You should always pack a pen when traveling to Hawaii. Specifically, the pen should be in your carry-on for use in-flight.
If you’ve never traveled to Hawaii before, here’s a REALLY useful tip. You’ll need a pen during your flight to the islands. And it doesn’t matter where your flight (or cruise) originates from. Everyone traveling in the islands must complete paperwork before arriving.
State of Hawaii Agriculture Declaration Form
The form you’ll need to complete before arriving in the islands is the State of Hawaii Department of Agriculture Plants and Animals Declaration Form. This form asks all residents and visitors what plants and animals they’re carrying with them. And while there are plants and animals that you may legally bring to the islands, most are illegal. Even legal items, though, will require inspection upon arrival at a minimum. This was the case for us flying back from the PNW with a few pounds of apples a couple years back.
The other side of the form is optional, though I highly suggest filling it out. This back portion asks for basic information regarding your travel to Hawaii and is used by the state for statistical purposes.
Typically your flight crew will pass these forms out about an hour prior to landing. And all forms must be collected back before you’ll be allowed to deplane in Hawaii. The good news is, though, that you only need one form per party. But, the flight crews do not supply pens, so be sure to bring your own, or you’ll have to borrow from your fellow passengers.
Pack a Pen When Traveling to Hawaii, Final Thoughts
The reason I’m writing about this now is because I just returned from a business trip to Las Vegas (trip report coming soon). And, for the first time ever, I remembered to pack a pen! Yes, as much as I travel, I embarrassingly always forget to pack a pen. And usually, this isn’t a problem, as Mrs. Island Miler always has one in her purse. But, last year I went to Texas on business and forgot a pen. Thankfully, a friendly woman from D.C. was seated next to me and let both myself and our other seatmate borrow her pen. So don’t be like me; remember to bring your own pen.