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How to pack for a beach and adventure tour to Hawaii

Does escaping thousands of miles from anywhere else in the world sound appealing? Your tour to Hawaii will certainly tick the boxes, but what to wear and how to pack? Our advice: throw on those flipflops, pack your boardshorts and bikinis and bundle your sense of adventure into the mix as you get ready to explore this Pacific paradise.  

Prepare for hot and humid when you're thinking about what to wear in Hawaii when hiking

If you remember nothing else while you research what to wear in Hawaii, it’s to prepare for hot and humid. That means shielding yourself from the tropical sun and keeping your valuables dry. Whether you’re planning to spend your days at the beach or hiking through rainforests and up the slopes of volcanoes, you’ll find this handy guide on how to pack for Hawaii indispensable. 

RELATED CONTENT: 7 sun-kissed adventures you can only have in Hawaii  

So much to see and do on your tour to Hawaii – Beach or Adventure?

Your tour to Hawaii will likely only visit the main islands, but there are 137 in its chain

But first, where are you headed? Would you believe Hawaii is actually a chain of 137 islands, although it’s likely you’ll only know about four of them. And don’t be fooled into thinking you’ll have nothing else to do but spend your days on the beach. While surfing was invented in Hawaii and it is known for its glorious beaches, there’s much more that will appeal to every kind of traveller as you’ll come to discover first-hand.  

Heading to the capital, Honolulu? You’ll be visiting Oahu, the “Heart of Hawaii”. Think big city, beach, surfing, shopping and luaus! Up for an unforgettable experience of Hawaii’s distinct culture and epic hiking? Kauai, the Garden Isle, is lush, beautiful and fascinating. Slow it right down in Maui, with endless days at the beach and dramatic scenery ideal for a road trip. Then there’s the Big Island, home to Hawaii’s only active volcano and a wonderful option for hikes. 

GET INSPIRED BYHawaiian Discovery 

Do as little or as much as you wish on your tour to Hawaii. But, consider these tips on how to pack for and what to wear for the perfect adventure in paradise.   

What to wear in Hawaii for beach or adventure 

Casual and comfort are the locals go-to for what to wear in Hawaii

Keep it casual and comfortable. The locals have mastered this look and you’ll be grateful for those loose-fitting outfits that let your skin breathe in the heat of the Hawaiian day. For ladies, a pretty sundress, while board shorts or loose-fitting trousers and a light shirt are the go-to for men. And for both, comfortable flipflops or sandals.  

No need to dress up or cover-up in this part of the world, although packing a stylish outfit or two for an evening luau wouldn’t go amiss. The rule of thumb on your tour to Hawaii? Just keep it comfortable! 

Be sure to pack a few swimsuits and sarong for your tour to Hawaii

Beach babies should bring along a few spare swimsuits and a UV rash guard to protect your skin from the salt and the sun. Throw in a light swimsuit cover-up or two to take you from the beach to the bar in seconds.  

RELATED CONTENT: 10 Hawaiian phrases to learn before you go

And for adventurers, comfortable athletic wear is the answer when you’re wondering how to pack for Hawaii. T-shirts, leggings and shorts are perfect. And depending on where you’re going, footwear can range from sneakers to a good pair of hiking boots. If your adventures include water, pack a pair of water shoes to keep your feet from getting cut up.   

Hawaii packing tips

Keeping dry 

Pack smart for Hawaii’s humid climate and abundant water activities. Among the items you’ll want to invest in before your tour to Hawaii, is a universal waterproof phone case to keep the water and sand away. Pack a waterproof dry bag to keep your belongings bone dry in case you get wet on a boat trip or hike. Also handy to pack are a few fold-up shopping bags as Hawaii has banned plastic.      

For the beach 

Over and above your swimsuit, cover-up and UV rash guard, bring along a wide-brimmed sun hat, reef-safe sunscreen, polarised sunglasses, a reusable water bottle and a sand-free, quick-dry beach towel. You can put all your beach gear in your waterproof dry bag.  

RELATED CONTENT: How to respect the beautiful local culture while travelling in Hawaii 

For a hike 

Your tour to Hawaii could include hiking on Big Island

Quick-dry and light-weight are the recipe for hiking happiness in Hawaii. Protect yourself from the elements and mosquitoes by packing reef-safe sunscreen, insect repellent, a rain poncho and sun hat. Slip-resistant hiking shoes that are waterproof are also a good option to pack. 

Ready to switch your out of office on and head to Hawaii? Perhaps you would love to share what you learnt on your tour to Hawaii with your fellow travellers. Let us know what you shouldn’t leave home without in the comments below! 

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