Whoohoo! Packing time for the tropical islands of Hawaii. Wondering what to pack for a week in Hawaii but don’t know where to start?
Welcome to the only Hawaii packing guide you’ll need. For a trip like this where bulky items are not needed and shorts/bathing suits will be worn almost 24/7, you’ve got a lot more flexibility (and free luggage room)!
Having traveled to Hawaii more than ten times now, I know a thing or two about packing for vacations in Hawaii with max efficiency.
Here’s my ultimate Hawaii packing list to ensure you have everything you’ll need for the perfect week in Hawaii (and any other beach vacations, really!). Get ready to pack like a pro!
*Please note: All of the products listed in this post are my personal tried and true recommendations and may contain affiliate links. You won’t be paying a cent more, but in the event of a sale, the small affiliate commission I receive will help keep this blog running. Thanks!
Table of Contents
Fashion / Style in Hawaii: What To Expect
Hawaii is all about the laidback lifestyle. You don’t need to bring very many formal outfits, if any. Shorts, t-shirts, sundresses, and flip-flops are all the norm in Hawaii.
Oftentimes, given the constant heat and sunny weather, you’ll even see people driving with their windows open without shirts on!
What this means is you don’t need to fill your luggage with unnecessary items like high heels, boots, a million different purses, suit jackets (for men), or other over-the-top accessories that you’d typically bring to places like Miami, Las Vegas, Mykonos, or Barcelona.
If you do plan on having a fancier meal or two in Hawaii, a collared shirt and pants (for men) or sundress (for the ladies) is all you’ll really need for almost any restaurant.
Now that we’ve set the stage on what to expect in Hawaii (it’s all about the casual island life), let’s get on to the packing details.
Consider The Weather in Hawaii Before Packing
Typically, the weather in Hawaii doesn’t fluctuate a whole lot throughout the year. There might be seasons where there’s more humidity or more rain, and there might be seasons where nights are colder than others. But for the most part, it will be warm and humid. Regardless of when you visit, you should aim to have all your bases covered.
If you’re traveling during the US winter months (November and January), you’ll be visiting during Hawaii’s ‘winter’ months. Expect warm days, lower humidity, and chillier nights.
November to March is also considered Hawaii’s rainy season, so you should be prepared with a light rain jacket, waterproof hiking boots, and potentially a dry bag.
During the US summer season (May to October), it can get quite hot during the daytime. You’ll want to pack clothes that are light and airy to prevent discomfort. Having said that, it’s always best to prepare for sporadic weather in Hawaii.
And when we start talking about the higher elevation areas of Hawaii, well that has a climate all its own.
In the high mountains on Maui (Haleakala) and the Big Island (Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa), where the elevation can be up to 13,000 feet at the summit, it is not uncommon for the weather to be freezing and even have snow in the winter.
The bottom line: Along with your warm-weather clothing, bring something for the rain (rain is very common in certain parts of Hawaii), bring something for the wind, and bring something light/packable for those cooler nights and/or early morning sunrise hikes. And if you’re going to be spending time at higher elevations, bring some cold-weather clothing.
Consider Your Hawaii Itinerary Activities Before Packing
What activities are you going to be doing in Hawaii? Will you be doing adrenaline-pumping activities? Will you be getting onto a watercraft? Snorkeling? Doing an epic hike on the island? Or perhaps lounging on the beach is all you plan on doing, which is perfectly fine, too!
Your planned activities will influence your one-week Hawaii packing list.
If you’re going to be doing water activities or hiking activities, there’s a lot of stuff you need to consider bringing, like water shoes, snorkeling and scuba equipment, hiking shoes, etc.
If beach lounging and eating around town is what your main objective is, you won’t need much other than beachwear and light, casual clothing.
Lastly, if you plan on seeing the sunrise at Haleakala Crater on Maui or hanging out on the mountains of Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa on the Big Island, you will definitely need a jacket no matter the time of year! Higher elevations in Hawaii are colder and windier.
