Aloha! From surfing and sunbathing on the Hawaiian Islands’ epic beaches to exploring hidden waterfalls and catching a glimpse of erupting volcanos, Hawaii is a delightful and highly sought-after vacation destination worldwide!
And to make our visit to the beautiful island city a reality, it’s vital to prepare a Hawaii packing list in advance to stay prepared for anything you’d require throughout the trip!
One of the best places to visit for serene sights, glamorous fashion, traditional cuisine, exciting nightlife, and bustling cafes!
A Hawaii vacation is a must-have on anybody’s “Places to visit” list!
The city is a perfect retreat for anybody who wants to spend their vacation time lying back on Big Island beaches or stargazing at Mauna Kea while enjoying life as it flows through their hair from the Hawaiian breeze and salty water!
And I’m sure the vacation season is approaching us super soon!
We’re all excited to pack our favorite water shoes in a beach bag and run off to one of our favorite bucket list destinations, Hawaii!
To relax and enjoy it for a bit.
As easy as going on a vacation is, it’s no secret there’s always something left behind for us to weep over while we’re at the airport or sometimes, even when we reach our destination if we’ve not already prepared a Hawaii packing checklist in advance!
The packing luggage for vacation time is different from person to person.
Some people think it’s therapeutic to prepare place-specific lists such as “Hawaii Packing List,” “Places to visit in Hawaii,” and “Restaurants to Explore in Hawaii.”
While others are practically aghast at the mere mention of it! And if you’re one of these lazy people, I think your prayer just might’ve come true!
I am here to help you manage your Hawaii packing list in a better, more structured way. And help you get done with your packing sooner than you would think.
Although this packing of luggage before your trip can help you get more excited before you soar off to the Aloha State.
And this Hawaii packing list will act as an aid for you to stay on top of everything!
So, to help you enjoy your stay in the Hawaiian Islands and stay prepared for all situations, we are here to assist you in making your very own Hawaii packing list!
So that you are all put together during your long-awaited Hawaii vacation.
Before starting the list of must-have items in your backpack before leaving for a Hawaiian vacation, note that we take the same things on every trip!
Some may include your phone, portable phone charger, hiking shoes, outfits, T-shirts, sun protection, towels, and skincare products!
And to help you pack for Hawaii, I’m going to give you some specific items to pack and some travel tips!
Before starting on any trip, be sure to check the reviews of the place and understand what your requirements may be while you’re on the trip!
1. 10 Must-Haves on Your Hawaii Essentials List!
Read till the end for the 5 bonus items that we’ve added to the curated options that would make up for the perfect Hawaii Packing List for you!
1.1. Reef Safe Sunscreen
- SUNBURN RELIEF
- FACE AND EYE MASKS
- SUN HAT
While thinking of the first thing on your Hawaii packing list, it’s a given that you’ll come upon the need for UV protection considering the Hawaiian sun.
Reef-safe sunscreen is a viable option to deal with hot sun damage while you visit Hawaii.
The need to wear sunscreen is inevitable to keep yourself safe from sun damage!
Hawaii is one of the first states in the US to ban the sale of sunscreen containing coral-harming chemicals like oxybenzone and octinoxate.
To avoid such coral-harming sunscreens, add Reef-safe sunscreen to your Hawaii packing list.
Another way to save yourself from sun damage is by wearing a sun hat. UV protection can also be achieved by wearing full-sleeved Hawaiian shirts!
You can add wide-brimmed sun hats to your Hawaii packing list to save you from sun damage while you stroll around the city in your bohemian Hawaii attire and flip flops!
1.2. Reusable Hydro Flask Water Bottle
- REUSABLE HYDRO FLASK
- WOODEN BOTTLES
- STEEL SIPPERS AND MUGS
Keeping in mind the warm weather of the Hawaiian Islands, it is essential to add a water bottle to your Hawaii packing list!
While you pack for your Hawaii trip, you also need to contemplate being a responsible traveler!
One of the responsibilities of any responsible traveler is not to cause any damage to the location they’re visiting.
Therefore, while curating your Hawaii packing list for your beach vacation, you could add a carry-on Hydro Flask water bottle so that you do not litter the place and add to plastic pollution by buying unnecessary plastic water bottles!
Looking at the hot weather conditions of the Hawaiian Islands, water bottles are an essential need as you may get thirsty a lot.
Nobody wishes to feel Dehydrated, nauseous and Dizzy while they are on a lavish holiday, that too on a Hawaii trip, so Keep a Hydro flask with you to keep you hydrated and fresh throughout the days!
And when the bottle gets empty, you can easily refill it at any nearby cafe or coffee shop.
1.3. Water Shoes
- ATHLETIC SHOES, SNEAKERS
- HIKING BOOTS
- FLATS AND FLIP FLOPS
- CASUAL BEACH SANDALS
Hawaii, the world’s paradise, lays down the foundation for a network of beaches, hidden waterfalls, lava rock formations, bustling nightlife, and infamous coffee shops and diners like the ones they have in movies. All in all, it’s brimming with so much culture and life!
To soak in all of this, you must roam around the famous island and explore the place a little on foot!
