Hawaii Travel Guides

Hawaii Packing List

If you are like me, you think about packing long, long before you actually take a single t-shirt out of your dresser. Getting ready for a trip can quickly give the dreaded “Analysis Paralysis” – “Will I need these shoes?” “What if I go hiking?”

Packing for your Hawaii trip doesn’t have to be stressful. We’ve put together a list of things to pack and different things to consider when you pack (also, be sure to check out our blog on things you DON’T need to pack for Hawaii).


  • 1-2 dressy tops (we recommend only 1 for men if you are planning on getting an aloha shirt or two)
  • 3-4 t-shirts or tank tops
  • 1 heavy sweater or jacket (if you are planning on going to see the Haleakala sunrise, it may be below freezing during the winter months and in the 50’s during the summer)
  • 1 light sweater or jacket for dinners, as the sea breeze can get a little nippy
  • 2-3 exercise-friendly tops/t-shirts


  • 2 pairs of casual shorts
  • 2 pairs of exercise shorts (great for hiking or wearing over your bathing suit on a boat)
  • 1 pair of dress pants/khakis (or a skirt/dress for ladies)


  • 1 pair of dressy sandals
  • 1 pair of dressy flats/wedges (women)
  • 1 pair of running shoes (if you plan on hiking in these, be aware that they will be pretty muddy at the end of your trip)
  • Flip-flops (or not – see our post on what you can leave at home)

Other Items

  • Toiletries
  • Underwear, socks, basic medicines
  • Bug spray & sunscreen (<– buy this BEFORE going to the beach)
  • Camera and accessories
  • A waterproof phone case (optional)
  • Reading material for the plane rides, which are a minimum of five hours from almost anywhere on the mainland.

Things to Consider

Everything available on the mainland that you could possibly need in Hawai’i is available in the islands. Don’t stress out about packing bug spray, sunscreen, a week’s worth of Cheetos, or brand-new snorkel gear.

If you suspect you will be going on a more serious hike (such as the Haleakala crater), feel free to expand this list.

Remember that Hawai’i has a good shopping scene AND that you will want plenty of souvenirs. Leave some room in your suitcase for that perfect item and don’t stress out about forgetting things. Whenever I pack for a trip, I remind myself that the only things I absolutely need are my keys, phone, and wallet. Everything else can be replaced if need be.

And for the Kids …

Bring a couple of toys/movies from home, and feel free to leave behind the extra pairs of shoes. One closed-toe pair for hiking/running/shopping and one pair of beach sandals should be fine.

Maui’s dress code is especially relaxed when it comes to kids.

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