Pro Tip: No matter what you decide to do, I recommend making restaurant reservations and pre-booking your outdoor excursions ahead of time. Hawaii has been experiencing an influx of vacationers, and you’ll want to be sure the restaurants/tour companies can accommodate you when you arrive.
We love bringing workout clothes on all of our Hawaii adventures! We can’t leave home without at least 2 activewear outfits.
Packing Gear: How To Carry Your Stuff To Hawaii
Before you pack anything, it’s important to start with the skin and bones of packing. Having the right bags to put your belongings in is extremely important. The last thing you want is to toss everything for your trip into a bag with no method of organization.
Why? Because you’ll find yourself spending a lot of extra time later on packing and repacking once you’re actually on your trip. Trust me, your life will be so much easier when you actually apply a strategy to how you pack.
You’ve got two options here. Do you want to go with a wheeled case or a travel backpack?
Wheeled carry-ons are awesome in that they are pretty much weightless on your body, you just roll and go.
The other option is a backpack. Travel packs are so convenient when it comes to hands-free commuting. As you’ll likely be needing a car in Hawaii and not lugging your bag around on foot, you could really go with either option.
1. Wheeled suitcase
I use my Amazon hard shell carry-on whenever I want something sturdier and can’t be bothered with having weight on my body. It’s roomy and super sleek looking. Spinner wheel hard shell cases are the future!
2. Travel backpack
Personally, I’m a travel backpack kind of person; I love my Osprey Aura 65 so much. It’s extremely comfortable because of its super intense hip belt (if you get it, you’ll see what I mean) and perfect for those warm travel days due to the ventilation technology.
I actually went backpacking with this pack and can attest to its greatness. Totally worth the investment. If you’re looking for a new travel bag or backpacking bag, GET THIS BAG! You won’t regret it.
3. Packing cubes
You need to get these lightweight packing cubes, they are amazing at creating space in your luggage that you never thought you had. However you want to organize your clothes— by day, by outfit, by type—these will be the most useful thing you have in your packing artillery.
You’ll no longer need to dig through the entire suitcase for that one thing you’re looking for, because you’ll know exactly where it’s at.
4. Everyday bag
A mini backpack that can fit a water bottle, phone, camera, sunglasses and sunscreen is a great option. Another good option for days where you’re not feeling the backpack look is a medium-sized, cross-body bag. If you’re able to find a bag that folds flat so that you’re able to stow it in your carry-on, even better!
I like the Fjallraven Kanken Mini Classic Backpack for something simple and compressible, so when I’m not using it, I can flatten it and store it in my luggage. For something more elegant, I go with a simple leather backpack.
Clothing: What To Pack For A Week In Hawaii
You really don’t need that many shirts, especially if you choose versatile pieces, allowing them to be multifunctional. You can go with a mix of 4-5 sleeveless and sleeved for the most part, with one caveat.
Depending on which part of the island you end up on, mosquitos may be a problem. If you plan on hanging out in the rainforest areas, pack 1-2 lightweight long sleeves (or use bug spray). If you plan to stay near resorts the entire time, you should be fine with sleeveless or shortsleeves only.
You can even make it more fun by bringing a few Hawaiian shirts (aloha shirts) to wear.
Bring 1 pair of long pants just in case there happens to be a chill at night or if you plan to attend a more formal event. For summers, in the face of humidity, go with something loose and light.
Jeans can be way too hot for summer travel. Trust me, I’ve experienced my fair share of sweaty legs trapped in jeans. It’s pretty uncomfortable, to say the least.
2-3 pairs will do. If you plan on wearing more dresses, you can definitely cut out some tops and bottoms and substitute them with dresses.
Looser, easy-to-pull on shorts would be best for Hawaii weather, especially on those more humid days.
Leggings are very useful if you plan on working out, hiking, or want something to lounge in on the plane. I love leggings and can’t really go on any trip without at least 1 pair.
