Pre-Travel Checklist


Packing Checklist

Visit our online store to shop for hard-to-find vacation items.

  1. BulletPolarized sunglasses

  2. Factor 50 sunblock (3oz or less)

  3. Lip balm with SPF 30

  4. Click here to purchase vintage Hawaiian postersShorts (3 pair)

  5. shapeimage_5_link_0T-shirts

  6. Blouses or Polo-type shirts

  7. Resort wear (see below)

  8. BulletSneakers and socks

  9. BulletSandals or flip-flops

  10. Bullet2 Swimsuits and coverup

  11. BulletHat(s)

  12. BulletTravel umbrella

  13. BulletWaterproof digital camera

  14. BulletCompact Binoculars

  15. BulletBeach bag

  16. BulletLightweight day-pack

  17. BulletQuart-size zip-top bags

  18. BulletPlug-in nightlights

For the utmost comfort, wear only cotton fabrics. Pack a lightweight jacket or sweater for the evenings and a lightweight waterproof jacket for exploring tropical rainforests. Wear layers of clothes for the different altitudes of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. Don’t worry if you forget something. Our retail stores and malls will have what you need.

Resort Wear

If you plan to go out to a fancy restaurant or luau while you are here, consider packing one set of “resort wear”.

  1. For men: dress-shorts or khaki trousers and a collared shirt.

  1. For women: casual skirt, sun dress, capri pants, dressy shorts, etc.

Buy While You Are Here

  1. Additional sunscreen

  2. Sand mats

  3. Snorkel gear (or rent it)

  4. Beach towels

  5. Beach umbrella

  6. Rubber flip flops

  7. T-shirts


Peace of Mind...

Click here to purchase vintage Hawaiian posters
  1. You are here: Travel > Pre-Travel Checklist

Six Months in Advance

  1. Download the official Hawaii Big Island Visitor’s Guide from the Hawaii Tourism Authority and start your vacation planning.

  1. Purchase or borrow travel guides about The Big Island.

  1. Reserve your flight and accommodations. Travel packages that combine your flight, hotel, and car rental will often save you money. Click on one of our travel partners above to Investigate your travel options and to book flights, hotels, and a car. Remember to specify your final destination as either Kailua-Kona (KOA) or Hilo (ITA) on the Big Island, not Honolulu, which is on the island of Oahu.

  1. Shop for clothing or other things you will need for your trip. If your local stores don’t have what you want, shop at our online store, which specializes in Hawaiian clothing and travel items.

  1. Log onto our activities pages and start thinking about things to do while you are on The Big Island.

After Your Trip

  1. Share your adventures with your friends and relatives by hosting a Do-It-Yourself Lu`au. Click here for food and drink recipes.

  1. If our web site was helpful to you, please tell your friends about

Here are some suggestions for making your vacation pretty much worry free. Click here for a printer-friendly version of this checklist.

One Week in Advance

  1. Don’t advertise your travel plans to the whole world. Don’t leave a message about your plans on your answering machine, voicemail, e-mail auto-responders, or online social media sites. Make sure that someone knows your travel plans and can deal with emergencies in your absence. Do they have a key to your house, your email address and phone numbers where you can be reached?

  1. Arrange to suspend your mail delivery during your vacation period. Click here to do it online. Also, arrange to suspend your newspaper delivery and other services like gym memberships that might save you money in while you are gone.

  1. Confirm seats selection on your flights. You might be bumped from the flight if you don’t have confirmed seats.

  1. Fill or renew necessary prescriptions.

  1. Arrange for a taxi or shuttle pickup, if needed.

  1. Inform your credit card issuer(s) of your travel dates & locations. They might suspend your account if unexpected charges appear from Hawaii.

  1. Ensure that nothing important - passport, ATM & credit cards, etc. - will expire while you're away.

  1. Make arrangements for the care of pets.

  1. Confirm accommodation reservations, especially in B&Bs (let them know your scheduled arrival time).

  1. Ensure that your doors, windows, and garage doors will lock. If you use an alarm service, notify them of your plans.

  1. Schedule the payment of any bills that might come due during your trip; switching to on-line payment options can facilitate this.

  1. If you live in snow country, arrange for a friend or neighbor to create car and foot tracks into the house after a fresh snowfall. You wouldn’t want the snowfall to disclose that nobody is home.

Two Days in Advance

  1. Check the TSA web site for a list of items you may not take aboard your flight, then pack your luggage. Aim for one roll-on bag and one day-pack per person.

  1. Go back and take out half of what you packed and leave it at home! Just in case it gets lost, put a note inside your luggage with the name and address of your first destination.

  1. Water your plants or insert an automatic plant waterer.

  1. Adjust your thermostat settings & check its batteries.

  1. Clean out your refrigerator. Freeze what you can and toss any food that could spoil.

  1. Arrange for the disposal of your garbage and to have someone wheel in the trash containers.

  1. Print maps and addresses of places of interest you want to visit.

  1. Gather your electronic gear and be sure you have the necessary plugs and chargers (your cellphone will work the same in Hawaii as it does at home).

  1. Take enough money out of your bank or ATM to tide you over until you find an ATM on The Big Island. Bring two credit cards, just in case.

  1. Gather together your tickets, reservation information, airport ID, credit cards and ATM cards. Pack medications in your carry-on luggage. Put all liquids (each 3 oz. or less) in a quart-size zip top bag. TSA allows one quart-size bag per person.

The Big Day

  1. If you are taking only carry-on luggage, log onto your airline’s web site and print out your boarding pass(es) 24 hours before your flight time.

  1. Turn off the water supply to your toilet tank(s) and washing machine. (A toilet tank cracked while we were on vacation and flooded our house. A neighbor who came in to water plants found it.)

  1. Lots of appliances that are “off” actually consume electricity. Unplug things to save energy.

  1. Top up pet food and water bowls.

  1. Put your water heater on vacation mode.

  1. Leave a couple of lights on (use a timer or replace the bulb with a compact fluorescent) while you're away to give your house an "occupied" look. Here is a really cool device that makes it look like a TV is turned on in a room.

  1. Set the security alarm, if you have one, and make sure the doors and windows are locked.

  1. Simplify your travel planning. Let one of our travel partners help you with your travel needs.