Hawai'i Vacation Essentials


Written and Copyright By: E.J. Sanders

FYI friends: I use affiliate links for my fave, go-to products. If you click and purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Instead of subscribing to ‘free shipping’ on Amazon, I save that annual membership by purchasing items which say, “Eligible for free shipping on purchases $25 or more.” Then, I look for items with free returns . Have a nice day. Spread Aloha it’s a two way street. Follow these links for deals of travel essential items with Free Shipping on orders over $25. Email me with any questions about Traveling to my State.

Please read up on our Privacy Policry/Disclaimer here, there is also a link located in the navigation tab. Mahalo. Aloha is a two way street. Spread it. Sustainability is providing your own take out container.

You need to bring your own water bottle. Of course only purchase BPA-free plastic or Stainless steel lined bottles. There are also new things like collapsible BPA-free plastic bottles which are good for packing.

BLUE Souvenir Waipi'o Valley Water Bottles
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BLUE Souvenir Waipi'o Valley Water Bottles

20 ounce.

BPA Free

Bike bottle

Nationwide Shipping

Shipping is Flat Rate. I’ll wrap it in bubble wrap and send in soft envelope.

Add to Cart

You only use Reef Safe Sunscreen anywhere near oceans because of the delicacy of our Reef systems. Don’t use aerosol spray as the aerosol is bad for the atmosphere anywhere on the planet not only by the ocean. Good old fashioned rubbing is how you put on screen. Click this link to see what I suggest putting your sunscreen into so its airplane ‘cabin’ friendly here and then I don’t need to take the big bottle. Even if you take three travel bottles of the same size, filled with the same thing, it’ll still be cabin friendly. I fill one of these bottles with my favorite reef safe screen, I recommend all screen be at least 30SPF, and one bottle will last me at least three months if I cover both my son and I once a week on beach day. If you’re coming for one week to Hawai’i and use the screen everyday then one of these refillable bottles will be more than enough filled with a good locally supported screen like this here pictured or your own favorite. I keep a little one like this in my daily make up bag so I’m always covered. I’ve had three cancerous skin cells removed this year and i’m 39. The dermatologist claims me using sunscreen since I was a little girl, born and raised in Hawai’i, is why I only had three little ones; shocking right?

Bring your own reusable shopping bags. Plastic shopping bags are banned throughout the state however the government still allows plastic trash bags and plastic bags in the produce section of any market. Reusable bags are great for beach days and the best kind can go right into the washer and dryer plus usually they’ve got a carabiner on them for easy linking to your backpack or purse.

They’re expensive but I love mine and its an older model. The new ones are the way to go even though I don’t have one yet. I can’t spend 4-500 hundred dollars on it plus my old one works great. You won’t find a cheaper price anywhere in Hawai’i; on any island. Amazon will beat them. Maybe thats a sad story to you and you only want to support local. I look at this like this, you coming and sharing your journey in all the ways will support local. You can only do so much its not like the ‘local’ surf shops source their clothing from the US. Think about it, all the stuff is made in South America, Pakistan or China, sometimes other countries but not the US. So don’t worry. If you’re going to invest in an underwater camera, I endorse this one for sure.

Then there’s also this little bag that you can slip your phone into and hang around your neck. I just saw some visitors coming out from snorkeling the other day with these bags around their neck. Definitely a cheaper option and so long as

You definitely need to cover up with hats and UV protected shirt. I wear my UV protected gear all the time, no shame just protect. Don’t forget your Polarized shades so you can see the fish and turtles right under the water’s surface as well as the amazing colors of the ocean depths right off the shore. Plus if there’s a shark you’re more likely to see it with polarized shades on.

I love this kind of hat because it’s packable, folds right up. So cute and matches everyone’s head.

This is good for most men and has some style.


This one popular for the youth and/or sassy styles. I say this is unisex.

Maui Jims are my favorite brand of polarized shades. The owner lives on Maui long time and he’s the biggest annual donor to Hale Makua which is an elderly care facility on Maui, where both of my Grandparents lived the last year before they passed away. Loads of Hawaiians and kama’aina alike reside there in their last days. I respect the guy a lot just for that. His glasses are the only patented shades that are polarized from both the front to the back and the back to the front so for us who don’t want the crow feet too early then we use the Maui Jims because all other polarized shades on the market only polarized from the front to the back. When you’re using the Ray Bans here for instance the light hits the glass from the sides and bounce back into your eyes making you squint even as you look at the turtles under the surface of the water. However the Maui Jims big selling difference is that when the light hits the glass from the sides they filter through from back to front and never make you squint. They sell Maui Jims at Costco too and Costco is located within a few miles of Kailua-Kona(KOA) airport. Then here is a less expensive option the Ray Ban is a classic and everyone looks fly in these polarized Aviators. To be honest, I have all three brands I’ve listed, Versace, Ray Ban and Maui Jims and interchange them. In Hawai’i, even when you’re poor everyone has shades; they’re a staple on every single person’s head. Because we all raised poor in the outlying islands. Land tax, cost of living, low incomes, etc make us all grow up working hard so then you finally get your good shades , you take care of your stuff and NEVER leave them. You raise your kids to respect them too. Trust me.

I love to have my music bumping with me everywhere I go. The controversial thing is an old adage in Hawai’i, why would you play music next to the beach when all you really need is the music of the ocean and breezes whistling through the palm trees, right? Well, all that being said, I say, “Eh, turn ‘em up and listen to both!” When I spend an entire day at the beach I take my favorite tri-fold beach chair, my beach umbrella, my waterproof speaker, an extra fully charged portable battery to recharge my Pandora streaming cell phone(in it’s waterproof case right), my small folding plastic table, beach blankets/rafia mat or both and my cooler full of my favorite goodies. My son always has his boogie board and goggles now that he’s pretty much past the bucket and shovel stage. His new favorite is his fishing pole and tackle box, “Cast, tighten and reel.” Of course, you’re not bringing your trip-folding chair or table but your rental spot most likely has those for you to borrow. Check out this speaker for a little pricey price and then a lesser expensive option. You don’t want your suitcase to be heavy with things that will possibly take away from relaxing on your short vacation however, if you’re like me then you can listen to music and relax at the same time.


I’ll keep you folks up to date on more essentials soon. Have a wonderful day and remember that if you happen to purchase one of these products I advertise for Amazon its at no additional cost to you I merely get a few cents as a commission. And, everything I’m saying makes sense when you’re actually here on my island, on in my State traveling around, you’ll thank me in the end.