Wondering what to pack for Hawaii? My Hawaii packing list will help you get organised for your trip. What to bring to Hawaii depends a little on the type of vacation you’re going on and the types of activities you’ll be doing on your trip. No matter what your plans, I’ll show you what to wear in Hawaii and help you put together some cute Hawaii outfits that will look great in your vacation photos. I’ll also give you some tips for packing for Hawaii. You’ll be totally prepared and ready for your vacation once you go through this packing list for Hawaii! You don’t need to think about what things to bring to Hawaii as I’ve done all the work for you!
I’ve been on several trips to Hawaii, covering all four of the major islands – Oahu, Maui, Kauai and the Big Island. Hawaii is a magical place and the perfect place for a memorable vacation. After traveling to Hawaii so many times, I feel like I have a great idea on what should be on your Hawaii vacation packing list. You can use my ideas and expertise to pick your Hawaii vacation clothes and work out what to take to Hawaii. You can read more about my travels in Hawaii with my family in my Hawaii blog posts.
What You'll Find in This Post
- 1 What to Wear in Hawaii Outfit Ideas
- 2 What to Pack for Hawaii – Complete Packing List!
- 3 Best Shoes for Hawaii
- 4 Other Things to Pack for Hawaii
- 5 What to Bring to Hawaii for Kids
- 6 What to Wear to a Wedding in Hawaii
- 7 Tips for Packing for Hawaii
- 8 Printable Hawaii Packing List
- 9 Got comments or questions about what to pack for a trip to Hawaii?
What to Wear in Hawaii Outfit Ideas
These Hawaii outfits ideas will help you plan what to wear in Hawaii with ease. The best Hawaiian outfits for a vacation are light, cool, colorful clothes. You also want cute outfits for Hawaii in all your vacation pictures! Because the weather is warm and the living is easy, outfits for Hawaii trip can be quite casual and comfortable. You don’t need to get super dressed up for anything unless you want to get dressed up for an evening Luau and take some nice family pictures or you’re attending a wedding. (I have some ideas for what to wear to Hawaii weddings below.)
I’ve listed some specific outfits for Hawaii vacation below so you can get an idea of what you can wear. Take my cute Hawaiian outfit ideas then go through your own wardrobe to see what suitable clothes for Hawaii vacation outfits you already have. Lay it all out on your bed and start mixing and matching your existing clothes to come up with some outfits for Hawaii. Then start making a list of the things you don’t have and shop for a few key pieces like some nice sundresses for Hawaii.
Dresses for Hawaii
The best dresses for Hawaii are comfortable, easy to wear shapes made from lightweight, breathable fabrics. You want to be relaxed and keep cool so pick comfortable dresses to wear in Hawaii. Cotton is great but something with a bit of stretch is even better. Choose sundresses for Hawaii in tropical prints or bright colors. Maxi dresses for Hawaii vacation are also a great choose and can be dressed down with flip flops and sun hat in the day or dressed up with wedge sandals and a purse for evening. You’ll want to pack around 3-4 dresses for Hawaii trips around a week long. Use your existing summer dresses for Hawaii or buy a few new ones in bright, tropical prints especially for your trip.
Casual Hawaii Vacation Outfits
You’ll need some casual outfits to wear in Hawaii during the day if you’re wandering around Waikiki, driving around Oahu for a day of sightseeing, visiting Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island, watching the sunset over Haleakala in Maui or taking a helicopter ride over the Napali Coast in Kauai. Pick easy to wear outfits like shorts, tank tops, capri pants, loose cotton shirts. Stick with one color scheme so you can create lots of cute Hawaii outfits from a few pieces. See the suggestions I have in the graphic above for how you can combine your tops and bottoms into a complete Hawaii wardrobe for your vacation.
