Hawaii Packing List | What to Pack (Clothes & Essentials)

Hawaii, USA is a popular vacation destination for tourists from all around the world. The American state is known for its enticing beauty, but its cultural heritage is also worth indulging in.

What many people do not know about Hawaii, is that it is actually made up of 8 archipelago islands. Two of these islands, Niihau and Kahoolawe, are actually closed to visitors of the public. The remaining 6 visitable islands include the Island of Hawaii, Kauai, Lanai, Maui, Molokai, and Oahu.

No matter what island you choose to visit, you are bound to find yourself in absolute paradise. If you are visiting Maui, you can take a day-trip Pearl Harbour Tour from Maui to Oahu.

If you are planning a Hawaiian holiday sometime soon, but you’re not quite sure what to pack in your suitcase, we’ve got you covered! From clothing to extra essentials, here is the ultimate Hawaii packing list!

Packing List for Hawaii

Although it is your typical island holiday, if you have never been there before you might not be 100% sure about what to pack for a trip to Hawaii.

The bucket-list travel destination offers endless amounts of fun and exciting activities for you to enjoy during your visit. When writing out your packing checklist, you need to make sure that you are prepared for anything.

Do you need some helpful Hawaii packing tips? Here is the ultimate guide on what to pack for Hawaii.

suitcase full of luggage for vacation

What to Wear in Hawaii

When packing for a holiday, it’s important to know how long you plan on going for. This factor affects what you need to pack, and how much of it. In terms of clothing attire, here are some important things to pack for Hawaii.


Number one on the list definitely has to be swimwear. You simply cannot plan a tropical island holiday without assuming that you are going to be spending plenty of time in the water. Whether it is the resort pool or the crystal-clear ocean that you are dying to have a dip in, you do not want to be stuck without a swimsuit!

If you are a surfer, and you cannot wait to hang ten on some Hawaiian waves, it is probably worthwhile to also pack your wetsuit if you have space. Although, you could probably find a place to rent and hire wetsuits and surfboards.

hawaiian resort pool with palm trees


You are going to want to pack quite a few different comfortable tops or t-shirts – we recommend at least one per day. For our female readers, maybe even throw in some summery dresses.

Quick Tip: Pack different styles and colors that you can mix and match with your bottoms to make multiple outfits.


Whether it be jeans, pants, shorts, or skirts, be sure to pack a few different bottoms – depending on how long you are vacationing. Try to include some shorter options for the hot and sunny daytime, as well as longer options for nighttime it gets a bit chillier.


For footwear, we advise that you pack some flip-flops for beach days, comfy sneakers for touring, and maybe even some hiking or water shoes. Depending on what sorts of activities you plan on enjoying, it’s best to be prepared.

lush green hawaiian jungle with trees and waterfalls


Although Hawaii is usually a warm, humid destination, you never know when the weather’s going to switch up a bit. Be sure to pack a lightweight jacket to prepare yourselves for any unexpected, and probably unwanted, weather situations.


This one goes without saying, but one thing you need to note about packing pajamas for a trip to Hawaii: choose lightweight, summerish PJs! It’s a tropical island, meaning it can get a little warm and humid at night, and you do not want to overheat.


Oh, and of course – underwear. You need to pack at least one pair of underwear, maybe even two, per day. You never know when you might need a spare pair, so it is also good to pack some extra just in case.

Along with underwear, be sure to pack a few pairs of socks, as well. Again, one to two pairs per day seems appropriate.

What to Bring to Hawaii

Not only do you need clothes, but you will also need some toiletries, gadgets and other extra goodies to prepare you for anything! Aside from clothing, here are just a few other possibly necessary things to take to Hawaii.


Everyone’s toiletry bag looks different. Whatever you would normally use at home to keep yourself clean and fresh, needs to be in your toiletry bag. This will include a toothbrush and toothpaste, body-wash, face-wash, shampoo and conditioner, and any other products you use on a daily or weekly basis.


Although sunscreen is technically a toiletry essential, you’d be surprised at how often it’s left behind. Sunscreen is an absolute must! If you plan on spending time in the water, try to find a waterproof option.

Warning: Some ingredients in regular sunscreens are harmful to coral reefs. Hawaii is home to some of the most gorgeous and growing coral reefs. Please use reef-safe sunscreen.

underwater shot of palm trees


Two items that you do not want to forget are a hat and a pair of sunglasses! No matter what you plan on doing during the day, it is vital to have these accessories to protect you from the sun.

Quick Tip: When it comes to your sunnies, make sure they are UV-protective.


Another item that might come in handy is a trusty umbrella. As mentioned before, you just never know what the weather is going to decide to do on any given day. In the event of a drenching rainstorm, having an umbrella on hand is going to make a difference.


Just like swimwear, this one is a given for an island holiday! Some resorts and hotels do provide swim towels, but if you are wanting to spend some time on the beach, it’s best to bring a few of your own!

Quick Tip: Towels can take up quite some space, so try to pack a smaller towel.


If you plan on spending most of your time away from the hotel or resort, you might want to pack a refillable water bottle. Whether you spend the day on the beach or explore a hiking trail, carrying around a water bottle is going to come in handy when you get thirsty.

hawaiian beach with surfers on the waves


Although it doesn’t necessarily have to be a backpack – having something to carry some essentials around is important. If you are planning to spend the day away from your hotel or resort, whether it’s for hiking or other activities, having a backpack is helpful and convenient.

Extra Cash

By now you have probably spent quite a bit of money already on organizing your Hawaiian vacation, but having some extra cash for eating out and exploring is a must.

Quick Tip: Although it is always good to have your credit card on hand, be sure to carry some cash as well – you never know when you might stop somewhere that is strictly ‘cash-only’.

Disposable Camera

Having something to take photos on is always a good idea! But we understand that you might not want to be carrying your phone around with you all day. Bringing a disposable camera is an excellent option if you want to create and keep memories, while also living in the moment.

Quick Tip: If you can find an underwater camera – that’s even better! Imagine the photos you could take…


Although you could probably find a rental place nearby to hire out some snorkeling gear, if you are a regular snorkeling fanatic, you might want to pack your own gear in case there isn’t a rental shop on every beach.

Let’s Get Packing for Hawaii

girl wearing flip flops sitting next to her travel suitcase

Well, there you have it – all the Hawaii essentials you will need to consider when packing your travel suitcase and carry-on. Once you know your itinerary and what you plan on doing, you should be set to start ticking off your Hawaii vacation packing list!

One last quick tip: Always double-check, maybe even triple-check your packing list to make 100% sure you haven’t left anything behind! The last thing you want is to be stuck without a toothbrush…

After your Hawaiian vacation, if you are planning yet another island getaway, here is a travel guide for Bali.

Last updated on October 13th, 2023 at 03:10 pm

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