When I vacation somewhere special, I always make a point to take home a souvenir or two as a reminder of the trip. But with so many ABC stores, boutiques, shops and kiosks offering up such a variety of gifts in Hawaii, it’s hard to decide what type of souvenir to bring home. In my opinion though, it all comes down to what symbolizes your trip best. Was it the tropical cocktails you enjoyed throughout your stay at the hotel? The Hawaiian decorated towels or pareos you used at the beach? The local flavors you enjoyed at the restaurants or during tours? The scents that wafted on the breeze in the evenings?
Whatever reminds you most of your relaxing trip in Hawaii is the type of souvenir I always recommend. And to get you started, here’s a list of the five most popular ones that people love to bring home.
Apparel– Whether you purchase a shirt from your favorite Hawaii restaurant, a sarong from the hotel boutique or a hat from the local marketplace, apparel is a great reminder of your trip to the islands. And each season the styles change, so you’re likely to find something that not only has the logo you like, but the style and size you prefer too. There’s nothing like sporting the tshirt you purchased from the luau or tour you enjoyed and having someone back home exclaim, “hey, I’ve been there too!” to recap on memories.
Glassware– This is a classic item to bring home or give as a gift, since you can find specialty glassware items almost anywhere on the island for inexpensive prices. Shot glasses were always one of my favorite souvenirs to collect, but you can also purchase coffee mugs from your favorite local coffee shop or a signature cocktail glass from your favorite bar. For gift ideas, try purchasing the local ingredients needed to make a lava flow or mai tai and wrap it in a glass for a ‘ready-to-mix Hawaii’ souvenir!
Local Goodies– Who can leave Hawaii without bringing either a bag of Kona coffee or a jar of macadamia nuts home? These are the little things that I stock up on because they’re perfect for gifts, or just to keep at home to reinvigorate the senses of Hawaii! There is a local brand in Waialua called North Shore Goodies that makes tropical pancakes mixes and syrups. With flavors like guava, coconut, macadamia nut, lilikoi and coconut, Hawaiian style pancakes are a great reminder of the islands! Another local goodie idea is plants, which can be purchased at the airport after check-in. You can find plumeria stems and hibiscus starters to plant at home, or even just a fresh scented island lei to wear during your flight. Another local goodie that doesn’t cost a dime is shells, which can be found along any one of Hawaii’s beaches, and make for a simple yet unique souvenir.
Beauty– A favorite souvenir item among the ladies is jewelry, for good reason. Hawaii boasts beautiful pearls, shells, diamonds and designs that are unique to the islands and a treasure to bring home. Whether you’re purchasing jewelry as a gift or for yourself, adorning the body with reminders of Hawaii is a great souvenir idea! For a lesser expensive option, try lotions and perfumes that are tropically scented, like pikake, white ginger, plumeria, mango, coconut or gardenia. Scents are a huge memory trigger too, and serve as great reminders of your relaxing vacation!
Artwork– If you’re a collector of fine art, you’ll be amazed at the amount of beautiful masterpieces that are created in Hawaii! From watercolors and oil paintings to giclees and photography, the artist community is alive and thriving in the Aloha state. Consider browsing through one of the many art galleries on the island and take home a piece of Hawaii, or find a simple card to frame when you’re back home. Art souvenirs range in price to accommodate anyone from the budget traveler to the high-end art collector.