Packing for a trip anywhere can be overwhelming, especially when you’re going to a place like Hawaii where you’ll most likely be doing so many different activities.
We know that packing lists can be long and sometimes stressful, so we’re here to make it as easy as possible for you by providing a list of items that will help your family enjoy their time in Hawaii.
We’ve included items that you will need for the flight, such as a warm blanket and headphones, as well as items that you will need while in Hawaii, such as a raincoat, a snorkeling shirt, and or reef-safe sunscreen.
Whether you are planning on going to one of the black sand beaches on the Big Island or going to Oahu’s botanical gardens, you won’t regret adding these items to your packing list before heading out on vacation! Going to Hawaii will be an experience you’ll never forget, and we hope this helps make it even better!
Here is our list of items not to forget when packing for your Hawaii family vacation. These items will keep your family comfortable and safe while exploring this beautiful place!
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Before we begin, let’s answer some FAQs
Hawaii Family Packing List FAQs
What do women wear in Hawaii?
Women in Hawaii typically wear dresses, shorts, skirts, t-shirts, flip flops, and sandals. Most people here dress casual, so it’s best to pack clothing that you can easily mix and match.
Remember, Hawaii is an island state, so it’s pretty laidback and chill.
What do men wear in Hawaii?
Shorts, t-shirts, and flip-flops are the norm here.
Do I need a winter jacket for Hawaii?
Yes and no. You do not need a winter jacket for Hawaii if you are not planning on going to the Haleakalā summit or Mauna Kea.
The temperature tends to stay around the 70s and 80s. A light jacket or sweater may be needed for the evenings and early mornings.
If you plan to go to Mauna Kea on the Big Island or Haleakala in Maui, definitely bring a winter jacket. The average temperature at these locations is around 32 degrees Fahrenheit!
What should I wear on the plane to Hawaii?
I would dress comfortably and bring a sweater or blanket. I usually wear jeggings, a t-shirt, and comfortable tennis shoes. I always carry a blanket with me no matter the time of year.
Is there a mosquito problem in Hawaii?
Mosquitoes are present in Hawaii, but I wouldn’t say it’s that big of an issue. You will see most of them in the warmer summer months (March to early November). I would recommend packing mosquito repellent to be safe. You can also buy mosquito repellent in Hawaii if needed.
With that being said, there might be a mosquito problem or not, depending on where you are. Most times I experienced a mosquito problem while hiking in the rainforests close to a body of water.
See also: 12 Easy Hikes in Oahu
Outside of that, lying on the beach or walking around town was never a problem.
Now that we have answered some frequently asked questions, let’s dive into the packing list for your Hawaii family vacation
Hawaii Packing List for You and Your Family
ID & Travel Documents
Before heading to the airport, make sure that you have a form of identification. Don’t make the simple mistake of forgetting your ID at home. This will create unnecessary stress.
I always pack my form of ID in my purse the night before my flight to ensure that it’s there and that I don’t leave it at home.
Make sure you have your wallet with you when you’re traveling. You’ll need it to hold your ID, insurance cards, money, and any other important documents you may have.
Copies of IDs
If you lose your ID while on vacation, it can be a huge hassle trying to get replacements. Make copies of these documents and keep them in a safe place, or bring a second form of ID (like a passport).
This will help you if something happens and you need to get a new passport or ID quickly.
Chargers for Your Electronics
You’ll likely be taking a lot of pictures and videos on your trip to Hawaii, so make sure you have your chargers with you.
Don’t forget your phone charger, camera charger, and any other device chargers you may need.
Earphones/Headphones (the old kind)
Don’t forget your headphones! You’ll likely want to listen to some music or watch a movie on your flight. Make sure you have the old-fashioned headphones too if you plan on using any in-flight screens; the new ones don’t work on most planes.
Almost all flights will either offer you free (the cheap kind) headphones, or they will be available for purchase if you forget to bring some from home.
I prefer to have my own since they are better quality than those offered by commercial airlines.
If you’re planning on snorkeling or doing water activities, it’s a good idea to bring a waterproof camera. This way, you’ll be able to capture all of your underwater adventures (and provide some proof to anyone doubting you got to swim with sea turtles!).
Our personal favorite is the DJI Osmo Action Camera. We’ve used it on countless trips all around the world—including snorkeling in Hawaii—for a few years now, and it still provides good-quality photos and videos. The below footage of us snorkeling at Two Step Beach on the Big Island of Hawaii was taken with our Osmo Action Camera.
It’s a high-quality camera that is small enough to fit inside a pocket or purse.
