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What To Bring To A Hawaii Trip


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Myrtle Dandrea



Planning a trip to Hawaii? Get ready for an unforgettable adventure in paradise! From stunning beaches and lush landscapes to vibrant culture and delicious cuisine, Hawaii offers a little something for everyone. But before you embark on your Hawaiian getaway, it’s important to make sure you have everything you need for a smooth and enjoyable trip. In this article, we will guide you through the essential items to bring to Hawaii.


Whether you’re planning to relax on the beach, explore hiking trails, or indulge in water sports, proper planning and packing can make all the difference. By considering the unique experiences and activities you’ll engage in, you can ensure that you have everything necessary for a comfortable and memorable vacation.


Visiting Hawaii requires more than just a bathing suit and flip-flops. While the islands are known for their sunny weather, it’s important to prepare for various elements and activities that you may encounter during your trip.


From essential documents to clothing and accessories, beach gear to electronics and gadgets, we’ll cover everything you need to know to make the most of your Hawaii trip. So, grab your favorite Hawaiian shirt, put on your sunglasses, and get ready to embark on the adventure of a lifetime in the beautiful Hawaiian islands!


Essential Documents

When preparing for your Hawaii trip, it is crucial to have all the necessary documents on hand to ensure a hassle-free journey. Here are the essential documents you should bring:

  1. Passport or ID: If you’re traveling from outside the United States, make sure to have your valid passport with at least six months of validity remaining. For U.S. citizens, a government-issued photo ID like a driver’s license is sufficient.
  2. Flight and Accommodation Details: Print or save electronic copies of your flight itinerary and hotel reservations. It’s always a good idea to have these documents readily available, especially in case of any unexpected situations or delays.
  3. Travel Insurance: Consider purchasing travel insurance to protect yourself against any unforeseen circumstances such as trip cancellations, medical emergencies, or lost luggage.
  4. Driver’s License: If you plan on renting a car to explore the islands independently, don’t forget your driver’s license. International visitors should bring their International Driving Permit (IDP) along with their national driver’s license.
  5. Credit Cards and Cash: Bring your credit cards for convenience and backup, but it’s also a good idea to have some cash on hand for small purchases or in case of card issues.
  6. Health Insurance: Make sure to carry your health insurance card or any necessary medical documentation. In case of emergencies, having this information readily available can be essential.
  7. Prescriptions and Medication Information: If you take any prescription medications, ensure you have an adequate supply for the duration of your trip. Keep them in their original labeled containers, and bring along any necessary documentation or prescriptions.
  8. Emergency Contacts: Have a list of emergency contacts, including the contact information of your family, friends, or any local contacts in Hawaii.

Remember, it’s always wise to make copies of all your essential documents and keep them in a separate location, like your hotel safe or scanned and saved in your email. This way, if anything gets lost or stolen, you can easily access the necessary information.


By bringing these essential documents, you’ll have peace of mind and be well-prepared to enjoy your Hawaii trip to the fullest.


Clothing and Accessories

When packing for your Hawaii trip, selecting the right clothing and accessories is crucial for your comfort and enjoyment. Here are some essential items to consider:

  1. Lightweight and Breathable Clothing: Hawaii’s tropical climate calls for lightweight and breathable clothing. Pack items like shorts, t-shirts, tank tops, and summer dresses. Opt for natural fabrics like cotton or linen that allow your skin to breathe and stay cool.
  2. Swimwear: Bring your favorite swimsuits for lounging on the beach, swimming, or engaging in water activities like snorkeling and surfing. Having multiple swimsuits allows for drying time between uses.
  3. Cover-ups and Sarongs: A cover-up or sarong is a versatile piece that can be worn over your swimwear for added sun protection or as a stylish beach outfit. It’s handy to have when transitioning from the beach to other activities.
  4. Lightweight Jacket or Sweater: Although Hawaii is known for its warm weather, evenings can get cooler, especially near the coast or at higher elevations. Pack a lightweight jacket or sweater to stay warm during these times.
  5. Comfortable Walking Shoes: Whether you’re exploring the vibrant streets of Honolulu or hiking through lush trails, comfortable walking shoes are a must. Opt for lightweight sneakers, sturdy sandals, or hiking shoes, depending on your planned activities.
  6. Hats and Sunglasses: Protect yourself from the strong Hawaiian sun by packing wide-brimmed hats or baseball caps. Sunglasses with UV protection are also essential to shield your eyes from the sun’s rays.
  7. Reusable Water Bottle: Staying hydrated is crucial, especially in the tropical climate of Hawaii. Bring a reusable water bottle to refill throughout the day and reduce plastic waste.
  8. Beach Bag: A spacious beach bag is essential for carrying your beach essentials such as sunscreen, towels, snacks, and beach toys. Look for a bag with sturdy handles and waterproof compartments.
  9. Electronics Accessories: Don’t forget to bring chargers, power banks, and adapters for your electronic devices. Whether you’re capturing stunning photos or navigating through the islands, having fully charged devices is essential.

