What to Pack for your Perfect Hawaiian Vacation.

If you're thinking about what to pack, CONGRATULATIONS! That means that you ARE coming to paradise!

Now you're probably wondering about what to bring...Don't worry. Let me give you a few pointers to make things go more smoothly.

Your Flight There

Many people I've talked to are not exactly sure where Hawaii is. They don't realize just how far away it is from the nearest body of land, and how long it takes to get there. It is pretty much right in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

Here are some average flight times to the islands from various locations.

  • San Francisco, Los Angeles, Portland, Seattle, Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Vancouver - 5 to 6 hours
  • Chicago, Minneapolis, Houston, and Calgary - 8 to 9 hours
  • Atlanta, Newark, and Toronto - 11 hours
  • Tokyo - 8 hours
  • Korea - 8 hours
  • London - 17 hours
  • Sydney - 8 hours
  • Auckland - 8 hours
  • Tahiti - 5 hours

With the shortest flight to Hawaii being 5 hours, you may be wondering what to pack for your flight. I've been on that flight across the Pacific many many times so here are some suggestions:

  • Bring a book...like a Hawaii guidebook .
  • Airplane ride to Hawaii

  • Bring snacks and keep yourself well hydrated with water. Coffee and sodas actually dehydrate you.
  • Bring your own headsets so you don't have to buy them from the airlines. DVD players, laptops, and iPods are all great ways to pass the time. It sure kept my kids occupied...
  • Pack an extra set of clothes in case your luggage gets lost...and make sure they're summer clothes because you'll be in Hawaii baby!
  • You will be asked to fill out a form from the Hawaii State Department of Agriculture.

    Do NOT bring in any of the forbidden items such as fruit, vegetables, and plants.

    Consume or dispose of them on the plane. Occasionally, there are beagles that sniff out the bags in the arrival area, and you can get fined...Not a good way to start your trip.

What to Pack

  • Clothing--Hawaii is very casual. Most of your activities can be done in shorts and t-shirts. The nights can get down to around 65 degrees fahrenheit (18 degrees celsius), so you might want to pack a sweater or sweatshirt.

    Bring a pair of slacks and a short-sleeve dress shirt for dining out at night. Better yet, after you get there, just buy some traditional island wear and fit right in.

  • Note--If you are planning on visiting Kauai, Maui, or the Big Island, you may want to bring something heavier than a sweatshirt. Temperatures at some of the mountain summits can get down to around 35 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celcius). You can always do what we did...take blankets from the hotel...:)

  • Sunglasses--if you have the polarized type, it's way cool to look at the ocean. Polarized lenses take away the reflection so you can see straight into the water.
  • My boys enjoying Hawaii

  • Sunscreen--Please do not under estimate the power of the Hawaiian sun. It is probably much stronger than what you are used to. Use at least an SPF 15...I use an SPF 30, and I'm from there. Remember, the reflection off the water is just as strong as direct sunlight so be careful.
  • A hat will also protect you from the sun.
  • Slippers--People from Hawaii don't call them flip-flops.
  • A Diposable underwater camera comes in very handy.
  • Your favorite beach bag for daily excursions.
  • A pair of comfortable shoes for walking or hiking
  • Tylenol or some pain killers just in case...

So "What to Pack?" you ask...it's really not that big a deal. If you forget something, you can always get it there.

Just be ready to enjoy yourself and have the time of your life!

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