Whether you’re heading to Na Pali Coast State Park or relaxing along the beaches of Hanauma Bay, Hawaii’s consistent climate makes it a relatively easy destination to pack for. With average temperatures hovering between 65 and 85 degrees year-round, it’s no surprise that the beautiful islands remain popular regardless of the season. However, the state’s distinct micro-climates mean that you have lush rainforests, sandy beaches, and deserts all within a tiny area. If your itinerary includes multiple destinations, it can be hard to decide what to pack. But luckily, we're here to point you in the right direction. Here’s our ultimate Hawaii packing list.
With additional reporting by Toby Orton
Jeans are always an option, but most travelers to Hawaii will get more use out of a lightweight, slim-fit trouser. Great for exploring lava fields or wearing to a traditional luau, this style from Prana is a solid pick.
While you’ll never be downright chilly in Hawaii (unless you’re atop Mauna Kea at dawn — there can be snow up there!), a light jacket can come in handy for cooler evenings and rainy days. Choose a packable cotton option like this lightweight anorak, available in five different colors.
A no-brainer, but not all swimsuits are created equal. For a week in Hawaii, you’ll want at least three suits. You can never go wrong with a versatile one-piece, which will ensure coverage for any water sports or activities. Add a few mix-and-match tops and bottoms. Don’t forget to pack a flowy caftan for a versatile cover-up that will take you from beach to spa and everywhere in between.
Overall, Hawaii is a casual place, and you won’t regret having a few different pairs of shorts for various outings. We recommend taking at least two pairs: one pair of casual shorts that are useful for hiking or throwing over a bathing suit, and another dressy pair that can be worn with a cute blouse.
Quick drying, breathable, and airy, linen is the perfect fabric for a warm climate like Hawaii. Naturally hypoallergenic, the properties of linen mean that moisture is wicked away when you perspire (read: less itching and more comfort). We love this linen scoop-neck tee from Everlane, which can be worn loose for outdoor excursions, or with a hip French tuck to elevate it into chic evening resort attire.
No, we’re not talking Margaritaville here. The days of the over-the-top, busy prints are over. Look for chic, restrained tropical prints that won’t make you look like a parrot. We’re particularly fans of this pineapple number.
A good hat is a must for days spent at the beach or hiking. A regular baseball cap can suffice, but if you’re looking for a style upgrade, choose a versatile sun hat, ideally with UPF. This model folds down for packing convenience.
If you plan on doing any reef exploration (or will be near Hawaii’s jagged volcanic rocks), it’s worth packing a pair of lightweight, durable water shoes. Look for an anti-slip outer sole and a comfortable pull-on design.
If you’ve ever been on the fence about purchasing a pair of polarized sunglasses, one trip to Hawaii will make you a believer. You can’t go wrong with a stylish, classic pair of Ray-Bans.
Flip-flops have their place, but if you plan on embarking on any gentle excursions in Hawaii, you’re going to need a proper pair of open sandals. And what brand marries fashion and function better than German shoe manufacturer Birkenstock? Rugged enough for the trails and stylish enough for the restaurant, these Mayari Birko-Flor sandals have adjustable straps for a custom fit and that super-comfortable Birkenstock footbed.
Between the beaches and jungles, it can be tough to keep your phone safe in Hawaii, especially if you prefer taking photos on your device. Instead of shelling out for a waterproof camera, pack a simple waterproof phone pouch. This mini dry bag allows you to send messages and take pictures while your phone is sealed in the water-tight zip-lock system — ideal for those canoe trips off Maui.
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