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What Do You Pack For A Trip To Hawaii


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Erminie Luck



When planning a trip to Hawaii, it is crucial to pack accordingly to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience in the beautiful island paradise. The tropical climate, breathtaking landscapes, and vibrant culture make Hawaii an enticing destination for travelers from around the world. Whether you’re embarking on a relaxing beach vacation or exploring the volcanic wonders, having the right essentials in your suitcase is essential.


In this article, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide on what to pack for a trip to Hawaii. From clothing to accessories and everything in between, we’ve got you covered. So, grab your sunscreen and get ready to discover the must-haves for your Hawaiian adventure.


Before diving into the packing list, it’s essential to consider the climate of Hawaii. The islands have a year-round warm and tropical climate, with temperatures averaging between 75°F and 85°F (24°C and 29°C). The weather can be humid, with occasional rain showers. It’s best to pack lightweight, breathable clothing that will keep you cool and comfortable throughout your stay.


Now, let’s take a closer look at the essential items to include in your suitcase for a trip to Hawaii.



When it comes to clothing for a trip to Hawaii, think casual, comfortable, and lightweight. Choose fabrics that are breathable and quick-drying to help you stay cool in the tropical climate. Here are some key items to pack:

  • Shorts: Pack a few pairs of shorts, both casual and athletic, to keep you comfortable during your island adventures.
  • T-shirts: Opt for lightweight and breathable t-shirts in a variety of colors. These can be mixed and matched with your shorts for different outfits.
  • Sundresses: For a beachy, feminine look, pack a couple of sundresses that you can easily slip on for a casual dinner or a stroll along the beach.
  • Lightweight pants or leggings: In addition to shorts, include a pair of lightweight pants or leggings for cooler evenings or for hiking on trails with dense vegetation.
  • Light jacket or sweater: Evenings in Hawaii can sometimes be cooler, especially if you’re at a higher elevation. Pack a light jacket or sweater to keep you cozy.
  • Sarong or cover-up: A sarong or cover-up is essential for beach days and can also be used as a wrap or a makeshift skirt.
  • Hat: Protect yourself from the sun with a wide-brimmed hat or a baseball cap. This will not only protect your head but also provide shade for your face and neck.
  • Lightweight rain jacket: While the weather in Hawaii is generally sunny, it’s wise to pack a lightweight rain jacket or poncho for unexpected rain showers.

Remember to keep your clothing choices versatile, comfortable, and suitable for various activities. With the right pieces, you’ll be ready for any adventure Hawaii has to offer.



When it comes to swimwear, Hawaii’s stunning beaches and crystal-clear waters are calling your name. Whether you plan to relax by the shore or take part in water activities, having the right swimwear is essential. Here are some swimwear essentials to pack for your trip to Hawaii:

  • Swimsuits: Pack at least two swimsuits so that you have a backup while one is drying. Choose styles that make you feel comfortable and confident, whether it’s a bikini, a one-piece, or a tankini.
  • Cover-up: A stylish cover-up is essential for transitioning from the beach to a nearby restaurant or exploring beachside shops. Opt for a lightweight and versatile cover-up that can easily be thrown over your swimsuit.
  • Rashguard: If you plan on engaging in water activities such as surfing, snorkeling, or paddleboarding, consider packing a rashguard. It provides protection against the sun’s rays and helps prevent chafing.
  • Beach towel: Don’t forget to pack a large beach towel for lounging on the sand or drying off after a swim. Some hotels may provide towels, but having your own is always a good idea.
  • Flip-flops or sandals: Invest in a comfortable pair of flip-flops or sandals for easy beach access. Choose a durable waterproof pair that can handle sand and water.
  • Beach bag: A spacious, lightweight beach bag is essential for carrying all your beach essentials, including sunscreen, sunglasses, a book, and a reusable water bottle.
  • Snorkel gear: If you plan on snorkeling frequently during your trip, you may want to consider bringing your own snorkel, mask, and fins. However, rental options are widely available on the islands as well.

With the right swimwear and beach essentials, you’ll be ready to soak up the sun and enjoy the stunning beaches of Hawaii.



