What To Pack For Hawaii

When it comes to packing for a vacation, you want to make sure that you have everything you need but you still travel light. This is especially important for everyone who prefers to travel around a bit.

But what to pack for Hawaii? If you are planning to go to Hawaii, then there are a few essentials you will need, including T-shirts, shorts, comfortable shoes and plenty of sunscreen.

What To Pack For Hawaii

In this guide, we share our full packing list for Hawaii and all the things you need to fully enjoy your vacation (see also “Do You Need Passport For Hawaii?“).

Full Packing List For Your Hawaii Vacation

Whether you are going on a weekend trip to Hawaii or you want to enjoy the islands for a long vacation, here is a packing list with all the essentials you need for a fun trip.

  • T-shirts
  • Shorts
  • Light sweatshirt or jacket (including a rain jacket)
  • Backpack or beach bag
  • Handbag
  • Toiletries
  • Socks and underwear
  • Warmer clothes (for Maui and a tour of the volcanos)
  • Sun-protective clothing, including hat and sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Comfortable footwear (including hiking shoes)
  • Swimwear (including swimsuit or bikini)
  • Collapsible hiking poles (for avid hikers)
  • Insect repellent spray
  • Waterproof waist pouch (for your phone)
  • Reusable water bottle
  • Camera or underwater camera (with a flotation strap or underwater protection case)

Always remember that Hawaii also has large convenience stores and grocery stores, so you can buy anything you forgot.

Clothes To Pack For Hawaii

Island attire has its own style but you can wear whatever you feel comfortable with. There are no specific rules in Hawaii when it comes to fashion.

Just keep in mind that some clothes are more practical and suitable for Hawaii’s milder weather conditions. 

It’s a good idea to pack only according to the number of days you are on the island and what you want to do.

If you want to spend more time hiking, then make sure to pack your hiking gear, several pairs of socks, tops and shorts to change.

Here is our clothes packing list for Hawaii.

T-Shirts And Shorts

Shorts and T-shirts are a must-have when you want to enjoy your time on Hawaii. The weather is warm and sunny, so you don’t need thick clothing.

Comfortable Shoes

Unless you want to spend plenty of time on the beach, you will need comfortable footwear to explore the island.

One Formal Outfit

Whether you are staying just for a weekend or a couple of weeks on Hawaii, you want to have at least some formal attire to go out for a night or two and explore Hawaii’s nightlife.

Handbag Or Beach Bag

Take a handy beach bag or handbag that you don’t have to worry about when it ends up in the sun or the sand.

What To Pack For Hawaii (1)

Packing List For Your Hawaii Beach Vacation

Hawaii has some of the best beaches in the United States and the rest of the world. You will find showers, toilet facilities and lifeguards on duty.

This means that you won’t need much to take with you when you set out for your island beach vacation. Here is a beach packing list with all the essentials for water lovers and sun worshipers.

Mineral-Based Sunscreen

Hawaii banned sales of certain types of sunscreen because it damages the reefs around the island. The best safe-reef sunscreen you can use is mineral-based sunscreen.

But don’t worry, if you forget your sunscreen at home, you can also buy it cheaply in one of the many grocery stores on Hawai’i.


Make sure that you pack a swimsuit, swimming trunks or a bikini. If you want to go snorkeling, you will need a fully body swimsuit but you can usually hire them on the island.

Beach Bag

You will need a backpack, handbag or a beach bag to keep your valuables and carry all the things you need for a fun beach trip.

Sun Hat Or Sunglasses

Make sure you have sunglasses or a large sun hat with you to protect your eyes and face from the glaring sunlight.

Underwater Camera And Camera Accessories

If you love diving or snorkeling, then Hawaii is the best place with clear water, colorful reefs and a great variety of wildlife.

Pack your underwater camera, a waterproof case and a flotation strap to fit to your camera.

What You Can Leave At Home When Going To Hawaii

There are a number of different items that you don’t need to pack for your Hawaii trip. After all, you just want to take essential things that you really need for your vacation.

Beach Towels

Beach towels are large and bulky. They take up a lot of space in your luggage. Plus, resorts and hotels usually provide beach towels for their guests.


Hawaii weather is usually warm and mild, so you don’t need thick jeans. We recommend light cotton or linen that feels comfortable.

Water Shoes

Hawaii has plenty of sandy beaches, so you won’t need water shoes that are designed to protect your feet from sharp rocks.


While it does rain occasionally in Hawaii, you won’t need an umbrella frequently. If you feel like you can’t be without one, then a compact travel umbrella is ideal.

Formal Clothing

While Hawaii has quite a few fine-dining restaurants, you may want to pack only one set of dress clothes. If you are enjoying a Hawaiian vacation, then you don’t need formal dresses, suits or diner jackets.

High Heels

Similar to formal attire, high heels may be pretty but they are not practical on an island.

Heavy Jackets Or Sweatshirts

Thanks to the mild weather on Hawaii, you won’t need a heavy sweatshirt or jacket. A light sweatshirt is perfect for the cooler evenings.

Snorkel Equipment

Unless you are planning to swim and snorkel every day, you don’t need to bring your own snorkel gear. There are plenty of establishments where you can rent high-quality equipment for a good price.

Final Thoughts

From a beach vacation to a hiking trip, Hawaii offers something for everyone. You just have to ensure that you pack items you need for all the things you want to do on the island.

Julia Wright
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