What to pack for hawaii trip

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Planning a beach vacation in Honolulu? Do you need some inspiration on what to pack for Hawaii? How exciting! We love Hawaii – sun tanning, hiking, snorkeling, scuba diving, the list of activities that awaits you is just endless. 

Considering the warm average temperatures, your packing list will mostly consist of bikinis, cover-ups, and shorts. And although you may be able to get away with bringing just a passport and some cash on top, there are a few other things that will definitely come in handy during your vacation.

To help you organize a fun, memorable trip, below is the ultimate list of what to pack for Hawaii.

What to pack for Hawaii: 10 Essential Items

1. Hawaii LonelyPlanet Travel Guide

With several islands and hundreds of places to explore, Hawai’i truly has something for every traveler: from the wonders of Maui to the beauty of Honolulu, from the hidden gems on Lana’i to all the amazing beaches, jungles, and waterfalls scattered along the coast.

You’ll need a good, trustworthy travel guide to get the very best out of your trip and make sure you won’t leave anything out of your itinerary.

Lonely Planet guides are pretty much travel bibles – they’re user-friendly, constantly updated, and filled with photographs to fuel your wanderlust. Since they are also built for the road, we highly recommend picking this one up to pack it inside your carry-on.

2. Reef-Friendly Sunscreen: Kokua Sun Care

Simply put, reef-friendly is a term used to describe suncare products that don’t contain chemicals like oxybenzone and octinoxate that can lead to coral bleaching, or petroleum, parabens, and octocrylene which are toxic to marine life. Prioritizing reef-friendly sunscreens is absolutely essential when planning a trip to Hawaii, or any other beach destination for that matter.

A great option we recommend is the Kōkua Sun Care Hawaiian Natural Sunscreen.

Kokua Sun Care is not only Hawaiian-based, but the company uses a lot of local natural ingredients in their products, including kukui nut oil, honey, spirulina, and plumeria extract. Their SPF 50 sunscreen is zinc-based and will protect you from the harshest UV rays.

3. Snorkelling equipment: Swimstar snorkel mask

Snorkeling equipment can be rented on most beaches, but in order to save time and money, we highly reccomend bringing your own set of mask and snorkel if you know you’ll use it often.

This SwimStar Snorkel Set comes with fully-adjustable head straps and a soft hypoallergenic silicone skirt that molds to fit any face shape. An advanced lens shape design and tempered glass with anti-fog treatment guarantee you’ll have a crystal clear view underwater. Moreover, the snorkel is splash-resistant and features a valve that will close when diving, preventing water from entering the tube.

4. Beach towels: Clowood cotton cabana towels

A big, soft beach towel is one of the most essential items to pack for your Hawaiian trip – it also happens to be one of the easiest items to forget to pack!

This Clowood Oversized Beach Towel is produced by the company RuilingTextile Co, which is a supplier of many 5 star hotels such as the Ritz-Carlton, Hilton and Sheraton.

It is perfect for drying off after a swim, wiping the sand off your hands, and lounging on while you soak in the sun. It’s made from a super soft, super absorbent cotton and features a classic cabana stripe print.

5. Beach/Hiking Sandals: Birkenstock Arizona Eva 

If you’re planning on walking a lot, or even doing some light hiking, you’re going to want to go for a sandal with a lot of durability to keep your feet comfortable mile after mile.

These on-trend Birkenstock sandals are a smarter, more comfortable alternative to the classic flip-flop. The legendary “ugly cute” two-strap design – the Arizona – is here made from ultra-lightweight and highly flexible EVA, which makes these sandals waterproof, lightweight, and shock absorbing. You can wear them everywhere, at the beach or in the jungle, as they are sure to keep your feet comfortable no matter how far the destination.


6. Beach/Hiking Backpack: Fjallraven, Kanken Classic Backpack

While traveling, you always want to bring a durable, empty backpack to use as a daypack.

You can take with you all the essentials for a beach day or a hike – water, your snacks (obvs), a towel, or a jacket – and even use the backpack as an extra carry-on for your flight.

The Fjallraven Kanken Classic Backpack is a must-have for many travelers around the world. Whether you’re hiking up a volcano or exploring the streets of an urban jungle, this 16 lt backpack can protect all your travel essentials. Fjallraven’s most famous pack is durable, dirt-resistant, water-resistant, and easy to clean.

7. Power bank: Anker Portable Charger

This should be a no-brainer! Most of us have rechargeable smartphones, drones, cameras, and tablets when traveling, which makes power banks absolutely essential in every carry-on. How many times has your phone battery run down while exploring a new city? In these situations, Power banks are lifesavers.

The Anker Portable Charger features a massive 20,000mAh cell capacity which provides more than 4 charges for the most popular smartphones on the market. The cool-blue LED displays remaining power and charging status, while the Twin USB ports allow you to charge two devices at the same time.

8. Reusable Water Bottle:Hydro Flask

To save money and cut down on the amount of wasted plastic while traveling, pack a good-quality, reusable water bottle. If you’re a coffee or tea drinker, you can even invest in a reusable thermos or coffee cup to cut down on disposable takeaway lids and cups.

The Hydro Flask Water Bottle is made with stainless steel to ensure pure taste and no flavor transfer, while a double-wall vacuum insulation protects temperature for hours. Fill these up at your hotel so you can stay hydrated for any adventure!


9. Waterproof Action Camera: GoPro HERO9 Black

An action camera is a great way to capture your hiking and snorkeling adventures. Having one of these in your pack will help you recall all exciting memories throughout your travels in Hawaii.

The GoPro is the top-selling waterproof action camera for a reason. They’re extremely tough, have incredible stabilization, and are immensely versatile and fun to use. New models like GoPro HERO9 are great for taking both videos and photos, and feature a built-in GPS, touch screen display and can capture 4K footage at 60 frames per second, 1080p at 240 fps, and 720p at 480 fps.


10. E-reader: Kindle Paperwhite

It’s lighter than a book, yet you can have thousands of books with you at any time.

The new Kindle Paperwhite is an excellent way to entertain yourself during a long bus trip or as you work on that tan. Additionally, you can download maps, itineraries and vocabularies on it! The battery of the most recent models lasts for weeks and the backlight is adjustable for sunshine. Bring one of these on your next beach vacation and finally cross a book (or two) off your Goodreads reading list.


That’s it! Now you know exactly what to pack for Hawaii and you are ready for your trip!


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