Pearl Harbor Health and Safety Tips


By: Mark Loproto

As you’re preparing for your trip to Pearl Harbor and the excitement and anticipation build, you’ll probably find yourself making a lot of mental checklists. For an experience this important—and one that you may not get another opportunity to enjoy—you’ll want to make notes of everything you need to bring (remember: no bags are allowed at Pearl Harbor), as well as tour pick-up times and locations.

Among the things to think about and plan for in the days leading up to your Pearl Harbor tour are some basic health and safety tips. Even for the fittest of visitors, there are a few common-sense precautions that will make the day more enjoyable and comfortable. It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Though you won’t be hiking up mountains or ziplining across valleys when you visit Pearl Harbor, there is a lot of walking, sometimes in humid weather and warmer temperatures under a strong tropical sun.

To best care for yourself during your tour, here are a few Pearl Harbor health and safety tips:

Stay Hydrated

We can’t emphasize this enough. It is very easy to get dehydrated in Hawaii’s tropical heat and sunshine. There are plenty of opportunities to buy a bottle of water and you can refill them often. Especially if you’re on one of the longer tours, you want to make sure you remain properly hydrated at all times. Drink even when you don’t feel thirsty. If you start to feel lightheaded, you may not have had enough water. Drink some more.

Grab a Bite to Eat

Laniakea Cafe

Laniakea Cafe inside the Pearl Harbor Aviation is a great place to grab lunch

Much like with water, you want to make sure you’re eating enough. There are a few food options scattered around Pearl Harbor, including Sliders Grill, just outside the entrance to the Battleship Missouri, and Laniakea Cafe inside the Pearl Harbor Aviation Museum. Some tours come with lunch included, but if yours doesn’t, be sure to talk to your guide about when is a good time to grab a bite.

Use Sunscreen

Another major Pearl Harbor health and safety tip is to avoid getting sunburned. The sun in Hawaii is much stronger than most visitors are used to, and a nasty sunburn can happen quickly. Be sure to apply sunscreen to protect yourself.

Take Advantage of Rest Ops

There are lots of places scattered around Pearl Harbor for a quick sit-down. Use them when you feel like you need to rest for a minute. If you’re part of a tour, be sure to tell your tour guide if you need to take a quick breather.

Watch Your Step

Pearl Harbor health and safety - watch your step when boarding the US Navy shuttle boat

Watch your step when boarding the US Navy shuttle boat

This might seem obvious, but there are several places around Pearl Harbor that require you to pay extra close attention to where you walk. One is on board the Battleship Missouri, where you’re able to explore the passageways and decks of this historic ship. You also want to be extra careful when you board the US Navy shuttle boat that takes you on a tour across the harbor to the USS Arizona Memorial.

Wherever you may be in Pearl Harbor, be mindful of your footing, especially on ramps and uneven ground.

Respect All Signage

Pearl Harbor is an active military base, which means that there are places where the public is not allowed. While there is plenty of space to move around in at Pearl Harbor, you’ll see signs here and there indicating areas where access is restricted. Mind these signs, as they are in place to keep you safe during your tour.

Enjoy Your Visit to Pearl Harbor

Now that you’re armed with these Pearl Harbor health and safety tips, all that remains is for you to show up at your designated pick-up location and enjoy your tour!

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