We were lucky enough to jet off to Oahu, Hawaii, earlier this year. It was a dream trip, and I’m thankful for all the things we took with us, since they were completely necessary. If you’re a woman wondering what to pack for Hawaii, this is the post for you.
When you first think of visiting Hawaii you probably think of one of two things: relaxing on the pristine, picture-perfect beaches, or getting out in nature and seeing what the glorious island(s) have to offer.
We did a little of both, and the stuff we took with us totally came in handy.
What to Pack for Hawaii: The Essentials
Before you go, buy, borrow or rent the Oahu Revealed book. Even if you don’t think you’re going to do anything other than relax on the beach, get the book. There’s SO many great tips packed inside, and everyone from locals to seasoned tourists recommended it before we left.
Chances are, “spend time at the beach,” is on your Hawaiian to-do list, so make sure you pack the following:
This is probably a “duh” essential, but make sure you pack more than one or two suites. Swimsuits need time to dry, unless you like that shock of cold gripping your body.
Here are a few of my favorites, especially if you’re on the curvier side of things. These covered me up in all the right places, and I got compliments every time I wore them!
And I loved this suite from Target, I just don’t have a photo of me in it.
The beaches along Honallulu were fantastic for strolling. Make sure you pack some coverups to pull on over your suits so you can go on a walk at a moments notice.
I’m obsessed with this maxi dress and have it in three designs. Not only does it have pockets (halleluiah), but it just fits wonderfully, and is so comfortable. It’s perfect for everything from a stroll along the beach to lunch, dinner, and a night out at a luau. (It does run long, and I needed mine hemmed, but it was still worth every penny)
Ironically, the dress I wore to the luau (shown above), isn’t sold anymore at Kohl’s, but the one linked from Amazon is very similar (plus pockets).
Unless you’re caught in a quickly passing midday shower, a hat is totally essential for a dat at the beach. Plus, you’re on vacation, so have a little fun with what graces your head!
Sunscreen and Aloe Vera
Let’s just assume sunscreen is already in your suitcase, but just in case, do yourself a favor and pick up some reef-safe sunscreen.
While you’re at it, grab a bottle of aloe vera lotion. As safe and covered up as you think you’ll, be, I’m willing to bet someone in your group will need some at one point or another…just sayin’.
When You’re Out and About
There’s so much to do in Hawaii, so here are some things to pack if you’re planning on going out and about!
Oahu City Card
If you’re not sure what the heck you want to do in Oahu, but know you want to do some things, this go-card may be for you.
I made a list of the things I absolutely knew we wanted to do (ride around on a scooter, go kayaking, see a luau, check out Pearl Harbor, etc.), and weighed the pros and cons for getting the card.
In the end we did save money by having things bundled together (we picked the premium option), so it totally worked in our favor to get it.
Plus, it helped with narrowing down what companies we’d use for each adventure.
There are two things I desperately hate: mosquito bites and mosquito spray. Mosquitoes love the heck out of me, so I always, always get bit, and then I look like I have the chicken pox. I heard about this Sawyer Insect Repellant and decided to try some up for our trip based on the reviews. Y’all, I didn’t have A SINGLE BITE THE ENTIRE TRIP! This is gold, and you need it in your life. Not only that, but it actually smells good. I didn’t smell like I just dosed myself in bug spray after I put it on.
All the guides I read suggested water hiking shoes if we were going hiking—which we were—but I didn’t want to buy shoes specifically for a one or two-day outing.
Instead, I used my trusty ECCO Yucatan’ sandals. I’ve had multiple pairs of these over the past decade, and I love them. They’re comfortable, have great grip, and worked excellent on the slipper Hawaiian hikes we went on.
This was one of the last things I threw in my suitcase, and I’m so glad we took it.
You’ll want to ditch your purse and haul a small pack on your back for your adventures.
This one is similar to the one we’ve been using for years. It’s just small enough to pack essentials without being overly gigantic and in the way.
This one is similar to the one we’ve been using for years (actually, it’s better, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to buy it and upgrade the one I’ve been using). It’s just small enough to pack essentials without being overly gigantic and in the way.
For Your Suitcase
Less is more was our theory for the trip. The picture below was my first attempt at packing…and then I changed things up a bit, put some clothes back, and used the cubes mentioned below. I loved just taking a carryon so we could get off the plane and go!
I’m new to using packing cubes, but I busted them out for this trip (AKA bought some), and really liked having different “compartments” (aka cubes) to separate my stuff. I liked them so much I bought a color for every person in our family for when we travel/move!
Silicone Squeezable Travel-Sized Things
Oh. My. GOSH. Y’all, where have these silicone squeezable travel-sized things* been all my life? (*Not their actual name.) They’re fantastic! You know how annoying it is to know there’s more stuff left in a bottle, but just can’t get it out because the plastic is so gosh-darn stiff? Worry no more.
These little guys take care of that problem. I got one set for my bathroom stuff (shampoo, conditioner, etc.), and another set for outdoor things (bug repellant, sun screen aloe), and then popped those in our day bag. Perfection!
I have bags here and there for all sorts of things, but I really liked these for my carry on. They fit A LOT, and I loved that the entire thing was clear. Plus, it was hot pink, so it was easy to spot in my bag.
What are YOUR Hawaii Essentials?
Okay, that’s pretty much all we took as far as extra stuff goes. What extra essentials do you pack when you visit Oahu that isn’t on this list?