Tips On Packing For Hawaii

Everyone coming to Hawaii on vacation should come prepared. Researching travel tips is a great way to start getting ready to and make the most out of your trip. While packing is dreaded by many, it has been mastered by few who have shared their wisdom. Here are a few really helpful tips on packing for Hawaii.

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Packing for Hawaii Packing List

What to do before your trip

Keep a master list handy — Save your packing list some place convenient. I like to use Evernote to store travel notes, it’s easy to use and accessible everywhere I go. Make a list of things to do around the house — For example, call the pet sitter, place your mail on hold, and take out the trash before your trip.

Tips on packing for Hawaii Pack sunglasses

Again, it’s going to be sunny when you step off the plane, or first thing in the morning if you arrive at night. It’s also a good idea to buy a pair of cheap sunglasses at the International Marketplace for taking to the beach or going on an afternoon sail if you don’t want to ding up your nice pair.
Packing for Hawaii: Sunglasses

Be sure to bring your sunglasses! It’s also a good idea to pick up a pair of cheap ones when you get here. Photo: geishaboy500 on Flickr

Pack comfortable shoes

If you’re going hiking, pack hiking shoes. Walking a lot? Bring athletic shoes. In Hawaii, everyone wears slippers (sandals), remember to pack these as well. It’s also a good idea to pack a pair of dress shoes if you plan on upscale activities like a sunset dinner cruise.

Pack appropriate clothing

Men — T-shirts, polo shirts, shorts, one pair of long pants and one lightweight jacket is perfect. Yes, bring long pants and a light jacket, the weather can be cool in high altitudes and in the evenings. Women — Shirts, polo shirts, lightweight tops, tanks, skirts, shorts, a pair of slacks and a jacket is ideal. Tip: Laundry machines are abundant in Waikiki. Pack light.

Pack two (2) swim suits

Pack one suit in your check-in and one in your carry-on luggage. If your suitcase gets lost, you can still swim at the beach while you wait for your luggage to arrive. Plus, you can swim in one pair while the other pair is drying.

Don’t pack expensive jewelry

You may be tempted to bring fashionable jewelry on vacation, but beware: expensive accessories require extra careful security and can easily be lost at the beach. Instead, pack simple pieces of jewelry or buy affordable Hawaiian jewelry when you arrive.
Packing for Hawaii: Jewelry

Expensive jewelry is fun to wear, but not always appropriate for vacation activities, so consider leaving your most valuable pieces at home. Photo: Gnilenkov Aleksey on Flickr

Pack toiletries

Remember your toothpaste, toothbrush, floss, hair brush, and anything else you need. Tip: Ask your hotel if they provide free toiletries like shampoo, conditioner, razors, shaving cream, iron and ironing board, hair dryer.

Pack medications

Don’t forget to bring any important prescription medications. It’s also a good idea to have your doctor’s information stored in your phone in case of an emergency.

Pack expensive items in your carry-on

Always pack cameras, laptops and electronics in your carry-on luggage. You should carry these with you at all times when traveling through airports.

Pack important documents

Place you driver’s license, insurance card, flight information and passport (if traveling internationally) in a carrying case reserved for important documents. Tip: Keep your important documents close by when traveling.
Packing for Hawaii: Passport & ID

Be sure to remember your passport and ID’s when packing for Hawaii, you’ll need them to get on the plane or if you plan on doing some island hopping. Photo: Lucastheexperience on Flickr

Pack something to read

Something to read—pass the the time on the plane reading a good book or magazine.

Pack snacks

Because your airplane carrier might charge you $5 for a pack of Oreos.
Packing for Hawaii: Snacks

Adding snacks to the list when packing for Hawaii is a great idea. They’re expensive at the airport and even more expensive on the plane, so be sure to bring your own! Photo: iseethingsiseethemwithmyeyes on Flickr

Pack a refillable water bottle

You can fill this up after passing through airport security, that way you won’t have to spend $3.00 on a bottle of water. It also reduces the amount of plastic you use!

Pack a camera

Bring the camera you are most comfortable with: an iPhone, SLR, or film camera. It’s important to pack a camera that you want to carry with you every day, because you will enjoy using it every day.

Pack chargers for your electronics

Power up your phone and laptop the day before traveling, then be sure to pack your chargers that night. It’s easy to forget these on the morning of your flight.
Packing for Hawaii: Phone Charger

Be sure to remember your phone charger when packing for Hawaii

Buy these items when you land in Hawaii

  • Sunscreen and aloe gel (helps soothes burns)
  • Beach towel
  • Beach mat
  • Slippers (aka sandals, flip flops)
  • Batteries
  • Hat

Pack appropriate items for your activites

If you’ve booked a tour in Hawaii, plan to pack any special items required for your tour. For example, if you are going swimming with dolphins off the west coast of Oahu , pack (or buy) a waterproof case for your camera.

Pack empty space

Remember to leave space in your luggage for souvenirs and items you buy while shopping in Hawaii.
Packing for Hawaii: Suitcase

Remember to leave extra space for souvenirs, or you can always bring an extra suitcase! Photo: emmamccleary on Flickr

Password protect your phone

Set a password lock on your smartphone. If you lose your phone, no one will be able to access it.

Double check your packing list

I’ve already listed these, but always double check that you have the following:
  • Driver’s license
  • Passport
  • Flight Confirmation Number
  • Cash, Credit Card, and/or Traveler’s Cheques
  • Rental Car Information
  • Hotel Confirmation
  • Prescription medications
  • Health and vehicle insurance cards

I hope you found this packing list extremely useful—if you have any tips to add, please leave a note in the comments section, mahalo!

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