A pair of lightweight leggings like Lululemon’s Fast and Free Tight is a great option if you’re looking for breathability while getting that protection from bugs and the sun’s UV rays. The best part? These have pockets large enough to fit your phone in!
Plan to pack ~3 long dresses for your trip to Hawaii. Long or flowy dresses/skirts are really good if you want to save space in your luggage.
If you plan on going out at night or participating in a luau, aim for one of the dresses to be appropriate for both daytime and evening looks. Add a nice cardigan (or even a shawl), swap out the flip-flops for your nicer sandals, and be on your merry way!
It’s all about versatility!
My rule of thumb: To save room for things I plan to buy on vacation, I’ll always bring ~2 outfits less than the number of days I plan on traveling. I know historically I tend to not wear everything I pack, so I’ve adjusted for this in the packing process. Plus, everything you bring is washable and re-wearable. You should evaluate your situation and adjust for it as well!
HAWAII: OUTFIT IDEAS
10. Underwear and socks
Bring 1 pair of underwear for as many days as you’re going to be traveling. Most times though, I even bring a few extra for changing out of bathing suits after a visit to the beach.
I also tend to bring fewer socks than the number of days I’m visiting because I find that I wear sandals more than shoes in Hawaii!
These items are light enough where overpacking is not a problem.
Depending on your activity level, 3-4 bras will do. Because I’m pretty active and tend to do a lot of tropical hiking, I typically bring more sports bras than regular bras. (Plus, your swimming suit tops can function as bras too.)
In order to save on luggage space, bring less and just throw them in the wash as needed.
12. Hiking Boots
If you plan on doing a lot of hiking on rocky or muddy terrain, consider bringing hiking boots or trail runners with you.
Hiking boots vs. trail runners for Hawaii depends on the type of hiking you plan to do. If you plan to do more strenuous hikes with steep inclines, rocky terrain, and potential mud or water crossings (like the Kalalau Trail on Kauai), then hiking boots would be a better choice.
However, if you plan to do less strenuous hikes with mostly dry, paved trails or gently sloping terrain, then trail runners may be a better choice. Trail runners are lighter and more flexible than hiking boots, which can make them a lot easier to pack in your suitcase.
Since I’m a fan of difficult hikes, almost 100% of the time I’ve visited Hawaii in the past, I’ve brought hiking boots with me.
However, I often find that my boots are too bulky to pack in my luggage. In most cases, I’ll just wear my hiking boots or trail runners on the plane. It’s not the most comfortable, but it does help a lot with saving on luggage space.
13. Comfortable Walking Shoes
If you’re not hiking, you should at least bring a pair of comfortable walking shoes with good support and traction.
With all the walking that you’ll be doing, make sure to wear a good pair of walking shoes. My all-time favorite travel shoes these days are the tried and true Ecco Soft 7 (they’re stylish, comfortable, and have been raved about for decades since they were first created)! They are perfect for instances when I want to avoid that tennis shoe look–like when I’m wearing a dress or plan on going out for some nightlife.
When traveling to tropical destinations, sandals or flip-flops are a must. For Hawaii, I like to bring multiple options depending on what my planned activities are.
We recently discovered the Oofos slide at our REI store and boy were we sold on it. From the moment we slid them on our feet, maximum comfort! It was like walking on clouds. Not only were they perfect for our vacations in Hawaii and Mexico, but we also now plan on gifting this to everyone we know!
And if I know I’ll be going on adventures that require more stability, I’ll bring along my Chaco’s Z1 Classic sandals (they serve as both sandals and water shoes). Chaco’s are such sturdy sandals–they’re great for doing waterfall hikes, walking on lava rocks, kayaking, and more.
15. Cardigan or light puffy jacket
For those unsuspecting chilly nights. If you plan on catching some sunrises or visiting higher altitudes such as Mauna Kea or Haleakala, note that it does get cold in Hawaii.
A puffy jacket is always a good option because of how they can pack up into nothing! You have a lot of options here, but I personally have the North Face Thermoball, and it’s kept me warm throughout my many years of adventuring!
