Packing for Hawaii
by Sharon Harrison
Below are our suggestions for what you might like to take with you on your trip to the Islands.
Attire in general
- The rule of thumb for Hawaii is “Island Casual”. Men’s Hawaiian shirts (silk is always fashionable) with loose slacks, and women’s summery dresses are perfectly acceptable attire for the most formal of occasions. A pair of leather dress sandals is all that’s necessary to complete a polished, island look.
- On cool evenings, a light jacket, wrap or sweater is a welcome addition.
- A light rain jacket might be handy during a short, warm downpour.
- Casual street attire includes shorts, light tops and sun dresses, with sandals or flip-flops. (think loose, breathable fabrics)
- You won’t see bathing suits being worn on the street. Men and women tend to cover their swim attire when they’re off the beach in public.
Everyone Will Want to Bring
- 15 SPF, or higher, sunblock is necessary for all skin types! With strict airline rules on liquids, plan to downsize your favorite sunblock into a small plastic bottle. If a popular sunscreen product works for you, buy it when you arrive.
- Camera: pocket-size or pro with lenses, no matter. You’ll want to record your memories.
- Small backpack or carry-all to hold anything of value that you don’t want to leave in your rental car when you’re out exploring-- in the city or on the trail.
- Quality sunglasses are necessary to protect your eyesight in bright sun.
- Waterproof sunblock with, at least, SPF 15
- Two bathing suits (you might look for one in Hawaii)
- T-shirt, shorts or cover-up for walking to and from the beach.
- Rubber flip-flop
- Old sneakers or reef shoes for snorkeling and rock-walking
- Mask, snorkel, and optional fins if you want to own, not rent them (local island surf shops have the best selection)
- Waterproof camera, or a waterproof camera case made especially for underwater filming (also available for iPods and phones, at stores like REI)
- Trail boots
- Light clothes to protect you from sun, rain and brush
- Warm clothes for treks in higher altitude areas
- Mosquito repellent (Deet lotion is best)
- Flashlight if you plan to be out after dark
- Hat for sun
- GPS device for dense, tropical back-country hiking
Finally, we suggest that you leave room in your luggage to carry home treasures, gifts and clothing finds. Island shopping includes wonderful selections of casual clothes, swimsuits and sunglasses that you may not find on the mainland. More travel tips for the Hawaiian Islands!