What to Pack for Hawaii: a packing list
If you’ve ever been on a Hawaii vacation then you know once you travel to Hawaii – you will forever want to go back for another trip. Think light fabrics, workout gear for the endless hikes, and all the bathing suits to bask in that Hawaiian sun. Before any trip, knowing what to pack is crucial so I’ve created this “What to Pack for Hawaii: a Packing List” of things I highly recommend bringing (and not bringing) to the Hawaiian islands.
What to Bring to Hawaii
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For traveling to Hawaii, since the weather is always humid you should plan on bringing lighter clothing. You’ll want to pack for the beach and casual dinners mostly. However, there are tons of beautiful hikes in Hawaii so make sure to pack plenty of activewear as well. Furthermore, the hikes can be pretty muddy so don’t count on re-using any activewear! A great rule of thumb is to bring a wet bag for all your clothing items that are too wet to re-pack.
Clothing to Pack for Hawaii
I’ve curated this list for a 5-night stay in Hawaii. If you plan on staying longer or shorter remove or add items as you see fit. I think it’s important to note that you should leave your nice/fancy clothes at home. Since many of the appeals to Hawaii are outdoor adventures you’ll mostly be wearing casual clothes. Aside from the occasional dinner outfits.
- 5-6 swimsuits: If you overpack anything in your suitcase let it be this. Being that Hawaii is full of beautiful beaches, ocean activities, and multiple waterfalls you’ll always want to have bathing suits handy! I always find great-fitting suits at Summersalt + Revolve.
- 2-3 swim cover-ups: I always like mine to be flowy so I’m the most comfortable. Linking my favorites here and here.
- 2-3 flowy dresses: These really come in handy when the temperatures are high in the spring/summer. I always love to pack different styles of white dresses because they are easy to mix and match. Consider a maxi dress, a mini dress that doubles as a cover-up, and a puff sleeve mini.
- 2-3 sundresses/rompers
- 2 pairs of denim shorts: my favorite shorts are the curve love shorts from Abercrombie they’re great for all sizes. I also love my Levi cut-offs they’re so classic and never go out of style. Furthermore, they don’t dig into your thighs as most jean shorts do.
- 2 pairs of linen shorts: for the warm and humid days you’ll want to pack lightweight shorts. I love this pair that comes in multiple colors and keep me nice and cool during those hot Hawaiian days!
- 1-2 blouses (a white button-down is so versatile! And an easy way to spruce up a denim short look)
- 3-4 activewear shorts + tops: I love getting mine from Lululemon because they last forever. If you’re on a budget, Amazon has some amazing Lululemon dupes that you can shop here.
- 3-4 tank tops/tees: I always find the best basics at either Free People & Abercrombie. It’s nice to have some neutral tees and tanks handy during your stay.
These Levi shorts from Revolve are another favorite. For easy and affordable basics check out: Abercrombie and Free People. Bathing suits are always so hard to find but I’ve found that Summersalt and Revolve have the best-fitting swimsuits. Finally, I’ve found amazing Lululemon dupes on my Amazon shop that are just as good for a fraction of the price, check it out here!
Accessories to Pack for Hawaii
- 2 pairs of flat sandals or flip-flops (check out my favorite flip-flops that I’ve had for years and even hiked in)
- Chic flat sandals for dinner
- Raffia Tote Beach Bag
- 1-2 pairs of sneakers: they will most likely get muddy so that’s why I recommend bringing two. Shop my favorite pair of Asics here (they’re the only shoes I will hike in).
- 1 pair of water shoes: I love these Columbia Water Shoes because they are as cute as you’re gonna get with water shoes.
- A wide-brim sun hat: I own this one from L*Space is a favorite since it goes with everything! Or this classic Brixton Hat that is so affordable!
- A visor (this visor is great because it’s machine washable and has a large brim to protect that face from the sun!) or a baseball cap for hiking.
- 2-3 sunglasses
- A Raffia Tote for the beach/pool.
- Simple jewelry
Outdoor Gear to Pack for Hawaii
- snorkeling masks
- snorkeling is a huge part of Hawaii so buy your own snorkeling mask before you go (we purchased ours from Target for $28). So you don’t have to worry about high rental costs and germs!
- water shoes
- Hiking shoes
- waterproof phone case
- For all the snorkeling in Hawaii, it’s best to capture those moments in the underwater world. This pack comes with two cases that work very well!
Miscellaneous Items to Bring to Hawaii
- Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen
- I cannot recommend this enough! My husband and I went through two bottles alone. Sunscreen is more expensive on the Hawaiian islands so it’s best to pack reef-safe sunscreen in your checked luggage.
- This GOOP FACE SUNSCREEN BRUSH is perfect for traveling because it adds SPF to your face all while not messing up your makeup. It’s my new holy grail product so add it to your packing list immediately!
- Finally, my daily moisturizer with SPF is incredible for traveling + every day.
- Being in the sun all day will really dry out your skin. Plan on moisturizing daily.
- Bug spray
- Since Hawaii is high in humidity, the mosquitos are no joke. My best travel tip is to use bug spray at night and during your hiking adventures!
- Packing cubes
- I love these cubes from Amazon and I never travel without them. It’s the perfect way to organize your clothing for vacation and you can easily pop them into a drawer when you’re checking into your hotel.
- Rain Coat
- although most times the rain comes and goes if you want to be extra prepared bring a light raincoat or poncho.
- Water Bottle
- A trash bag
- Because of the treacherous and sometimes muddy hikes, your shoes/clothes will most definitely get dirty. It’s best to pack a trash bag to throw your muddy clothes and shoes at the end of the trip.
CHECK OUT MORE OF MY HAWAII GUIDES FOR FREE RESOURCES TO HELP PLAN YOUR TRIP!
What Not to Bring to Hawaii
When you get to Hawaii you’ll instantly notice the laid-back feel so there is no need to bring the following items to Hawaii and you can leave them off your Hawaii packing list:
- High heels
- Winter jackets
- Bulky sweaters
- Expensive dresses and jewelry
I hope you enjoyed this Ultimate Hawaii Packing List. So since you now know what to bring to Hawaii, it’s time to start planning your trip! And don’t forget to check out the “32 Travel Essentials: to pack for your next trip“!