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Hawaii, with its stunning beaches, lush landscapes, and vibrant culture, is a dream destination for many. A Hawaii vacation is on many bucket lists! To make the most of your jungle or beach vacation, a well-prepared packing list is essential. So let’s dive into the key items you need with the ultimate Hawaii packing list. It is all you need to bring for a fantastic Hawaiian getaway.

Silhouette of surfer people carrying their surfboards on sunset Hawaii beach.
Photo credit: Kanchana P/Shutterstock.

Aloha! Are you planning a trip to Hawaii and wondering what to pack? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with our ultimate Hawaii packing list that will have you ready to hit the beach in style!

Beach vacation couple relaxing sunbathing on hawaiian tropical beach in Lanikai, Oahu, Hawaii, USA. American people on summer holidays sun tanning lying down on sand.
Photo credit: Maridav/Shutterstock.

Why You Need to Pack for Hawaii’s Weather 

Before we get into packing lists, let’s quickly explain Hawaii’s weather. While the temperature usually hangs out in the mid-70s to mid-80s Fahrenheit range (24-30°C), giving you that perfect “Goldilocks” weather – not too hot, not too cold, there’s a reason the islands are so lush and green.

That’s because from November to March, it’s rainy season. Rain showers pop up quickly, so you might want to pack an umbrella or light raincoat. April through October is the dry season, when the sun takes center stage, and you can leave your wet weather gear at home.

A quick word on microclimates as Hawaii is renowned for them. Thanks to the islands’ diverse landscapes, each island, and even different regions on each island, can have a localized microclimate. Meaning coastal areas are warm and inviting, while the mountaintops can get pretty chilly, especially in winter. The eastern side of the islands tend to be wetter as they receive the trade winds that bring moisture laden air, while the western sides of the islands are usually drier and sunnier.

When you visit Hawaii, you need to be prepared for a little bit of every kind of weather. But enough about the weather, let’s get into the main event – your ultimate Hawaii packing list.

Footprints in the Sand with Awesome Colorful Sky at Sunset and Calm Ocean Water Coming on Sandy Beach Shore with Palm Trees Silhouette and Lush Greenery at Secret Beach in Maui Hawaii
Photo credit: lucas_moore/Shutterstock.

The Ultimate Hawaii Packing List 

Below is our comprehensive list of everything you might want to pack for your next vacation to Hawaii. Whether you plan on hiking through the jungle, lying on a beach, or just staying in your hotel room, vacation rental or holiday villas, we’ve got you covered for all eventualities:

Clothing Essentials:

  • Lightweight shorts
  • Airy skirts
  • Hawaiian shirts 
  • T-shirts
  • Casual dresses
  • Casual pants
  • Dressier outfits for special occasions
  • Light rain jacket


  • Multiple swimsuits (Bikinis or one-piece suits)
  • Swimwear cover-ups
  • Swim trunks


  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Sandals
  • Flip-flops
  • Water shoes or aqua socks

Beach Day Essentials:

  • Sand resistant beach towel and blankets
  • Reef safe sunscreen with high SPF
  • Sunglasses with UV protection
  • Wide-brimmed hat
  • Beach bags or totes
  • Waterproof phone pouch
  • Snorkeling gear

Outdoor Adventure Gear:

  • Hiking shoes or hiking boots
  • Sports bras
  • Long sleeve top and full length pants
  • Warm clothes
  • Rain jacket / light jacket
  • Backpack
  • Trail map
  • Snorkel gear (snorkel, mask and fins)
  •  Daypack or hydration pack

Electronics and Gadgets:

  • Camera and/or GoPro
  • Extra batteries
  • Memory cards
  • Portable chargers
  • Power banks
  • Adaptors 
  • Waterproof phone case

Health and Personal Care:

  • Prescription medications
  • First aid kit
  • Travel-sized toiletries (toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, etc.)
  • Insect repellent
  • Aloe vera gel or after-sun care
  • Lip balm
  • Hair ties

Miscellaneous Personal Item Essentials:

  • Travel documents (passport, ID)
  • Fanny pack
  • Cash
  • Credit cards
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Reusable snack containers

If you forget anything, don’t worry, Hawaii has plenty of stores for you to pick up anything you’ve left at home. From Costco to Target, when you are visiting Hawaii, the islands provide everything you could want but possibly at a little extra cost. When you pack for Hawaii, it is not a big deal if you forget something!

Morning scene at the Napali Coast in Kauai, Hawaii Islands.
Photo credit: Nickolay Stanev/Shutterstock.

