Packing for Hawaii

For most, packing for a trip isn’t easy. You’re always looking for items you think you might need and then discovering you don’t have enough space to pack everything. Compounding this stress even further is the ever-reducing amount of luggage you can take on a plane that doesn’t cost you money – simply for checking the bag or going overweight. So I figured I would give you some tips on what you can do to help make things work.

Luggage and Lei

Luggage and Lei – courtesy of Rice and D

Step One

When it comes to packing a suitcase, always put the things that take up the most space in first (usually shoes). But before doing so, use the space inside the shoe to stuff some rolled up socks or underwear in. And as Hawaii is about adventure, remember to bring something that you’ll be comfortable walking in as well as something light you can drag out to the beach.

Step Two

Next you’ll want to pack most of your lightweight clothing – shirts, shorts, etc. What you need to do differently at this step is more rolling, less folding (cotton t-shirts and other materials that don’t wrinkle easy). You’ll find there will be more clothing fitting into less space this way. Once this is done, you can then place collared shirts and pants half in and out of the suitcase layer over layer and when finished, fold the portion outside the suitcase in layer over layer. Remember to pack your beachwear too!

If you plan on staying at the beach, you’ll probably be okay skipping anything heavier than a cotton or linen shirt. If you plan on travelling beyond the sand, you’ll encounter rain and if you go high enough, single digit temperatures (even frost and ice on Haleakala).

Step Three

Now that all your clothes are packed in nice and neat, it’s now time for you to pack your odds and ends, toiletries (remember your sunscreen) and what-not. And while I would recommend packing electronics and valuables in your carry-on, it is “possible” to put these items in your checked baggage if you must. You’re just playing the odds that those items will be there on the other side of the trip.

Step Four – the carryon

So you’re skipping the checked bag? Good on ya! To help you out, here some further tips:

  • Packing liquids? Remember the 3-1-1 rule when travelling to the US. Simply put, you can have liquids in 3.4oz (100ml) bottles, in one 1qt sized plastic bag (go ziplock), at one bag per person. Make sure you have this item ready when you go through security – not hidden in your bag!
  • Leave your snorkel gear at home and rent some when you arrive. Rentals are quiet inexpensive and the gear is just space and weight you could otherwise re-purpose.
  • Before you pack your clothes, lay it all out and eliminate a third. You’ll never need as much as you think and if you do, clothing can be easily found in Hawaii! Or if you’d rather not buy more clothing, just find a laundromat if you’re not lucky enough to have a washing machine in your unit.
  • Wear your heavy and bulky stuff on to the plane. I’m going to assume you’re probably coming from somewhere colder than Hawaii and you can always change either on the plane or when you land.

There you have it. I’d be curious if any of you found any of the above tips handy and even better yet, would love to hear if you have any further suggestions we could add to the list.