Planning a trip to Hana takes, well, some planning. What follows is a simple list of recommended items you’ll want to bring along for drive on the Road to Hana.
What to pack for the car:
* Gas up! Remember to fill your tank. Gas stations are few and far between.
* A map. If you have a phone with GPS, as long the map can be accessed while off-line, it will be sufficient. But having an actual paper map handy is always a good idea. You can most likely pick up a free map at your hotel or condo.
* Something to listen to. It’s optional, but music is always fun. There are also plenty of “audio tours” available on CD or even as apps for your phone. If you use a phone app, make sure to bring a car charger as you’ll be listening to it for a few hours. The Hawaii Public Libraries (Lahaina, Kihei, Wailuku, Kahului, Makawao and Hana) have audio tours available to check-out. You can also check out guide books. If you’re not a resident, you can get a 3-month temporary library card. With the card, you also receive wi-fi and computer access, in case you want to download or print out maps. You can also print out boarding passes when the time comes to fly away.
* A small cooler. Another optional item, but a cheap, small cooler with some ice to keep drinks and snacks (fresh poke, anyone?) cold is nice to have.
* A garbage bag. Along the way, you’ll accumulate trash.
What to pack for the body:
* Sunscreen. Sure, you’ll be spending most of your time in the car, but you will be stepping out, eventually. At least, we hope you will!
* Mosquito repellent. If you want to explore the beautiful forests, you’ll probably want to spray. The mosquitos are often vicious out there.
* Itch cream. For all of those mosquitos bites that happen after you jump in a river or tide pool that washes off your bug repellent.
* Hand sanitizer
* Something to alleviate motion sickness. You can purchase dramamine over the counter. Or, there are other natural remedies that may work for you. Of course, if you’re not prone to motion sickness, you can ignore this. But the road is windy, and you’re spending plenty of time gawking out the windows, so motion sickness is quite common.
What to wear:
* Hat and sunglasses. Again, you’ll be in the car for most of the trip, but once you get out of car, you want to keep yourself protected from the sun.
* Comfy clothes to hike in. Shorts are fine. T-shirts and tank tops are fine. For most people, whatever you wear to the beach will be OK. The caveat being, if you’re going out with the sole intention of doing some of the bigger hikes, well, you probably already know what to bring on a long hike.
* A change of clothes. If you swim or go on a particularly muddy hike, it might be nice to have dry, clean clothes to change into for the long drive back. You may not need them, but better safe than sorry.
* Hiking shoes or sneakers. The trails can get slick. For most of the hikes near the highway, flip-flops should be OK. But you’ll probably feel a lot better in actual shoes.
* Day pack. A light backpack to carry water, a towel, your camera, etc.
What else to bring:
* A towel. One towel for the entire car will probably suffice. If you go to swimming hole, you may want to dry your feet before you get back into your shoes, but everything else will dry naturally. A towel is also nice in case you spill something in your car.
* Plastic bags. Not for garbage, but rather for wet and/or muddy clothes and shoes.
* A camera. OK, most people just use their phones, but if you have a nice camera, bring it (and a spare battery and memory card). Word of caution, though. If you leave it in your car, hide it. There are break-ins. Don’t make it easy for criminals.
* Water. Water. Water. If there’s one thing to bring with you, it’s water. The road is long and hot. There aren’t too many places to purchase water and you’ll want to stay hydrated.
* Snacks. There are actually great fruit and snack stands along the way. The banana bread stands are always popular. However, they’re not always open or they run out of food. So, to be safe, you should bring along chips, veggies, candy, spam musubis, etc. to munch on. Best case scenario, you won’t need it. But, it’s a long ride. We’re guessing you’ll eat everything you bring.
* Cash. Most of the fruit and snack stands only accept cash
Continue reading our Hana Guides:
Hana Day Trip Planning Guide: 12 scenic spots to visit
Hana Day Trip Planning Guide: Where to eat