So you’re going snorkeling in Hawaii!
But you don’t have any snorkeling gear.
So what to do?!
Here are some things to think about! 👇
Free snorkel gear rental with your snorkeling tour
If the only snorkeling you plan on doing in Hawaii is through a tour, chances are that all the snorkeling gear you need will be included with your tour price. (Confirm this, though, by reading the snorkeling tour description carefully!)
Even if snorkeling gear is included in your tour, you may want to bring your own snorkel gear anyway! This way you can consistently go back to snorkeling gear that you know works for you.
If you’re not doing a snorkeling tour, what are your options for snorkel equipment?
There are plenty of beaches in Hawaii from which you can snorkel on your own!
In that case, what are some options to consider?
1. Renting snorkeling gear in Hawaii
This is an option many people choose when they go to Hawaii.
As a tourist destination with snorkeling as a popular activity, there are many rental stores around.
One of the most well-known snorkeling gear rental stores in Hawaii is Snorkel Bob’s, and you can find rental shops on Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island.
Your hotel may also rent snorkeling gear, although you can likely expect this to cost more.
Renting snorkeling gear means that you won’t have any snorkeling gear to take up precious space in your luggage on your flight to Hawaii.
But it also means you need to go to the rental location to pick-up and drop-off snorkeling gear.
How much does it cost to rent snorkel gear in Honolulu?
As an example, the cost of renting snorkeling gear in Hawaii is $36 a week from the Snorkel Bob’s if you go for the mid-range snorkeling gear package.
If you only want to go snorkeling once, then renting snorkeling gear will cost $12.
2. Buy snorkeling gear in Hawaii
And where to buy snorkel gear
Once again, with snorkeling as a popular activity in Hawaii, you can also find places to buy snorkeling gear around the major tourist spots.
ABC store is a convenience store that’s located on all major Hawaiian islands (Oahu, Maui, Big Island, Kauai), and you will be able to buy snorkeling gear there.
On Oahu, there is an ABC store in Waikiki on practically on every block!
If you’re planning on going grocery shopping as soon as you get to Hawaii, you should be able to find snorkeling gear at Walmart or Costco.
Personally, I would think buying snorkeling gear would be the better option compared to renting.
This way you can always take your snorkeling gear anywhere you go in case you end up unexpectedly at a spot that has some underwater marine life to be seen!
3. Buy snorkeling gear before you go to Hawaii
Why buy snorkeling gear before you go to Hawaii when you can buy it IN Hawaii?!
Well, if you don’t want to waste any of your precious Hawaii vacation time going to a store… buy everything before you leave!!
Also if you’re planning on having future snorkeling vacations, then you’ll be all set!
Aside from buying snorkeling gear online, in the summer, you may be able to find snorkeling gear at your local Walmart too. Try looking around the sports/outdoors section.
More of Hawaii marine life
If you’re interested in snorkeling in Hawaii, you may also be interested in these marine life in Hawaii:
- Hookipa Beach turtles in Maui
- Punaluu black sand beach turtles on the Big Island
- Waikiki turtles in Honolulu
- Laniakea Beach turtles on the North Shore of Oahu
- Hookipa Beach Hawaiian monk seals in Maui
Know before you go! Know what it is when you see it!
- humuhumunukunukuapua’a (Hawaii state fish… it’s not as hard to pronounce as you might think!)
- Hawaiian white-spotted toby (cute little Hawaiian pufferfish!)
Do you really NEED snorkeling gear?!
If you are a decent swimmer, the CHEAPEST way to snorkel is to simply put on a pair of swimming goggles!
Make sure they are clear goggles so you can clearly see the underwater life!
Of course, this means that you do need to come up for air every so often.
And, this might be bad, because you might have just found a really cool fish underwater, or even better a turtle swimming, and then you go up for a breath… and then you go back underwater and that fish or turtle may be GONE! 😉 Not that that’s happened to me… 😜
And if you don’t have an underwater camera, you may want a cheap waterproof phone case instead that can work as a budget-friendly alternative! I have also seen waterproof phone cases sold in Hawaii at ABC Stores for like $20. I got my waterproof phone case online for a lot less than that!
No matter what snorkel gear you choose to use, you’ll also want to think about what clothes to wear snorkeling!
The cheapest way to go would be to wear a swimsuit and go off swimming in search of those little fishies and turtles. But you’ll definitely want to lather up on the sunscreen! (Go for reef-safe sunscreen!)
If you want to avoid having to deal with putting on sunscreen every 2 hours (or at least less of it), consider wearing a swim shirt aka rash guard instead!
Here’s WHY a rash guard can be better!
Also, many of Hawaii’s snorkeling beaches have rocky beach entrances.
So if you’re not wearing the snorkeling fins, water shoes for snorkeling can be a good idea.
Water shoes are also a good idea in case you accidentally kick the coral reef when you are swimming on top of it in shallow water.
Coral reef is what the fish are attracted to in order to find food, so you might be attracted to coral reef too! 😉
Coral reef is SHARP so you want to avoid touching it at all! (A good reason to also have a basic first aid kit in your beach bag, by the way!)
And if you’ve decided that you DO want to BUY your snorkeling BEFORE you go to Hawaii… Be sure to see this list of snorkeling essentials for Hawaii!
And if you haven’t yet figured out where to go snorkeling in Hawaii on your own:
- Best snorkeling spots on Oahu
- Best snorkeling spots on Maui
- Best snorkeling spots on the Big Island
- Best snorkeling spot on Lanai
Also it can be a perfect day to go hiking and then recover with swimming and snorkeling! And so…
- Best hikes on Oahu with amazing views
- Best hikes on Maui with amazing views
- Best hikes on the Big Island with amazing views
- Best hikes on Lanai with amazing views
HAPPY SNORKELING IN HAWAII!
👇 Explore the Hawaiian islands map on google maps!
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Top things to pack for your Hawaii vacation!
The ultimate beach towel for travel?!Turkish towels are considered to be more absorbent and lightweight than your average beach towel. Be sure to check out turkish towels like these!
The cheapo way to waterproof your phoneYou can take underwater pictures with a simple waterproof phone case like this. Touch screen may not work well underwater - try the volume button to snap the pic instead!
Wear less sunscreen by wearing a UPF swim shirt!Wearing a swim shirt means less skin that's exposed to the sun which means less sunscreen you need to apply! See about wearing swim shirts with UV protection like these when you're snorkeling.
More for your Hawaii packing list
- How a cheapo waterproof phone case works
- Why wear water shoes for the beach
- Why a personal swim buoy is an essential for snorkeling and swimming in the ocean
- Essentials to pack for Hawaii
- Best shoes for Hawaii