As most of the beaches on the Big Island, especially on the northern and eastern coast, are sandy, you can easily walk on them barefoot. Still, flip flops are an excellent example of casual footwear you can add to your style to look on point with your aesthetic Hawaiian attire!
While you pack for Hawaii, you must remember essentials, such as water shoes, especially if you are planning on hitting the beaches throughout the Hawaiian Islands!
They are substantially lightweight, good shoes, easy to wear, and comfortable for all sorts of walking and hiking!
Given that the big island is also known as a tropical paradise, you can walk around the tropical forests and waterfall hikes in flip-flops.
Although water shoes are also apt for a good beach time, as are hiking trails along the beaches with lava rocks.
Hiking sandals are another example of the best shoes for hiking along the beaches with lava rocks.
Hiking sandals may come in handy when you go on waterfall hikes across the Hawaiian island.
1.4. Hawaii Attire
- RASHGUARD SHIRT OR HAWAIIAN SHIRTS
- SUNDRESSES AND ROMPERS
- SHORTS, SKIRTS, LIGHT PANTS
- SHIRTS, TANK TOPS, CASUAL TOPS
The Hawaii packing list also includes beach gear and other beach necessities such as beach attire and hiking shoes to explore the waterfalls and city on foot!
While packing for a Hawaiian vacation, it is necessary to add a beach bag that would include all the beach necessities such as bathing suits, sports bras, swimsuits, and some casual T-shirts!
Even if you’re packing light for your beach days, it is essential to include at least one bathing suit in your Hawaii packing list, whereas you can add other casual basics such as scarves for cover-ups and ponchos to create new outfits for each day!
If you’re planning to visit the beaches and indulge in water sports, add m suits and clothes for cover-ups after your swims.
1.5. Dry Bag
- BEACH TOWEL
While you pack for your Hawaii vacation, you must stay prepared for most of your needs, and a dry bag falls under the Hawaii essentials category.
It can hold all your essential items such as your phone, camera, portable phone charger, and a cooling tower. You can even stash your suntan lotion, sunglasses, water bottle, and snacks all in the same place, and a dry bag keeps it safe from the water waves while you go enjoy your time in the water!
While you pack for Hawaii, you must keep in mind a list of items you’d need to put in your beach bag before leaving.
1.6. Underwater Camera
- EXTRA MEMORY CARD/SD CARD
While making your Hawaii packing list, an underwater camera is one of the essential appliances to remember to add to your list. And if you have some extra cash on you, I suggest you invest in one!
When you visit Hawaii, you should remember to carry your snorkeling gear if you decide to go swimming on the East coast or north shore beaches while there!
An underwater camera is the best option to capture those beautiful underwater photos of you surrounded by corals and tropical fish!
Although you may also find snorkel gear, sun hats, and other things you’d require on your first trip to Hawaii when you get there, investing in things beforehand and making a Hawaii packing list, and sticking to the required essentials may give you a perception of the required expense and also help you save money to spend while you are on your big island vacation!
1.7. Waterproof Phone Case
While you pack for Hawaii, one of the most important Hawaii essentials is a waterproof phone case. If you are anything like me, a clumsy person, then a waterproof phone case is the best investment for you and your phone!
A waterproof phone case could protect your phone from water damage while at the beach or paddle-boarding!
While creating your Hawaii packing list, including another one of the Hawaii essentials, a flotation strap for your phone case, just in case your phone ends up in the water!
A carry-on flotation strap also saves your phone from falling off your packets while indulging in fun activities such as horseback riding and snorkeling.
1.8. Bug Repellant: Do We Need Bug Spray?
Hawaii is a tropical paradise, and if you’re a huge fan of tropical forests or botanical gardens, you must plan on keeping bug spray on your Hawaii packing list.
Also, keeping in mind the mostly hot weather and humidity around the area, it is essential to add bug spray to your Hawaii packing list as the chances of insects and bugs around the marshy, wet areas increase!
A bug repellent may not be the most crucial thing around the city, but you may want to get one for the Akaka Falls area and Hawaiian Tropical Botanical Gardens!
Because the number of bugs and mosquitos is highest in moist and humid areas!
1.9. Light Jacket
While preparing a Hawaii packing list, it is essential to note down the typical nature of Hawaii’s weather, which causes warm days and cool evenings on the big island.
And to add to these cold evenings, you can put a light jacket on your Hawaii packing list!
When you pack for Hawaii, and you’re a huge fan of hiking or even strolling the city streets at night, it would be a good decision to add a full-sleeved jacket or a summery jacket to counter the light chill of the evening breeze.
Noting the chill of the night in the big island city, warm clothes also make up the Hawaii essentials list, so you could carry on a few warm cardigans or a warm T-shirt when you pack for Hawaii!
If you’re planning on island hopping and visiting Maui while you stay on and around the Big Island of Hawaii, then you should also realize that it gets freezing up there.
So, along with all the other things on the list, another one of the Hawaii essentials to add to your Hawaii packing list, more like a Maui packing list, is one lightweight jacket or a warm cardigan.
