Your Hawaiian adventure was amazing! So of course you want to take home as many memories as you can from the beautiful state.
Before you pack your bags for the trip home, it is important to be sure that your keepsakes will not get tossed at the airport.
Keep reading for your complete guide to what you can and cannot bring home with you.
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Table of Contents
What can I bring to Hawaii?
Before you even enter the island, make sure that everything you bring with you is allowed to be taken into the island.
Of course, you will bring your essentials like beach gear, cameras, toiletries, etc. But there are a few other items that might be more questionable.
Should you bring beach towels to Hawaii?
Yes, you should bring beach towels to Hawaii even if the resort that you are staying at provides them.
You might need them if you venture outside of the resort to explore other beaches, or in a pinch, if your resort has a shortage of clean towels available.
Can I bring plants on a plane?
Plants are considered agricultural items and all agricultural items must be declared on the “Plants and Animals Declaration Form,” during your flight.
You can get this form from the flight attendant prior to landing. Once you land, you must present them at the Agricultural Inspection Counter to ensure they meet the requirements and are not on the list of restricted or prohibited plants.
This resource from the State of Hawaii is a good place to start.
Can you pack food to Hawaii?
The area of what food items you can take in is a bit more tricky. For example, there are certain fruits and citrus items that the state will not allow to enter with you.
However, you should be just fine with the packaged snacks that you bought on the plane.
Keep in mind though that if you’re coming from another country other than the U.S.A., even if you pass through the U.S.A. on your trip, even commercially packaged food is subject to inspection.
What food can I bring to Hawaii?
Let’s talk a little bit more about some of the specific foods that you can and cannot bring into Hawaii.
As we mentioned before, most commercially packaged foods are cooked, canned, frozen, etc., and were purchased in the United States can be brought into Hawaii without having to be declared or inspected, so you should be OK with most things you want to bring.
Here are some specifics for some of the more questionable items:
Can I bring tea to Hawaii?
You are fine to bring commercially packaged tea bags into Hawaii with you. So if you have a specific type that you must have each morning, go ahead and pack it in your suitcase without any issues.
If traveling into Hawaii from outside of the United States, certain loose leaf teas are prohibited, so you should check with customs first.
Can I bring uncooked rice to Hawaii?
Uncooked rice is something that you might want to reconsider bringing with you. If it’s a small commercially packaged product from the USA you should be okay.
However, other types of dry rice or rice from other parts of the world would be subject to inspection as they could contain pests.
Can I bring spices to Hawaii?
Most dried spices are allowed to be brought into Hawaii if they are being brought from another location within the United States.
International travelers cannot bring orange, lemon, lime, and other citrus leaves and seeds, lemongrass, and many vegetable and fruit seeds.
Can you mail fruit to Hawaii?
In general, most agricultural items are allowed into the state after proper inspection.
However, you cannot mail the following fruit items into Hawaii: pineapples, coconuts, and citrus and pulpy fruits from Florida & Puerto Rico.
You should always verify with the state of Hawaii Plant Division, or check the Hawaiian Airlines Fruit Policy if you are unsure of a specific item.
Can you bring seeds to Hawaii?
It depends on what type of seeds you are wanting to bring into the state. Certain seeds like grass and many flowers can be brought into the state unrestricted.
However, coffee seeds, pineapple seeds, and a few others require inspection or quarantine.
Check with the Hawaii Plant Division to be sure if the ones you want to bring in are ok.
Can I bring avocados to Hawaii?
Yes, as long as you are traveling to Hawaii from within the continental United States you can bring avocados on the plane either in your carry-on or checked baggage.
However, you must declare these items while on the flight and have them inspected upon arrival by customs as with other fresh fruits and vegetables.
What can’t you bring to Hawaii?
If traveling to Hawaii from within the United States, you should be fine with bringing most items that you would need for a vacation or a visit there.
Keep in mind that certain items will need to be inspected by customs upon arrival (mostly food or other agricultural items) and it may be more hassle than it is worth to bring them on your flight.
Can I bring vegetables to Hawaii?
You can bring vegetables into the state of Hawaii in most cases.
Remember though that you will have to declare all of these items on the “Plants and Animals Declaration Form” prior to landing and bring them to the customs counter for inspection.
Can I take apples to Hawaii?
As with vegetables, you can also bring apples into Hawaii either on your carry-on baggage or checked luggage.
They will also require declaration before landing and inspection at customers.
Of course, if the apple was a carry-on snack that you ate during the flight you will not have to declare it to customs.
Can I bring bananas to Hawaii?
Bananas are treated the same way as apples. You can bring them with you on the plane, but they also must be declared and inspected upon landing.
Again, if you eat it as a snack during the flight, you do not have to go through customs after arrival.
Can I bring coffee into Hawaii?
If your coffee is ground coffee or beans that are commercially packaged and from the United States you can it with you to Hawaii.
These items are considered packaged food and do not need to be inspected upon arrival.
