So, here’s a list of things that you want to make sure you don’t forget as you are writing up your Hawaii packing list!
What are things to put on that Hawaii packing list?!
There are affiliate links below because you should totally check out some of these things on Amazon.
First, a quick list of the most popular items bought specifically for a trip to Hawaii – these types of sandals perfect for hiking in hot weather, these types of shoes perfect for snorkeling with rocky beach entrances, the BEST travel guide book series for Hawaii available for every island, and the best sunscreen for Hawaii. See more essentials for Hawaii.
1. Waterproof phone case
Hawaii has an abundance of water activities, so hopefully that means that you’ll be doing some of them, like snorkeling in Hawaii.
And why wouldn’t you want to take pictures underwater of those colorful tropical fish or turtles that you see?! (Going on a snorkeling tour might increase your chances of seeing them!)
So, be sure that you bring along a waterproof case for your phone.
2. Hiking sandals
This is probably one of the top bought items specific for a first trip to Hawaii, and for good reason!
Because Hawaii has an abundance of hiking trails, and yes to hiking in Hawaii of course.
Hiking sandals can also make good travel sandals, so if you don’t have a pair already, they can make a good investment if you buy a quality pair.
These types of hiking sandals are designed to have more traction than regular sandals like flip flops, and they are more breathable than your normal shoes. They also will have more traction than your normal shoes for that matter.
Many of Hawaii’s hiking trail are covered in loose gravel which can make it easier to lose your footing, so it can be helpful to get any extra help from your footwear that you can.
3. Water shoes
Another pair of shoes you might want for your Hawaii vacation is at the beach.
This is another one of the things that’s high on the list of purchases for people making a first trip to Hawaii.
While some beaches are pristine white sand beaches in Hawaii with minimal risk for stepping on rocks, there are other beaches that are slightly more rocky.
These types of water shoes (for men and for women) can be helpful so that you can walk across the beach and wade in the water without being worried that you’re going to hurt yourself by stepping on rocks.
4. Waterproof bandages
Well you’re on vacation, and hopefully since you’re going to Hawaii you’re going for an adventure vacation and not just lazing on the beach. 😉
And if you’re going on an adventure vacation, that means your risk for getting hurt may be a little bit more than when you’re at home.
Go for waterproof bandages over regular ones because you’re going to be getting in the water, right?!
Especially if you’re going to be entering fresh water (like at some waterfalls) it’s best not to go in with open wounds because there’s a greater risk for bacteria entering your body.
Hawaii’s greatest bacteria threat from fresh water is leptospirosis.
You can get bandages at convenience stores in Hawaii, but it’s much easier if you have a few in your travel backpack so you don’t have to go frantically searching for first aid items.
You can toss some bandages in a ziplock bag and toss that ziplock bag into your beach bag or travel backpack!
So consider getting a box with an assortment of sizes, and just take a few with you.
A travel first aid kit would be even better, but if you’re going to pass on that, at least pack some bandages, and maybe some antiseptic cream. (Although basic soap and water often can be best!)
Consider an ultralight adventure first aid kit too.
5. Lip balm with sun protection
Well, you know that Hawaii is hot.
And you know that you’ll get lots of sun in Hawaii.
And you know that sunscreen is a VERY good idea!
But don’t forget about your lips!
They need sun protection too.
So be sure to pack along chapstick or lip balm that comes with SPF protection.
You can get flavored lip balm that protects against UV rays.
6. Sun shirts
If you want to make it easier on yourself so that you don’t need to worry so much about reapplying sunscreen, you may want to get some shirts that have UV protection.
These types of shirts (long sleeve for men and for women – short sleeve for men and for women) are designed for you to wear into the water, and so that you don’t have to be concerned every couple of hours with making sure you’re wearing enough sunscreen.
And this type of clothing can be some of the best clothes to wear for snorkeling.
No matter how much you cover yourself with clothing, you’ll probably still end up with exposed skin.
Which means you’ll still want to wear sunscreen.
And for that…
Do you know which sunscreen is best for Hawaii?!
One that doesn’t include chemicals that are a part of the Hawaii sunscreen ban!
7. Portable phone charger
If you’re driving around the islands for an island road trip, you might encounter some spots where coverage isn’t great.
This is even more likely if you’re hiking in Hawaii in the mountains.
This means that the battery life on your phone can go quicker.
And if you have GPS on, that can also use up more phone battery.
You DON’T want your phone to die when you’re out and about in Hawaii because how upset would you be if your phone dies at the very moment you go to take that picture-perfect scene?! 😉
So be sure to bring one of these power banks for your phone. And don’t forget to charge it the night before!
If you’ll be renting a car in Hawaii, be sure to pack along a travel car charger too.
8. Best travel guidebooks
For Hawaii, there is an ULTIMATE series of travel guidebooks that is considered the best of the best.
You can check the reviews to see what you think about them.
There is a guidebook for each of the main Hawaiian islands:
What to wear in Hawaii
Make sure you are prepared for all the different things you may be doing in Hawaii!
What to wear to the beach
What to wear for other water activities
There are loads of water activities to do in Hawaii aside from just going to the beach.
Will you be doing any of them?
Common things to think about might be what to wear snorkeling, how to prevent seasickness if you’re going on a boat ride and prone to motion sickness, what to wear for a beginner’s surf lesson (rashguards like snorkeling can be good), and other tours or excursions!
What to wear hiking
If you’ll be going for some waterfall hikes in Hawaii you may think about things like travel-friendly bug repellent wipes and an extra pair of socks in case your feet get muddy.
You may also want to look into getting a travel-friendly collapsible daypack to carry your water and snacks.
What to wear to a luau
You don’t need to wear anything special or dress up formally when going to one of these admittedly very touristy activities. (It’s an evening of Hawaiian food and entertainment.)
The quick list!
- Sun shirts with UV protection (for women and for men) so you have to wear less sunscreen
- Popular water shoes (for women and for men) for the hidden rocks on the beach
- This standard snorkeling set
- This CHEAP way to make your phone waterproof so you can take amazing underwater photos!
- This type of waterproof pouch so you don’t need to leave valuables on the beach
- Sunscreen that’s NOT a part of the Hawaii sunscreen ban
And for hiking in Hawaii…
What to do in Hawaii?!
There are lots of FREE and cheap things to do in Hawaii.
HAPPY PACKING FOR HAWAII!
If you're headed to Hawaii soon, see some ideas for top snorkeling essentials to pack for Hawaii, including why people wear a rash guard for snorkeling. And for Oahu travel tips, see this 3 day itinerary, this 2 week itinerary, and then some more things to do on Oahu.
And if you're headed to the Big Island, be sure to see things to do on the Big Island along with this 7 day itinerary that includes black sand beaches, waterfalls, a lava cave hike, turtles, beautiful beach hikes, and tons of scenic drives!