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Can you take food into Hawaii?

Discussion in 'US - Hawaii Timesharing' started by ronandjoan, Nov 28, 2007.

  1. ronandjoan

    ronandjoan TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    In our suitcase? What is allowed?
    Thanks
     
  2. moonlightgraham

    moonlightgraham TUG Member

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    Whatcha thinkin of bringing? They do have grocery stores. Most of the really expensive things you couldn't bring: milk, meats, etc.. Most here will say what you might save in bringing items over isn't worth the hassle factor.
     
  3. philemer

    philemer Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Lifetime Member

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    There is a state website that lists what you can't bring in but I don't remember it. Try a google search. I know you can't bring in fresh fruit. Many people freeze meats/roasts, put them in a box, and send them as checked luggage. We bring a box of our favorite cereal and canned tuna/chicken, all in our checked luggage.
     
  4. jtridle

    jtridle TUG Member

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    You don't say which islands you are going to or how long you are stayng there but if you belong to Costco, I sure woudn't bother bringing food and if you don't belong, it might be worth your buying a membership, especially if you are going to cook a lot and have several people with you. We stayed two weeks (week on Maui and week on Big Island) and had 8 people and did a lot of cooking. I took my chances and even got by borrowing my niece's card. I'm surprised I got by with it because it has picture on it but my niece and I do look quite a bit alike and very close in age. I don't think they looked that close at the card and they definitely didn't look close at all except upon checkout. There is a Costco on Big Island, Maui, Oahu and Kauai. Costs at Costco in Hawaii are about same as in continental U.S. Very cheap. And great meat. Sam's Club is another option on Oahu. We found buying groceries this way a great value.
     
  5. DeniseM

    DeniseM Moderator

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    There is no reason to take any food to Hawaii. They have major grocery chains and Costco. The few cents you might save will definitely not be worth the trouble of lugging it around, IMNSHO.
     
  6. Hawaiibarb

    Hawaiibarb TUG Member

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    Some restrictions

    As far as I know, the only foods you cannot bring in are fresh fruits and vegetables.....which you would be less likely to bring in anyway. We also cannot take these items out of the state. Otherwise, I would bring things like spices, simply because they are small yet a duplicate expense if you buy it here. Otherwise, save yourself the hassle, use Costco or Sam's Club, or the supermarkets with card discounts i.e. Safeway and Foodland.
     
  7. Hoc

    Hoc TUG Lifetime Member

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    Just remember that Hawaii is a state like any other. The question you ask is very similar to asking, "Can you take food into Pennsylvania?"

    The only thing is that, because Hawaii is an island, there are certain problems that have not made it out there. Certain plant-destroying insects and pests, like the Med Fly, don't exist in the islands (nor do snakes, poisonous spiders, poison ivy or poison oak). There are restrictions on bringing certain uncooked fruits or vegetables in because they can harbor those insects or pests. The U.S. Department of Agriculture or the Hawaii State Deparment of Agriculture can let you know those restrictions.

    But, if you plan on bringing in a snake, black widow or some poison ivy, you could get in trouble. :D
     
  8. Hoc

    Hoc TUG Lifetime Member

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    The other advice you have been given above is also valid. The cost of food in Hawaii is a little bit higher than here on the mainland, but the difference for a week's worth of food is very small, probably about $10 to $20 for a family of 4. They also have Costco and Sam's Club, as well as Wal-Mart and other discount grocers, and the grocery store chains include Safeway (Von's here on the west coast), as well as a lot of Hawaii-based Supermarkets, such as Star Market and Times Supermarket, which are every bit as good as the ones on the mainland.

    In addition, if you bring in food, you miss out on the amazing flavors of the local bananas, papayas, pineapples, and some of the local fruits, as well as some local food specialties that you can find only in the Hawaii stores (like Lion Coffee, Kauai Cookie Co. Cookies, Maui-made Mochi, One-Ton Chips, Yick Lung Shrimp Chips and crack seed, etc.)

    Travel lighter, enjoy your trip more, and don't bother carrying food out there.
     
  9. Hoc

    Hoc TUG Lifetime Member

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    Actually, you can bring in most fresh fruit. Only a few are not allowed, because of their ability to harbor the insects and pests that are not currently in the islands. Just like how you can take out pineapple, but not bananas, because bananas can harbor pests that exist in Hawaii but not elsewhere.
     
  10. ciscogizmo1

    ciscogizmo1 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    We just came back from Maui over Thanksgiving. While most things aren't as expensive as the mainland there are some things that were. We spent 7 nights at the Westin and probably spent about $300 on groceries. I'm buying for a family 4--- 2 adults & 2 kids. I'm sharing my prices just to show that food is a big part of your budget in Hawaii.

