All Fifty States Club

Hawaii Five 0 – Packing List

June 25, 2024



Read the Blog on incredible 10 day trip to Hawaii! 

Packing guidelines for a family of 6 (parents and 4 teenagers) for 10 day trip to Hawaii

Overall philosophy: PACK LIGHT! Less to move, less to lose. On our trip to Hawaii, each family member carried a backpack and one suitcase. With multiple legs, different airlines, and possibly going stand-by, we needed to be nimble. Any luggage delay could mean less time on the islands!

Each family member brought travel-size toiletries. When we were on the Big Island for more than 3 days, we purchased full size bottles of sunscreen, shampoo, and conditioner at the grocery store when we arrived. What we didn't use, we left at the Airbnb for other guests.  At the hostel, we needed our travel-size toiletries, otherwise we used the toiletries items provided at Airbnbs.

My carry-on backpack was a waterproof backpack that the entire family could use on beach/water days. My son brought a bag that had some insulation so it could keep items a little cooler at the beach. Insulated bags are ok with TSA, just not ice packs.

Backpack items:

  • ID, insurance card, credit cards, cash
  • phone
  • phone charger
  • ear buds
  • water bottle (empty until you get through TSA)
  • glasses
  • sunglasses
  • book
  • journal
  • pen/pencil
  • National Park Pass (used at Volcanoes National Park, Haleakala National Park)
  • crossbody bag


Carry-on Suitcase

  • 4 pairs of shorts
  • 4 short sleeve shirts
  • 4 underwear
  • 1 bra
  • 2 swimsuits
  • 1 swim shirt (UPF)
  • 1 pajamas
  • 1 nicer shirt/sundress
  • toothbrush
  • travel-size toothpaste
  • brush
  • travel-size shampoo and conditioner
  • travel-size deodorant
  • travel-size shaving cream
  • razor
  • travel-size sunscreen
  • hat for sun
  • rainjacket or poncho
  • tennis shoes, with sole for hiking
  • sandals
  • water shoes
  • 1 comfortable jeans, leggings, or sweatpants
  • 1 sweatshirt
  • 1 jacket (if traveling from somewhere cold)

Shared Items to split amongst carry-on suitcases

  • 2 full face snorkel masks
  • Go Pro, waterproof camera
  • binoculars
  • 3 trash bags
  • 3 small bags
  • 3-6 waterproof phone cases
  • 2 sand resistant towels, microfiber
  • travel size bug spray
  • travel size rashguard
  • tampons/pads
  • extra bag to ship things coming back (IKEA bag works well, but the airline will not insure its contents)



There were a few things that we purchased on Amazon specifically for our once-in-a-lifetime trip to Hawaii. These were the only Christmas presents for the year!


A waterproof backpack is the best for so many reasons! It protects items from getting wet/sandy on the beach. It is easy to clean and comfortable for hiking. Click to purchase on Amazon.





Although most phones are water resistant they aren't sand resistant! It is so easy to slide a phone into the protective sleeve, then you can put the phone/sleeve in with wet towels and next to cold drinks and not worry about the phone.   Click to purchase on Amazon.



Full-face snorkel masks are so much easier to use than traditional snorkel sets. You can slip it quickly over your face rather than having to adjust the eye mask and the snorkel, etc. We did not use fins much on our trip. I wouldn't bring them from the mainland since they are so bulky. If an Airbnb has them, fine, otherwise for our purposes our feet worked just fine! You can buy snorkel equipment in Hawaii and it wasn't too outragiously priced at places away from the beach, but shopping takes time away from Island time!  Click to purchase on Amazon.


Water shoes are a must! Some beaches are pure sand, others are not. In many snorkel areas, you want to avoid putting your feet down as much as possible to avoid stepping on a sea urchin. However, you want your feet protected if you do! I recommend a step up from a basic barefoot thin water shoe to a water shoe that has a little thicker sole. It is convenient to hike in them and then go directly in the water.  Click to purchase on Amazon.



Multi-purpose sand-resistant towels! Most places we stayed had beach towels to use, but a few times we wanted to go to the beach in between places we were staying so we needed our own towels. I was able to pack one of these thin, but large, towels into my backpack for the airplane so I could use it as a blanket. The towels can also be used to protect a Turo rental from getting too sandy. Just lay the towels down before loading up any beach things, then shake the towels out after you unload.  Click to purchase on Amazon.

Get a closer view with some binoculars. We brought a pair of binoculars hoping to see whales from our ocean view condo. That didn't happen but, we saw sea turtles and ships. 10 x 25 or 10 x 42 for farther distance. 42 is heavier than 25 so if you have children, go with 10 x 25.   Click to purchase on Amazon.


A cross body purse is so handy for traveling. At the airport only put in the purse what you need to quickly access such as your phone, ID, and maybe a credit card. After going through security you can slip the purse into your backpack. For the rest of the trip you have a small purse to carry essentials when out for dinner, but it is equally useful for handsfree hiking. Waterproof material is key to be able to wipe it clean, but it still looks stylish.  Click to purchase on Amazon.


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