There are so many different activities you can do in Hawaii. I’ve written about adventurous activities in Maui while also writing about the amazing spas you can visit. Since you could be hiking one day and enjoying a luxury dinner the next, I thought I’d jot down a guide on what to pack for a Hawaii vacation. This way you’re not stuffing a huge suitcase but you’re also not forgetting the essentials!

Tips for a Hawaii Vacation

  • If you haven’t booked your flight yet, check Kiwi for the best possible flights. I wrote about my love for Kiwi here. Basically, it does all the work of flight hacking and whatnot for you. Compare your flights here.
  • Check the weather. Might be obvious advice, but you never know! If it’s going to suddenly downpour while you’re there, no sense in worrying about packing for the outdoors.
  • If you’re not a U.S. citizen, get travel insurance. Healthcare in the U.S. is crazy expensive and travel insurance is so cheap. I always use and recommend World Nomads.
  • Make a list of activities you’ll be doing. This will help you pack light. No sense in bringing hiking clothes if you’re going to be in the water the whole time.

What to Pack for a Hawaii Vacation


Sunglasses are not only practical and good for your eye health but they can make an outfit look a lot better – it’s the ultimate accessory and one of the only ones I travel with. My favorite brand is Sunday Somewhere which area a little pricey but so durable. I also love LeSpecs which is also durable but closer to $50 per pair. I also love my Ray Ban Clubmasters.

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Flowy Dresses

I live in dresses when I travel. Dresses make it so much easier to get ready as you don’t have to match outfits and instantly look put together and chic. I love Free People and usually buy about 5 dresses from them every summer when I’m in the USA. They are around $88 originally but you can get them on sale online or at stores like Macy’s, usually around 30% off. I think of them as an investment!

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Crop tops

Crop tops are great with high waisted shorts and maxi skirts. I tend to go for simple cotton casual tops and have a few ruffled ones for night’s out. For the cotton ones, I try to get Top Shop or something a little more quality (not Forever 21) since I only buy about 3 each year and wear them over and over, so I want them to hold up. A favorite dressier one is the striped one below by Tia.

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Jean Shorts

You’ve gotta pack jean shorts! I got lucky with my favorite pair of Levi’s being on a clearance rack IN HAWAII for just $5. What are the chances!? But, I have others, mostly from Urban Outfitters, and have a regular jean color, black, and a tan pair. They are small, so I usually travel with all three.

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Rompers or Jumpsuits

These are the best thing ever invented and I pray they don’t go out of style! I always loved rompers, but I first bought my first pantsuit, a military green one from Urban Outfitters, last year for my travels in Israel and Morocco and it was the BEST thing I ever traveled with: instantly looking put together with zero effort. Since then, I’ve bought too many to count – a few of my favorites are cotton ones by Tia. I’m loving this jumpsuit right now.

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I travel with too many bikinis. I always think, “Oh, one more won’t take up that much space,” but they kind of do. You should limit it to three if you can. One that is sexy (Mary Grace Swim), one that is cute (Maaji), and one that is great for water sports (L*Space).

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You can read about my favorite bikini brands here.


Chacos are the first practical walking shoe that I purchased when I first went to Europe. They lasted forever, and I still wear them to this day. The more they look worn, the more I like them. The sole is rubber and won’t ever get worn in though which means these are going to last forever.

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Read more about which Chaco’s are best for you here.


I don’t have much up top, so put just bralettes when I travel. I tend to wear the type of clothing that these aren’t necessary but they are necessary for some outfits. I have them in pretty much every color.

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I sort of collect these: Melissa Odabash, L*Space, Tia, and Fara are some favorites. I love white flowy ones with embroidery the most!

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Make-Up + Skincare

You should try out Sun Bum for sunscreen. It’s my favorite brand and smells so good + it’s good for the environment and doesn’t hurt coral reefs. I have the face stick, the spray, and the tanning oil. I also always travel with a Wet Brush, Clinique moisture surge lotion, It’s a 10 miracle conditioner, Sun Beam to make my cheekbones sunkissed, and the lipsticks linked below. All these items come one every trip and are perfect for Hawaii!

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For More Hawaii Posts, Check Out These:

  • Luxury Guide to Big Island of Hawaii
  • Top 10 Adventurous Activities to Do in Maui
  • Helicopter Ride with Air Maui
  • Top Spas in Maui

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