16. Rain jacket
Despite its warm weather, Hawaii (and other tropical destinations) tends to get quite a bit of rain depending on the season and which part of the island you’re on.
17. Shawl / scarf
One of my must-haves! I’ll always have a medium-sized thin scarf in my bag. Not only can you use them for warmth or style, but you can also use them as a swimsuit coverup after beaching, as a towel, as a mat on grass/sand/dirt, as a quick rain shield, or as an emergency skirt if your bottoms get stained or soaked somehow.
Since you’re probably going to be hitting the beach at least 50% of the time you’re in Hawaii, I’d recommend you bring 3-4 sets of swimsuits. For the guys, 3-4 pairs of boardshorts should do.
This obviously depends on how much you plan on beaching. In general, it’s okay to pack extra because they’re lightweight and can come in handy in case you need to hit the beach or pool, and the ones you wore previously haven’t had a chance to fully dry yet.
19. Sleepwear / loungewear
Yoga pants or workout shorts and a baggy t-shirt are all you need. You can really save luggage space here! These items can be used as pajamas, loungewear, and airplane/road trip outfits.
Hawaii clothing packing list for men
T-shirts, tanks, polo shirts, shorts, one pair of pants (really only if you plan on going to a nicer restaurant), 2-3 pairs of swimming shorts, one lightweight jacket. Consider a light rain jacket if there’s rain in the forecast.
Accessories: What To Pack For A Week In Hawaii
Because it can get really bright during summer afternoons.
21. Hat / Baseball Cap
Hats are so necessary for sun protection, don’t forget it! You most definitely should have one if you’re going to be spending any prolonged time outdoors.
Baseball caps are great for more active days where you plan on hiking or getting out on the water.
Straw sun hats are better for those casual days by the pool or beach. I’d recommend getting a sunhat with a string so that you won’t need to worry about it flying off every few seconds on a breezy day.
Whenever I want to do my hair and protect my face from the harsh sun rays, I go with my trust roll-up sun hat. This hat is my favorite because it gives me the best of both worlds, a cute hairdo, and sun protection!
22. Jewelry (Optional)
I tend to skip jewelry on most days (even if I’ve packed it) because either it’s too hot/humid to want to deal with something sticking all over my neck, or I just forget to wear it.
Toiletries: What To Pack For A Week In Hawaii
Sunscreen is absolutely necessary. Even if it’s overcast or cloudy, the UV index can be very high, so be sure to apply whenever you’re outdoors. Whenever we head to tropical destinations with ample marine life, we always go with a coral reef-safe brand, as traditional sunscreens contain chemicals that harm our environment as well as the natural balance of marine ecosystems.
In fact, you may even encounter tour companies and eco-parks asking you to only use sunscreen and sunblock that are biodegradable, containing titanium oxide and zinc oxide only.
And honestly, it’s not enough to just buy any old bottle that has a “reef-friendly” label on it. It turns out many sunscreens claiming to be “reef-friendly” or “reef-safe” actually aren’t!
Products containing the following ingredients are technically NOT reef safe: oxybenzone, avobenzone, homosalate, octinoxate, octisalate, octocrylene or nanoparticles. Always review the active ingredients on the bottle to be sure you’re really getting something reef-safe.
Here are a few travel-sized biodegradable sunscreens you can easily buy on Amazon:
- Badger Reef Safe Sunscreen – SPF 40 Kids Clear Sport
- Badger Reef Safe Sunscreen- SPF 35 Clear Zinc Sport Unscented
- Thinksport SPF 50+ Mineral Sunscreen
- Babo Botanicals Zinc Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30
- All Good Sport Face & Body Sunscreen Lotion
And on days where we are just out and about (not getting into the water)–for the face, we are absolutely obsessed with the magical Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen. No white-cast, no greasy film!
