No items found.

Complete Packing List for Hawaii: What to Bring and What NOT to Bring

My family and I have been to the Hawaiian Islands countless times over the years. If there’s one thing we’ve learned, it’s what to bring and what to leave behind. Packing for Hawaii means you can pack light and probably fit everything in a carry-on. The Hawaiian Islands’ tropical weather is usually sunny and warm. But depending on the time of year and the island you’re visiting, you might need some light rain gear!

No matter which Hawaiian island(s) you visit, you can pack more or less the same things. From swimwear and hats to beach bags and waterproof gear, this packing list for Hawaii ensures you’ll have everything you need.

However, each island has unique features, so keep that in mind when packing. For example, Oahu has great hiking trails, so comfortable, lightweight sneakers are a good idea. Waikiki is also a good place to learn to surf, so we pack water shoes and rash guards. Known for its many rivers, Kauai is great for kayaking and SUP. Maui’s road trips lead to Haleakala and Hana, so expect a lot of time in the car. And while you can snorkel nearly anywhere in Hawaii, Maui, Kauai and the Big Island offer fun snorkeling cruises.

At the top of our packing list: packing cubes. They really do keep things organized in our carry-ons and in the hotel. There are many kinds, but our go-to packing cubes are these by Ebags.

Anti-Covid-19 Hygiene Items to Pack

COVID-19 changed the way we travel and although mandates fluctuate, certain items will always make sense for good hygiene care.

  • Disinfecting wipes
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Masks (While mask mandates are changing, many places in Hawaii still require visitors to wear masks in public, at the beach and in restaurants.)

Personal Items to pack for a Hawaii Vacation

  • Drivers licenses
  • Debit and credit cards
  • Cash
  • Health insurance cards
  • Auto insurance cards
  • Vaccination cards (or have them handy on your phone)
  • Rental/hotel confirmation information

Keep all of these items close by on the beach with a cell phone case that holds cards. TravelingMom Nasreen Stump recommends Smartish card holder phone cases. With price tags on most under $16, it’s a worthwhile buy for beach or every day.

Mimi Slawoff gives more ideas on what to pack for a trip to Hawaii, you can find it here


October 20, 2023

Written by
Photo thumbnail Blog Author

Traveling Mom

Media Mentions from Traveling Mom

Hi! We’re the family travel experts. We bring you the tips, tricks, advice, and products you need to make traveling safe and enjoyable for the whole family.

Explore More Content

Media Mentions

Personally, I use Sawyer’s Fabric Treatment–available in pump or spray–for my hunting and hiking clothes.

Popular Mechanics

Media Mentions

Casserly’s favorite water treatment is a squeeze filter like the SAWYER SQUEEZE filtration system ($29,, which screws onto the included flasks or a plastic water bottle. Squeeze filters are ideal for individual use. They’re light and inexpensive, and you can drink the water immediately through the filter.

Scout Life
Media Mentions from Scout Life

Media Mentions

While young babies should be protected with clothing and netting (not chemicals), older babies and children should use a suitable repellent to help avoid bites, discomfort, and insect-borne illnesses.

Molly Bradac