One of the most frequented questions on my blog is if you need a passport to visit Hawaii. If you are a U.S. citizen the answer is no. Hawaii is the 50th U.S. state so there is no need for a passport. It is no different than from going from say, Nevada to California except the long flight of course.
Flying to Hawaii can be a very long trip if you haven’t planned right for it, especially if you have kids along. Flight times vary from around 6 hours from Los Angeles or San Francisco, 8 hours from Salt Lake City and around 12 hours from New York and as long as 17.5 hours from the UK.
To keep your kids busy bring along some books or a portable DVD player and a couple DVD’s to help keep them occupied. Make sure the DVD player is fully charged or has new batteries so it will last long enough for the flight. Don’t forget the headphones! People in the neighboring seats don’t want to hear the Barney song all through the flight. Most flights should have an in-flight movie to watch as well.
If you are bringing an infant be sure your car seat has the FAA approval sticker on it somewhere or you won’t be able to use it. Have an ample supply of diapers, wipes and powdered formula as well. A few dry snacks are also a good idea especially if your kids are picky eaters, they might not like the food served on the plane so bring something you know they will eat. You can bring fruits and vegetables on the plane and eat them there, but you cannot take them off the plane in Hawaii. Also be prepared to fill out the Agricultural form in flight so keep a pen handy.
I usually fly the red eye out of Las Vegas at 2 am so it is dark and much easier to sleep through the six to seven hour flight. The flights can get a little chilly since you are sitting in an air conditioned place for so long so bring a light jacket, you are likely to need one sometime during your Hawaii trip anyway, keep it handy in your carry-on.
The flight is a good time to reread any Activity brochures you may have picked up or to go over your itinerary to make sure you time is wisely spent, or just sit back and relax and prepare yourself for the slower lifestyle of Hawaii, after all you are going to Hawaii!