Remember to pack according to your planned activities and the duration of your trip. Consider the dress codes of any upscale restaurants or events you may attend and pack accordingly. With the right clothing and accessories, you’ll be prepared for any adventures and enjoy the vibrant Hawaiian atmosphere to the fullest.


Beach Gear

When visiting Hawaii, it’s almost impossible to resist the allure of the beautiful beaches. To make the most of your beach outings, be sure to pack the essential beach gear:

  1. Beach Towels: Pack lightweight and quick-drying beach towels, ensuring you have one for each member of your travel group.
  2. Sunscreen: Protect your skin from the sun’s rays by bringing a high SPF sunscreen. Look for reef-safe options to minimize the impact on Hawaii’s delicate marine ecosystem.
  3. Sunshade or Beach Umbrella: If you want some shade from the sun, consider bringing a portable sunshade or beach umbrella. This will provide protection from direct sunlight and create a comfortable space to relax.
  4. Beach Chairs or Mats: Make your beach experience more comfortable by bringing folding beach chairs or mats to relax and soak up the sun.
  5. Beach Toys: If you’re traveling with children, consider packing sandcastle-building tools, beach balls, and other beach toys to keep them entertained.
  6. Snorkeling Gear: Hawaii’s crystal-clear waters offer excellent snorkeling opportunities. Bring your own snorkel, mask, and fins to explore the vibrant marine life just below the water’s surface.
  7. Beach Games and Entertainment: Frisbees, beach volleyball, or even a portable Bluetooth speaker can add extra fun to your beach days.
  8. Waterproof Bags and Pouches: Keep your valuables protected from water and sand by bringing waterproof bags or pouches to store items like your phone, wallet, and keys.
  9. Insulated Cooler: Stay refreshed and hydrated by bringing a small insulated cooler to keep your drinks and snacks cool throughout the day.
  10. Portable Beach Shelter: For extended beach days, a portable beach shelter can provide extra shade and privacy, making your time at the beach even more enjoyable.

Remember to always respect the beach and ocean environment by following the local guidelines and practicing responsible tourism. Keep the beaches clean and free of litter, and avoid touching or damaging coral reefs.


By packing the necessary beach gear, you can fully embrace the beauty of Hawaii’s stunning shores and make the most of your beach experiences throughout your trip.


Snorkeling and Scuba Diving Equipment

Hawaii is renowned for its incredible underwater world, making snorkeling and scuba diving popular activities for visitors. If you plan to explore the vibrant marine life, here are the essential items to bring:

  1. Mask, Snorkel, and Fins: If you prefer to snorkel, bring your own mask, snorkel, and fins for a better fit and comfort. This ensures you can fully enjoy the breathtaking underwater world.
  2. Wetsuit or Rash Guard: Depending on the time of year and personal preference, consider packing a wetsuit or rash guard for added warmth and protection from the sun or rough coral.
  3. Scuba Diving Certification Card: If you are a certified scuba diver, don’t forget to bring your scuba diving certification card. Many dive operators require this to participate in guided dives.
  4. Regulator and BCD: If you are a certified scuba diver and plan to dive independently, ensure you have your own regulator and buoyancy control device (BCD). These essential scuba diving equipment items are typically not available for rent.
  5. Dive Computer: A dive computer is an important piece of equipment for tracking your depth, bottom time, and decompression limits. If you own one, be sure to bring it along.
  6. Dive Light: For those planning night dives or exploring darker areas underwater, a dive light is essential for better visibility.
  7. Dive Gear Bag: Keep your scuba diving equipment organized and protected by packing it in a dedicated dive gear bag. This makes it easier to transport and ensures everything stays together.
  8. Dive Flag and Safety Equipment: If you plan to do shore dives or dive from a private boat, it’s important to bring a dive flag and other safety equipment like a dive buoy or whistle to alert other watercraft of your presence.
  9. Ocean-friendly Sunscreen: When snorkeling or diving, it’s important to protect your skin and the coral reefs. Opt for a reef-safe sunscreen that does not contain harmful chemicals.

