What to Pack for Hawaii: Packing List for Vacation

What to Pack for Hawaii: Packing List for Vacation

With summer vacations around the corner and as a special reader request, we show you what to pack for hawaii vacations with a 10 piece packing list.

For this Hawaii Packing List, I interviewed fashionista Erika Hollweg who attended university in Honolulu and Sheila Beal from GoVisitHawaii.com – a Hawaii vacation enthusiast that shares award-winning travel advice.

Sheila’s a North Carolina native and resident that travels to Hawaii two to four times per year to stay up to date on all the latest trends and news that Hawaii vacationers want to know. Erika studied in Hawaii for 4 years and is originally from LA.

Both of these women love these beautiful islands – here are a few of their tips making it easy to help you plan what to pack for Hawaii on your next vacation.


What to Pack for Hawaii: Packing List for Vacation



Halter Bra Bikini Top / NARS The Multiple / Travel Tote / Maya Thong Sandal / Sunscreen / Sunglasses


Hawaii Travel Essentials

When planning what to pack for Hawaii, don’t leave home without your sunglasses, preferably polarized to cut out some of the glare on the ocean. Beach essentials include 2 swimsuits, a cover-up, and flip flops. For adventures, a good hiking sandal works great for the trails and crossing small streams. It’s always a good idea to bring at least one pair of long trousers for activities like horseback riding and all-terrain vehicle tours. Hats are also a great accessory for adventures and hanging out at the beach

Check out the perfect pants for Hawaii!

Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen! Hawaii’s proximity to the equator makes the sun particularly strong. You can conveniently buy Aloe Vera gel if you get burned as I did when on my Hawaii vacation but it’s better to avoid this altogether.


Island Vibe

When you’re planning what to wear in Hawaii, choose clothing that is very casual and comfortable.

The islands beacon you to relax. That attitude spills over into clothing for both locals and visitors. Flip flops are a staple in this chilled out paradise.

Check out my favorite “flip-flop” style sandals!


What not to Wear in Hawaii

Avoid getting overly dressy with clothing such as sequined dresses on your Hawaii vacations – you’ll stick out like a sore thumb. Relax, and get into the island vibe!

Don’t wear dresses or skirts on boat tours. Once you’re on the water, the wind picks up and can easily lift a skirt or dress.In general, short, flow-y skirts and dresses are not a good idea to wear as the tradewinds are almost constantly blowing. Unfortunately, I can confirm this as my own knee length flowy skirt flew up and over while walking seaside. Oops.


Shopping for the Necessities

If you forget to add an item to your packing list for Hawaii, you can find Walmart and Costco on each of the four major islands to purchase anything you’re missing or if you want to stock up on some essentials.


What to Pack for Hawaii



The great thing about planning what to pack for Hawaii vacations is that the weather doesn’t fluctuate significantly from season to season but it can vary depending on elevation level and what island you’re on so pack according to your activities. At the highest elevation in on some of the islands can get extremely cold so do your research and if you’re heading that way, bring some layers! It’s wonderfully warm year round – not cold and not too hot. Daytime highs typically average from the mid-70’s to the mid-80’s. Throughout the year, don’t be surprised if it rains a bit – it is a tropical island after all. Breathable fabrics and fabrics with cotton tend to be the most comfortable to wear in the somewhat-humid environment of Hawaii.

Find out how to choose the best fabrics for travel to Hawaii.


Winter evenings can sometimes have a tiny bit of a chill with average temperatures dipping down to an average of 65 degrees. So, a light jacket or sweater is useful to bring any time you travel. The rainy season is October-April during Winter so pack your umbrella and a patient smile. Event though it rains, the weather stays warm so not many people wear rain jackets and boots. You’ll still see flip flops all around.


Daytime Outfits

When planning your packing list for Hawaii, choose breezy tops and casual shorts or capris. Swimsuits with cover-ups are perfectly fine for daytime wear beachside.


Nighttime Outfits 

For dinner or luaus in the evenings wear capri pants, casual skirts, or dresses. Trade your basic t-shirt for a nice blouse.