1.10. Grocery Bags
When you step out on a trip, you have a fundamental responsibility on your shoulders to be an exemplary, responsible, and vigilant traveler and set a good role model in front of your family and friends!
Hawaii is the first state in the U.S. to ban single-use plastic bags to control plastic pollution at the beaches on the Big Island and save the coral reefs from plastic garbage and other wrappers that decrease the life of the Big Island.
So, to complete the list, you can add one other category of Hawaii essentials, which is grocery bags, to your Hawaii packing list.
But the responsibility of not littering single-use plastic bags throughout the city falls on you.
And to avoid having to use plastic bags, you can exchange the grocery bags for a cloth bag or a tote.
So that you can reuse the cloth bags for buying and carrying your Hawaii essentials while you travel and explore the Big Island, and you don’t even have to worry about littering.
2. Bonus Items for Your Hawaiian Checklist!
2.1. Packing Cubes
Suppose you’re planning on packing light for your Hawaii trip and still bringing everything you’d need on your lavish trip to the Big Island. In that case, you can add another convenient Hawaii essential to your Hawaii packing list.
Packing cubes come in extremely handy when you’re packing for a trip. They help you organize your things in a more structured way.
It eases the management of all the required essentials while you pack for Hawaii, as you can assign different categories to different cubes and pack accordingly.
The cubes can be divided into categories such as clothes, appliances, skincare, shoes, and documents. You can pack your suitcase easily in a systematic way.
It also aids in keeping things more organized and cleaner while you pack for Hawaii, as you can take these cubes out of the suitcase and place them in the cupboards, then place them back in the suitcase when you decide to travel ahead or return!
While you’re making a Hawaii packing checklist and adding sun hats, sunscreen, and full-sleeved clothes to the list, “What else can we use to protect ourselves from sun damage?” is a thought that passes through your head.
Sunglasses with a good UV protection screen are a must-have when you pack for a Hawaii vacation!
You can also add sunglasses to your Hawaii packing list with the other sun damage protective gear.
These sunglasses save your eyes from sun damage and entirely and sometimes even improve your outfits!
Thus, I suggest you do not forget to add some oomph to your list with a pair of glasses while you pack for Hawaii.
2.3. Cooler Bag
If you want to make your trip more budget-friendly and fun, you can also add a cooler bag to your Hawaii packing list!
You can get your favorite snacks, sandwiches, and drinks to the beach, and you won’t have to spend extra cash on buying expensive food while at the beach-which also means more expenses for hustling night-time clubbing and vibrant cocktails!
Ask your hotel for more ice, or purchase cold packs from a Hawaiian grocery store to keep everything cool and dry!
Imagine Being able to take ice cream and beer to the beach. Sounds great.
A cooler is one of the best investments you can make for any and all of your trips! It also comes in handy when you pack for Hawaii because you can store a few Hawaii essentials in the cooler bag.
And the most fantastic thing about a cooler is that you can even fit more than just a few essentials there; everything that you wouldn’t want to carry around in your hands while at the beach, such as books, snacks, or your favorite drinks.
2.4. Beach Towels
Your hotel would obviously provide you with pool and beach towels when in Hawaii, but I also think that you should always keep an extra pair of towels whenever you’re going on a trip!
While you pack for Hawaii, you should remember that beach towels can act as multipurpose clothing items.
It can act as a rug while you’re on the beach, but it can also be used as a sarong after a soothing swim. It makes packing up everything so much more convenient after a long day at the beach!
So, while you prepare a Hawaii packing list, don’t forget to add a beautiful, vibrant beach towel to the list.
2.5. Modes of Entertainment
It is essential that you remember entertainment while you pack for Hawaii!
Now I understand that a Hawaiian holiday in itself is supposedly a form of entertainment!
And as exciting as the long journey to the big islands of Hawaii maybe, they’ll also feel empty and boring without a way for us to entertain ourselves.
So, to keep ourselves busy and entertained throughout the journey, we can establish a few modes of entertainment!
If you’re a bookaholic like me, you can bring an exciting book or one of your favorite books! You’ll arrive at your destination soon enough without even realizing it.
While you pack for Hawaii and the travel journey to Hawaii, you can easily keep a pair of earphones or headphones to keep you company throughout the travel hours.
With the epic beats of your favorite music or a podcast you like, you won’t even feel the time passing!
Not only this, but headphones are also perfect for blocking the outside noise while you doze off into a much-needed slumber after a fantastic and fun, highly tiring trip on your way home.
With this last bonus item and its perks, we now end the list.
These are some of the most essential and sought-after items that you will need to keep an eye open for while you pack for Hawaii.
Although some of the things, such as snorkeling gear or maybe even all of the things mentioned in the list, can be available in Hawaii state as well, packing these critical items in advance and not having to buy them at the destination itself will save you a lot of time and money.
So, what are you waiting for?
If you’re also planning on visiting one of their bucket-listed destinations, pack your beach bags, pick up your snorkeling gear, and head on to the airport right now.
As we’ve also made your packing much easier for you!
If there’s something else as well that is a must-have Hawaii essential for your Hawaii packing list, then let us know!
Until then, pack your bags.