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Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Packing Restrictions for a Trip to Hawaii

Hawaii possesses some of the world’s most beautiful scenery, including sprawling beaches, active volcanoes and mesmerizing trails. The need to protect the islands’ unique plants and animals have led to packing restrictions designed to preserve Hawaii’s fragile beauty. Before you travel to the Aloha State, make sure you review these regulations!

Hawaiian soil and agricultural management practices differ from those found on the mainland. These differences require travelers to take precautionary measures and abide by strict packing rules for a trip to Hawaii. In general, these restrictions cover fresh fruits and vegetables, specific types of flowers or plants, and animals.

Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Packing Restrictions for a Trip to Hawaii

Hawaiian Department of Agriculture agents must inspect all plant material when you arrive and depart the island. All fresh fruit and vegetables must be declared on a form, which is collected by flight attendants who then present it to the Agricultural Inspection counter. To protect the unique aspects of Hawaii, material must be free of soil, insects, pests and any signs of disease.

The island’s ecology maintains a delicate balance, and the introduction of a new pest or disease could be devastating. To prevent this, many plants and plant materials are restricted in the packing rules for a trip to Hawaii. Some examples include pineapples, radishes, turnips, coconuts, several plants in the grass family and coffee trees.

Animal Restrictions

Thanks to its strict rules, Hawaii is the only state that is rabies-free. The islands’ quarantine laws work to protect the citizens and their pets from serious health problems. Owners who want to bring their dogs and cats to the island, regardless of the animal’s age or purpose, must comply with the state’s regulations.

The law states that dogs and cats must meet specific pre- and post-arrival qualifications and usually spend up to five days in quarantine. However, visitors are encouraged to read the specific qualifications carefully, as dogs and cats could be placed in quarantine for as many as 120 days. So, make sure you understand the requirements and prepare those furry family members for the trip, too!

Book Your Visit with Kauai Vacation Rentals!

Go ahead and pack your sunscreen, sandals and swimsuits, and leave any restricted items at home! Properly preparing for your trip will allow you to say, “Aloha!” to a fun time. Call us today and book your travel with Kauai Vacation Rentals!

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

The Lei: Hawaii’s Iconic Symbol

The symbolic lei continues to provide a warm welcome to the visitors of Hawaii! As one of the most iconic symbols for all of the Hawaiian Islands, we love to share the lei’s historical significance to our culture. Whether worn for a special occasion or simply used to say Aloha, the beauty of the lei is something to be Enjoyed.

The lei is an iconic symbol of Hawaii.

History of the Lei

The lei was first introduced to Hawaii by the early Polynesian voyagers who made the islands their home. These travelers brought the ancient tradition of wearing these floral garlands with them when they set sail from Tahiti and navigated the Pacific by the sun and stars. Traditionally, leis were gifted among ancient Hawaiians as a sign of honor and respect, given as a peace offering between opposing chiefs, and used as an adornment to express love and appreciation for nature’s beauty. 
Most often, leis are constructed of bright tropical flowers found on the islands such as plumeria, ginger and various orchids. However, it is commonplace to see leis made from a variety of other materials. Vines, shells, seeds, nuts, and feathers may all be seen in everyday leis as well as those used in formal ceremonies.

Different Types of Leis

There are many different types leis worn for a variety of occasions. Although you can Enjoy the beauty of a lei whenever you like, there are specific variations that are used throughout Hawaii.

Maile and Ilima Leis

Maile is one of the earliest materials used in leis. This long, pleasantly-scented vine is typically intertwined in an open-ended style. Oahu’s official island flower, the ilima, is often woven into the vines to enhance the lei with bright colors.

Hala Lei

The Hala lei is made of orange and yellow fruits from the Hala tree. This lei traditionally appears at funerals to honor the deceased’s passing from one world to another.

Royal Lei

The royal lei is often crafted from more long-lasting materials and is a symbol of privilege and power. Comprised of shells and feathers, this lei has its roots in the early traditions and culture of Hawaii.


During the “Boat Days” in the early 1900s, vendors lined up at piers to welcome visitors and locals. To this day, a warm welcome with a handmade lei draped around your neck is an iconic greeting in Hawaii. This symbol of Hawaii’s welcoming culture fills visitors and returning locals alike with the true spirit of Aloha. As visitors depart the islands, it is customary to throw the lei back into the water. This act symbolizes the hope of returning to the islands one day.


Receiving a lei is a warm and welcoming gesture with customary rules for showing respect for the Hawaiian people and culture. To ensure you are displaying the proper respect for the tradition, follow these simple guidelines:

  • Always accept a lei when it is offered
  • Drape the lei gently over the shoulders, hanging down in both the front and the back
  • Removing a lei from yourself while in the presence of the person that gave it to you is considered disrespectful

Call Kauai Vacation Rentals

We want you to Enjoy the warm welcome embodied by the Hawaiian tradition of giving and receiving leis. Contact Kauai Vacation Rentals to book your next vacation and let the Aloha spirit fill you, too!