Pack these thong sandals for a casual and chic look!


Hawaii Capsule Wardrobe


Hawaii Capsule Wardrobe

1. Striped Top 2. Boho Top 3. Off Shoulder Top 4. Printed Shirt 5. Sleeveless Shirt 6. Floral Skater Dress 7. Floral Romper 8. Ripped Shorts 9. Denim Short 10. Chino Pants 11. Crewneck Cardigan 12. Striped Cover Up 13. Sandals Flip Flops 14. Flat Shoes 15. Straw Tote 16. Polarized Sunglasses 17. Straw Hat 18. Swimwear 19. Travel Umbrella 20. Printed Scarf


Whether you’re planning a trip in the Winter or Summer, this packing list for Hawaii should help you plan year round! For more international packing guides, check out TFG’s destination packing lists.To learn more about customizing TFG’s Packing Lists to meet your needs, please read this guide.

 What are your packing tips for Hawaii? Comment below!

 Suggested Luggage for Hawaii:

Hope you’ve enjoyed this guide on what to pack for Hawaii vacations. Please share it with your friends on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Thanks for reading!

Liked this article? Check out similar posts:

Share and Enjoy


  1. I’m confused. There are more than 10 items in your 10 piece time capsule. You have 16 items listed underneath the photo. Which are the 10 essential items you are recommending?

    • Sorry for the confusion – the clothing not the accessories always make up the capsule wardrobe

  2. Hi Alex….question: How many days for the 10 piece packing list for the Hawaii trip?

    • Hi Julie, you can use all the capsule wardrobes for anywhere from 3 days to a year. all that happens when you travel longer is that you do laundry more often :-) I would take any 10 piece capsule I make then add up to 5 extra pieces of your own to customize according to your plans. hope this helps!

      • Thanks!!! I am so glad I found your page! I usually pack WAY to much or WAY to little. I’d really like to get this right…. :) 50th Birthday here I come….ORGANIZED….lol

        • Glad to help! Have a great trip and happy birthday!

  3. Perhaps she was referring to Hawaii Pacific University, in Waipahu?

    • Not sure…

  4. Thanks!!! If you can offer any more fashion tips for a September Hawaiian vacay that would be awesome!

    • I think the weather is pretty similar year round :-)

    • Starting in September, the humidity is up, winds are a little stronger, weather just a little cooler, and there may be some rain. But most of the summer crowd has left and you feel as if Hawaii belongs to you.

      • thanks for the feedback :-)

  5. Hi my husband and I will be going to hawii in February and we would like any and all info if we were going to renew our wedding vows while there

    • Hi Deb, I only offer packing info here but you can check out GoVisitHawaii.com for travel tips. Thanks!

    • we are leaving 2/3 4 Honolulu what clothes do I need? thank u so much!!!!

      • Hi Theresa, if you just follow the suggested clothing guide above you should be good to go :-)

  6. I’m going to hawaii tomorrow and I didn’t know what to pack. And the I fount ur list and it REALLY Helped. Thanks bye:)

    • That’s great to hear! have a great time :-)

  7. I am heading to Hawaii at the beginning of May. Your posts are always super inspiring Alex!

    • Thanks Kate! I’m glad you like them :-)

  8. First off I want to say that I love your site! But as someone who works in the travel industry and lives in Hawaii, born and raised, I am compelled to point out a few things in this article.

    There is no such thing as Honolulu University so I wouldn’t trust the advice from someone that did.

    I’ve never seen or heard of Kauai having snow. The highest elevation that does get snow is Mauna Kea which is on Hawaii, the Big Island.

    • Thanks Lyn! I think the errors are on my part for misreading the info I was given but I’m sure she went to a university (maybe got the name wrong) as I went to visit her several times. I’ve also removed the snow part due to several conflicting sources as I’ve added it and removed it now a couple of times so I’ll just leave it out.

      I would love to get more information from a Hawaii resident, though if you’d be willing to help out? I’ll send you an email! Thanks :-)


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>