Hawaiian Luau Outfit
You’ll definitely want to pack some cute luau outfits for your family! Getting a little dressed up for a fun night out at a luau is a great ideas. You Hawaiian luau clothing will also make for excellent family photos. You can purchase really nice matching sets of luau attire for families in gift shops in Hawaii or just have everyone wear their tropical best. A maxi dress in a fun tropical print is the best luau attire female travelers can wear. Men can wear a short sleeved shirt, plain or printed paired with either shorts, khakis or chinos. Girls can wear a tropical or bright sundress or party dress and boys can wear a cute shirt and shorts.
Hawaiian Beach Wear
You’ll need at least 2-3 nice Hawaiian beach outfits for your trip. Hawaii has fantastic beaches! You can either enjoy those right outside your resort door or drive to the all over the islands seeking out the best ones. Waikiki, although crowded, is one of the best beaches in the world. It’s best to bring a cover up or sarong for walking to and from your hotel room and the beach or pool. You’ll need at least 2 or 3 sets of the following – swimsuit, cover up or sarong, flip flops and a decent sunhat. I would recommend adding a UV rash vest to your Hawaiian beach attire especially if you’re planning on being in the sun a lot or doing any snorkelling or kayaking where your back & shoulders are exposed for a long time. They are absolutely essential for kids! But great for moms and dads too.
Hiking in Hawaii – What to Wear
Wondering what to wear hiking in Hawaii? If you’re planning a few short hikes or walks you actually don’t need any special hiking gear for Hawaii. Bring along some light workout wear like a sport tank and yoga top, a cap for sun protection and a backpack for snacks, water bottles, sunscreen, sarong and swimsuit (as many of the hikes end at a waterfall!) See below for my specific recommendation on what shoes to bring for hiking in Hawaii.
Hawaii Outfits for Men
Men have it pretty easy when thinking about what to pack to Hawaii. Hawaii outfits for men are pretty simple think short and t-shirts in the day. Shorts and a polo shirt, short sleeved shirt or Hawaiian shirt in the evening. Throw in some sports gear for golf or hiking, swim trunks, sandals and swim trunks and you’ll have all you need to pack! There’s no need to worry about what to wear in Hawaii men!
What to Pack for Hawaii – Complete Packing List!
Now that you know how to dress for Hawaii, I’m going to tell you exactly what to pack for Hawaii with quantities, shoes, accessories…. the lot! My complete Hawaii packing list will help you get super organised for your trip. This list covers what to take to Hawaii for a week long vacation. You can always pack more if you’re staying longer or just plan on doing laundry at your vacation rental or hotel during your trip. Print out this packing list for Hawaii and mark things off as you select your clothes to wear in Hawaii so you know what to purchase in addition to your existing wardrobe. Simple!
The quantities in this list are for women. For kids, I would add in a few more outfits in case of messy eating or play. For men and boys, skip the dresses obviously and add in a few more pairs of shorts, swap the tank tops for t-shirts and add in a few more shirts. There is a link for a printable Hawaii vacation checklist PDF at the end of this post in which I go into exact quantities for what to bring for men and kids as well.
Clothes to Pack for Hawaii
- Dresses x 3-4 – A mix of knee-length sundresses and maxi dresses. This is the sundress as pictured above and this is the colorful print maxi dress pictured above. Packing both lengths is a good idea for some variety.
- Lightweight tunic tops or shirts x 1-2 – Lightweight tunic tops are great for travel in general as they instantly smarten up our look in hot climates while remaining comfortable & cool. They are perfectly Hawaii wear! The lightweight tunic pictured above is made from UV resistant fabric to protect you from the sun. You can also wear it with leggings for the plane. Or just go for asimple cotton shirt like the one I have pictured above.
- Tank tops x 2-3 – These Chiffon tank top pictured above is easy to wear in the day or evening. Pack a mix of nicer ones and easy cotton ones.
- Sport tank top – The sport tank pictured aboveworks for hiking or just wearing around
- Shorts – The Dickies Women’s Stretch Performance Shorts pictured above have quick dry moisture wicking fabric that will keep you dry in warmer weather
- Capri pants – A lightweight pair of capri pants are useful if you don’t like showing a lot of leg. You can wear them in the day with sandals or with wedge sandals for evening. The ones pictured above have UV sun protection and are made from cooling material.
