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For U.S. travelers, no passport is required to visit these beautiful islands.

Alex Schechter
January 31, 2017

Hawaii may be the 50th state, but with all that water separating it from the mainland—2,479 miles of it, to be exact—travelers can’t be blamed for second-guessing what documents they should bring with them to the airport.

Luckily, those concerns can quickly be put to rest.

Since 1959, the year Hawaii officially joined the U.S., no passport has been required for entry by U.S. travelers. That means any U.S. citizen or legal U.S. resident is allowed to hop on a flight sans passport and, several hours later, hit the sparkling shores of Oahu or swoop through tropical forests on Kauai.

(Like with any domestic destination, you will need a government-issued ID.)

Related: Kauai Travel Guide

A multi-destination trip is really the only instance in which a traveler would need his or her passport. If you’re heading on to another destination like Australia or Japan after Hawaii, then you’ll definitely want to have your trusty passport on hand.

Hawaii’s official tourism website is quick to answer other concerns from travelers heading for the Aloha State as well.

For example, you’ll need to adjust your watch: Hawaii is so far geographically from the rest of the country, it has its own time-zone. Hawaii-Aleutian Standard Time (HAST) lags five hours behind Eastern Standard Time (EST) and two hours behind Pacific Standard Time (PST).

But the rest is much simpler for the American traveler: Hawaii’s currency is the U.S. dollar (so no conversion is necessary), and Hawaiians drive on the same side of the road as the rest of the country. Plus, since temperatures are so mild, all you’ll really need to pack is a bathing suit, some t-shirts and a sweater for the evenings.

Related: Oahu Travel Guide

Other common misperceptions about traveling to Hawaii? “That [we don’t have] cell service or Wi-Fi,” laughs Grace Antipala, a flight attendant for Hawaiian Airlines. “People also think everyone surfs and hulas here, and that all drinks are served in coconuts and have umbrellas.”

Meanwhile, new hotels are shooting up in Hawaii at a rapid rate, with the Koloa Landing Resort in Kauai having just wrapped up a massive $100 million expansion project.

In Maui, 390 luxury villas are set to debut at the Westin Nanea Ocean Villas, overlooking the spectacular Ka’anapali Beach, in summer 2017. 

Plenty of other reasons are tempting travelers, like the chance to see the world’s largest active volcano, or splurging on a stay at Paradise Point Estates, the high-security beach house of choice for the Obamas.

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