    Normally at home I spend about $150 to $200 per week on Groceries so, I thought it was a considerable amount more especially since we ate out as well at Fish & Company for lunch ($90); Mama's Fishhouse ($300); Thanksgiving Dinner ($200), Westin Bar & Grill ($55 - for dinner) and Hula Grill dinner ($90). Now, we could have probably skipped Thanksgiving Dinner & Mama's Fishhouse but we are on vacation afterall.

    So, for $300 we ate 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 3 dinners in. At home, I would have eaten more meals for around $150 for the week.

    We had for dinner: Salmon, Marinated skirt steak, and shepherds pie. Also, forgot we had ahi tuna or poki everyday as well (that's not in the $300 price as we bought it daily). Lunch we had sandwiches, hot dogs or leftovers. Breakfast we had frozen pancakes, eggs & bacon, toasts, bagels or cereal. Our other big expense was the beverages: we had beer, diet pepsi, guava juice, milk (which is $6.49 per gallon), root beer (for the kids) & bottled water. For snacks, I bought fruit, chips & dip, brie & crackers and frozen Simply dip ice cream.

    Now, I'm not just sharing these prices to show off but I'm showing you so that you won't be in shock. I thought the groceries were higher than in previous trips. I bring all my own spices, chocolate milk mix (my youngest won't drink regular milk), tea bags, flavored water packets, snacks like pretzels, fruit rollups & cookies.

    Here are some prices from my receipt:

    Papaya $5.03
    Pineapple $4.99
    2% milk $6.49
    Cucumber .96
    Avocado $2.39
    Roast Beef (1 lb) $7.49
    Frito Lay Natural Chips $4.59
    Tillmock Cheese (1/2 lb) $5.29

    I live in California.

    Oh... to answer your question.. Yes, you can take food to Hawaii. Usually, I take a small suitcase. I know some people shake their heads but it makes it more affordable for us and less shopping. I won't go to Costco unless we are staying at least 2 weeks. I won't shop at Safeway unless I have to because their produce just sucks. I much prefer the Star Markets. I didn't find their prices out of line with California except in produce, spices, & meats.

    So, I take a small suitcase with cereal, olive oil, spices, tea, water flavored packets, rice (enough for one night serving), snacks for the kids that I bought at Costco here and just divide into smaller portions for Hawaii, ziploc bags, aluminum foil, sharpie marker, salt & pepper, pasta, etc.. Then, for the way home I use that suitcase for souvenirs. On this past trip I was buying stuff for my patio. Anyways, I'm already packing for 4 and to go all carry-ons is impossible for us so, one more suitcase isn't going to break us. It saves us some money and our kids have their favorite snacks.

    Another thing, my kids eat way more in Hawaii especially since we swim in the ocean & snorkel everyday plus swim in the pool. This past trip we went hiking and they did a 4 mile hike and were starving at the end of it.

    Do what works for you and your family!!

    Hope that helps..
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2007
  11. ronandjoan

    ronandjoan TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Thanks everyone for their ideas.

    What we usually do is take our leftovers from our other timeshare living (since we are on a 6-month timeshare jaunt) and mainly we need one morning's food (the first morning) since my husband is diabetic and needs very specific foods (he happens to have the kind that he cannot eat any starch -- this has become very limiting for grabbing a quick (continental) breakfast and not even any cereal.)

    Carrying a small cooler with leftover cheese, peanut butter, maybe even celery, therefore has been a lifesaver and very easy to do - and it stays cold in the airplane!

    Of course we go shopping immediately at a grocery store, but "immediately" means a casual next morning....and he needs something ebfore then
     
  12. Hoc

    Hoc TUG Lifetime Member

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    I'd check on the celery if I were you -- my guess is that it won't be allowed, unless cooked (yuck). But no problem with the rest. You can get some celery in the Star Supermarket in the small shopping center just outside Kahului Airport. That's maybe a 5-minute detour once you get in the rental car, and a short stop.
     
  13. philemer

    philemer Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Lifetime Member

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    This website seems to disagree with you Hoc. See #4 http://www.hawaii.gov/dlnr/Aliens3.html It doesn't list specific fruits & vegetables. Is there an official site that does?

    Edit: See post below

    Phil
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2007
  14. philemer

    philemer Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Lifetime Member

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    Finally found the official site. See What
    you can bring into Hawaii
    Looks like most common fruits & vegies are OK but you need to declare them. Once declared you'll have to talk to an inspector.

    Joan--looks like your items will be OK :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2007
  15. Neesie

    Neesie TUG Member

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    Ronandjoan, I also am diabetic and carry a small softsided cooler. Until recently I needed it simply because the insulin had to be cooled, but now they say it can be at room temperature. So I used that as an excuse to bring some food with also!

    Now I have only flown once since the new "gel" rule. Luckily the gel packs I used in my cooler were the right size but the security gal gave me a dirty look because I didn't have the gel pack in it's own baggie. So live and learn.

