What to Pack for Hawaii +FREE PDF Packing Checklist 2023

Are you heading to Hawaii and wondering what to pack?

We’ve got you covered with the ultimate Hawaii packing list. Whether you’re hitting the beach, hiking, or attending a luau.

From swimwear to sightseeing outfits to evening attire, we’ll provide you with all the essential tips to look your best in paradise.

Plus, we’ll share our expert advice on what gear to pack and what not to pack for your trip. Prepare to pack like a pro and make the most of your Hawaiian vacation!

What to Wear in Hawaii

When preparing your wardrobe for a trip to Hawaii, it’s crucial to consider the warm climate and opt for lightweight and breathable clothing.

Opt for lightweight and breathable clothing such as tank tops, t-shirts, and shorts made from light fabrics like linen.

Remember that temperatures can cool down in the evenings or at higher elevations, so it’s wise to bring a light jacket or sweater.Here are the outfits to pack:

Luau Outfit

A dress with comfortable sandals or flip-flops will offer a breezy and stylish look for women. Men can wear lightweight linen pants or shorts paired with a casual button-down shirt for a relaxed yet sophisticated vibe. Luau is more than a party; it celebrates Hawaiian culture, so embrace the relaxed and vibrant island vibe.


 Pack a variety of swimsuits, including bikinis and a coverup or sarong for those moments when you’re not in the water, and pack rash guards or swim shirts for extra sun protection, especially if you plan on snorkeling or engaging in water sports.

Hiking Outfits

is crucial to select suitable clothing to ensure both comfort and protection. Opt for lightweight, breathable fabrics that keep you cool throughout your trek on the trails. Moisture-wicking materials are an excellent choice to prevent sweat buildup and maintain dryness. 

Sightseeing Outfits

Mix and match versatile pieces for various outfits to maximize your packing space. Comfortable walking shoes are a must for exploring the sights. Layering is important, as temperatures can change throughout the day.

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What to Pack for Hawaii

1. Reusable Water Bottle

Bring your reusable water bottle to reduce single-use plastic, stay hydrated on long flight and avoid paying for priced water. The tap water in Hawaii is safe to drink. Many hotels and even businesses have water refill stations that are free to use.

2. Snacks

Airport snacks are always overpriced, especially nowadays because lots of airport shops are closed or understaffed. You don’t want to miss your long flight to Hawaii because you were in line to get a cup of coffee, and not worth it!

3. Travel Pillow

I always travel with this pillow. Trust me, you don’t want to be without a pillow on this flight because it’s going to be a long plane ride to Hawaii, especially if you have multiple connecting flights.

4. Hand sanitizer/sanitizing wipes-

Staying healthy and safe is very important. Having hand sanitizer/sanitizing wipes to clean hands and clean the plane’s surfaces. You don’t want to get sick while you are on vacation.

Clothing To Pack For Hawaii

what to pack for hawaii
Photo by Timur Weber from Pexels

5. Dresses

Bring a lovely dress perfect for grabbing a cocktail or a nice dinner.

6. Shorts

Shorts are easy to wear and can be worn over a swimsuit or with a tee—different color tees with the same shorts to save on luggage space.

7. Tops

Bringing a few top options is excellent with skirts and shorts; you have different outfits for your whole trip.

8. Skirts

Skirts are cute bottoms to have to pay with tops and bathing suits.

9. Light Jacket or Cardigan

A light cardigan is excellent just in case it gets a little chilly. Also helpful for restaurants, they tend to be on the colder side.

10. Waterproof Jacket

Hawaii being tropical weather. It tends to rain periodically throughout the day. A great waterproof jacket will allow you to continue your day without getting wet.

11. Athletic Clothes

Are you planning to go on a Hawaii hike or get work out during your vacation? Having workout clothing will come in handy to stay comfortable.

12. Fashion Sandals

A more excellent pair of sandals are great for going out to dinner and walking around Waikiki.