24. Bug spray
Depending on the island you choose and the season you go, there will be mosquitoes and you’ll want to protect yourself against bites. Typically the more undeveloped the island or destination, the more prevalent mosquitos are.
If you plan to go hiking in Hawaii, I would definitely recommend packing insect repellent with a high DEET percentage. Sawyer makes some really great bug repellent products, and they’re travel-friendly too!
25. Squeeze bottles
GoToob travel bottles are my favorite thing ever. Made of high-quality silicone, they are extremely durable, have never leaked on me, and are super easy to squeeze. They have different TSA-approved sizes, but I found the large GoToobs to be the best for the duration of my trip.
26. Hand Sanitizer
Hand sanitizer gel or hand sanitizing wipes are a must any time you’re going to be in contact with surfaces many other people have touched. Never leave your hotel room without it! And if you do happen to forget it, remember to wash your hands often, especially before eating or touching your face.
27. Body Wipes / Feminine Wipes
Feeling a bit gross after a hike or bike ride but don’t have the time to shower right in that instant? Just whip out one of these body wipes for a quick refresher!
The feminine wipes I like are infused with cucumber and aloe. Trust me, you will feel and smell so much better. It’s always good to have a few handy in your travel bag.
Pro Tip: What I like to do when I get to Hawaii–use one of my smaller packing cubes as a mini travel pouch. In that pouch is a bathing suit, a change of underwear, socks, face/body wipes, and feminine wipes. These things are extra useful when going from the beach back into the car (when you know you won’t get to shower for a few more hours).
28. Shower supplies
Only required if you’re going to be at an Airbnb or vacation rental.
These are usually provided by hotels. If you run out, you can simply ask for more.
29. Dental supplies
Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash.
You’re going to be in the hot sun most of the time, so bring deodorant if you sweat or stink.
31. Makeup (Optional)
Makeup, optional?? Yes, you read that right.
Some women have a huge collection of makeup. I also love to wear makeup on vacations! But it’ll be hot in Hawaii, and your face will be sweaty and oily from the sun exposure. Or, you’ll be beaching and snorkeling so much that you won’t need to wear makeup! Bring only what you need.
32. Dry shampoo (Optional)
I try not to wash my hair every day, but at the same time, summers in Hawaii are hot and humid. Dry shampoo comes in handy very frequently.
33. DIY survival kit
Carrying around a mini first aid kit with you is a good idea. Since you’re traveling though, you may need more than what the average first aid kit provides. I’d recommend making your own DIY survival kit!
Make a little bag of the following: ibuprofen, allergy pills, Immodium, ciprofloxacin (or whatever your doctor prescribes for traveler’s diarrhea), bandaids, floss, hand sanitizer, eye drops, lip balm, a sharpie, tape, and extra contact lenses (if applicable).
Think about the ailments you typically suffer from and have to deal with on a regular basis and adjust the contents of the bag as needed!
34. Extra plastic baggies
Because you never know, but they always come in handy.
You can even reuse the plastic baggies you get from the supermarket.
35. Tissue/antibacterial wipes
Sometimes, your hands get dirty. Sometimes, there’s no toilet paper in the public bathrooms. Sometimes, you’ll come across a fruit stand or banana bread stand on the road and want to buy something to snack on.
Tissues and hand wipes are great for these instances.
36. Laundry soap (Optional)
Bring a super-concentrated soap so you can do your own laundry if you’re going to be taking a long trip. By doing your own laundry, you can save on those insane drycleaning fees hotels charge!
37. Quick-drying towel
Optional, but great for traveling! These are light and quick-drying towels that adventurous travelers love to travel, backpack, and camp with.
They are extremely useful if you plan on having beach days but don’t have access to beach towels. They’re also great if you need to bring a towel on a waterfall or beach hike. Since they’re so light, they’re super easy to pack in your day pack.
38. Eye mask / Earplugs
Eye masks are amazing for airplane rides or shared rooms where the beds aren’t separated by curtains, or if you’re sharing your hotel room with an early riser.