    I can appreciate how your hubby has to have something with him when he travels and how inconvenient it is to get right out there shopping the next morning before breakfast. We diabetics know that you're likely to be at your lowest blood sugar in the morning.

    One of my favorite things to take with on the plane is a homemade vinegar based cole slaw. I'm not sure if that's considered a liquid since it is a little runny. I'll take my chances since I'll pace a few more snacks. I'm disappointed that people can't take beverages that are factory sealed.
     
  16. DeniseM

    DeniseM Moderator

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    One way to avoid high prices is to buy your fruits and veggies at farmer's markets or fruit stands...delicious produce and good prices.
     
  17. ronandjoan

    ronandjoan TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I have never had to fill out a two page form to go to PA like we just did yesterday coming in to HI.....

    hmmmmm,..... it was longer than the form to get into Mexico!

    All that said, the agricultral inspector was standing at his station at the airport and not a SINGLE person stopped to speak with him, including those with HUGE coolers!!!! One family have 5!
     
  18. ronandjoan

    ronandjoan TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    Thanks Nessie for your comments. It worked out fine - although it is still very unclear!!!!

    we are not having a rental car here since we are leaving tomorrow for the BIg Island, but we now know there are ABC (convenience) stores everywhere to get some needed items - altho we won;t need to this trip. We actually ate a Denny's last night!!!!???? I'm sure everyone will say HOW AWFUL! but it was a block from our resort (Wyndham's at Beachwalk) and we were exhausted from being with our family in Seattle for the holidays. Do I need to say more It takes us days torecover since we are always working on projects, babysitting, cooking, carpooling, etc

    we'll get a Car rental on Hawaii and then can stop at a store on the way there...
    Thanks everyone for your comments
     
  19. talkamotta

    talkamotta TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    I was suprised to see some of your prices. Milk on the islands was cheaper in September than it was in Orlando in October (just an example) I took the boyfriend's parents with us the last 2 times. We would hit Costco on Maui, the Big Island and Kauai. Had crab, steak, chicken and some soups. Ate a few meals out but mostly cooked (the mother and boyfriend like cooking :cheer: ) The father is a diabetic and he did just fine. Had to make sure he had the right kind of snacks and me and the mother had the right kind of wine and cheese. The parents are very well to do, so at times I was afraid my cheapness would get on thier nerves but..... when they got home they went to costco and steamed the crab just like we did in Hawaii and drank some of the Hawaiian wine we had suitcased over. They called me and told me thank you for such a wonderful trip.

    If I take anything on a trip, it will be some spices, foil and sealable plastic bags for left overs. When we jump from island to island we will carry more between the islands.
     
  20. Hoc

    Hoc TUG Lifetime Member

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    And you did not have to do that going to HI, either. The second page is a voluntary survey conducted by the Hawaii Tourism Board. They collect information on who goes there and why, for purposes of encouraging tourism, since it is Hawaii's biggest industry. It's not PA's biggest industry (I don't know why anyone would want to go to Pittsburgh), so they don't do it. But it is very clearly marked as a voluntary form.

    With regard to the first page, unless you are bringing in live animals, plants or soil, you simply check two boxes, sign and date at the bottom, and you're done.
     
  21. meatsss

    meatsss TUG Member

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    I take my meat ...

    as I own a meat market. We grill almost every night and have dinner on the lanai either on Maui or Kauai as we watch the sun set. Pack it frozen in a cooler and ship it as checked luggage. It stays frozen solid from the west coast to the islands. But fisrt place we hit upon landing is Costco. For adult beverages, salad fixins, snacks, and even some souvenirs, it's hard to beat their prices.
     
  22. ownsmany

    ownsmany TUG Member

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    prices reasonable

    For me, the price on Oahu seemed reasonable. We shopped at the grocery store near Ko Olina. I usually bring things like salt, pepper, hot choc mix (for the kids), water package mix (I only like the green tea type), popcorn etc. Sometimes bring the pasta my daughter likes (she is very picky and it's hard to find it sometimes). Whatever dry food I can pack. I use that space on the way home for soveniours.

    I'd like to start packing carrot sticks, celery, etc - so we'd have more healthy snacks on the plane. I seem to pack junk food for the plane ride and need to do better.

    Prices in Hawaii - reasonable - prices at Paradise Island, Bahamas - unreasonable.
     
  23. Kauai Kid

    Kauai Kid TUG Review Crew: Veteran TUG Member

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    TSA WOULDN'T LET us bring two cans of soda in the backpack. They also won't allow anything but blue ice for a cooler.

    Sterling
     
  24. philemer

    philemer Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Lifetime Member

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    It's been that way since 9/11. No liquids in carry-ons, including ice. :(
     
  25. glenn1000

    glenn1000 Tug Review Crew: Rookie TUG Member

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    Two weeks ago my spreadable cheese (for cheese and crackers lunch on the plane) was confiscated. :bawl: If you want to bring cheese, I was told it has to be solid.
     

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