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what to bring to hawaii

Photo Credit: Salty Glass Co.

Preparing what to bring on your trip to Hawaii seems like it should be a piece of cake – throw in your favorite swimsuit and flip-flops and you’re set.

In a place where the temperature never dips below 60 degrees, a coat and boots will just weigh your bags down. Pack light – think weight and for wear – with gauzy tanks, shorts and sandals, to leave plenty of room for omiyage (gifts) and souvenirs to bring home. Here are a few of our favorite tips and tricks for what to pack (along with your ticket) to paradise:

What to Bring to Hawaii

  • Hawaii may be a very safe place, but one thing that you really need to protect yourself against is the sun. Sunscreen is available in many local grocery stores and with liquid regulations on carry-ons, it’s best to stock up on your favorite sunscreen or tanning lotion when you arrive. However, you may want to bring your rash guard, sunglasses, and hat or visor to ward off the need for a healthy dose of aloe to cool off any sunburn.
  • If the plan is to spend your entire time beside or inside the water, not only should you double up on the sunscreen, but you should probably double up on the swimsuits. Two pairs of swimwear makes total sense. Think: One for an active day body surfing and one for lounging in a cabana by the pool. And no one likes throwing on a damp pair of trunks, so bringing along an extra pair (or two) will allow the other to dry out.
  • Along with charging the waves, you’ll want to charge your cell phone and tablets. With lots of memories to capture and posts to upload for jealous friends back home, your battery is sure to feel the hit. Pack an extra battery pack to juice up your technology when you’re on-the-go so you never miss a photo op or Instagram post!
  • Being on vacation means leaving the extra baggage behind… literally. For women, you really only need one purse (max two). A beach-safe tote that can withstand the salt and sand during the day and a simple clutch for a night on the town.
  • Despite the islands’ balmy weather, don’t sweat packing a light sweater. Nights – especially by the shores – tend to be on the chillier side and a sweater is the perfect thing to throw on over a tank top or short sleeve dress.
  • With Hawaii’s hot, humid weather, hydration is even more important. Don’t leave home without your favorite Hydroflask or water pack. With water close at hand you’re more inclined to sip on it throughout the day and might eliminate or decrease the thirst for sugary sodas or juice when on the road. The bonus: filling up your reusable bottle at the airport water fountain can save you a pretty penny on pricey bottled water.
  • When you’re surrounded by water, it’s easy to make the case for investing in a waterproof phone case. Not only will it keep your precious technology safe and dry, it also helps make for some unique underwater shots when splashing around at the beach or surfing waves. Just don’t forget to also invest in a buoyant lanyard to help keep your gear from disappearing beneath the waves.

Just remember that while Hawaii is paradise, it is not a place of grass shacks and coconut tops. Here you can still easily find all of these items – and more – that you would at your stores back home. The only difference, depending on where you call home, is that the cost of paradise can sometimes be more than it would elsewhere.

Though vacation behavior means splurging and spoiling yourself, remember that you are packing for your visit and also for your return home. Saving suitcase space and money on things that you don’t need to buy on your trip is beneficial in many ways: you’ll save time hunting down items that you need and can head straight from the airport to the beach instead. And you’ll have extra change for an extra round of mai tai’s!