The Essential Packing Guide for Your Next Hawaiian Vacation

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A trip to Hawaii often makes you think that heaven is indeed a place on Earth. While each of the eight major islands of the state are different––Kauai’s lush tropical rainforests and the stunning Na’pali Coast, Oahu is a surfer’s paradise, the Big Island’s otherworldly volcanic landscapes––they all have one thing in common: they are a vacationer’s dream and offer plenty to do and see. Even if you’re not a beach person, Hawaii will keep you busy with its many hiking trails, rich history, beautiful culture, and delicious food.

And since temperatures range on average between 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit year-round, Hawaii is the perfect vacation spot for outdoor enthusiasts. Having said that, don’t leave without packing reef-safe sunscreen, a hat, and sunglasses. And while we’re sure you have the summer fashion basics covered, you may also want to bring a lightweight rain jacket with you, as some of the islands see a lot of rain.

We’ve rounded up more essentials below that will ensure you’re prepared to have a blast in the Aloha State.


Courtesy Raw Elements

Raw Elements Face + Body 30+ Sunscreen

Regardless of what time of the year you visit Hawaii, sunscreen is the first thing you should pack. Raw Elements’ natural sunscreen is formulated with reef-friendly ingredients, is suitable for kids, and comes in a TSA-approved recyclable tin.

To buy: $19, rawelements.com


Courtesy Zappos

Vilebrequin Takeoff Herringbone Turtles Rashguard

Even if you’re not a huge water sports fan (although a quick surf lesson is an absolute must while you’re in Hawaii), a rash guard will definitely come in handy. You can wear it as a beach shirt for additional sun protection.

To buy: $135, zappos.com


Courtesy Adidas

Adidas Outdoor Terrex CC Voyager Sleek Parley Water and Hiking Shoes

Instead of packing both hiking shoes and water shoes, why not bring a pair that does double duty as both? The Terrex CC Voyager Sleek Parley is an amphibious quick-dry shoe that features a built-in drainage system and cushioned soles for all-day comfort. Another thing we love about these shoes (by the way, they also comes in women’s sizes) is that they’re made from recycled ocean waste.

To buy: $120, adidasoutdoor.com


Courtesy Hydro Flask

Hydro Flask Water Bottle

Keep your favorite cold drink in this double-wall vacuum insulated bottle inspired by a traditional Hawaiian treat—shave ice.

To buy: $40, hydroflask.com


Courtesy REI

PHOOZY Apollo Plus Insulated Phone Pouch

Whether you’re on the beach or hiking, this pouch will protect your phone from water, sand, and overheating. It also extends your battery life up to three times its normal capacity. The pouch fits most standard sized phones and doesn’t interfere with Bluetooth or WiFi signals. You can also keep money or keys in it while you’re on the beach.

To buy: $50, rei.com


Courtesy BestBuy

GoPro Hero 7 Waterproof Action Camera

Catch all the action on video or still photos wherever it may take you with the new GoPro waterproof camera. It has 12 megapixels and delivers color-rich, shake-free footage.

To buy: $400, bestbuy.com


Courtesy Amazon

Wingspan Optics WideViews HD 8X42 Professional Binoculars

Binoculars may not be the first (or the second) thing to come to your mind when you think about a beach vacation in Hawaii but they are necessary, especially if you’re visiting between November and May (whale-watching season). These HD binoculars feature an extra-wide field of view and lenses that reduce light loss and glare.

To buy: $130, amazon.com


Courtesy The North Face

The North Face Venture Rain Jacket

Light showers happen all the time in Hawaii. Some parts of Kauai and Maui, for example, are even among the wettest places on Earth. So, bringing a lightweight rain jacket is just as important as bringing sunglasses. This one by The North Face (that also comes in men’s sizes) is super lightweight and fits in a small pouch when folded.

To buy: $110, thenorthface.com


Courtesy Patagonia

Patagonia Paxat Backpack

We’d use this water-repellent backpack as a carry-on. And once in Hawaii, it makes the perfect beach or hiking day bag so you don’t have to pack multiple totes. It has so many pockets (even padded ones for your electronics), so keeping your belongings well organized and accessible at all times won’t be a problem.

To buy: $119, patagonia.com


Courtesy Amazon

Portable Solar Power Bank

This is the ultimate power bank for outdoor enthusiasts. It’s waterproof, safe to take on a plane, and can charge your phone up to nine times on a single charge. It also has two USB ports so you could juice up two devices at the same time.

To buy: $40, amazon.com


Courtesy Maui Jim

Maui Jim Mavericks Polarized Sunglasses

We could sing the praises of Maui Jim sunglasses all day long, but the best way to experience the clarity of the lenses is by giving them a try. These cool unisex aviators are made on Maui (like all Maui Jim sunglasses) and have scratch- and shatter-resistant polarized lenses that deliver a color-enhanced view.

To buy: $299, mauijim.com

This article originally appeared on the Departures

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