If you are new to snorkeling or scuba diving, consider taking a guided tour or hiring a dive instructor who can provide the necessary equipment and guidance. They can also help you explore the best dive sites and ensure your safety throughout the experience.


Remember to always follow responsible snorkeling and scuba diving practices to protect the delicate marine ecosystems in Hawaii. Adhere to local guidelines, avoid touching or stepping on coral, and never chase or harass marine life.


By bringing the appropriate snorkeling and scuba diving equipment, you can fully immerse yourself in the rich underwater world of Hawaii and create unforgettable memories beneath the surface of the sparkling Pacific Ocean.


Hiking and Adventure Gear

Hawaii’s breathtaking landscapes offer incredible opportunities for hiking and adventure activities. If you’re planning to explore the islands’ natural wonders, it’s important to be prepared with the right gear. Here are some essential items to bring:

  1. Hiking Shoes or Boots: Invest in a good pair of hiking shoes or boots that provide ankle support and traction to navigate various terrains. Choose footwear that is comfortable and suitable for the intensity of the hikes you plan to undertake.
  2. Daypack or Backpack: Bring a lightweight and comfortable daypack or backpack to carry essentials like water, snacks, a map, a compass, a rain jacket, and other personal items. Look for one with adjustable straps and compartments for proper weight distribution.
  3. Hiking Clothes: Dress in lightweight, moisture-wicking, and quick-drying clothing suitable for hiking. Layering is key, as temperatures can change throughout the day. Consider packing a hat and sunglasses for sun protection.
  4. Trekking Poles: Trekking poles can provide stability, reduce strain on your joints, and improve balance while hiking, especially on steep or uneven terrain.
  5. Navigation Tools: Carry a map, compass, or a GPS device to navigate trails accurately. Familiarize yourself with the route beforehand and always stay on marked trails.
  6. First Aid Kit: Pack a basic first aid kit with supplies such as band-aids, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, insect repellent, and any necessary personal medications.
  7. Water and Hydration System: Hydration is vital during hikes, especially in Hawaii’s warm climate. Bring a reusable water bottle or hydration bladder and ensure you have enough water to last the duration of the hike.
  8. Insect Protection: Mosquitoes and other insects can be present in certain hiking areas. Bring insect repellent to protect yourself from bites.
  9. Camera and Binoculars: Capture the stunning views and wildlife encounters by bringing a camera. Binoculars can also enhance your experience, giving you a closer look at the surrounding landscapes and wildlife.
  10. Portable Phone Charger: Keep your phone charged in case of emergencies or if you need to use mapping or communication apps during your hike.

Before embarking on any hiking or adventure activities, research the trails you plan to explore, check weather conditions, and inform someone of your itinerary. Always stay safe, observe warning signs, and follow any regulations or guidelines set for the specific area.


With the right gear and preparedness, you can embark on thrilling hikes and adventures in Hawaii, immersing yourself in its captivating natural beauty.


Water and Outdoor Activities

With its stunning coastline and diverse landscapes, Hawaii offers a plethora of water and outdoor activities for adventure enthusiasts. To make the most of your experience, here are some essential items to bring:

  1. Water Shoes: Protect your feet when swimming, snorkeling, or engaging in water activities with sturdy water shoes. They provide grip and prevent injuries from sharp rocks or corals.
  2. Waterproof Dry Bag: Keep your valuables and electronic devices safe and dry by packing them in a waterproof dry bag. It’s particularly useful for activities like kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding, or boat tours.
  3. Life Jacket or Personal Flotation Device (PFD): If you’re engaging in water sports or boating activities, make sure to bring a properly fitted life jacket or PFD for safety.
  4. Surfboard or Bodyboard: If you’re an experienced surfer or bodyboarder, consider bringing your own board. Alternatively, you can rent one from local surf shops.
  5. Kayak or Stand-Up Paddleboard (SUP): For a unique water adventure, rent or bring your own kayak or SUP to explore Hawaii’s beautiful coastlines and calm bays.
  6. Snorkeling Gear: Snorkeling is a must-do activity in Hawaii. Don’t forget your snorkel, mask, and fins to explore the vibrant underwater world teeming with tropical fish and coral reefs.
  7. Fishing Gear: If you’re passionate about fishing, research Hawaii’s fishing regulations and consider bringing your own fishing gear and tackle. You can try deep-sea fishing, shore fishing, or freshwater fishing in certain areas.
  8. Bug Spray: Depending on the location and time of day, pesky insects like mosquitoes can be present. Bring insect repellent to protect yourself from bites and enjoy your outdoor activities comfortably.
  9. Sun Protection: Protect your skin from the strong Hawaiian sun by applying sunscreen with high SPF, wearing a hat, and using UV-protective sunglasses. Reapply sunscreen regularly, especially after water activities.
  10. Comfortable Clothing: Wear lightweight and quick-drying clothing suitable for outdoor activities in warm weather. Opt for breathable fabrics and consider a long-sleeved shirt or pants for added sun protection.
  11. Portable Snacks and Water: Stay energized during your outdoor adventures by packing portable snacks like energy bars, nuts, or fruit. It’s also important to bring enough water to stay hydrated throughout your activities.

Before participating in any water activities, familiarize yourself with local safety guidelines, including beach conditions, rip currents, and any specific rules or regulations for each activity.


By packing the necessary items and staying prepared, you can fully enjoy the wide range of water and outdoor activities that Hawaii has to offer.


Electronics and Gadgets

In today’s digital age, electronics and gadgets play an important role in our daily lives, even during vacations. Here are some essential items to bring when it comes to electronics and gadgets for your Hawaii trip:

  1. Smartphone: Your smartphone is a versatile device that can serve multiple purposes during your trip. Use it for navigation, capturing photos and videos, staying connected with loved ones, and accessing helpful travel apps.
  2. Camera or GoPro: Capture the stunning beauty of Hawaii’s landscapes with a digital camera or GoPro camera. Be sure to bring extra memory cards and batteries for extended use.
  3. Portable Charger or Power Bank: Keep your electronic devices powered up throughout the day with a portable charger or power bank. This is especially useful when you’re out exploring and don’t have access to electrical outlets.
  4. Adapter and Voltage Converter: If you’re visiting Hawaii from a different country, ensure you have the appropriate adapter to charge your devices. Additionally, check if you need a voltage converter, as the electrical voltage in Hawaii is 120V.
  5. Laptop or Tablet: If you need to work while on vacation or prefer to have a larger screen for entertainment purposes, consider bringing a lightweight laptop or tablet.
  6. Headphones: Whether you’re listening to music on the plane or enjoying a podcast during downtime, a good pair of headphones can enhance your travel experience and provide some peace and quiet.
  7. Waterproof Phone Case: Protect your smartphone from water damage by using a waterproof phone case. This allows you to take photos and videos without worrying about water splashes or accidental drops.
  8. Travel Adapter for Car Charger: If you plan to rent a car in Hawaii, bring a travel adapter to charge your electronic devices using the car’s cigarette lighter socket.
  9. E-Reader: If you’re an avid reader, consider bringing an e-reader to enjoy your favorite books while traveling. It’s lightweight and convenient for long flights or relaxing on the beach.
  10. Portable Bluetooth Speaker: A compact and portable Bluetooth speaker can enhance your outdoor activities and beach days by providing music or entertainment for you and your companions.

While electronics and gadgets can enhance your travel experience, it’s important to strike a balance and not let them distract you from fully enjoying the beauty and experiences that Hawaii has to offer. Take time to disconnect and immerse yourself in the stunning surroundings.


Remember to keep your valuable electronics secure and be mindful of your surroundings when using them in public areas.


By bringing these essential electronics and gadgets, you can capture memories, stay connected, and make the most of your Hawaii trip.