When selecting footwear for your trip to Hawaii, comfort and versatility are key. Here are some footwear essentials to consider:

  • Sandals: Pack a comfortable pair of sandals that can withstand sandy beaches and provide support for walking around the island. Look for sandals with cushioned soles and adjustable straps for a perfect fit.
  • Sneakers or hiking shoes: If you plan to do any hiking or exploring rugged terrain, bring a pair of sturdy sneakers or hiking shoes. Make sure they are broken in and provide good traction.
  • Water shoes: If you plan on exploring rocky areas or participating in water activities like snorkeling, consider packing water shoes. They provide protection against sharp objects and offer extra grip in slippery conditions.
  • Slippers or flip-flops: Slippers, also known as flip-flops or thongs, are essential for walking around your accommodation or heading to the beach. Look for a pair with good arch support to keep your feet comfortable.
  • Dress shoes: If you plan on experiencing fine dining or attending formal events during your time in Hawaii, pack a pair of dress shoes to complete your outfit.

Remember to choose footwear that is suitable for the activities you plan to participate in, but also consider versatility and comfort for everyday wear. With the right footwear, you’ll be prepared for any adventure in Hawaii.



When packing for your trip to Hawaii, don’t forget to include some essential accessories to enhance your experience and protect yourself from the sun. Here are some must-have accessories to consider:

  • Sunglasses: Protect your eyes from the bright Hawaiian sun with a good pair of sunglasses. Opt for ones with UV protection to shield your eyes from harmful rays.
  • Hat: In addition to sunglasses, a hat is essential for protecting your face and scalp from the sun. Choose a wide-brimmed hat or a baseball cap for maximum coverage.
  • Sunscreen: Hawaii’s sun can be intense, so be sure to pack a high SPF sunscreen to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Apply it generously and reapply regularly, especially when spending time outdoors.
  • Beach umbrella: If you plan on spending long hours at the beach, consider packing a lightweight and portable beach umbrella. It will provide some much-needed shade and protection from the sun.
  • Waterproof phone case or dry bag: If you plan on taking your smartphone to the beach or engaging in water activities, invest in a waterproof phone case or a dry bag. This will prevent water damage and allow you to capture memorable moments.
  • Reusable water bottle: Staying hydrated is important, especially in the warm Hawaiian climate. Carry a reusable water bottle to refill throughout the day and reduce plastic waste.
  • Camera: Hawaii offers breathtaking landscapes and natural beauty, so don’t forget to pack your camera to capture those memorable moments. Whether it’s a DSLR or a smartphone with a good camera, you’ll want to document your adventures.
  • Snorkel gear: While snorkel gear was mentioned in the swimwear section, it is also an essential accessory. If you have your own set, be sure to pack it for an up-close encounter with Hawaii’s vibrant marine life.

These accessories will enhance your comfort, protect you from the sun, and allow you to capture cherished memories of your Hawaiian vacation. Don’t leave them behind!



Packing the right toiletries is essential for staying fresh and maintaining your personal hygiene during your trip to Hawaii. Here are some essential toiletries to consider:

  • Sunscreen: Protecting your skin from the sun’s rays is crucial in Hawaii. Pack a sunscreen with a high SPF to shield your skin from harmful UV rays. Look for a water-resistant formula if you plan on swimming or participating in water activities.
  • Insect repellent: While Hawaii is not known for its mosquito problem, it’s always a good idea to be prepared. Bring a small bottle of insect repellent to ward off any pesky bugs you may encounter while exploring the island.
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste: Don’t forget to pack your toothbrush and toothpaste to maintain your oral hygiene during your trip. Consider a travel-sized toothpaste to save space in your luggage.
  • Shampoo and conditioner: Many accommodations in Hawaii provide basic toiletries like shampoo and conditioner. However, if you have specific preferences or are staying in an accommodation without these amenities, consider packing travel-sized bottles of your preferred products.
  • Body wash or soap: Bring a travel-sized body wash or soap to keep you feeling fresh and clean throughout your trip. Opt for a scent that is refreshing and invigorating, adding to the tropical experience.
  • Deodorant: Hawaii’s warm climate may lead to increased perspiration. Pack your favorite deodorant to stay fresh and odor-free during your activities.
  • Moisturizer: With the sun and saltwater exposure, your skin may need some extra hydration. Pack a moisturizer to replenish and nourish your skin after a day spent outdoors.
  • Personal medications: If you take any prescription medications, be sure to pack enough for the duration of your trip. It’s always wise to bring a small first aid kit with over-the-counter medications for minor ailments as well.
  • Personal care items: Don’t forget items like a hairbrush or comb, hair ties, and any other personal care items you may need during your trip.