Your Hawaii Packing List in More Detail

Clothing Essentials

When it comes to packing for Hawaii, it’s all about keeping things light, comfortable, and versatile. The islands offer a laid-back and relaxed vibe, so your clothing should match the easygoing atmosphere while ensuring you’re ready for various activities. Here’s what you should consider bringing: 

  • Shorts and t-shirts: Hawaii’s tropical climate calls for fabrics that keep you cool and comfortable. Opt for shorts and t-shirts made out of materials like cotton, linen, and moisture-wicking blends that allow your skin to breathe.
  • Swimwear galore: Hawaii is famous for its beautiful beaches, so don’t forget to pack multiple swimsuits. Whether you’re planning to relax on the sand or dive into the crystal-clear waters, having a variety of swimwear options is a must.
  • Casual and comfortable outfits: Opt for comfortable yet stylish outfits for exploring the islands. Bring a mix of t-shirts, sundresses, and casual pants for your daytime adventures.
  • Dressing up for special occasions: You might want to dine at a fancy restaurant or attend a luau during your trip. Pack a few outfits that are slightly dressier for these special occasions.


When it comes to packing footwear for your Hawaii vacay, the name of the game is comfort, versatility, and a touch of island style. With a wide range of activities and terrains to explore, your choice of shoes can make all the difference in your overall experience. The right footwear is one of the most important things for your packing list for Hawaii. Here’s what you should consider packing for your Hawaiian escapade:

  • Comfortable walking shoes: Explore Hawaii’s natural beauty on foot with a pair of comfortable walking shoes. Whether you’re hiking through lush trails or strolling in town, proper footwear is key.
  • Sandals and flip-flops: For a laid-back island vibe, pack sandals and flip-flops. They’re perfect for walking on the beach or grabbing a quick bite to eat.
  • Footwear for water activities: Engage in water adventures with water shoes or aqua socks. These will protect your feet while snorkeling, swimming, or exploring tide pools.
  • Sturdy hiking shoes: If you’re an adventure enthusiast and plan on tackling Hawaii’s scenic trails, make sure to bring a pair of sturdy hiking shoes. Take ones with excellent traction and ankle support to navigate varying terrains with ease.

Beach Day

From Waikiki Beach (Oahu) to Ka’anapali Beach (Maui) or family-friendly Poipu Beach (Kauai), when you’re heading to the beach in Hawaii, there are a few key items you’ll want to have in your beach bag to ensure a relaxing and enjoyable day by the ocean:

  • Beach towels: Soft and absorbent beach towels are essential for lounging on the sand, drying off after a swim, and creating a comfortable spot to relax.
  • Sunscreen: Hawaii’s sun can be intense, so don’t forget to pack reef safe sunscreen with a high SPF to protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Sun skin care is so important!
  • Sunglasses: A good pair of sunglasses with UV protection will shield your eyes from the bright sunlight and glare off the water.
  • Wide-brimmed hat: A wide-brimmed sun hat not only adds a stylish touch to your beach attire but also provides extra sun protection for your face and neck.
  • Swimwear: Of course, you’ll need your favorite swimsuit for taking a dip in the ocean and enjoying the waves.
  • Beach bag: A spacious beach bag is perfect for carrying your essentials, including sunscreen, water, snacks, a book for vacation reading, and any other items you might need.
  • Reusable water bottle: Staying hydrated is crucial, especially when you’re out in the sun. A reusable water bottle will help you keep cool and refreshed.

Outdoor Adventures

Hawaii is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a plethora of exhilarating activities that allow you to immerse yourself in the islands’ natural beauty and diverse landscapes. Whether you’re a thrill-seeker going swimming with sharks or simply looking to explore the great outdoors, Hawaii has something for everyone. There are some items that a nature lover will want to add to their Hawaii packing checklist. Here’s some essentials you’ll need to include if getting out into the big blue yonder is your thing:

  • Hiking and exploration gear: If you’re an adventure enthusiast and plan on hitting the hiking trails, don’t forget your hiking gear. Sturdy hiking shoes, a backpack, and a trail map will enhance your exploration experience.
  • Snorkeling and scuba diving equipment: Hawaii’s underwater world is a marvel. Pack your snorkel, mask, and fins for snorkeling, or even consider renting scuba diving equipment for a deeper dive. A dry bag, if you have one, may be a great addition.
  • Daypacks and hydration packs: Stay hydrated during your outdoor adventures with a daypack or hydration pack. Keep water, snacks, and your camera within easy reach.