Medications and First Aid Kit

When traveling to Hawaii, it’s important to be prepared for any unforeseen circumstances and have the necessary medications and first aid supplies on hand. Here are some essential items to include in your medical kit:

  1. Prescription Medications: If you take any prescription medications, ensure you have an adequate supply for the duration of your trip. Keep them in their original labeled containers, and bring along any necessary documentation or prescriptions.
  2. Over-the-Counter Medications: Pack a variety of over-the-counter medications such as pain relievers, antihistamines, anti-diarrheal medication, motion sickness medication, and any other medications or supplements you may need during your trip.
  3. First Aid Supplies: Include a basic first aid kit with items such as band-aids, gauze pads, adhesive tape, antiseptic wipes, tweezers, scissors, and disposable gloves.
  4. Insect Repellent: Protect yourself from mosquito bites and other insects by bringing insect repellent containing DEET or another effective repellent ingredient.
  5. Sunburn Relief: Hawaii’s sun can be intense, so bring aloe vera gel or after-sun lotion to soothe sunburned skin.
  6. Allergy Medication: If you have known allergies or are prone to allergic reactions, bring allergy medication such as antihistamines or epinephrine auto-injectors.
  7. Personal Medical Information: Carry a list of your allergies, medical conditions, and emergency contacts in case of an emergency.
  8. Motion Sickness Remedies: If you’re prone to motion sickness, consider packing remedies such as ginger candies, acupressure wristbands, or over-the-counter motion sickness medication.
  9. Hand Sanitizer: Keep a travel-sized hand sanitizer in your bag for moments when soap and water are not readily available.
  10. Prescription Glasses and Contacts: If you wear glasses or contacts, be sure to pack an extra pair or sufficient supplies for the duration of your trip.

Additionally, consider obtaining travel insurance that covers medical emergencies, trip cancellation, and loss of belongings. It’s always better to be prepared for unexpected situations.


Remember to store your medical kit in a readily accessible place, such as your carry-on bag, and inform your travel companions of its location. Check the expiration dates of medications periodically and replenish your supplies as needed.


By having a well-stocked medical kit, you can address any minor medical concerns and ensure your well-being throughout your Hawaii trip.


Toiletries and Personal Care Items

When packing for your Hawaii trip, don’t forget to bring essential toiletries and personal care items to keep you fresh and comfortable throughout your journey. Here are some items to include in your packing list:

  1. Toothbrush and Toothpaste: Maintain your oral hygiene by bringing a toothbrush and toothpaste.
  2. Shampoo and Conditioner: Many accommodations provide complimentary toiletries, but if you have specific preferences or requirements, it’s advisable to bring travel-sized bottles of your preferred shampoo and conditioner.
  3. Body Wash or Soap: Don’t forget to pack a travel-sized body wash or soap to keep you feeling refreshed.
  4. Deodorant: Hawaii’s warm climate can cause perspiration, so pack a travel-sized deodorant to stay fresh throughout the day.
  5. Sunscreen: Protect your skin from the intense Hawaiian sun by packing sunscreen with a high SPF. Look for options that are reef-safe to minimize harm to the marine ecosystem.
  6. Lip Balm with SPF: Keep your lips moisturized and protected from the sun with a lip balm that contains SPF.
  7. Feminine Hygiene Products: If applicable, pack an adequate supply of tampons, sanitary pads, or any other feminine hygiene products you may need during your trip.
  8. Razors: Bring a razor or any other hair removal tools you prefer to maintain personal grooming.
  9. Hairbrush or Comb: Keep your hair tangle-free and styled by packing a hairbrush or comb.
  10. Personal Medications: If you take any daily medications, ensure you have enough for the duration of your trip. Keep them in their original packaging and pack them in your carry-on bag.
  11. Contact Lens Solution and Case: If you wear contact lenses, pack your contact lens solution and a spare case to keep them clean.
  12. Nail Clippers and File: Keep your nails neat and well-groomed by bringing nail clippers and a file.
  13. Travel-Sized Skincare Products: If you have a skincare routine, bring travel-sized versions of your favorite products to maintain your skincare regimen while on the go.
  14. Haircare Products: If you have specific haircare needs, such as styling products or heat protectant, bring small quantities of these products to keep your hair looking its best.

Remember to pack these toiletries and personal care items in leak-proof and travel-sized containers to comply with transportation regulations. Consider using reusable travel bottles to minimize waste.