- Denim shorts – An easy go to for women, if you’re comfortable wearing them. Otherwise pack another pair of capri pants! These are the denim shorts pictured above.
- Yoga pants – The crop yoga pants pictured above are perfect for hiking or other active activities
- Leggings – For the plane, wear a pair of comfy leggings or yoga pants, especially if you’re coming from somewhere cold!
- Cardigan or sweatshirt – Bring one for the plane but also for any altitude activities like visiting Haleakala or Mauna Kea.
- Bras – 3 bras works best for travel. I always pack one nude everyday bra, one black bra, and one white sports bra.
- Underwear – 10 pair of underpants is about right for what to pack for a week in Hawaii
- Sleepwear x 1-2 – Bring whatever you sleep in during the summer
- Compression socks – If you have a flight of over 5 hours to get to Hawaii then I would suggest wearing compression socks during your flight.
- Swimsuit x 2-3 – Whatever swimsuits you like! Just make sure you bring 2 or 3 pairs as you might do both beach and pool in the same day and you don’t want to put on a soggy swimsuit! Tankini swimsuit pictured above
- Beach cover up x 2 – A loose fitting cotton beach cover up is perfect for around the resort pool or at the beach. You can also throw it on over a tank top and shorts and easily add more Hawaii vacation outfit ideas to your repertoire. These are the beach cover ups pictured above – white beach cover upand striped beach cover up.
- Sarong – This is the Sarong pictured above, it’s beautiful! A sarong is a very useful item to have! You can use it as a pool cover up, as a beach blanket or towel, even around your shoulders for some extra sun protection.
- UV rash vest – UV rash vest pictured above. The sun is strong in Hawaii so wearing a UV rash vest is a good idea when you’re swimming, paddle boarding, kayaking or just hanging out in the beach. It protects your skin and prevents burning without having to cover your whole body in sunscreen.
- Sunhat – A large packable sunhat with a wide brim like this so it’s very useful for travel
- Sun-visor – A packable sun-visor like this is great to roll up and have in your purse for when you’re wandering around and don’t want to wear a large hat but still want to protect your face from the sun.
- Sport cap – For hiking or activities, Nike cap as pictured above.
- Sunglasses x 2 – One good pair and a cheap pair like these that you can wear in the water
- Tote bag for beach
- Folding backpack for hiking or day trips – Folding backpacks like this are so useful for travel!
- Necklace – Turquoise necklace pictured above
- Flower hair clip – A cute flowered hair clip for a Hawaiian feel as pictured above
- Clutch for evenings – Pack this if you need a nicer purse for evenings, gold foldover clutch as pictured above
Best Shoes for Hawaii
When asking working out what shoes to wear in Hawaii you need to take into account what you’ll be doing on your trip. The best shoes for Hawaii depend on your activities schedule and how adventurous you plan on being. For example, if you don’t plan on hiking on your trip to Hawaii hiking shoes can be left at home. If you’re doing a lot of snorkelling in Hawaii water shoes are essential for comfort. Here are the best shoes to wear in Hawaii:
- A pair of flip flops – Definitely pack a pair of flip flops for Hawaii! These Havianas as pictured are an easy choice for the beach or pool.
- Best sandals for Hawaii – I would recommend a pair of comfortable sandals that still look nice with dresses. My favourite sandals for travel are these ones but I also have a whole post on comfortable travel sandals that you can read here.
- Wedge sandals for evening – If you like to dress a little nice in the evening then pop a pair of wedge sandals into your suitcase too. The gold ones I have pictured here by Aerosole are very comforable.
- Best water shoes for Hawaii – These are great, affordable water shoes Hawaii vacations might require these if you’re more active and doing kayaking, snorkelling etc.
- Best hiking shoes for Hawaii – The best shoes for hiking in Hawaii are sturdy sneakers that can handle slighty wet ground, slippery rocks and a little mud. You don’t need serious hiking shoes, Hawaii hikes aren’t that tough! These type of trail workout sneakers are ideal Hawaii hiking shoes.