People being able to see your sleepy little eyes? A bit awkward. But with this super comfortable and patent-pending eyemask, the awkwardness is gone! I find eye masks to be awesome for plane or train travel too.
Now, onto earplugs. There is a good chance there will be families traveling by plane with young children and/or babies. A very good chance. I would highly recommend bringing earplugs or headphones for your plane rides to drown out any potential crying babies! These earplugs by Mack’s are my absolute favorite.
Electronics: What To Pack For A Week In Hawaii
39. Camera (GoPro)
iPhones are typically good enough, but some higher-quality pictures definitely wouldn’t hurt. For longer, more scenic vacations, I typically go with my Nikon D5500, which produces great photos that I’ll cherish forever.
If you plan on doing a bunch of adventurous activities (ziplining, skydiving, kayaking, paddling, ATV-ing) and/or want some underwater footage when surfing or snorkeling, you should definitely go with the waterproof GoPro.
40. External battery
You’re probably going to be out all day, snapping away taking pictures… the last thing you want is to be driving along with no phone battery!
A portable power bank is a must-have, and Anker’s ultra-light, ultra-portable power bank is tried and true by so many travelers! I never embark on a day of exploration without it.
41. Smartphone UV Sanitizer and Charger
Our phones gather all the grime and bacteria we touch throughout the day, and then they are stored in warm, dark places like purses and pockets, which make for great breeding grounds for bacteria to grow. They are the third hand we never wash, but should!
Using a UV sanitizer such as PhoneSoap on a regular basis will help keep germs and illness at bay.
42. Travel adapter
Necessary for many international travelers visiting Hawaii.
This one here is tried and trusted. It allows for a normal plug and has two additional USB ports.
Bring multiple phone cords since they are light (and easy to misplace).
Go with the Kindle Paperwhite over books if you read a lot– it eliminates a lot of potential weight from actually carrying books.
What better way to spend some time poolside or tanning at the beach?
Documents: What To Pack For A Week In Hawaii
45. Travel belt or money belt
A travel belt is a smart traveler’s best friend. They are the best thief-proof tool for airplane travel, public transportation travel, walking around abroad, and just about everything else in between.
I always, always use a Flip Belt to carry around identification, important documents, and money that I want to keep safe and right by my side.
Another benefit of the Flip Belt? It’s supposed to be a running belt. I swear, this thing doesn’t budge or jiggle at all when I run, plus it’s super comfortable!
While most parts of Hawaii take card, it’s always good to carry around a mix of local currency and your home currency for emergencies.
If you plan on visiting farmers markets or the Aloha Market on Oahu, it’s best to just pay in cash.
47. Tickets and travel documents
Passport, student ID, medical card, proof of travel insurance, printed documents of your flight/hotel bookings, visas if you need them.
48. Travel cards
Credit cards, debit cards, airport lounge access cards, visas.
49. Journal or book
‘Cause everyone could use a little alone time.
Other Travel Essentials: What To Pack For A Week In Hawaii
50. Travel pillow
The turtl Pillow is the only one you need to consider for easy airplane sleeping! It comes highly rated because it has so much support, almost like a neck brace (there’s a chunk of flexible plastic in there to prop your head up). It’s warm and super packable too.
And if you’re looking to level up, the trtl Pillow Plus is even more high-tech than the original.
51. Water bottle
Go with a collapsable one like this so when it’s not filled, you can easily pack it away in your travel bag.
For something more durable that keeps your water cold for hours upon hours, Hydroflasks are my favorite for everyday use. While they are a bit heavier, I prefer these for Hawaii because of their ability to keep water ice-cold even when kept in the trunk of a hot car all day.
52. Foldable tote bag
Great for doing groceries or carrying your belongings in a pinch. Please note, Hawaii charges for plastic bags!
Bring one of your own, save money and save the planet. This option is very compactable and can fit right in your carry-on.
