Skip to Content

The Ultimate Hawaii Packing List

The Ultimate Hawaii Packing List

Heading to Hawaii? We share the ultimate Hawaii Packing List, so you have everything you need for your dream vacation.

Hawaii is a top tourist destination because of its tropical beaches and many places to explore, including the Islands, Hanalei Bay, Volcanoes National Park, and Road to Hana. And if you are a watersport lover, you can indulge yourself by swimming, snorkeling, and watching colorful fish on a submarine scooter.

However, if you want to experience all Hawaii offers, you must pack appropriately; otherwise, you may spend a part of your trip indoors. We’ve done the research and compiled a checklist of must-pack items.

Hawaii Packing Checklist

These are the must-have items when traveling to Hawaii.

The Ultimate Hawaii Packing List

Traveling Map

Before you even pack or hop on the plane to Hawaii, ensure you’ve downloaded traveling map apps on your phone and other electronic devices. The best part about traveling maps is that some do not need you to be online to use them. This can come in handy when you are in a location with no reception. The maps are not only about directions, they also have reviews of the best restaurants in the vicinity or even washrooms.

The Ultimate Hawaii Packing List

Items for Protecting Yourself Against the Harsh Sun Rays

Hawaii is sunny, so you must protect your body from the heat.

  • Sunscreen

Whether or not you are used to being outside, sunscreen is a must as it protects your skin against harsh sun rays. If you don’t apply sunscreen while on your trip, you will have a pretty awful sunburn that will see you stay indoors for a day to recover. Ensure the sunscreen is reef-safe to conserve the marine line.

The state of Hawaii passed a law that ruled against using non-reef-safe sunscreen because there are thousands of tourists in Maui each week, and if they all used non-reef-safe sunscreen, marine life would be endangered. You should also pack eco-friendly lip balm to protect your lips.

  • Sunglasses

Hawaii is sunny most of the day, so ensure you have packed your favorite glasses.

  • Sun Hat

And since carrying an umbrella might seem too much, bring a big sun hat to protect your face and neck from the sun. Ensure your hat retains its shape by filling it with clothes as you pack.

The Ultimate Hawaii Packing List

Beach Items for Hawaii

These are the items you need for beach days.

  • Keen Shoes or Reef Flip Flops

Most of your time in Hawaii might be spent exploring the beaches. That means you will be stepping on plenty of corals, leaving your feet feeling sore, and you might be unable to walk the following day. So, pack your keen shoes as they make it easy for you to walk on water and sharp corals without getting your feet hurt.

If you don’t have keen shoes, get a pair of reef flip-flops. They are comfortable, water-friendly, and provide a good grip. And the best part is that you don’t have to worry about having your feet wet all the time as they dry up pretty fast.

These water shoes have a great grip and thus can also be used for hiking through lush vegetation.

  • Reusable Water Bottle

Yes, you can buy bottled water, but since we are trying to conserve the environment, it’s best to carry a water bottle and refill it with water. This helps save money you’d have used buying bottled water.

  • Beach Towel

Since you’ll be spending quality time at the beach during your vacation, remember to pack a beach towel. It should be super soft and light, ensuring that it takes a short time to dry. It should also be sand-resistant.

  • Beach Bag

Pack a small beach bag; you’ll need a place to put your essentials, such as sunscreen, sunglasses, a water bottle, snacks, and beach towels. Go for a fashionable beach bag.

If you are a watersport junkie, pack a dry bag. You will probably engage in plenty of watersport activities, including paddling, kayaking, and jet skiing. If you don’t want to rack up your bill by purchasing things you already have, pack a dry bag to keep your essentials dry while out in the water or from the rain.

  • Waterproof Phone Cover

It can rain at any time of the day in Hawaii; therefore, ensure that your phone is well-protected by encasing it in a waterproof phone cover.

  • Collapsible Cooler

While on the beach, you’d want your drinks to retain their coolness as you explore the islands; having a collapsible cooler is a must. The best part is that it can easily fit in your suitcase and is leakproof.

  • Light Clothing

You are in Hawaii to have fun, and clothes play a crucial role. Don’t carry your whole closet, just the essentials.

  • Swimming costume

You can’t go to Hawaii and fail to pack several swimming costumes. This is because most of your time will be spent exploring the beaches and doing water sports activities.

  • Rash shirt

Since the sun is brutal and there are many bugs, it would be best to wear a light, long-sleeved shirt. It not only protects your hands and body against the sun’s rays but keeps bugs off. The best part is that you can wear it on top of your swimming costume


Some of the must-have items on your checklist include toiletries. They include:

  • Hairbrush
  • Lotion
  • Deodorant
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Moisturizer
  • Hair products
  • Makeup

If you forget any toiletries, you can buy them at any convenience store in Hawaii.

The Ultimate Hawaii Packing List

Extra items to pack for Hawaii

Other miscellaneous items that you must carry include but are not limited to the following – 

  • Light Rain Jacket

You may wonder why a rain jacket is part of the checklist. Hawaii is tropical, so you should expect rain showers often. So having a rain jacket with a hood in your carry-on prevents you from getting wet.

  • Snorkeling Gear

One of our favorite adventurous things to do in Hawaii is to go snorkeling. If you plan on going for more than one or two snorkeling expeditions, you should bring your own gear, as renting might be too expensive.

The Ultimate Hawaii Packing List
  • Portable Phone Charger

You will use your phone when you are outside exploring for directions and taking photos. Ensure your phone is always charged by bringing along a portable phone charger.

  • Bug Spray

There are a lot of bugs in Hawaii because of the wetness, so make sure to carry an eco-friendly bug spray.

  • Underwater Camera

If you love photography, you know Hawaii has colorful marine life. Therefore, an underwater camera is a must-have to capture breathtaking moments while snorkeling or playing with marine life in a submarine scooter.

The best part is that it is waterproof; you can leave it outside to capture Hawaii night scenes or take incredible shots when it rains.

  • Packing Cubes

These make packing for a family holiday a breeze. They come in various colors, ensuring that you use different colors for different family members. They differ in size, making it easy to pack multiple items, and you can access clothing and other essentials without making a mess.

  • Emergency Cash

Ensure you have emergency cash on hand as the ATMs may stop working or be caught in a place where cards are not accepted. 

Reasons to visit Hawaii

Traveling to Hawaii is every traveler’s dream because of the many breathtaking beaches, colorful marine life, watersport activities, and unique culture. Pack appropriately for a fantastic holiday if it’s your first trip to Hawaii. If you follow this ultimate Hawaii packing list, you shouldn’t miss any items that you’ll need for your trip. 

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

USA Bucketlist - 100 things to do in USA | Creative Travel Guide

Tuesday 3rd of October 2023

[…] remember to get your Hawaii packing list sorted and ready for your hiking […]

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.