These toiletries will keep you feeling fresh and comfortable during your stay in Hawaii. Consider decanting your favorite products into travel-sized containers to save space in your luggage.



Electronic devices are essential for capturing memories, staying connected, and navigating your way around Hawaii. Here are some essential electronic items to pack for your trip:

  • Smartphone: Your smartphone is a multi-purpose device that can serve as a camera, GPS, and a means of staying connected. Be sure to pack your phone and bring along a charger and portable power bank for extra battery life.
  • Camera: If you are a photography enthusiast or want to capture high-quality images, consider packing a camera. Whether it’s a DSLR, mirrorless camera, or a compact camera, make sure to bring extra batteries and memory cards.
  • Noise-canceling headphones: Long flights or crowded environments can be noisy. Invest in a good pair of noise-canceling headphones to enjoy uninterrupted music or immerse yourself in a podcast or audiobook.
  • Laptop or tablet: If you need to stay productive or want to stream movies during downtime, consider bringing a laptop or tablet. This will allow you to catch up on work or entertainment while enjoying your Hawaiian getaway.
  • Universal adapter: Hawaii uses the same electrical outlets as in the United States, so if you’re traveling from there, you won’t need an adapter. However, if you’re traveling from a different country, it may be wise to pack a universal adapter to charge your devices.

Remember to pack these electronics in a secure and protective manner to ensure their safety throughout your trip. With the right electronic devices, you’ll be ready to capture memories and stay connected while exploring the stunning landscapes of Hawaii.



When traveling to Hawaii, it’s important to bring any necessary medications to ensure your health and well-being throughout your trip. Here are some tips on how to pack and manage your medications:

  • Prescription medications: If you take prescription medications, pack enough to last the duration of your trip. It’s advisable to bring extra in case of any unexpected delays or changes to your travel plans.
  • Carry-on vs. Checked luggage: It’s recommended to keep your medications in your carry-on luggage to ensure easy access and to prevent any potential loss due to misplaced or delayed checked baggage.
  • Proper packaging: To avoid any issues with security checkpoints or customs, ensure that your medications are properly labeled with your name, the name of the medication, and the prescribing doctor’s name. If necessary, carry a copy of your prescription or a letter from your doctor explaining the need for the medication.
  • OTC medications: It’s a good idea to pack a small first aid kit with over-the-counter medications such as pain relievers, antihistamines, and stomach remedies. These can come in handy for common ailments like headaches or minor motion sickness.
  • Medical insurance: Familiarize yourself with your medical insurance coverage while traveling and ensure you have all necessary documentation in case of emergencies or medical care needs while in Hawaii.
  • Travel-sized supplies: If you need items like band-aids, medical tape, or any other medical supplies, consider packing travel-sized versions to save space in your luggage.

It’s always a good idea to consult with your healthcare provider before traveling to discuss any specific health concerns and receive personalized advice. By being prepared and having your medications on hand, you can enjoy your trip to Hawaii with peace of mind.


Travel Documents

When embarking on a trip to Hawaii, it’s crucial to have all the necessary travel documents to ensure a hassle-free journey. Here are the essential travel documents you should pack:

  • Passport: If you are traveling from outside the United States, you will need a valid passport. Make sure it is not expired and has at least six months of validity remaining.
  • Visa: Depending on your nationality, you may need a visa to enter the United States or Hawaii. Check the visa requirements well in advance and apply if necessary.
  • Flight tickets: Print out or have electronic copies of your flight tickets, including both outgoing and return flights.
  • Hotel reservations: Keep a copy of your hotel reservations or booking confirmations easily accessible, either in print or on your smartphone.
  • Travel insurance: Although not mandatory, it is highly recommended to have travel insurance to cover any unforeseen events, such as medical emergencies or trip cancellations.
  • Driver’s license or ID card: If you plan on renting a car or driving in Hawaii, make sure to bring your driver’s license or another form of identification.
  • Credit cards and cash: Bring your credit cards for convenient payment options. It’s also wise to carry some cash for smaller vendors or places that may not accept cards.
  • Travel itinerary: Have a copy of your travel itinerary, including details of flights, accommodations, and any planned activities. This will help you stay organized and navigate your trip smoothly.
  • Health insurance card: If you have health insurance, carry your health insurance card in case of any medical emergencies.
  • Emergency contact information: Keep a list of emergency contact numbers, including your embassy or consulate’s contact information, close at hand.

Ensure that you keep all your travel documents in a safe and easily accessible place, such as a travel organizer or a secure compartment in your bag. Having all the necessary documents readily available will make your journey to Hawaii stress-free and enjoyable.


Miscellaneous Items

In addition to the essentials mentioned earlier, there are some miscellaneous items that can enhance your trip to Hawaii and make your stay more comfortable. Here are a few items worth considering:

  • Reusable Shopping Bags: Hawaii has implemented a ban on single-use plastic bags, so having a few reusable shopping bags will come in handy for groceries or souvenirs.
  • Travel Pillow and Blanket: Long flights or road trips can be tiring. Bring a travel-sized pillow and blanket to make your journey more comfortable and help you get some rest.
  • Snacks: Packing some light snacks like granola bars, nuts, or dried fruit is a good idea, especially for long journeys or when exploring remote areas where food options may be limited.
  • Waterproof Phone Pouch: If you plan on engaging in water activities or visiting beaches, a waterproof phone pouch will allow you to take pictures or use your phone without worrying about water damage.
  • Travel Guidebook or Maps: While smartphones have digital maps, having a physical travel guidebook or a map of Hawaii can be helpful for exploring the islands and discovering hidden gems.
  • Reading Material: If you enjoy reading, bring a book or e-reader to enjoy during downtime, whether it’s lounging on the beach or relaxing in your accommodation.
  • Travel Adapter: If you’re traveling from outside of the United States, a travel adapter is essential to charge your electronic devices and keep them powered up.
  • Swiss Army Knife or Multi-tool: A compact multi-tool can be handy for various situations, such as opening bottles, cutting fruit, or fixing minor issues.
  • Daypack or Backpack: A small daypack or backpack is useful for day trips, hikes, or exploring the island. It will allow you to carry essential items like water, snacks, and camera equipment comfortably.

These miscellaneous items may not be absolute necessities, but they can enhance your overall experience and make your travel in Hawaii more convenient and enjoyable. Consider your personal preferences and needs when selecting which items to include in your packing list.



Preparing for a trip to Hawaii requires careful consideration of what to pack to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable experience. From clothing suitable for the tropical climate to swimwear for beach adventures, and from essential accessories to travel documents, each item plays a vital role in making your trip memorable.


When packing, prioritize lightweight, breathable clothing made from quick-drying fabrics to keep you comfortable in the warm Hawaiian weather. Don’t forget to pack swimwear, as Hawaii boasts stunning beaches, perfect for relaxing and water activities.


Accessorize with sunglasses, hats, and sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun’s rays, and consider bringing a beach umbrella for additional shade. Essential toiletries, medications, and electronic devices are necessary for maintaining personal hygiene, addressing health needs, and staying connected.


Don’t forget your travel documents, including passports, flight tickets, and hotel reservations. Additionally, having a few miscellaneous items like reusable shopping bags, a travel pillow, and maps can enhance your trip experience.


Remember to pack efficiently and check the baggage allowance and restrictions set by your airline. Consider investing in travel-sized items and organizing your belongings to maximize space in your luggage.


By following this comprehensive packing guide, you’ll be well-prepared for your trip to Hawaii, ready to immerse yourself in the tropical beauty and vibrant culture that the islands have to offer. Safe travels and enjoy your Hawaiian adventure!