53. Laundry bag
Keep your worn clothes separate from your clean ones, especially when traveling to high humidity climates. When it’s humid, you’ll definitely be sticky by the end of the day. All that stickiness will transfer to your clothes. And even if you don’t get sticky/sweaty, you will inevitably have dirty socks and undies to toss in here.
I have this laundry bag set, and it’s great because it includes many size options.
54. Emergen-C packets
Emergen-C packets or Liquid I.V. Hydration Packets are a must for travel. These are a great way to support your immune system and overall health on a trip. They are light, take up no space, and are very easy to pack!
55. Sand-free beach mat
Did you know that these days there are high-tech beach mats for sale? Oh yeah, they definitely beat your average beach towel, that’s for sure!
There are actually beach mats that are quick-drying, waterproof, and sand-proof, making setting up on the beach super, super easy. This amazing beach mat is all those things, plus it has sand anchor pockets and 6 ground stakes so that your beach mat is wind-resistant even when you’re not laying on it!
56. Snorkel gear
Bringing your own snorkeling set is pretty freeing. It means you can choose to snorkel anytime you want without having to track down a rental shop to rent gear. This is important because not all beaches have rental shacks nearby.
In addition, you’ll have the comfort of knowing the snorkel and mask haven’t been used by a million other people.
Seavenger, one of the best snorkel gear makers in the game, sells a Hanalei Anti-Fog 4-Piece Snorkeling Set that’s really loved by both kids and adults.
57. Seasickness wristbands
If you’re prone to motion sickness or seasickness and plan on doing boat excursions or sailing trips (to Molokini or Lanai, or to the Na Pali Coast, etc.), you’re going to want to pack a few seasickness wristbands for your trip. These babies work by applying acupressure to just the right spots on your wrist.
As Sea-Bands are totally natural, they’re a great alternative when you don’t want to take oral medications.
58. Portable neck fan
For travelers who, like me, do very poorly in high humidity destinations, this one is for you. If you can’t stand the feeling of stifling, breezeless air, do not forget to pack a portable neck fan!
A constant and enjoyable breeze makes all the difference and will allow you to stay comfortable being outside in the heat for hours on end. I personally own a bladeless neck fan, but there are other more affordable fans with fan blades available too.
If you know it’s going to be hot and humid and are not good with hot weather, I beg you, pack this in your travel bag!
59. Cooling towel
For something simpler than a neck fan, you can consider a Chill Pal cooling towel to stay cool.
Trust me, it will save your life from the heat and make exploring the outdoors more bearable.
60. Oversized beach bag
If you are traveling with a larger family, it may make sense to bring an entire bag specifically for all your beaching gear.
This oversized beach bag is perfect for carrying all your beach necessities like beach towels, change of clothes, snorkeling gear, toys, beach mat, sunscreen, insulated reusable water bottles, and snacks.
Not only could your beach bag/tote be used for those beach days, but you could also use it to pack necessities for other day trips you plan to have while in Hawaii.
Things You Probably Don’t Need To Pack For Hawaii
Hawaii is known for its warm and tropical climate (yes, even in winter months), so you probably won’t need heavy winter clothing.
If you plan to visit the summit of Mauna Kea or Mauna Loa on the Big Island, you can bring a puffy jacket and a beanie. However, at lower elevations, you’ll be perfectly fine with light sweaters or light cardigans on cooler nights.
Hawaii is a laid-back and casual place, so you probably won’t need formal attire unless you’re attending a wedding or something. Even if you plan to attend a luau, dressy casual attire is usually sufficient.
Hawaii is full of beaches and outdoor activities, so high heels are not the most practical shoe to pack to Hawaii. Stick to comfortable and sturdy shoes that can handle sand, water, and uneven terrain.
If want to go for a dressier look, bring comfortable wedges or some sort of summer sandal instead!
Towels tend to be bulky and will take up lots of space in your suitcase. Many hotels and vacation rentals in Hawaii provide beach towels, so you probably don’t need to bring your own.
