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The Ultimate Hawaiian Packing List: Everything You Need to Pack for Hawaii

If you’re anything like us, a trip to Hawaii is a dream vacation, and planning a dream vacation can be stressful.

There is no need to stress over what to pack for Hawaii because we are here to help with our ultimate Hawaiian packing list!

Not only that, but we have also created a printable checklist so you don’t forget any of the essentials you need for your Hawaii vacation.

One visit to the Hawaiian Islands, and you will understand why people fall in love with it and why it is on so many people’s travel bucket lists.

The Aloha state is home to several picturesque islands full of adventure and incredible beauty. Of course, that means you won’t want to miss a minute of the beauty or action.

During our visit to Maui, I realized that there were several things I should have packed and didn’t (and things in Hawaii are pricey)!

This prompted me to create the ultimate Hawaii packing list for you.

Now, I will not include the “basics” like socks and underwear; you already know that you need to pack those. Instead, this guide will go over what you need for Hawaii that you might not pack for other vacations.

Of course, if you are really into learning about packing, check out how we travel with only a backpack while you’re here!

Now, let’s dive into our Hawaii packing list!

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Considerations For Your Hawaii Packing List

To appropriately pack for Hawaii, there are a few things we need to consider when you visit Hawaii:

  • What is on your itinerary? Knowing what you plan to do while on your Hawaii vacation will greatly impact your packing list for Hawaii.
  • Which island or islands will you be visiting? Each of the Hawaiian Islands offers unique attractions and climate considerations, which will also affect your Hawaii packing list.
  • Will you travel with a carry-on only or check a bag?
  • What to wear in Hawaii? Of course, you want comfortable clothing, but you also want the right gear for different situations. For example, will you attend a luau? If so, you might want a certain outfit. Will you be hiking the volcano at sunrise? Then, you will want layers.

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    Ultimate Hawaii Packing List

    kite surfer

    We will discuss clothing for your Hawaii vacation at the bottom of this post, but first, I want to begin with items you might not think of.

    These items are essential for your Hawaii vacation, so I want to lead with them!

    Now, don’t fret if you forget to pack something. There are many shopping opportunities while visiting Hawaii.

    They even have Wal-Mart and Costco on most of the islands. Just keep in mind that things are more expensive than on the mainland.

    Essential Packing List for Hawaii

    Reef Safe Sunscreen

    Ensuring that you pack reef-safe sunscreen is essential for your beach vacation.

    Reef-safe sunscreen ensures that you don’t harm the aquatic life living around the Hawaiian islands.

    There are many options when choosing reef-safe sunscreen, but we especially love Badger. It will keep your skin safe while protecting the environment.

    If you have sensitive skin, you might want to consider a reef-safe sunscreen for sensitive skin like CeraVe.

    Water Shoes

    Water shoes are a must for your Hawaii packing list. While the beaches in Hawaii are stunning, they are not all soft sand!

    A good pair of mesh water shoes will help protect your feet and keep you safe.

    I love these water shoes! They have traveled the world with me. These water shoes come in multiple colors, so you will find some you love, too.

    These Teva sandals are a great option for hiking while visiting Hawaii.

    Portable Charger

    If you are like us, you will use your phone often during your trip to Hawaii.

    You will want to keep it charged, so be sure to bring along a portable charger.

    Our phones have Magsafe cases, so we love this magnetic portable charger. It allows us to charge and keep using our devices.

    Waterproof Phone Case

    Swimming with the sea turtles and seeing all the marine life were two of my favorite activities during our visit to Maui.

    I was so excited that we could use an underwater camera to capture the experience, especially when a sea turtle decided to swim alongside me.

    A good diving phone case instantly turns your phone into an underwater camera, allowing you to catch every minute of the action.

    While a good underwater camera costs hundreds of dollars, our favorite waterproof phone case costs a fraction of that!

    Do turn our iPhone into an underwater camera; we use this diving phone case and love it.

    We have used this case in Cancun, the Riviera Maya, Roatan, Jamaica, and more, and it has never failed us.

    Waterproof Carry Bag and Beach Bag

    If you plan on hiking, a waterproof dry bag is a must.

    When we visited the Road to Hana, this waterproof bag saved us when it suddenly started raining like crazy!

    While this dry bag can double as a beach bag, you might want to take an actual beach bag to ensure you have room for your beach towels, sunscreen, and other necessities.

    I especially love these rubber beach bags. They are so easy to clean!

    Reusable Water Bottle

    We take a reusable water bottle with us on our travel adventures. It is better for the planet, and a good reusable water bottle will save you tons of money!

    While there are numerous options, we love our Owala water bottle with the built-in straw and Hydro Flask open-mouth water bottle.

    Consider getting a collapsible water bottle to save space while packing.

    Invest in a good water bottle that will last you for years! Honestly, it is on our packing list no matter where we travel.

    Sun Hat

    In addition to good sunscreen, a nice sun hat should also be on your Hawaii checklist.

    Granted, you can buy a sun hat on the island, but you will find a larger selection cheaper if you purchase one in advance.

    While I love cute sun hats like these, they are often hard to pack without crushing.

