​6 Essential Packing Tips for Your Trip to Hawaii

​6 Essential Packing Tips for Your Trip to Hawaii

By Bonnie Carpenter
April 2015

Packing for your Trip to Hawaii

So your Hawaiian vacation home is rented, your plane tickets are purchased, but your bags are still sitting unpacked because you’re not quite sure what to bring? Fret no longer, we’ve compiled a detailed guide to pack and prepare for your upcoming trip to Hawaii.

The first of this series, we share our advice for the must have clothing items to include in your bag. Stay tuned for the ultimate in tips and recommendations for your upcoming Hawaiian escape!



Don’t forget, they call it “island style” for a reason! One of the Hawaii’s foremost appeals is its laid back atmosphere. This energy translates not only to the local culture and beach scene, but the casual attire discovered throughout these tropical islands!



Pack plenty of casual shorts, T-shirts, and flowy dresses and skirts for the ladies. Most restaurants require little to no dress code, at most you may encounter “resort wear” recommended – this term implies a button up shirt, khaki shorts, casual dresses or shorts and blouses.

Insider Tips:

-Easy, Breezy

Be sure to consider the tropical breezes when planning your outfits. Short dresses and skirts can prove problematic for that boat cruise or day trip!

-Shopping Local for Hawaiian Prints

Looking for the perfect Hawaiian printed clothing for your night out? Consider saving yourself the trip to your local department store, and shop one of the many on-island stores carrying a plethora of tropical prints and attire for everyone in your group!


Locally known as ‘slippers’ (pronounced Slippahs!), or more familiarly known as flip flops, are the footwear staple of the islands. A simple pair is suitable for anything from a beach trip, shopping excursion, or even an evening out. Sandals of all sorts are also the norm, and a perfect addition to your bag. The final element to consider are reef shoes, designed for ocean wear to protect your feet from lava rock and coral reef encounters.

Insider Tips:

- Formal Footwear

Ladies, are you planning on a special night out? Forego the stilettos for wedges for a truly tropical vibe!

- Travelling with Hiking Boots

Packing boots for hiking and exploring? Wear them while traveling to free up some serious space and weight in your bag!

- Toes Out!

Are your feet ready for open toed footwear? Don’t forget that pre-trip pedicure! Better yet, schedule a pampering session at a local spa after you arrive on island for a supreme relaxation experience.


With endless beaches, and private pools (link over?) galore, a swimsuit is a must have item for your Hawaii trip! Ladies, don’t forget that cover-up or sarong to compliment the outfit – gentlemen, a tank top will do the trick!

Insider Tips:

- Additional Sun Protection

Looking for additional SPF’s? Consider a rashguard, a short or long sleeve shirt made of water wear material that often has high levels of UV protection. This popular swimwear is fantastic for kids and adults alike!

-Double Your Swimwear

Pack at least two swimsuits, to be sure that you’ll never have to endure putting on a cold, wet swimsuit again!



The quintessential tropical experience, Hawaii not only offers bright sun and clear skies, you’ll find the calm trade winds bring just enough breeze to stay comfortable. These breezes can often become cooler in the evening hours, and therefore a sweater or lightweight jacket is a fantastic item to include in your bag!

Insider Tips:

-High Elevation Climates

Planning a higher elevation trip, like Haleakala on Maui or the Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island of Hawaii? Don’t forget it gets very chilly, regardless of season, and can be anywhere from 50-60 degrees at the summits! Bring a jacket, or simply pack up extra blankets to ensure comfort and enjoyment of the experience.

-Rainy Season

Don’t forget that Hawaii is a tropical destination, and (often quick and intermittent!) rain is not uncommon. The rainy season in Hawaii occurs between the months of October-April, during this time pack an umbrella, a poncho, or a water resistant layer to be sure you’re never caught off guard. Remember, no rain, no rainbows!



Equally as important as your clothing, are your choices of various additional accessories! Hats and visors are a must, especially when planning long day trips or even simply a beach visit. Sunglasses are also a must, and a great consideration not to forget for the youngest ones in your group!

(Photo shown from Elvis' Blue Hawaii, released in 1961)

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