Packing for Hawaii Tips

Pack lightly: lay out only what you absolutely need, then take half the clothes and twice the money. Some frequent travelers keep a bag packed with all the essentials: passport, money belt, hat, socks, etc. Then, when they decide to leave, they know they haven’t forgotten anything.

Luggage: If you plan to cover most of your itinerary by foot, a sturdy internal frame backpack is unbeatable. In addition to your main piece of luggage, a daypack (a small backpack or courier bag) is useful.

Clothing: Dress in Hawaii is like the Hawaiian lifestyle—casual and laid-back. Almost everyone, from grandparents to preschoolers, swears by plastic flip-flops. Shorts and light T-shirts or tank tops will do for almost any occasion. However, if you’re planning a trip to high altitudes, bringing warmer clothing is advisable. It is also a good idea to bring a light rain jacket. If you’re hiking, sturdy shoes or hiking boots are a must.

Sleepsack: Some hostels require that you either provide your own linen or rent sheets from them. Save cash by making your own sleepsack: fold a full-size sheet in half the long way, then sew it closed along the long side and one of the short sides.

Converters and Adapters: In Hawaii, electrical appliances are designed for 120V. Visitors from the UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand (who use 230V) will need to purchase a converter. An adapter (around $5) is always needed to make other plug types compatible with the 3-prong outlet found in the US.

First-Aid Kit: For a basic first-aid kit, pack bandages, a pain reliever, antibiotic cream, a thermometer, a multifunction pocketknife, tweezers, moleskin, decongestant, motion-sickness remedy, diarrhea or upset-stomach medication, an antihistamine, sunscreen, insect repellent, and burn ointment.

Other Useful Items: For safety purposes, you should bring a money belt and a small padlock. Basic outdoors equipment (plastic water bottle, compass, waterproof matches, pocketknife, sunglasses, sunscreen, hat) may also be handy. Other things you’re liable to forget include: an umbrella, sealable plastic bags (for damp clothes, soap, food, shampoo, and other spillables), an alarm clock, safety pins, rubber bands, a flashlight, earplugs, garbage bags, and a small calculator. A cell phone can be a lifesaver (literally) on the road.

Important Documents: Don’t forget your passport, traveler’s checks, ATM and/or credit cards, adequate ID, and photocopies of all of the aforementioned in case these documents are lost or stolen. Also check that you have any of the following that might apply to you: a HI card; travel insurance forms; ISIC.

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