    We switched to sunhats that collapse easily, like these Columbia hats.

    Snorkeling Gear

    When you get to Hawaii, you can rent snorkel gear, but many people prefer to take their own.

    You can invest in a complete set of snorkel gear or, like Marty, get a full face mask like this one.

    The full-face snorkel gear is so easy to breathe in, making snorkeling fun and effortless while on a snorkeling tour.

    Travel Documents

    Your travel documents are one of the most important things to pack for Hawaii.

    Don’t forget your driver’s license, passport, itinerary, and visa (if required).

    Collapsible Cooler

    We were so glad we had a collapsible cooler on our tropical vacation. This cooler allowed us to save so much money.

    Instead of eating out for every meal, we would visit the grocery stores and pack sandwiches and healthy snacks while on our island vacation!

    The cooler folded nicely and tightly, making packing easy for the trip.

    Light Rain Jacket and Light Jacket

    Granted, Hawaii is known for its warm weather year-round, but if you are hitting the hiking trails and going up in elevation, you will want to pack some layers.

    Not only that but rain storms are known to pop up without warning.

    With that in mind, be sure to bring a light rain jacket.

    We absolutely love the Huakai travel jacket from COR Surt. It is lightweight and has tons of hidden pockets!

    We love these rain jackets from Columbia. Marty has both the breathable rain jacket and the watertight rain jacket.

    I have the switchback jacket from Columbia for my rain jacket, and I love it! This rain jacket has traveled with me to London, Scotland, Ireland, Colorado, Italy, Alaska, and more!

    Your rain jacket can also serve as a light jacket for you if it is a light material.

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      Fanny Pack

      A fanny pack is an easy way to keep your belongings safe while keeping your hands free.

      When choosing a style, there are several to choose from. You can choose a small backpack or a traditional fanny pack.

      I love that there are even several styles of fanny packs for men.

      Adding this to your Hawaii packing checklist is a must!

      Rash Guard

      Pack a rash guard if you plan any water activities during your Hawaii vacation.

      Whether surfing, riding a boogie board, going on boat tours, or tubing down a Hawaiian river, a good rash guard can save your skin from sunburn.

      I love both the Roxy and the Hurley brands. They offer great protection and have cute colors to choose from.

      If you want a swimsuit with a built-in rash guard, consider this one from Body Glove. I have it, and it works great!

      Sand Resistant Beach Towel

      A sand-resistant beach towel is the perfect addition to your beach bag.

      Not only can you get beach towels that are sand resistant, but you can also get beach towels that are quick drying and that include hidden pockets!

      You can throw this Turkish beach towel into your beach bag and know that you have a sand-resistant towel that is great for a day at the beach!

      You can also purchase a beach towel that has a built-in zipper pocket. This beach towel will keep your belongings nice and safe while you’re at the beach.


      I know a GoPro is a bit of a splurge, but you want to capture all of the great footage from your Hawaii vacation, right?!

      This GoPro 12 will allow you to capture great photos and videos on land and underwater!

      Just think, you can capture the sunrise at Volcanoes National Park or Haleakala National Park before filming yourself surfing the North Shore!

      Just purchase the floating hand grip and use the wrist strap. You don’t want to lose your camera in the ocean1

      This is a great addition to your Hawaii trip, so add it to your packing list for Hawaii!

      Reusable Shopping Bag

      A reusable shopping bag or two will be very helpful during your Hawaii vacation.

      There are loads of reusable shopping bags to choose from; just be sure they fold down niche and small so you can pack light for your Hawaii trip.

      Bug Spray or Wipes

      You will want bug spray for your trip to Hawaii, as the bugs can be relentless, especially at night.

      When traveling, we pack these bug bands or some bug-repellent wipes.

      If you choose the bug bands, you must wear them on your wrists and ankles unless you wear jeans or pants to cover your legs.

      We have tried a couple of brands of bug-repellent wipes. I like the OFF! Deep Woods wipes and the LA Fresh Deet Free Wipes.


      Your toiletries should be comprised of things that you use daily. To keep our toiletries easily organized, I love a hanging toiletry bag and use this exact one!

      Your toiletry list should include things like:

      • Toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss
      • Shampoo and conditioner
      • Facial cleanser
      • Body Wash
      • Razor
      • Deodorant
      • Makeup and makeup remover
      • SPF lip balm (be sure it is reef safe)
      • Moisturizer
      • Feminine hygiene products
      • Hair brush or comb
      • Hair styling products
      • Contact lenses and lens solution
      • Medication
      • Nail clippers
      • Hand sanitizer
      • Bug spray
      • Mini first aid kit

      Of course, you can buy some of these on the island, but I keep everything packed and ready in my travel bag. That way, I am always ready for the next getaway!

      What to Wear in Hawaii

      Now, let’s talk about what to wear in Hawaii. Don’t sweat this. Your clothes will resemble what you wear on any other beach vacation, resort-wear style clothing.

      Of course, I like to use packing cubes to help keep my items organized.

      We have tried numerous brands of packing cubes over the years, but these packing cubes by Well Traveled are my absolute favorite!