13. Tennis shoes

Is good to have a good pair of shoes beause you will be walking a lot. If you are planning to go hiking bring extra shoes you dont mind getting dirty or muddy.

Beach Essentials to Pack For Hawaii

beach items to bring to hawaii
Photo by Julia Kicova on Unsplash

14. Reef-Safe Sunscreen

Reef-Safe sunscreen is a must in Hawaii; chemical sunscreens are banned in Hawaii. It’s best to buy it at home as sunscreens prices in Hawaii are higher. Here are the best reef-safe sunscreens that will help you prevent sunburns and protect the reef and marine life.

15. Swimsuits

Swimsuits are necessary for the pool, beach, or to take in some sun.

16. Swimsuit Coverup

Swimsuit coverups are a must-have for Hawaii. You can go for a swim, throw it over your suit, and then head shopping or out to grab a bite without worrying about being just in a swimsuit.

17. Rash Guard

Rashguards are great to protect from the sun and if you don’t want to use sunscreen all over your body. Rashguards are perfect for snorkeling and other water activities, even if you are out in the sun. It gives you peace of mind knowing you won’t get sunburnt.

18. Waterproof Dry Bag

Are you planning on doing water sports? A dry bag can protect your belongings from water damage. Whether you are heading to the beach, going on a day trip on a boat, or planning a more extensive water-based excursion.

19. Underwater Camera

GoPro is a great underwater camera that will capture marine life while snorkeling or for boat tours and waterfall hikes. You want to capture beautiful moments from your Hawaii vacation.

20. Sunglasses

Sunglasses are super handy; the sun tends to be strong in Hawaii and wants to protect your eyes.

21. Hat

A hat is excellent for sun protection during your hikes in Hawaii, as most walks have no shade throughout the trail.

22. Backpack/Tote Bag

Stash your sunscreen, sunglasses, towel, reusable water bottle, snacks, and other little necessities into a backpack or tote bag. It makes time at the pool or beach a breeze. Also, when going shopping in Hawaii, they charge per bag.

23. Snorkel Gear

If you have space in your luggage, we recommend snorkel gear. If you are not planning a snorkel tour, you want to snorkel alone. If you are going on a time, they provide a set, but I wouldn’t trust how they are cleaning these between tours, everyone using the same mouthpiece, ewwwww

24. Flip Flops

Great to slip on and head to the pool or the beach.

25. Reef Shoes

A good pair of Reef shoes are essential to avoid stepping on the reef or orchids. Many places where to snorkel have reefs as the fishes like to eat. Many people have ascendingly stepped on it and got cuts.

26. Turkish Beach Towel

Some hotels do provide pool towels but not all. Great to have your own, and if you are going on tours, great to have a towel to dry off. Towels with secret pockets are next level. Just bring keys and a phone and be able to hide them in the towel without no one knowing.

Packable Cooler(optional)

This must be on your list when considering what to bring to Hawaii! A collapsible cooler can easily squeeze into a suitcase. Taking a cooler full of beverages to the beach or having a couple of snacks is great. Having snacks allows you to avoid pricey restaurants. I’ll always go on another beach vacation with one!

Tech Items to Pack for Hawaii

tech item for oahu hawaii
Photo by Oziel Gómez on Unsplash

27. Portable Phone Charger

There will be more photo ops than you can count on your trip, so all those pictures will likely drain your battery. Pack a portable charger to keep your phone or electronics charged.

28. Waterproof Phone Case

A waterproof case is a MUST if you want to bring your phone to the beach, on boats, hiking near waterfalls, or anywhere it can get wet. A waterproof case prevents it from getting damaged by sand and water. It also can be used as an underwater camera!

29. Flotation Strap

If you bring your waterproof phone case or underwater camera out on a boat while snorkeling or doing other water sports, you have to have this flotation strap so it’ll float if you drop it!! You do not want to lose your phone in the ocean!

30. Empty Space in your suitcase

es, but leave room in your suitcase! Too often, I have overpacked, and when I’m on vacation, I can only buy something extra if I have room. I have left space in my suitcase for souvenirs or items I might purchase. If a bag is already full, I take an extra bag as my item on the plane.

