Typically, packing is no big thing for me. I’m usually able to throw a suitcase together the morning of a trip without missing hardly anything. You’d think I’d have the system down for every kind of trip, but that wasn’t the case for Hawaii.
If you are here, there is a good chance you also found (or are currently finding) packing for Hawaii to be a bit tougher than you anticipated! After spending a week on the island of Maui, I got a much better sense of what you do and don’t need to bring on a Hawaiian vacation.
Today I wanted to share my packing break down. Complete with things I am so glad I brought, things I didn’t really need, and anything else I wish I had during my trip.
The first thing I pack for any trip is allll the clothes I’ll need. Hawaii isn’t cold by any stretch, so you should be able to leave the layers at home and just pack what will keep you cool and comfortable.
We stayed for a week when we went, but Hawaii is definitely the kind of place where you want more than just one outfit for each day. Lots of exploring means lots of outfits!
I opted to pack pieces that could be worn more than once. For me this meant sundresses, tennis skirts, athletic shorts, and easy tops.
My packing breakdown went like this:
- 4 sundresses
- 2 pairs of cute athletic shorts + a tennis skirt + jean shorts
- 4 or 5 cute, comfy tops
- 2 tees that could double up as swim cover ups
- Sandals + tennis shoes
- And of course… 3 swimsuits 🙂
Like I said, the goal with packing for Hawaii is to be cute, comfy, and cool. I found that dresses were the easiest way to achieve that, but if dresses aren’t your thing stick with what you know! Jess and I joke that anything goes on vacation, so just wear whatever you feel comfortable in!
What to Wear to a Luau
If you are planning on going to a luau, you might be wondering what in the heck you should wear to that! I am no expert, but I can tell you what we wore to ours and the overall vibe of the event.
Luaus are usually on the beach, making them instantly more casual than most 5 course dinner events, but you’ll still want to dress up a bit. Jess and I both wore nicer sundresses, which seemed to fit the vibe pretty well.
Ladies will be best off wearing a casual dress (mini or maxi, doesn’t matter) and doing their hair and makeup. The guys could totally get away with wearing a button down and khaki pants or shorts. No need for ball gowns or ties here. 🙂
A quick note about accessories…
While we are on the topic of clothing, let’s talk about a few key accessories you’ll want to have with you in Hawaii!
First things first, you’ll need a good pair of sunglasses! Of course, you can buy some when you get there, just don’t go out during the day without a pair.
Sun is no joke in Hawaii, so I would also recommend packing some kind of hat. Whether it be a ball cap or a sun hat, just make sure you have something to protect your face.
Lastly, make sure you pack a good sturdy pair of sandals! I got these on amazon before I left and wore them every single day.
One of the fun things about beach trips is that you don’t need to pack a ton of makeup! Back in the day when I was frequenting Malibu, I didn’t pack any makeup for most of my trips. Just get a little tan the first day and it counts as foundation, right?? Anyways, there are a few toiletry items you will definitely want during your trip to Maui.
Again, the sun!! It’s shines extra bright on Hawaii. You’ll definitely want to have sunscreen with you everyday, but make sure it’s legal!! Hawaii state law requires reef safe sunscreen. If you can’t get it at your local grocery store, you can order some on Amazon or buy some when you arrive.
Y’all know I would never go anywhere without dry shampoo, but I especially love it on beach trips! Come back from the beach, but don’t feel like showering before dinner? No worries… dry shampoo cures all. I always use the Batiste brand. You can get it in regular sized cans if you are checking a bag, or 3 oz cans if you only have a carry-on.
The only other Maui specific thing I would toss in would be some lip balm with sun protectant. Other than that, pack all the same toiletries you normally would for a beach trip!
No packing list is complete without a camera! You must must must have a good device for taking photos on your trip. If you don’t love your phone’s camera, borrow or rent an entry level DSLR. In all honesty, most trip photos I post are taken with my phone (I have the iPhone 8 plus), so there is no need to get super fancy here!
Sticking with photography, you might also consider getting a waterproof phone case or a GoPro. I use the GoPro Hero 7 Black, but again no need to be fancy! This isn’t an absolute must and at most is just nice to have if you go snorkeling.
As I was walking out the door to head to the airport, I tossed my bluetooth speaker into my bag. This ended up being a super fun thing to have on our trip. We used it getting ready, on the beach, and in our AUX cord-less rental car. (Hey it was a Jeep, though, so we had no complaints!)
That just about covers everything you’ll need to pack for your trip! Don’t worry too much about forgetting something! If you do, you can always buy it there. And even if you can’t, you’ll be in Hawaii without a care in the world. So you’ll be just fine!
Are you planning a trip to Hawaii? If so, tell me all about in the comments!
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