I hadn't been to the islands in 10 years and I could barely remember what I actually needed to pack. Would it be hot? Cool off at night? Hat? What type of bathing suit? Pants for any reason? What type of shoes? I packed to the best of my knowledge and once I got there I realized that I needed some other things that I didn't pack and there were things that I packed that I really didn't need to pack at all. So that's why I'm sharing what I learned with you for your tropical getaway so that you can learn from my mistakes and get everything that you need beforehand.
Seriously and a lot of it. My husband and I went through an entire can in a few days. You have to reapply every few hours. Take it from the pale girl who got burned while snorkeling all day and had permanent bathing suit lines on me surrounded by a red lobster back. Yeah, that was me. The burnt tourist. There is something about those rays of sunshine. They are 10 times more potent and your skin turns to a golden brown in just a few days. I wish I could have stayed longer just to tan! P.S even if you don't feel the heat, you are still cooking! I used this sunscreen on my face and I really like it.
Protect your eyes and look cute. The sunshine is bright if it isn't an overcast day. I wore mine the entire trip. They are great for looking cute with no makeup on after being in the ocean all day. Great for laying out in the sun too and taking IG beach pics. These sunglasses are super hot right now and are only $5.99 + free shipping.
3. A bathing suit.
I would pack 2 bathing suits. If you're like me and more modest, I packed a really cute tankini so that I felt completely comfortable out on the beach. I focused on having fun rather than feeling insecure about my body. I took one bathing suit and it did the job but you might want to let one dry while wearing the other if you are in the water a lot. My advice on bathing suits in Hawaii... everyone flaunts everything no matter what size or shape that you are. Plus size or skinny mini. Thongs and all! Nobody cares! Everyone is there to have fun, enjoy themselves and plus you'll never see those people again.
Flip flops/sandals for the beach
Running shoes for exploring the island.
Shoes to go out to a nice dinner in.
Cute sandals for lunch and shopping or wear these to dinner to.
My husband and I rented a car and traveled the entire Oahu island. It was amazing getting away from all of the tourist areas and seeing the tropical jungle beauty on the other side. We explored volcanic beaches and climbed the rocks. So, make sure you have shoes to be active in if you want to explore.
Comfy shorts for exploring, cute board shorts or swimsuit cover up shorts and also shorts to wear everyday.
6. Long flowy skirt.
I packed one and wore it to dinner one night. It was comfortable but looked dressed up.
7. Yoga pants.
For exploring and traveling home in.
8. Bathing suit cover up.
I actually wore a kimono with my lace look swim suit cover up shorts and it was adorable. You could find cute cover up dresses too.
9. Light Jacket/ sweatshirt.
It gets cool at night and if you go to Nu'uana Pali Lookout, it is really windy and chilly. Here I am at the top and I had regretted NOT taking a jacket. My husband said it wouldn't be cold but I was!
10. Cute Pajamas.
Because you're on vacation!
11. Your own snorkel set!
We bought our own snorkel set at one of the ABC stores for $6 each instead of renting them. They were perfect and didn't cost a fortune. We took them to Hanama Bay and snorkeled all day long with the topical fish in the coral reef. That was one of the most amazing things that I have ever experienced in my life. At first I was completely scared at even the thought of being close to big fish but after I saw the first one swim past me, I thought, "OK, I can do this!" It was worth getting over my fear. I felt like a real mermaid and I will never forget it.
12. Snacks for the resort/ hotel room and exploring.
After all that swimming and exploring you will be hungry and sometimes downright HANGRY. Especially after snorkeling for hours on end without eating. The food there is crazy expensive. So be prepared to spend a pretty penny on food if you are eating out, Burger King included! But, if you take your own snacks, it will cut down on the cost of food a lot.
13. Money/ change
You will need money for parking or bus rides and souvenirs. We rented a car for the entire vacation, but some places had meters and we didn't have any change on us.
As for jewelry, everyone is low key there. It has a beach vibe to it so you don't have to get too fancy unless you want to shop the Waikiki strip mall filled with Kate Spade, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Dior, Versace, Harry Winston.... you get my point.
Do you have any tips on what to pack for Hawaii? I'd love to hear them!
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