Hawaii Tourist Advice: Lock Your Car Doors


It’s so easy to get distracted by the beautiful scenery in Hawaii, but you do need to keep your wits about you, even in paradise. Here are some tips to keep your valuables protected:

  1. Take your valuables with you! We always try to bring a backpack with us that we can easily carry phones, cameras, tablets, wallets, etc.
  2. Be sure that you always lock your rental car and hide valuables completely out of sight. Don’t leave anything in sight that would tempt someone to break into the car.
  3. Many rental cars have alarm systems, so make sure you activate the alarm as you leave the car.
  4. Try to leave as many valuables as possible locked away in the safe of your hotel room or condo, if you have one. If I don’t have a safe available, I’ll lock valuables in my luggage.
  5. One little trick I do is that I try to hide maps and guidebooks if I’m going to be leaving the car for several minutes. I try not to make it too obvious that I’m a tourist.

Please don’t get me wrong, there’s not going to be a thief perched and ready to pounce on you at every corner. That’s not the case at all! Hawaii is really no different from any other tourist destination in that it has it’s own issues with opportunistic thieves. Just be careful, even when the scenery distracts you.

  1. Pull over shortly BEFORE you arrive at the attraction and put your valuables in the trunk, then proceeded to the parking lot. Never, Ever let people watch you park the car, open the trunk, place your purse, camera, laptop, camcorder and other valuables in the trunk and then walk towards the entrance of the ½ day hiking trail, boat ride or whatever. (Always hide your stuff before you get to the parking lot, not after)

  2. Thanks, Dave, for that wise addition. If you can, it’s smart to plan ahead like that. Sometimes it’s not always possible, so we just try to be as discreet about it as possible.

  3. I just had a mainland customer last week who told me that they were on their honeymoon last month on the Big Island and pulled over to take a picture of the beach. When they got back a few minutes later, someone had cut the tarp to their rental jeep and stolen all of their things. They had to spend the rest of the day at the Hilo police station instead of going to see the Volcano as planned.

    I felt so bad for her I included several extra free gifts with her order and a nice note so she wouldn’t feel badly about the other people that live here.

    And remember, opportunistic thieves don’t care if you are a tourist or local, so take precautions.

  4. HVG – Thank you for adding a timely example of why protecting your valuables is so important. I feel so bad for your customer, but I know she’ll be thrilled to get the extra goodies in her package. Your products are awesome!

  5. ok. thanks for the info guys i’ll keep that in mind, for when i go to hawaii i do not want to be in danger. you’re a star

  6. This post is timeless. I just ran into some tourists that had their window broken in their rental car. Not a very good idea to leave your wallet sitting on top of your laptop in the back of your car, completely visible. Isn’t that common sense?

  7. Whenever my partner and I travel the islands, we get a rental and try to keep it as empty as possible (take everything including rental agreements and receipts, anything with personal information) and LEAVE THE DOORS UNLOCKED. This keeps any potential thieves from busting the windows out which sometimes causes more headache and hassle.

    At times we will have junk in there that inevitably ends up accumulating, however, we always take anything of value with us.


  8. OMG. We are going to Hawaii for the first time and I’m planning our vacation now. We have been traveling a lot, but I never ever saw anywhere so many warnings about not leaving valuables in your car because of break ins.
    It’s easy to leave your stuff in your hotel or B&B if you are settled, but what about the days you’re relocating or arrive from an other island?
    Most places you can’t check in before 3:00 pm. When island hopping we will arrive in the morning so all our stuff will be in the car for the most part of the day. I’m almost afraid to leave the car unattended on those days and don’t know what to put in our itinerary. Any suggestions, accept for the obvious?


    1. Unfortunately, there’s not an easy answer. Tip #1 is the best solution that we know of. You could also inquire about early check in and/or early drop off of your luggage at your accommodations. We’ve dropped off our luggage at Hawaii hotels, but we still took our valuables with us in backpacks.

  9. As for before/after/between rentals, there is a luggage storage location at the airport in Honolulu. I was concerned about this as we have a red eye flight out the day we leave. This discover gave me peace of mind!

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