Honestly, when it comes to packing, Hawaii is one of the easiest destinations for me. The chill laid back vibe of Hawaii + the year round weather forecast of sunny skies really only calls for a few key necessities. Even still if you are
Type A like me you still need a checklist for what to pack for Hawaii. Well, look no further, here is the Ultimate Packing list for Hawaii plus I included a free printable so that you can print and simply start checking off.
Ultimate Packing List for Hawaii + [ Free Printable List ]
Must Haves on your Hawaii Packing List
Most on this list are obvious. But, you should double check before you leave because these items are absolutely necessary.
Carry On Luggage
My goal is to have only carry-on but we aren’t quite there yet. I think in a year are so the big kids will be old enough to be responsible for their own carry on luggage (I have my eyes on these ones) and Liv will be out of the baby stage. But, until then we pack both a carry-on and checked luggage. This list is showcasing that.
What to Bring for the Plane Ride to Hawaii
The goal here is to be comfortable so a great neck pillow, comfy socks and a scarf or lightweight sweater usually do the trick. I like to pack an eye mask and sunglasses too (I’ve had someone keep their window open in the row in front of me and the sun was glaring straight in my eyes the whole flight). Lastly, I always bring chapstick and lotion to help my lips and skin stay hydrated up in the sky.
Packing for the Plane Flight to Hawaii
Plane food is not what it used to be and we’ve been on flights where they have completely run out of food or ran out of what we wanted to purchase. So, come prepared with snacks. Below are some of my favorites. 1. Trail mix, 2. celery, and nut butter, 3. citrus tastes so good on a plane always, 4. candied ginger, 5. Ready Snax packs with veggies or fruit, 6. chocolate covered pretzels are my go-to plane treat and lastly a cup of oatmeal is always great bc the flight attendants can easily get you some hot water.
*Tip- Purchase a water once you get through security and I usually grab a sandwich at Starbucks or an entree at the airport food court too.
Keeping yourself entertained on the Flight
Next, you want something to keep you occupied. Reading material and electronics usually, do the trick. Make sure to pack a nice set of headphones too. The cheapest/ best pair we have found are these ones (read our full review of them here).
*Tip- A great tip I learned is to pack charger with multiple outlets so the whole family can charge their electronics at the same time. It also helps when there are no outlets available because they are all being used. Strangers will welcome the multiple outlets and share the juice 🙂 Here is my favorite portable charger. It charges fast and multiple devices
*Tip- Clorox wipes might sound odd- but a quick wipe down of the seats and trays always makes me feel a little better about the germ situation. We don’t need anyone getting sick on our big trip- right?
*Tip: Save some room and weight in your checked baggage by packing heavier things like jeans, sneakers, and snacks in your carry on.
This list again is pretty basic. Whatever your routine is for bathing and getting ready in the morning you are going to need to pack. *Tip- To ensure the bottles don’t spill: take off the tops, place a small square of plastic wrap over the bottle opening and then screw the tops back on.
I recommend keeping all toiletries separated in gallon sized Ziploc bags. It works great. I usually divide them by shower, sink and make up. It makes it super easy when you unpack and settle into your room. *Tip: Most accommodations including Hotels, VRBO & Airbnb in my experience are equipped with hair dryers. So, check with them before you pack.
Clothes to put on your Packing List for Hawaii
This is where what to pack for Hawaii is easy peasy. Pair your swimsuit with a tank, shorts, and flip-flops and you are pretty much dressed appropriately for 90% of places you’ll go on the islands. Sure, you’ll want to pack at least one nice outfit (more if you’re sans kids) for when you go out to a nice dinner. But, keeping things simple = a more relaxing vacation and isn’t that the goal when you are going to Hawaii?
A few things that are important to bring if you plan on being more active are:
- exercise clothes
- athletic shoes
- pair of jeans
- Closed toed shoes
Zip-lining and horseback riding both require pants and close-toed shoes. And, hiking in Hawaii is usually pretty wet and slippery so sneakers are what you will want to be wearing. Yes, there are a bunch of people hiking in flip flops but if you want to get to the peak and see some of the most spectacular views in the world than listen to me and wear your sneakers.
*Tip: To save space always roll your clothing vs folding.
Preparing for the Hawaiian Sun
No one wants to be a lobster and worse skin cancer so please bring plenty of sunscreens and re-apply often. How often? Check this article out.
My favorite sunscreen is Alba Botanical Sunscreen – It’s All Natural and worked incredibly well for our family. Check Prices Here. A lot of resorts are now encouraging guests to be more eco friendly and are banning some sunscreens that are harmful to the environment, this one passes the test.
*Tip- Set an alarm on your phone so you know when you need to re-apply sunscreen next. Chances are you are going to be having fun and its way too easy to forget without a reminder.
How much sunscreen should you bring?
We go through a lot of sunscreens when we are in Hawaii because you are in the sun practically all day long. Things are a lot pricier in Hawaii since everything has to be imported so I try to bring enough sunscreen to last the whole trip. Although, Oahu and Maui both have Costco’s now so you could grab some there too for a decent price.
Sand & Pool Toys for the Kiddos
Toys keep kids occupied so you don’t want to skimp out and save room for packing. You will be kicking yourself if you do as you go to the store and buy the insanely overpriced bucket & shovel. I like to pack these collapsible pails, a few shovels, goggles, some water Barbie’s and a water football. Of course, if your child wears a flotation device pack (our favorite is this one) that too.
*Tip: Some resorts can supply you with a life vest so call and check before you pack. Lastly, these collapsible beach blankets are incredibly light and easy to pack. They are a lifesaver when you want to keep the baby off the sand, dirt or grass. Need to keep your phone handy but don’t want it to get all sandy? *Tip- Seal your phone in a Ziploc bag. We also snag a few snacks from our buffet breakfast and store them in Ziploc bags for later when the kids are getting hangry 😉
Click HERE to Download the Hawaii Packing List
Hopefully, this helps you know what to pack for a trip to Hawaii with your family.
More Questions about what to pack?
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Pin for Later – Ultimate Hawaii Packing List – Everything you Need + [ Free Printable List ]