Electronics and Gadgets

  • Cameras and GoPros: Capture the breathtaking landscapes and vibrant culture of Hawaii with your camera or an underwater camera like a GoPro. Don’t forget extra batteries and memory cards.
  • Portable chargers and power banks: Ensure your electronics stay charged on the go with portable chargers and power banks, and adaptors. You won’t want to miss capturing any memorable moments.
  • Waterproof phone cases: Protect your phone from unexpected splashes with a waterproof phone case. It’s essential, especially if you plan to take your phone near the water.

Health and Personal Care

  • Prescription medications and first aid kit: Pack any necessary prescription medications and a basic first aid kit. It’s always better to be prepared for unexpected health situations.v
  • Toiletries and travel-sized products: Opt for travel-sized toiletries to save space in your luggage. Toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, and other essentials are readily available in smaller packaging.
  • Insect repellent and after-sun care: Avoid pesky mosquito bites with insect repellent. Additionally, bring after-sun care products like aloe vera gel to soothe your skin after a day in the sun.

Miscellaneous Essentials

  • Travel documents and ID: Keep your travel documents, passport, and identification in a secure and easily accessible place.
  • Cash and payment methods: While credit cards are widely accepted, it’s a good idea to carry some cash for small vendors or places that may not accept cards.
  • Reusable water bottles and snack containers: Stay eco-friendly by carrying a reusable water bottle and snack containers. Hawaii’s natural beauty deserves to be preserved.
  • Reusable shopping bags: Most stores in Hawaii are moving away from single use plastic bags, so while they can pack your groceries in paper bags, having your own reusable shopping bags is always useful, particularly if you have to walk a distance with your shopping. 
Aerial panorama of the West coast of Oahu, area of Papaoneone beach. Hawaii, USA
Photo credit: Dudarev Mikhail/Shutterstock.

What to Pack for Each Hawaiian Island

As we mentioned in the weather section, each Hawaiian island and each region on each island can have its own microclimate, so if you’re venturing away from Oahu and Waikiki Beach on your dream vacation, you’ll want to pack additional items accordingly:

Additional Items to Pack for Maui

Maui is a paradise of diverse experiences and a destination for many on a Hawaii trip. From its stunning beaches to its lush upcountry and breathtaking volcanic landscapes, it has all the requirements for a wonderful tropical vacation. Whether you’re surfing at Ho’okipa Beach, exploring the Road to Hana, or watching the sunrise at Haleakalā National Park, you’ll need the right gear when visiting Maui. And bearing in mind that the summit of Haleakalā can get snow, you might want to pack warmer clothes in your case:

  • Warm jacket
  • Thick sweatshirt
  • Hiking trousers or sweatpants
  • Long sleeve shirt
  • Warm hat
  • Closed toe walking shoes
  • Gloves

Extra Clothes to Pack for Oahu

Oahu is a hub of culture, history, and adventure. From the vibrant energy of Waikiki Beach to the historical sites at Pearl Harbor and the north shore, there’s plenty to explore. As you navigate bustling Honolulu or hike up Diamond Head, here’s what to have extra in your suitcase for a trip to Oahu:

  • Lightweight raincoat

The Big Island Packing List

The Big Island is a land of contrasts, with everything from lush rainforests to active volcanoes. Whether you’re marveling at the lava flows in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, exploring the coffee farms, or stargazing on top of Mauna Kea, the additional items packing list for the Big Island is similar to that for Maui:

  • Warm jacket
  • Thick sweatshirt
  • Hiking trousers or sweatpants
  • Long sleeve shirt
  • Warm hat
  • Closed toe walking shoes
  • Gloves

Extra Items to Pack for Kauai

A trip to Kauai is a nature lover’s dream, with its stunning landscapes, verdant jungles, waterfalls, and picturesque beaches. Whether you’re hiking or taking a helicopter over the Na Pali Coast, kayaking down the Wailua River, or simply soaking in the stunning scenery, pack extra clothes for this most ancient of Hawaiian Islands (just don’t forget the insect repellent):

  • Lightweight raincoat
  • Hiking pants, leggings or sweatpants
  • Long sleeve shirt
  • Bug spray 

Bookmark this Hawaii Checklist!

As you prepare for your Hawaiian adventure, remember that proper packing is key to a stress-free and enjoyable time on your vacation. By following this comprehensive packing list, you’ll be well-equipped to make the most of your time in paradise.

Bella Bucchiotti

Bella Bucchiotti is a Canadian-based syndicated food, travel, and lifestyle writer, photographer, and creator at xoxoBella. She founded xoxoBella in 2015, where she shares her love for food, dogs, sustainability, fitness, crafts, outdoor adventures, travel, and philanthropy to encourage others to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places, and stand for a cause. Bella creates stress-free and family-friendly recipes for weeknight dinners and festive feasts.


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