- For kids – My kids wear Croc sandalsthe entire time we’re in Hawaii. They have a sandal pair also made by Crocs.
- Socks – If you’re bringing sneakers for hiking, throw a few pair of sport socks into your suitcase too!
Other Things to Pack for Hawaii
In addition to clothing here are a few other things to pack for Hawaii. Because Hawaii is isolated from the continental United States, a lot of items are more expensive here due to the cost of importing them. I recommend you bring these Hawaii essentials with you. You can buy things like sunscreen, diapers and deodorant there once you arrive but they are more expensive, especially if you’re looking at resort gift shop prices.
Toiletries for Hawaii
- Shampoo – Packed in GoToob Travel Bottles (unless you’re traveling as a family in which case I’d suggest bringing full size bottles to wash kids hair after all the swimming!)
- Conditioner – If you’re swimming a lot, bring plenty of conditioner. Hotels never supply enough!
- Hair brush, comb and hair ties
- Dental floss
- Facial wipes or cleanser
- Coconut oil – Packing in a GoToob, it is so useful for travel as a moisturiser, after sun, shaving gel, hair treatment, make up remover etc. If you plan on using this, you can omit other items on this list.
- Lip balm – Put this in your carry on bag for the plane
- Hand cream – Put this in your carry on bag for the plane
- Shaving kit
- Nail file / clippers
- Small magnifying mirror
- Sunscreen – This is the best smelling sunscreen!
- Insect repellent spray
- After sun lotion
- Anti-chafe balm – Humidity + activitiy = chaffing!
- Make up
- Make up remover
- Solid perfume – These are great for travel! The Pacifica brand has some lovely Hawaiian scents in their range.
- Small first aid kit – Band aids, Neosporin, inscet bite cream, asprin etc
- Medication and vitamins
- Flat iron for your hair – If you have hard to control hair, consider bringing a flat iron to Hawaii as the humidity will wreck havoc on your hair do! Here’s my list of the best travel flat irons. (Most resorts will supply a hair dryer so you don’t need to bring along a travel hair dryer.)
- Kindle – A paperwhite Kindle is best for sunny destinations
- All chargers
- Waterproof phone case– So you can use your phone at the beach or pool without it getting wet or sandy. Great for taking pictures in the water too!
Best Camera to Take to Hawaii
You’ll definitely need to bring a camera with you to Hawaii. Whether you use the one on your phone or a camera is up to you. If you do want to get a new camera for your Hawaii trip, here’s what I would recommend:
- Sony a6000 mirrorless camera – This is the best camera for Hawaii because it is lightweight and much smaller than a large dSLR camera but still takes very high quality pictures. It’s a great camera if you want to improve your photography without getting too complicated. You can see the quality of the photographs in my Big Island photographs compared to my previous photos on my other Hawaii trips which were just taken with my iPhone camera.
- Nikon Coolpix L840 – If you want something more affordable and easy to use then this Nikon Coolpix is the best point and shoot camera on the market.
- Gorillapod – Flexible tripod that can grip to trees, fences, balconies to create cool shots! Just be sure to get the right size for your camera. You can even buy one that works with your phone.
What to Bring to Hawaii for Kids
In addition to the vacation clothes for Hawaii that I’ve mentioned above, you’ll need a few more things if you’re traveling with kids. Most vacation rentals will have a closet full of sand toys, pool toys and body boards available for you to use which is convenient but if you’re staying in a resort or hotel you won’t have access to these so you should bring your own. Add you whatever you need to my travel list for Hawaii based on how old your kids.
- Car seats – Hiring a car is essential in Hawaii and it’s cheaper to bring your car seat from home if you can manage it along with your luggage
- Stroller – A lightweight folding umbrella stroller with a sun shade is easiest for travel
- Pack n play – Don’t rely on the hotel or vacation rental having an adequate pack n play crib for your baby. It’s better to bring your own. Here’s my list of best pack n play cribs.
