Restrictions on bring back souvenirs for Hawaii

Will be going on the Best if Hawaii trip in the near future already have a list of items family , relatives friends have requested I pick up for them. Among the items are Hawaiian salt, coffee and one of the Lei’s I’m certain to receive while on my trip. I’ve read something that says there might be some restrictions on bring back a Lei and also the coffee and salt?

If you have been to Hawaii, are you aware of any restrictions on brings back these items in your checked luggage?


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    Did this trip last year. On the flight TO Hawaii, we had to attest that we weren't bringing any fruits or vegetables in. I don't recall any restrictions going home. I know California has similar restrictions, so if you fly through there, there may be an issue.

    Our TD handed out bags of ground Kona coffee as a gift. I brought it home.

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    Coffee and salt, no problem, but you can buy those anywhere.
    Fresh flowers, not sure. You will have to check. Technically it is still the US and you are taking them out of Hawaii and not into where I could see possible restrictions. How is a fresh flower lai going to look after hours in a suitcase?
    This is what I would do, walk into any supermarket before you go and buy them there. Then pretend you got them in Hawaii, they will never know and they will be a lot cheaper and your suitcase a lot lighter.

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    Any salt, coffee or leis that are packaged for flights are no problem. You can buy many of them at airport store. As far as salt and coffee, even if they are opened they are fine if they are in your checked luggage, not sure about carry-ons although I don't remember any problems the last time we were there. Curiously enough a few years ago we wanted to fly with a particular brand of peanut butter that we hadn't seen elsewhere. Even though it was unopened I guess it was considered a liquid which exceeded the 3 oz. rule and was confiscated. Costco, ABC stores and Whaler stores are probably your best bets for souvenir types of coffee, salt, etc. probably the best prices also!

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    If you buy coffee be sure it’s labeled 100% Kona. Otherwise you’ll get a blend that may include only 10% Kona, the rest beans which may not even be from Hawaii. And because of labor laws and other expenses the prices are eye popping. 4 ozs of 100% Kona may set you back $20-25. I really don’t think other Hawaiian coffee is very good. We go every year and buy Peets at Safeway! Salt-avoid the stuff from Kauai which is pink because it’s mixed with their red dirt. It tastes muddy. Barbecue rubs are great souvenirs. You’ll find coffee rubs, rubs with hibiscus, many varieties. If you put any of this in your carry on have it where it can be pulled out easily. Some TSA screeners may flag your bag when it is X-rayed. Happened to us twice in many trips to the islands so it’s operator dependent. Mahalo.

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    I believe smugglers use coffee to mask other odors so that's likely why the extra screening.

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    edited August 2023

    I was on Hawaii tour earlier this year. Didn't think about restrictions; I dried the leis and they are now hanging, still looking beautiful; my palm leaf decoration from hotel craft class has faded, however. On tour you will also be greeted with leis of shells, beads, etc. Pineapples are sold at the airport, though they're readily available on mainland for fraction of the price. Lots of local specialties beyond coffee make great souvenirs and gifts: macadamia nut butter (put in checked luggage); fruit pastes: I found turmeric-ginger-pineapple; coffee butter lip balm from Kauai. I'm partial to pineapple scent in lotions and sugar and salt scrubs; check out Malie shop at The Royal Hawaiian or look for Maui Organics.

    British: Are you saying Philly supermarkets sell fresh flower leis???

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    No not leis😂😂😂😂

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