Hawaii is a world-famous vacation destination to the North of America well known for its scenic beauty and a perfect all-year-round climate. It is a fun for all place full of activities and adventure, incredible nightlife, great shopping options, fantastic food with an ancient blend of ethnic influences and unique traditions. If you are reading this list of things to pack for a trip to Hawaii, it means that your package tour is on the anvil. Please do read our blogs on the BEST THINGS TO DO IN HAWAII and BEST PLACES TO STAY IN HAWAII (INSERT LINKS TO PREVIOUS TOPICS HERE) so you are well aware of what to expect and things to try while touring the island.
Returning to the topic, while planning for a trip to Hawaii, knowing what to pack is really important so you don't require an entourage to handle all the luggage and above all, things that may lie inside the bag during the trip. The crux is to fight the urge to carry your entire closet to the trip and travel light. But foremost, it's best to save your master list in an editable format on Evernote, or Microsoft Onenote or for that matter on a paper that you can access later to add or remove things from.
Here is a list of the must have essentials during your trip to Hawaii; things that will help you plan a safe and enjoyable vacation trip to Hawaii and also things that are best to avoid.
CLOTHES (FOR MEN AND WOMEN)
Things you should wear when in Hawaii depends a lot on the areas you are about to visit and the activities you've planned.
In general, breathable, lightweight clothes, shorts, sandals and sweat-wicking athletic attire for the day’s activity are acceptable attires for the occasion. If you are traveling to cooler locations, do carry Linen, and silk clothing. Include accessories like socks, hats, and pajamas too.
- For Women: Swimsuit (2), swimsuit cover-up or sundress, tank tops, shorts, and t-shirts, or maxi dresses, accessories like a hat, and UV sunglasses.
- For Men: Generally light, airy clothing like shorts, t-shirts, jeans, jacket, shoes, undergarments and accessories such as UV protected sunglasses. some clean outfits to change in the evenings after the day’s activities
- Night Out: Planning for an evening out, in Waikiki, Honolulu or attending a theater show at Oahu, carry a dressier outfit as well.
- During Winters: It's a mistake to pack all shorts and T-shirts for a trip to Hawaii as early morning, evenings, especially if on the northeastern part of Hawaiian islands can be really cold. Also, If you plan to visit colder places like upcountry Maui, Lanai, Waimea on the Big Island or scale the summit of Mauna Loa or Mauna Kea peak where nights can get quite colder, don’t forget to carry lightweight fleece, light sweater, and hooded jacket.
- If traveling during the rainy season between April to October then it's mandatory to carry a water-repellant jacket and pant too.
Pack some comfortable, practical, and decent looking footwear that also provides good cushioning and support for the feet as this will be your staple attire for the trip. Avoid $1 slippahs, as they call it that may leave the feet unsupported and sore.
Hydroflask keeps your water icy cold and is best for the sweltering tropical heat. Vacuum insulated drink containers are best for a beach repose that keeps the hot drinks hot and your cold drinks cold. Besides, there is a drive to reducing single-use plastics in Hawaii.
WATERPROOF PHONE COVER
A waterproof phone cover is a wise investment because you are bound to go to the beach, island hopping, or tip-toeing a waterfall. It keeps the phone away from dust, water, sand, and scratches and handles a drop to some extent.
A RELIABLE POWER BANK
Spending a few hours on Google Maps trying to get around places is a sure way to drain your phone fast. A power bank is a necessity and good ones can give 3-4 cycles of phone charge or camera battery charge.
Any type of water activity – be it the pool or the ocean is going to wreak havoc and leave your hairs frizzy and frayed out due to access salt and chlorine. Treat your hair after each dip with a conditioner.
QUICK-DRY SAND-FREE BEACH TOWEL
Quick-dry sand-free towels are the rage amongst the beach lovers. Just squeeze it in and it fits snuggly in the bag.
REEF-SAFE SUNSCREEN & SPF LIP BALM
Too many people take Hawaiian sun not to be as harsh and the mistake can leave them to look like a lobster quickly. Wearing sunscreen and applying aloe vera gel is pretty necessary. However, certain chemicals have been directly tied to coral bleaching and therefore are banned in Hawaii, so use only reef-safe sunscreen.
A PERFECT BEACH BAG
You’ll need to carry a lot of beach essentials in a bag. Beach bags with a built-in waterproof compartment keeps items protected and safe from a water bottle or a sandy swimsuit. These have organizer compartments for items like shades, headphones, and other small items. It is a great choice that doubles as your carry-on for the plane.
Selfie sticks are a great way to capture the best and most engaging angles. Carry a sturdy selfie stick that can handle impacts of the best cliff jump and is also long enough to get the whole crew in the shot. Preferably carry a stick that can just whip out and doesn't have a 3-arm bend so it doesn't require adjustments.
LIGHTWEIGHT RAIN JACKET
Hawaii has great weather but there are occasional short bursts of rain in the day, especially in the wet season. Lightweight rain jacket comes quite handy during mountain summits, late-night moped rides, and of course in the rain or waterfall spray.
WATERPROOF DIGITAL ACTION CAMERA
Waterproof cameras are durable and take amazing underwater photos and can be paired with a selfie stick or a dome port. It can be mounted to your gear and has features like advanced video stabilization and is the best choice while snorkeling.
Money belts are a secure and practical solution as these are meant to be tied to the waist and keeps your mind away from worrying about your valuables, keys, and other necessary documents. A good thing about a money belt is that it is concealed and nobody can detect if you are wearing one.
WORLDWIDE POWER ADAPTOR
A good quality universal adapter plugs into any wall without fail and its recommended to be carried along instead of purchasing a new one that is compatible in every single country.
Water-related adventures can be found all over Hawaii. But while scaling them, care must be taken regarding the wet, sharp and slippery surfaces. Good hiking shoes will help avoid cuts on corals and stumbling upon zagged and rocky surfaces.
A handy device when the weather isn’t favorable or you want to ideal away your time relaxing at the beach reading. It's a good carry-on for a few hours of reading in the plane or bus, plus, it never hurts to grasp a few facts for an engaging discussion.
This is a great guide book for travelers. The one big Hawaii guidebook is also now segregated into separate ones for each major island like Oahu, Maui, Kaui, and the Big Island.
In addition to clothing and gears it's always better to double-check what you are carrying and ensure the following items are in the list:
Pack in a carry case to hold important documents like driver’s license, insurance cards, flight information, hotel Confirmation, car rental Information, and passport
- Pack iPhone, SLR, or film camera and charger for the electronic items
- An Extra Bag for Souvenirs
- Separate cash for emergency
- Personal medications
WHAT TO AVOID CARRYING
- Expensive Dresses/Clothing
- Expensive cameras, jewelry, laptops, and electronics in carry-on luggage.
- High Heels shoes or boots
- Winter Jackets, bulky woolens or sweatshirts
- Scarves, Knit Hats, Gloves
- Shampoo, conditioner, soap
- A Hair Dryer
- Snorkeling and Scuba Diving Equipment
- Beach Toys and Chairs
- Diving equipment, surfboards, boogie boards, etc.
- Expensive technology, laptops, and heavy books
- Banned items by the Hawaii Department of Agriculture Restrictions