Millions of tourists come to visit Hawaii each and every year – and many times, they are quite unprepared. Sure, everyone knows to bring swimwear and flip-flops (slippers for locals), but Hawaii adventures require a bit more than that. So to help you out, here is a Hawaii Packing List for all the items you won’t think to bring (a printable version is available at the end of the post).
For the Ocean
Odds are, at some point during your stay in Hawaii, you will make your way to a beach. I’ve noticed that many tourists seem to forget a simple beach towel and are forced to buy one that is overpriced at one of the many souvenir shops. Instead bring one from home! Or buy one online before you leave for your trip, like this doggo one.
Beach bags are also a commonly forgotten item on the Hawaii packing list. Usually tourists are carrying all of their beach gear in a Walmart bag that has already started to tear. Instead of praying that your plastic bag won’t break as you’re crossing the street, you can use this nice little beach tote or even a simple canvas bag, like I do.
And if you’re planning on actually getting into the ocean, water shoes, goggles, and snorkeling gear might be a good idea. Costco is usually an awesome place to get these products for a great price!
For the Hikes
Most of Hawaii’s hikes – with the exception of Makapu’u Lighthouse and Diamond Head – are quite muddy, like Manoa Falls and Likeke Falls. Some require a couple of small river crossings. Some have you scuffing your shoes on each and every rock you pass. Needless to say, your shoes can get quite beat up on Hawaii hikes – but they are totally worth it. So bring so active shoes that you would be okay with throwing away at the end of your trip. Trust me, you won’t want to take them back home with you.
If your shoes are bound to get real muddy and wet, so will your socks. So bring a couple extra pairs of socks with you on your Hawaii vacation as well.
Be sure to always bring water (and perhaps a snack) on these hikes as well! Instead of having to remember to buy another water bottle on your way out each day, just bring a reusable water bottle! The small 18-ounce hydroflask is my personal favorite. Get one here!
Of course, you’ll need something to carry your snacks and water in, and I absolutely have to recommend a mini High Sierra backpack. I’ve been using my mini High Sierra backpack for my adventures for literally a decade – and it is still in great condition! High Sierra’s water-resistant material is perfect for protecting your phone and camera from potential water and mud splashes during those river crossings. If you want to purchase one, Amazon is ready for ya!
For the Surprises
Most tourists expect Hawaii to be sunny and warm all the time, but it can get quite a bit chilly here. I’d definitely recommend bringing a light jacket to wear when you go out at night.
That being said, during the day, it usually is quite sunny, so don’t forget to bring a pair of sunglasses!
As for the last item on my Hawaii packing list, I’d recommend bringing a waterproof camera. So many of the adventures in Hawaii that you’d want to be able to capture would put your technology at risk. Beautiful Hawaiian sea turtles, crashing waterfalls, Pipeline waves – all moments and places that require a waterproof camera to be captured. The GoPro HERO5 is a fantastic option! However, if that’s a little above your price range, this camera is a pretty good alternative.
Want to download this Hawaii Packing List? Click here!
Anything else you think needs to be added to this Hawaii Packing List? Write it below in the comments!
Did you enjoy this? Pin it!
Disclosure: I use referral links in this post, and I might make a commission on my recommendations.