The exception is if you are bringing in live coffee plants, plant parts, or green (non-fumigated or processed) coffee beans.
Can I take nuts to Hawaii?
Packaged nuts like peanuts, almonds, walnuts, etc. can be brought into Hawaii in your luggage without a problem, as they meet the criteria for commercially produced and packaged foods.
These items do not have to be declared or inspected upon arrival.
Is beef jerky allowed through customs?
Similarly, you’ll have no problems taking your beef jerky snack with you on the plane and do not have to declare it through customs when you arrive at the airport as long as you are arriving from another location within the United States.
What can you bring back from Hawaii?
Now that we’ve covered many of the things that you can and cannot bring INTO Hawaii, let’s talk about some of the items and keepsakes that you might want to take OUT of the islands when you return home from your amazing trip.
Can I bring pineapples from Hawaii?
Yes, you can take pineapples out of the state of Hawaii, but remember that you cannot bring them into the state.
Of course, Hawaii has the best pineapples around, so there would be no need to take them with you on your way there!
So go ahead and take some of these tasty treats back with you to remember your vacation for a little while longer.
Can you take plumeria from Hawaii?
These beautiful flowers will remind you of the island for sure. You can bring plumeria cuttings back to the U.S. mainland from Hawaii if you have purchased them at a store and they are packaged in a USDA-approved package.
You can then use these cuttings to grow plumeria at home.
Can you bring coral back from Hawaii?
Hawaii has strict rules regarding the coral living in its oceans. You should make sure that you are following these rules during your time on the island, which includes not damaging, taking, or breaking any stony coral.
Based on these rules, the only coral that you should be taking back from Hawaii is jewelry pieces or dead stony coral that was obtained through legal dredging operations.
So yes, you can bring back the coral souvenirs that you purchased at the gift shop, but may not disturb or take any coral from the ocean.
Can I take my lei home from Hawaii?
One of the most common questions from Hawaiian tourists is “can you bring flower lei home from Hawaii?” The answer is yes, you can bring lei home from Hawaii!
Just make sure that all of the components in your leis from Hawaii are items that you are allowed to bring back with you.
Check out this government resource for the official rules about leis.
Can you take flowers from Hawaii?
You can take most flowers back with you from Hawaii.
The exception to this rule is the Jade vine, the Mauna Loa plant, and any citrus or citrus-related flowers, leaves, or plant parts. Those specific items are not allowed back into the United States mainland.
Can you take shells from Hawaii?
Collect all of the seashells that you can during your trip! You can bring back seashells from Hawaii without restriction (as long as they are for non-commercial use), so have fun seeing what interesting ones you can find.
The only exception to shells is that you are not allowed to take back any land snail shells.
What can I not bring back from Hawaii?
Now that we’ve covered some of the popular items that you can bring back with you from your trip to Hawaii, let’s talk about some other common items, which include ones that you should enjoy and leave on the islands instead.
Can I take a coconut home from Hawaii?
Yes, you can take one or more coconuts home with you from Hawaii They must simply pass a pre-departure inspection by the USDA.
After that, they can be brought back to the mainland without restriction.
Can you take fruit out of Hawaii?
In most cases, you can not take fresh fruit out of Hawaii with you.
The exceptions are made for pineapples and treated fruit (in USDA inspected and sealed boxes) such as papaya, abiu, atemoya, banana, curry leaf, dragon fruit, longan, lychee, mangosteen, rambutan, starfruit, and sweet potato.
You cannot bring back berries of any kind, including whole fresh coffee berries and sea grapes.
Can you bring poke back from Hawaii?
According to the TSA, you can take fish items with you on the plane in carry-on and checked bags if it is completely frozen and packed with proper ice or ice packs.
If it does not meet these criteria it will not make it through security and could be tossed out. Of course, you most likely wouldn’t want to travel with fish that wasn’t properly frozen and stored anyways.
Can you bring baked goods back from Hawaii?
Yes, you should have no problem bringing baked goods that you purchased in Hawaii back to the mainland with you. This includes bread, cookies, crackers, cakes, granola bars, and other items in this category.
Is it illegal to take black sand from Hawaii?
It is illegal in the state of Hawaii to take any of the lava rocks or sand from the beaches because it is a limited resource and black sand decomposes faster than other types of sand.
If you are caught removing this sand from the island, you could face extensive fines.
Therefore, it is best to enjoy it during your visit and take lots of pictures for memories.
Can I take home rocks from Hawaii?
In general, you can take rocks and stones from Hawaii home with you in the same way that you can take seashells back with you (in small amounts and for non-commercial purposes).
The exception is that you cannot remove any of the lava rocks that you find on the island as discussed above.
Removing these rocks is illegal and could result in fines.
Thanks for taking the time to read this article! We hope that the guidelines we provided make you feel more comfortable and excited about your trip to Hawaii!
Have you recently gone to Hawaii and have any additional feedback to share? I’d love to hear from you.
Drop your comments below and let us know what you think!