If you find that you do need a towel, you can easily purchase one at the closest ABC Store (your one-stop shop for food, snacks, beach gear, and souvenirs).
Heavy-duty hiking boots
While there are many great hikes in Hawaii, you most likely won’t need heavy-duty hiking boots unless you’re doing more strenuous trails like the Kalalau Trail, Mauna Kea Summit Trail, or the trails at Haleakala Crater.
Sturdy sneakers or trail running shoes are usually sufficient for popular Oahu hikes like Diamond Head State Monument, Makapuu Lighthouse Trail, Koko Head Crater, and Manoa Falls Trail.
When is the best time of year to visit Hawaii?
In my opinion, the best months of the year to visit Hawaii are between April to May and September to November. Although the weather in Hawaii is warm and wonderful all year long, during those shoulder season months there are both fewer crowds and rain is less likely.
Generally, the best weather in Hawaii can be experienced in June, July and September. This is when the water is warmest and the least amount of rain falls. However, this is also when tourists tend to flock to the islands as kids are on their summer vacations and whatnot.
Remember, Hawaii’s rainy season falls between the months of November and March. While you might not experience rain every second of your trip, do note that it is more frequent during these months. December and January are typically the wettest months in Hawaii.
You’ll want to pack accordingly if you’re traveling during the rainier season!
Do you need a car in Hawaii?
The answer is an astounding YES! You could potentially get away without a rental car on Oahu, but even still you’d be limited to just the touristy area of Waikiki.
Unlike the island of Oahu, Kauai, Maui and the Big Island do not have just one area where many of the attractions are easily accessible by public transportation. On many of these other islands, there is no ‘downtown’ and the islands are definitely not walkable.
If you plan to stay only at your resort and do nothing else, then a car may not be needed. However, if you’re looking to do iconic activities such as hike Koko Head on Oahu, drive the Road to Hana on Maui, visit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island, or explore Waimea Canyon State Park on Kauai, you are most definitely going to need to rent a car.
Since rental car prices are not cheap, you’re going to want to use a comparison tool such as Priceline to compare deals across car rental companies.
We personally book rental cars with Priceline almost 100% of the time due to their unbeatable free cancellation policy. No prepayment and no cancellation fees–you really can’t beat it!
What To Pack For A Week In Hawaii: Checklist
To wrap up, let’s review the entire checklist for your one week in Hawaii:
- Wheeled Suitcase / Travel Backpack
- Packing Cubes
- Laundry Travel Bag
- Everyday bag
- 4-5 Tops
- 1 pair of pants
- 2-3 pairs of shorts/skirts
- 1 pair of leggings
- 2-3 dresses
- 7+ pairs of undies
- 7+ pairs of socks
- 3-4 bras
- 1 pair of comfortable shoes
- 1 hiking boot (optional)
- 1 pair of sandals / flip flops
- 1 cardigan or lightweight fleece
- 1 shawl or scarf
- 3-4 bathing suits
- Sunhat / baseball caps
- Jewelry (optional)
- Hand sanitizer
- Body wipes / feminine wipes
- DIY survival kit
- Extra plastic baggies
- Laundry soap
- Quick-dry towel
- Eye mask
- Phone sanitizer
- External battery
- Travel adapter
- Travel belt / money belt
- Tickets and travel documents
- Credit /debit cards
- Journal or book
- Travel pillow
- Water bottle
- Foldable tote bag
- Laundry bag
- Emergen-C packets
- Beach mat
- Snorkel gear
- Seasickness wristbands
- Cooling towel
- Portable neck fan
- Oversized beach bag
Now you’re ready for your epic, one-week Hawaii vacation!
If you get nothing else out of this post, at least take this with you:
When packing for a Hawaii trip, pack light yet efficiently. And be sure to save room for souvenirs and local snacks to bring home! Especially since your clothing items will be considerably lighter for a tropical destination.
Alright, you’ve got a lot to look forward to and a lot of trip to pack for! Bon voyage!
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