If you have any specific personal care needs or preferences, ensure you pack the necessary items to keep you feeling comfortable and refreshed throughout your Hawaii trip.


Miscellaneous Items

While it’s important to pack the essentials for your Hawaii trip, there are some miscellaneous items that can add convenience and make your overall experience more enjoyable. Here are a few items to consider:

  1. Travel Adapters and Power Strip: If you have multiple electronic devices to charge, having a travel adapter and power strip can be handy. This allows you to charge multiple devices simultaneously using the limited electrical outlets available.
  2. Reusable Shopping Bag: Many places in Hawaii encourage reusable bags to reduce waste. Bringing a foldable reusable shopping bag helps you be environmentally friendly and makes it easier to carry souvenirs or groceries.
  3. Travel Journal and Pen: Document your experiences and memories in a travel journal. It’s a great way to reflect on your journey and capture special moments. Don’t forget to bring a pen too!
  4. Travel Pillow and Blanket: Long flights or road trips can be more comfortable with a travel pillow and lightweight blanket. They provide extra support and warmth during your travels.
  5. Sleeping Mask and Earplugs: If you’re sensitive to light and noise while sleeping, consider bringing a sleeping mask and earplugs to ensure a restful sleep in unfamiliar environments.
  6. Reusable Water Bottle: Staying hydrated is essential, especially in a warm climate like Hawaii’s. Carry a reusable water bottle to refill throughout the day and minimize the use of single-use plastic bottles.
  7. Travel Insurance: Protect yourself from any unforeseen circumstances by purchasing travel insurance. It can provide coverage for medical emergencies, trip cancellations, lost luggage, and other travel-related mishaps.
  8. Cash and Cards: While most places in Hawaii accept cards, it’s always a good idea to carry some cash for smaller establishments or unexpected situations where card payment may not be possible.
  9. Snacks: Pack some snacks for your day trips or long drives. Granola bars, dried fruits, or trail mixes can keep your energy levels up between meals and be a lifesaver when hunger strikes.
  10. Umbrella or Rain Jacket: Hawaii’s tropical climate can bring occasional rainfall. Having an umbrella or a lightweight rain jacket on hand can keep you dry during unexpected showers.
  11. Ziplock Bags: Packing a few ziplock bags can come in handy for storing wet swimwear, keeping electronic devices safe from water, or packing small items to stay organized.
  12. Travel Locks: Ensure the security of your belongings by using travel locks on your suitcases or backpacks. This provides an additional level of protection during your journey.
  13. Travel Guides or Maps: Although you can access information digitally, having a physical travel guide or map can be useful for quick references, finding recommendations, and discovering hidden gems.

These miscellaneous items can make your Hawaii trip more convenient, enjoyable, and stress-free. Consider your personal preferences and needs when deciding what miscellaneous items to bring along.



Preparing for a trip to Hawaii requires careful consideration and planning to ensure a smooth and enjoyable experience. By packing the right items, you can make the most of your time in paradise. From essential documents and clothing to beach gear, snorkeling equipment, and hiking essentials, each item plays a crucial role in enhancing your trip.


Remember to bring essential documents such as your passport or ID, flight details, and travel insurance. Dress appropriately for the warm Hawaiian climate with lightweight and breathable clothing, and don’t forget your swimsuits, beach towels, and beach accessories for fun in the sun. If you plan to snorkel or scuba dive, bring your own equipment or rent it from reputable sources.


For adventurous activities, pack the necessary gear like hiking shoes, a daypack, and navigation tools. Explore the beautiful coastlines and embark on water activities by bringing water shoes, snorkeling gear, kayaks, or stand-up paddleboards. Don’t forget to capture the memories with your camera or smartphone.


As you pack your toiletries, medication, and personal care items, prioritize essentials such as sunscreen, insect repellent, and any necessary prescription medications. Additionally, keep a first aid kit handy for minor injuries or ailments.


Lastly, consider the miscellaneous items that add convenience and comfort to your trip, such as travel adapters, reusable shopping bags, and travel pillows. Travel insurance provides peace of mind against unforeseen circumstances.


By taking the time to plan and pack these essential items, you’re setting yourself up for a wonderful and memorable trip to Hawaii. So, get ready to embrace the Aloha spirit, immerse yourself in the island’s beauty, and create unforgettable memories that will last a lifetime.