- Inflatable toddler bed – If you’re traveling with a toddler who is too big for crib then I recommend bringing one of these along. Here’s my list of the best inflatable toddler beds.
- Sandproof beach mat
- Inflatable pool toy
- Sand toys – You can buy them in resort gift shops but they are way over priced so if you can fit them into your suitcase then bring some along.
- Plastic bowls, cups & spoons – So you can give your kids a quick and easy breakfast in the hotel or not worry about them breaking the china in your vacation rental
- Ziploc bags – For snacks when you’re out all day
- Drink bottles
- Toys / Books – A few toys, books and coloring supplies for the plane or using in the hotel room
- Diapers & wipes
- Swim diapers for babies – One of the key Hawaii travel essentials when traveling with babies! This brand are great.
- Kids swim ponchos – Like these, very useful for when resorts won’t let you take pool towels back to you room or use them on the beach.
What to Wear to a Wedding in Hawaii
Wondering what to wear to a Hawaiian wedding? Resort-style clothing is ideal for what to wear to a wedding in Hawaii. Smart but comfortable and cool. Most weddings in Hawaii take place either on the beach or grassed lawn in a resort so heels are a no-no. Here are some Hawaii wedding outfits that would be appropriate:
- For women – Either a nice sundress, maxi dress, strappy dress or jumpsuit paired with flat sandals or wedge sandals. You can always dress yourself up with nicer hair and make-up!
- For men – Khakis or linen pants and a short sleeved shirt worn with leather sandals.
- For children – Sundress or a light party dress for girls with sandals and short sleeved shirt and nice shorts with sandals for boys.
Tips for Packing for Hawaii
Now that you know what toput on your Hawaii trip packing list, I’m going to show you how to pack for Hawaii. Unless you’re a very light traveler, I recommend checking a suitcase when you fly to Hawaii as you won’t be moving around too much or using public transport. It’s easier to unpack a suitcase in your vacation rental or hotel. Just remember if you’re renting a car, allow for enough room in your trunk to fit your suitcases. You should be able to travel with one suitcase per couple or family for a week long trip using the packing list for Hawaii vacation I have listed above.
- Suitcase – A large spinner suitcase is ideal for Hawaii. I would say 25″ suitcase for a couple or a 29″ suitcase for a family for a one week vacation. Here’s my list of the best spinner luggage to help you pick if you need a new suitcase.
- Laptop backpack – If you’re traveling with a laptop it’s best off in a backpack. Here is the one we have which easily fits two laptops, chargers and iPads.
- Tote bag for carry on – Here’s what to pack in your carry on bag for a long flight!
- Packing cubes – If you’re not already using them, then definitely get a set of packing cubes for your things to take to Hawaii. If you don’t know what packing cubes are or how to use them then I highly recommend you read through my packing cubes guide.
- Wet-Dry Bags – Great if you want to swim on your last day before your flight but don’t want to have wet swimsuits dampen everything in your bag!
- Mesh beach toy bag – If you’re traveling with kids this is so useful as it lets all the sand shake free from the toys! Folds up for storage in your suitcase too.
Printable Hawaii Packing List
Print our this Hawaii checklist and start organising your packing today! Using this checklist for Hawaii will help you pack efficiently and know what to wear in Maui, Kauai, the Big Island or Oahu. You can print of the Hawaii trip checklist by clicking the link below.
Got comments or questions about what to pack for a trip to Hawaii?
Whether you’re wondering what to pack for Kauai or you’re packing for maui or trying to figure out some Hawaiian resort wear looks, I hope my guide to what to wear on vacation in Hawaii has been useful for you. Feel free to ask any questions in the comments below if you’re still wondering clothes to wear to Hawaii.
What do you wear in Hawaii? What are your top Hawaii vacation essentials? What do you think are the best clothes for Hawaii? I’d love to here from you. If you’ve got any feedback or comments or packing tips for Hawaii then leave me a comment below.