Travel Tips: What to Pack for Hawaii

What to Pack for Hawaii

Being regular travelers to Hawaii, we’ve become efficient packers to the Hawaiian Islands and often get asked what to pack for Hawaii. Packing for a trip to Hawaii is simple as long as you remember one simple guideline- Don’t pack too much. Most people tend to over pack when visiting Hawaii or any other tropical destinations.

Only Pack Carry-Ons for Hawaii

When flying to Hawaii, you shouldn’t have to check any baggage. Packing light will save you time, effort, and money from airline charges for checked baggage. You are going to want that extra money for once you arrive, not have to use it to get there. With checked baggage fees starting at $25 per bag to Hawaii, not checking baggage can save more than a bit of money. Everything you need should fit into your two carry-on items. If it doesn’t, you know you’ve packed too much.

You’ll only need the allotted 2 carry-ons for luggage to Hawaii.

What to Pack for Hawaii

Start off with packing the smaller of your two bags focusing on what items you will need while in route to your destination. These are the items you will want to easily access and will be placed in the bag placed under the seat in front of you. It’s all about what you will need in-flight and keeping valuables close by.

What to Pack for Hawaii
  • Pack a travel-size bottle of hand sanitizer and anti-bacterial wipes to be able to clean your seat armrests, tray, seat belt buckle, and any other frequently used surfaces in your seat area before you sit down. Doing this will help you stay healthy while flying. If you aren’t able to make it to the bathroom before eating, the hand sanitizer will come in handy to clean your hands.
  • Your own fill-able water bottle. It’s important to stay hydrated during a long flight. You’ll also want this to take with you on hikes and to the beach while in Hawaii.
  • A neck pillow to make yourself more comfortable and to take a nap on the long flight over to Hawaii.
  • Snacks such as fresh fruit, nuts, high-protein bars, and all-natural jerky.
  • Camera with memory cards and battery charger. You will take a ton of pictures while in Hawaii, make sure to bring an extra memory card with you.
  • A tablet with charger and headphones for watching movies during the flight and to stay connected back home. You won’t need more than this since your days will be filled with enjoying the Hawaiian Islands. The headphones can also be used to watch any in-flight entertainment. If you don’t know the Hawaiian Islands well, download a guidebook, such as one from the Hawaii Revealed series. to your tablet to

    read on the plane.

  • Phone with charger.
  • Sunglasses. You will pretty much wear these all day in Hawaii.
  • Hat. Pick one that will cover your ears and nose to give you extra protection from the sun.
  • Lip balm with SPF, medications, and other travel-size 3.4 oz or under toiletries all packed in a quart size zip-lock bag.
  • Photo ID with all travel itineraries, confirmations, and boarding passes.

If all of your items don’t fit into your two carry-on bags, you are packing too much.

What Clothes to Pack for Hawaii

When it comes to what clothing to pack for Hawaii, you don’t need much. Hawaii is very informal. Keep the idea of resort wear in mind and you should be fine.

  • 2 swimsuits/board shorts. That way you will always have one to wear while the other one is drying.
  • 3-4 Beach cover-ups. These can be tunics, sundresses, and/or sarongs you can make into a dress. Most likely, you will be going places right before or after you hit the beach. Pick cover-ups that will easily go right over your swimsuit to be more accessible.
  • 1 Rashguard. A rashguard will be your best friend while engaging in water sports, especially snorkeling. They usually have SPF built right into them and will prevent you from getting burned. We both always wear our rashguards while snorkeling, stand up paddleboarding, and bodyboarding.
  • 2-3 Breathable cotton button-down shirts. Have at least one long sleeve in case you want a little more coverage from the sun.
  • 2-3 Shorts and/or skirts. I just pack skirts. They breath more and are perfect to pull over my swimsuit to easily pull off at the beach and back on again to grab something to eat.
  • 1 Pair of pants or jeans. If you are going to be going anywhere upcountry or to higher elevations, it gets much colder and you will need a pair of pants to keep you warm. They are also needed if you plan on doing any activities such as zip-lining or horseback riding. If you won’t be doing any of these activities, there’s no need to pack them.
  • 1 Pair of linen pants, khakis, or capris. These can be great for wearing at night to dinner.
  • 1 Lightweight sweater or jacket. Hawaii is generally warm year-round with average temperatures during the day ranging from 81-88 degrees. However, if you are visiting during the winter months or plan on visiting anywhere with a higher elevation, you will want something that will be able to keep you warm.


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