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How to Pack For a Trip to Hawaii


Many folks are really confused about how to pack for a one- or two-week trip to Hawaii, often thousands of miles from home. We hope that these few ideas will help you out.
Difficulty: Easy
Time Required: 2-3 hours

Here's How:

  1. Remember that Hawaii has a tropical climate. The temperatures vary only about 10 degrees. If you are visiting the windward side of the islands you will see some rain so plan accordingly.
  2. Evenings can be cool especially if there is a breeze. Be sure to bring a sweater or light jacket.
  3. If you plan to explore the higher elevations such as Haleakala or Mauna Kea, you may wish to bring a warm sweater and windbreaker also. Temperatures at the summits can drop to the low 30's.
  4. Swimsuits are a must as are shorts, short-sleeved shirts, light dresses, sandals, thongs and some good walking shoes. If you plan on riding horseback, be sure to bring some jeans and heavy shoes.
  5. There is no real need for a suit in Hawaii. Even at most fancy restaurants and night spots a nice shirt and pair of khaki's or Dockers will do just fine. A sports jacket is only needed at the most upscale restaurants.
  6. Sun block, insect repellent, sunglasses and a hat are a must. The sun is very intense in Hawaii and you don't want to ruin your vacation by getting a sunburn.
  7. If you plan to explore Hawaii's waters bring your snorkel and mask or better yet wait until you arrive. These can be rented very cheaply and often are available for free at many hotels.
  8. Leave ample room to bring things back. Most tourists buy some aloha-wear and other souvenirs that you won’t find on the mainland. Remember that you can ship items home also, which is often much easier.
  9. Hawaii is the most beautiful place on earth. Remember your camera, memory cards and charger. You will find a lot of use for a video camera also.
  10. Put important papers (tickets, reservation confirmations, travelers checks), all medications, spare glasses, a change of clothing and any other valuables in your carry-on bag.
  11. Don't forget your favorite tour book. You've probably purchases one or two to help you plan your trip. The Moon Publications Hawaii Handbook is an excellent all-round guidebook.
  12. Consider whether you may need any of these specialty items: binoculars, hair dryer, inflatable raft, portable radio, or travel iron.


  1. Don't over-pack. Travel as lightly as possible.
  2. Leave plenty of room in your suitcase for all of the things you will bring home.
  3. Make a list of things to bring and check the list before you leave home.
  4. For more in-depth help, check out our feature Packing For Your Hawaii Vacation.
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