Waterproof Phone Pouch
A cheaper option for a waterproof camera would be a waterproof case. This will protect your phone from getting wet, and you’ll still be able to take pictures and video underwater.
Check out the Universal Waterproof Case if you need a new one.
You guys, packing cubes are a lifesaver. I can’t tell you enough about how amazing these things are.
Packing cubes are a great way to stay organized on vacation. They help you fit more in your suitcase, so you don’t have to worry about leaving anything behind.
You can also organize your clothes into socks, underwear, shorts, t-shirts, sleepwear, etc.
Packing cubes also help separate your dirty clothes from clean clothes once you get to your destination.
Our favorite packing cubes are the Veken 6 Set Packing Cubes. These amazing packing cubes are 26% thicker than most brands and are made of waterproof fabric, so no worries if your luggage were to get rained on.
Don’t let the images fool you, the packing cubes are bigger than they look online. Definitely recommended if you want to stay organized while on your trip.
Refillable Water Bottles
Pack at least one water bottle for each family member. It’s important to stay hydrated during your trip, especially if you’re going to be out and about exploring.
You can refill these bottles at your hotel or any water station throughout Hawaii.
I love refilling my water bottle at the airport before the flight; that way, I can easily stay hydrated. Yes, airlines offer water on the plane but let’s face it, it’s never enough water, and most of us don’t like asking the flight attendants for three extra cups of water.
Our favorite water bottle is the Hydro Flask Water Bottle. I love how slim the water bottle is, and it can easily fit into the side pocket of my backpack.
Also, this bottle will keep your beverages cold (or hot if you prefer hot drinks) for hours.
It’s made of stainless steel, and it’s also dishwasher safe. I know this water bottle is more on the expensive side, but it’s worth the price.
Plus, it’s one of those things that you only buy once and it lasts almost forever. Also, this is way cheaper than buying $6 waters at the airport.
If you’re like me and have a hard time sleeping on planes, a neck pillow will be your best friend.
This will help you get some rest during your flight and make the journey a little more comfortable.
Our pick for the best travel neck pillow is the MLVOC Travel Pillow. This pillow has the perfect curved shape design made with memory foam, helps prevent your head from falling forward, and helps ensure your neck isn’t in pain during your flight.
It comes with an adjustable rope lock that allows you to adjust the angle and size of the pillow.
This pillow is easy to wash (washing machine safe) and is only about 0.6 pounds, so it’s very portable and can be compressed down to 1/2 its size and placed in the travel bag included with the purchase.
Make sure to pack a pen in your personal item/purse. This will come in handy if you need to fill out any paperwork while on your trip.
Warm Sweater or Travel Blanket
Don’t forget to bring a light sweater or travel blanket. Airplanes can get pretty chilly, and there isn’t anything worse than trying to sleep while cold.
Also, depending on which Hawaiian Island you are visiting, it might be a good idea to bring a few pieces of warm clothes.
For instance, if you visit Mauna Kea’s summit on the Big Island or Haleakalā’s in Maui, you will need to dress warmly as temperatures up there average around 32 degrees.
I was pretty shocked when I found out that it snows on top of Mauna Kea. I am that person that brings a Ski Jacket to Hawaii because I hate being cold.
I might have needed a warm jacket for one night only (Mauna Kea and Haleakalā), but it was worth it for me to be comfortable.
Another option is to just bring a light jacket and some layers (like long sleeve shirts).
If you need a new travel blanket, be sure to check out the BlueHills Premium Travel Blanket.
This blanket is so soft, comes with a carrying case, and can easily be hooked on your luggage to help save some space in your bag.
It’s important to protect your skin from the sun while in Hawaii. The sun is much stronger than you might be used to and can cause some severe damage if you’re not careful.
Make sure to pack sunscreen that is reef-safe. If you’re not sure if your sunscreen is reef-safe, check the bottle for the words “reef-safe”. Choose items that do not contain oxybenzone and octinoxate. You can also visit the Chasing Coral Website to learn more.
Our favorite reef-safe sunscreen picks include the Kokua Sun Care SPF and the Supergoop! brand.
I own multiple items from the Supergoop! brand, and I love every product I have purchased. I even bought their SPF lip balm, and it’s been a lifesaver since I have very sensitive skin and easily get sunburnt.
My boyfriend mainly uses the Kokua Sun Care SPF. Its non-sticky, rubs in clear and is soothing for sensitive skin as well.
A sun hat is a great way to protect your head and neck from the sun. I like to bring a big sun hat that covers me from the neck up. This helps keep me cool and protected from the sun. A hat definitely came in handy while hiking Diamond Head, Koko Crater in Oahu and so many other hikes.