      Tops and T-Shirts

      When choosing your tops and t-shirts for Hawaii, remember to keep the material light and airy.

      You will probably want a couple of lightweight tops and a couple of lightweight tank tops similar to this one.

      I would also consider packing t-shirts made from a breathable material, especially if you have hiking plans.

      Of course, men will also want some breathable shirts, tank tops, and maybe even an Aloha shirt.

      Choose t-shirts that are neutral in color so you can mix and match them to create different outfits.


      Overall, Hawaii has a nice, comfortable climate, meaning you will want to pack some comfortable shorts and cute travel skirts or dresses.

      Of course, lightweight travel pants or these great leggings from CEOActive, and closed-toe shoes are always a must if you plan to go hiking in Hawaii.

      I also love these trailhead pants from Coalatree. They are lightweight, and so comfortable!

      For men, we love Under Armour pants and hiking pants from Columbia. Be sure to pack a few pairs so you have what you need.

      Just keep in mind that you might need certain resort wear depending on where you are staying and what your plans include.


      Of course, your beach gear has to include the proper swimwear. In addition to the rash guard we discussed above, you will also want to pack a few stylish swimsuits and cover-ups for Hawaii.

      Of course, this goes for men as well. You will need a couple of swim trunks to pair with your aloha shirts or tank tops.

      Comfortable Shoes

      You will probably do a lot of walking in Hawaii, so pack some comfortable shoes.

      I like to pack a pair of flip-flops, a pair of wedge sandals, and a pair of comfortable tennis shoes or hiking shoes when I pack for a beach vacation.

      If you plan any hiking adventures, especially if you are planning to visit Haleakala National Park, you will want to pack your hiking boots or shoes.

      I love these hiking shoes from Merrell and those from Salomon. They are both comfortable and feel like you are wearing tennis shoes instead of bulky hiking boots.

      For men, Marty also likes the Merrell hiking shoes and the Oboz hiking shoes. He also prefers hiking shoes over hiking boots.

      In addition to hiking shoes, you will also want some easy shoes like flip-flops for the beach or pool at your vacation rental.

      For men, check out these Reef flip-flops or these Nike slides. Marty prefers the slides over the flip-flops.

      For women, I love my Reef flip-flops and also these Crocs. I love how I can easily slip on my flip-flops for a short walk or to go to the pool or beach.

      I stuck to comfortable shoes. Instead of taking high heels for a night out, I took these cute and comfortable wedges and platform shoes, but if high heels are your style, pack a pair by all means!

      Of course, we covered water shoes above, but don’t forget to add them to your packing list!


      You don’t want to visit a Hawaiian island without your sunglasses! Of course, choosing the best pair of sunglasses is up to each person, but I love my Ray-Ban sunglasses, while Marty swears by his Oakley sunglasses.

      They have traveled the world with us and are fabulous!


      Of course, you will want some lightweight pajamas to take to Hawaii. I recommend choosing a comfortable fabric that breathes well for your Hawaii packing list.


      You must include plenty of undergarments when creating your Hawaii or Maui packing list. I only included this section to remind you to bring a sports bra if you go hiking. LOL!

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        Other Hawaii Travel Tips

        Bring Emergency Cash

        If you are like most of us, we travel with little to no cash these days. I mean, we are virtually a cashless society.

        However, there are several areas where you will want to have some cash, so bring some along just in case you need it. There are places on the Hawaiian islands that only accept cash.

        What to Pack in Your Carry-On

        As we said before, we generally try to travel with only a carry-on bag, but if you need to check a suitcase, then it is important to remember what to pack in your carry-on.

        When packing your carry-on, don’t forget to include your TheraICE sleep mask with cooling gel. It’s amazing!

        You should always pack clothes (at least one swimsuit, a change of clothes, and some underclothes), your medications, and anything of value (camera, GoPro, etc) in your carry-on.

        This ensures you have what you need if you find yourself without your luggage for a few days.

        Travel Insurance

        We always purchase travel insurance before our trip. This ensures we are protected in a medical emergency and helps protect our investment!

        Secure a Car and Accommodations in Advance

        If you are planning to rent a car while visiting the Hawaiian islands, I advise doing this well in advance.

        The islands get busy during the summer months, so reserve your hotel room and car as far in advance as possible to ensure you get something that suits your travel style.

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          Michelle Snell-Founder That Texas Couple

          About the Author

          Michelle Snell is a travel writer, history buff, wine lover, and enthusiast of different cultures. Michelle enjoys bringing places to life through creative content creation and her informative writing style on her blogs, That Texas Couple and Totally Texas Travel and accompanying social media accounts.  She is happiest sipping wine in Italy or chilling on a beach with her husband, Marty.


          Sunday 14th of January 2024

          This is a helpful packing list, thank you. Looking forward to visiting Hawaii


          Monday 15th of January 2024

          Thanks for reading!


          Saturday 13th of January 2024

          I'm heading to Hawaii in March so this list will definitely come in handy!


          Monday 15th of January 2024

          I'm so happy to hear that, Sue. I know you will have a great time!