travel with – do you really want to risk losing your wedding ring while swimming or snorkeling?  
  19. If you do not already have smaller size bottles of shampoo, lotion, sunscreen & conditioner, purchase some small containers at the dollar store if you must take your own toiletries – packing full size bottles can make your luggage quite heavy.
  20. The weight limit on checked bags is 50 lbs. Unless you have a special TSA approved lock for your bag, do not lock your checked bags – it must be available for a TSA agent to open and check the contents. Check your airline’s website for more detailed checked bag information – see above links for baggage policies. 
  21. Any wrapped presents are subject to being opened to check the contents, so take a gift bag or wait to wrap the gift until you arrive at your destination.
  22. Take an extra bag (like a lightweight duffle bag), or leave plenty of room in your checked bag or carry-on to bring home purchases you make in Hawaii. You will most likely shop while in Hawaii and return with more than you started with.
  23. If you plan to do any hiking in Hawaii, especially on Kauai, you will want to take old shoes – you may actually end up throwing them away after hiking – Hawaii’s red dirt/mud will not wash out. Same with socks & hiking clothes.
  24. If traveling to Hawaii between December and April, take a pair, or two, of binoculars for whale watching. February  and March are the prime whale watching months. Maui whale watching
  25. It is wise to include your name and phone number inside your luggage as well – often times, the outside bag tags get torn off during travel.
  26. After packing, take photos of your luggage inside and out —just in case your bags are misplaced during travel, this will help the airline identify your bags.
  27. Before you leave for Hawaii, contact your credit card companies to advise you will be traveling to Hawaii and to note your account, so they do not decline any charges due to ‘unusual activity’. If you are traveling with a debit card, contact your bank to advise you will be traveling to Hawaii and find out what your daily limit is, and if needed, ask for an increase on the daily amount. Though you may have a gazillion dollars in your bank account, if your card is a debit card, the banks impose a daily limit, so find out what it is before you travel.  
  28. Visa and Master Card are widely accepted in the Hawaiian Islands. American Express & Discover Cards are NOT widely accepted, and some small shops or restaurants require cash only. Hawaii vacation tipping
  29. We always take plenty of $1, $5, and $10 bills for tipping in Hawaii. We normally leave $3 to $5 per day on the bed for hotel housekeeping, you’ll also want to tip the hotel bellmen, car valets, and tour guides. 
  30. After you return home from your trip, for the next month or two, keep an eye on your credit card statements for any unauthorized charges.
  31. Before traveling to Hawaii, learn some basic Hawaiian words and their pronunciation at

What Not to Take to Hawaii

As much as you love them, and  as much as they want to go, you are not allowed to bring your pets to Hawaii. 

What not to take to Hawaii


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Hawaii Vacation Travel Experts

A huge Hawaii vacation myth many have is believing they have to DIY – do it yourself – to get the best value. This is simply not the case. Please watch the following video which will dispel this belief, showing why booking your own Hawaii hotel is not a good idea. To watch the video in full screen, once you’ve clicked on it, just click the full screen mode at the bottom right – after viewing the video, just click the escape key to go back to normal screen. Then contact us to book your Hawaii vacation.

We look forward to helping you plan the best ever Hawaii vacation, and at the best value.


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A vacation in Hawaii is at the top of most people’s bucket list.  

A vacation in Hawaii offers something for everyone, from grandparents, to teenagers, to couples celebrating a honeymoon or anniversary, to families and even toddlers … Hawaii is truly a multi-generational destination, and the islands offer so much more than sun, surf & sand.

Maui vacation in Hawaii

Maui’s Kaanapali Beach

Did you know that the Hawaiian Islands are the most sought after islands in the world, and the islands enjoy an incredible 98% approval rating. The following are the top 10 reasons to vacation in Hawaii:

  1. Hawaii is a far-away, exotic destination, yet safe
  2. Hawaii has 6 unique islands to choose from – Oahu, Kauai, Maui, Hawaii Island, Lanai and Molokai (don’t worry, we can help you choose which to visit)
  3. Enjoy a wide range of activities from snorkeling with fish indigenous to the Hawaiian Islands; zipline over tree tops, valleys or waterfalls; learn to surf on Waikiki Beach – the birthplace of surfing; visit a coffee plantation, macadamia nut farm, or lavender or vanilla farm; or golf on some of the world’s top courses. There is something for everyone.
  4. Hawaii has a rich culture and history (including food and music) – and did you know that Hawaii has the only royal palace on U. S. soil?
  5. By being a part of the U. S. (the 50th state), no passport is required
  6. English speaking, so no language barrier
  7. Currency is the U. S. dollar, so no exchange rate to figure out
  8. Clean drinking water – no need to worry about ‘drinking the water’
  9. You have access to American hospitals should you have an emergency while on vacation
  10. Enjoy a welcoming environment from the Hawaiian Aloha Spirit