31. Cincha Travel Belt


If you are an over-packer and always have a heavy personal item. I know that it has happened that it falls over while in transit, which can be annoying. The Cincha travel belt has been an enormous life savior and helpful to travel worry-free knowing that my bag isn’t going to fall over.

32.Packing Cubes

Packing cubes are a game-changer for efficient and organized travel. Separating items into different cubes based on categories or outfits makes it easier to locate specific items without rummaging through a messy suitcase. Packing cubes also compress clothes, reducing wrinkles and allowing more items to fit compactly. Unpacking is effortless as you seamlessly transfer the cubes to your accommodation, promoting a stress-free experience.

Other Essentials

Here are the obvious essentials to pack as well as reminders:

  • Toiletries: shampoo, conditioner, lotion, toothpaste, toothbrush, makeup.
  • Travel documents: passport, ID, emergency contact information, itineraries, flight information, hotel booking confirmation
  • Electronics chargers: cell phones, and other devices. 
  • Emergency cash.
  • Prescription medications, as well as over-the-counter medications for allergies, motion sickness.

What NOT to bring to Hawaii

Too many clothes

Hawaii is pretty casual; you don’t need fancy or too many clothes. Most hotels have a laundry service if you need to wash clothes.

High Heels

Leave your high heels at home. Hawaii being an island, life is more casual. Heels can be impractical and uncomfortable. Opt for lightweight, versatile sandals or sneakers to enjoy the island’s laid-back vibe.


Hawaii temperatures average in the 70°F and 80°Fyear-round. Take a light jacket or sweater at the very most.


Jeans should be lighter and thick to wear in Hawaii. To look dressed up, consider wearing lightweight cotton or khaki pants instead.

Expensive Jewelry

Don’t risk getting your valuables stolen. Leave your expensive jewelry and other expensive items at home. Why risk having them lost or stolen when you’re out and about?

Kayak, surfboard, snorkel gear, golf clubs

Save yourself the hassle and money of carrying these around. Tour prices usually include the use of equipment, and all the major golf courses offer club rentals.

Hawaii Travel FAQs

What is the tempature in Hawaii like?

Hawaii temperature range from 75-90°F (23-32°C) year-round during the day and at night 70-80°F(21-27°C) at night. 

In the coldest month in Hawaii, February’s average temperature overnight 65°F(18°C). 

Hawaii’s season is from April to October; the wet season is from November to March.

What is the best month to visit Hawaii?

The best month to travel to Hawaii is October; it is during the shoulder season. During shoulder season, flights and accommodations prices are more affordable than peak season. There will be crowds as well.

Which Hawaiian Islands are the best to visit?

The best island to visit depends on what you would like to do during your trip to Hawaii. All eight Hawaiian islands offer something different. The best Hawaiian Islands to visit will vary based on individual preferences. Oahu is renowned for its lively city atmosphere, Waikiki Beach, and historical attractions. Maui boasts picturesque beaches, the scenic Road to Hana, and the breathtaking Haleakala National Park. The Big Island (Hawaii Island) stands out with its active volcanoes, black sand beaches, and diverse natural beauty. Kauai is incredible for more rural areas and hikes.

How much does it cost to travel to Hawaii? 

Hawaii is expensive. A trip to Hawaii can cost from$2000-5k per person. Here is a more in-depth breakdown cost for Hawaii.

What to wear in Hawaii without looking like a tourist?

To blend in with the locals in Hawaii, choose comfortable and casual attire such as shorts, sundresses, and t-shirts. Avoid common tourist stereotypes like wearing socks with sandals or carrying fanny packs.

Conclusion: What To Pack For Hawaii

In conclusion, packing for your trip to Hawaii can be a breeze when you have the right clothing essentials. From luau outfits to beachwear, we’ve got you covered with our comprehensive Hawaii packing list. Download our free packing list now and ensure you have everything for an unforgettable vacation in paradise.


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