If you need a new hat, be sure to check out the Lanzom Women Wide Brim straw hat. This fedora hat is foldable and packable, lightweight, and can easily fit into your beach tote.
The Einskey Sun Hat is another great unisex option. Its water resistance is comfortable and breathable and very lightweight.
Costco Card (if you have one)
If you have a Costco card, definitely bring it on your trip to Hawaii. There are a few Costcos located on the islands, and they offer some fantastic deals on food and drinks.
Plus, if you’re looking for souvenirs, Costco is a great place to find them. Also, getting gas from Costco while on the Island is a great idea, as they offer lower prices.
If you are a budget traveler, make sure you stop by Costco to get some lunch as well. We did it multiple times and nothing beats a Costco hotdog and pizza while traveling on a budget.
If you’re planning on hiking, make sure to pack a good pair of hiking shoes for Hawaii. There are some great hikes such as the Top 15 Hikes in Oahu, The 12 Best North Shore Oahu Hikes, The 9 Best Waterfall Hikes in Oahu, Hiking the Olomana Trail, or the Hike to Makalawena Beach, and you’ll want to be prepared for them.
Depending on the type of hiking you plan to do, you will enjoy having specific shoes. Below are our top picks for hiking shoes for Hawaii.
You can also read more about the best hiking shoes for Hawaii here. It has more details about features, pros, and cons.
If you plan on hiking during your trip, make sure to pack a good-quality backpack for Hawaii. You might need to carry water, snacks, and a first-aid kit with you, so you’ll want a bag that can handle the weight and remain comfortable.
Our top pick for the perfect hiking backpack is the Venture Pal 40L Lightweight Packable Hiking Backpack. This backpack is very lightweight and can easily fold into its own pocket, saving you lots of space in your suitcase. It also has so really cool colors and designs!
Hair Ties/Bobby Pins
I mainly use clothing pins for securing my beach towel to my chair while at the beach. However, these come in handy for many things while traveling, so I always pack a few extras just in case.
If you plan on spending time at the beach or swimming at waterfalls, it’s a good idea to pack a pair of snorkeling shoes or water shoes. Water shoes will protect your feet from any rocks, sharp objects, and any hot sand you might encounter.
If you’re on the market for new water shoes, we recommend the VIFUUR Water Sports Shoes. These shoes are unisex, very breathable, and made with stretch fabric.
Hawaii is a tropical island, so it rains a lot. Make sure to pack a raincoat so you’ll be prepared for any inclement weather.
For women, check out the OTU Women’s Waterproof Rain Jacket.
You will need a couple of bathing suits for swimming. Make sure to pack a few before heading to Hawaii.
If you’re planning on doing any snorkeling, make sure to pack your gear. You have the option to rent equipment while on the island, but I’ve found that it’s cheaper and more convenient if you buy yours before the trip.
We bought our snorkel gear two years ago from Amazon, and we’re still using the same equipment today. Definitely worth the investment and hassle of having to rent one.
Our top pick for snorkel gear is the ZEEPORTE Mask Fin Snorkel Set. This set comes with adjustable fins, two tempered glass lens masks, a silicone snorkel, travel gear, and a bag.
Snack for the Flight and Airport
Snacks will help hold you over until you can get something to eat at your final destination.
Make sure to include snacks that your kids love too. If your kid loves to eat fruit snacks and goldfish crackers, make sure to pack those.
Yes, airlines provide snacks, but it’s never enough and the options are limited.
So there you have it, our list of Hawaii packing items for you and your family!
Now’ let’s get into…
Things Not to Pack on Your Hawaii Family Trip
Almost all hotels provide beach towels these days, so there is no need to pack your own. Plus, they tend to take up a lot of space in your luggage.
Too Many Jeans or Warm Clothes
It’s hot in Hawaii, and jeans or winter clothes are not the best choices for clothing. I would recommend packing shorts, skirts, or dresses instead. Bring at least one pair of jeans and a jacket if you are planning on going to Mauna Kea or Haleakalā though!
Heels, or Dressy Outfits in General
Hawaii has a chill vibe, and there is no need to pack too many dressy clothes. The vast majority of places you’ll go—the beach, tourist attractions, dinner—will be casual, so save some space in your luggage and leave the heels at home.
If you’re going out to a fancy dinner, maybe bring one dressy outfit, but I can usually transform my day dresses into a night outfit if needed.
The Wrap Up: Hawaii Packing List for Your Family
If you’re considering a vacation to the beautiful Hawaiian Islands, be sure to pack these items for your family. You will be glad you did!
We hope you have found our Hawaii packing list for your family helpful. Until next time, Aloha, and happy vacationing in Hawaii!