Before focusing our travel business on just Hawaii, we traveled to many other destinations, but on our first vacation in Hawaii in 1988, we were sold – Hawaii was the first place we ever desired to visit again and again. You really never tire of the Hawaiian islands … each island is so unique and it is easy to island hop between the islands. You can even stay on different parts of one island and feel like you’ve visited another island. We always tell our clients to ‘Look out, once in Hawaii, the Hawaii bug will bite you and you’ll start planning your next trip.’ And it’s true, we have clients we’ve planned many Hawaii vacations for over the years. There is so much to see and do in Hawaii, it’s impossible to fit it all into one trip, but we can guarantee you’ll hit the highlights.

With the many diverse activities available on each island, you can stay as active as you like … or, just sit back and relax by a beautiful pool or one of the many beautiful beaches.

So, are you ready to start planning your vacation in Hawaii? The experts at Hawaiian Travel can help you figure it all out. We take the time to get to know our clients and match you to the best island (or island combinations), so you truly have the best vacation possible. Since Hawaii is a top destination worldwide, options do sell out early.

Ready to get started planning your dream vacation in Hawaii?
Visit our Contact Us page today
you are never too early to start planning a trip to Hawaii. 

Kauai, Hawaii beach at Allerton Garden

Kauai beach at Allerton Gardens

Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa

Grand Hyatt Kauai Lagoon

Hawaii Sunset

Hawaii Sunset

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    We have used Hawaiian Travel for years and even though we have been going to Hawaii for 20+ years, they are still our first call. We found that when we use Hawaiian Travel instead of an on-line source to book our travel, we get better rooms and perks from the hotels. When the hotels can go the extra mile, they do it for Hawaiian Travel, and consequently their clients get all of the benefit. They have booked many fabulous vacations for us, including our honeymoon. I can’t say enough about how much I enjoy working with Laura and Bryan, and how much they have added to our Hawaiian vacations!”

    M. H. in Texas


    Laura, with Hawaiian Travel, is beyond stellar. She first worked with my family ten years ago when we planned a vacation on the island of Kauai to celebrate my 40th birthday, and she's helped us with other visits since. I consider myself Hawaiian since I was born in Pearl Harbor and have visited Hawaii (including four of the islands) many times throughout my life. Even with my personal knowledge of the islands, I will continue to lean on Laura for my family vacations because she helps to make the experience for everyone in our family as stress-free and as fun as possible. Her suggested activities have been perfect for us, and I'm always impressed with her breadth of knowledge and love of Hawaii.

    K.D., in Oklahoma


    My husband and I had an unforgettable and amazing honeymoon in Oahu and Maui thanks to Hawaiian Travel's expertise and knowledge of Hawaii. From the first day, Laura was always available to answer our questions and help us plan a customized trip based on our budget, requests and wishes for our honeymoon experience. She also provided incredible suggestions for our trip, from restaurants to excursion activities, and always tried to find us the best deal. Just before we were about to leave for our honeymoon, I had a death in the family and Laura worked quickly and efficiently to switch our flights and hotel rooms so that we could still have a great honeymoon experience and be within our budget. We so appreciated her help and availability during a very stressful time. Laura also made a point to be available during the honeymoon for any last-minute questions we had. We will never forget out Hawaiian honeymoon because of Laura, and we will definitely be using her services again when we plan our next trip to the islands!

    E. J. in Virginia


    We booked our Honeymoon with Laura at Hawaiian Travel and it was the best decision we ever made. She helped us book the most beautiful Honeymoon to Waikiki that went well beyond our expectations. Her level of customer service far exceeds anything that I have experienced in the pass. If you are not sure where to go for vacation or want to go to Hawaii, make sure you contact the people at Hawaiian Travel before you do anything. They are professionals at what they do.

    E. H. in Texas


    Having Laura Walker as our travel Agency had made our family trip a lot easier! I live in Brazil and do not have any kind of knowledge about Hawaii... so planning this trip could have been a nightmare for me if I have decided to do that on my own..... But Laura saved me! Talking to her is like talking to my best friend, and she took care of everything for us - from the hotel arrangements to every activity we`ve planned so far. She is amazing! Besides the fact that she knows everything about Hawaii islands, we've said to her what we like and she had planned two wonderful weeks of amazing activities for our family! I'm sure this will be our best family trip ever, and all this will be possible because of Laura. I'm very pleased to have her as our travel agent, she is spectacular!

    Andressa in Brazil