Packing Picks for Hawaii


As you guys probably already know, I am off to my ”dream holiday” of all time. Ever since I watched Baywatch (I was in school), I envisaged myself one day running on the beach in slow-motion in a red one piece swimsuit. I know exactly what you are thinking at the moment! I should have been in the film business;) May be I should have! Ahhhs and oohhhs are over and while you are reading this post, I have crossed 7 seas to be in here in Oahu, Honolulu and later heading to the Big Islands Hawaii to celebrate 7 years of ‘saying it in black & white’ with who else other than my partner. March is our special month. It is when we registered ourselves to embark on the unique journey together followed by celebrations through traditional rites and rituals throughout the month. So, we chose not to pick one particular day to celebrate because that’s what is expected. To us, conventional is boring and predictable. Not our cup of tea or coffee for that matter! Instead we come on a holiday to explore a new destination, know the unknowns, collect memories and gain experiences in life to share with you all and everyone around us.  So, here we are in the 50th state of U.S.A – Hawaii!

Packing Picks for Hawaii

Now one of the most fun and equally dreaded parts of any holiday  is deciding what to pack and how to get it to your destination. You want to make sure you bring everything you’ll need without seeming like you’ve loaded up the entire contents of your home into your luggage. It took me a while to grasp the art of packing for destination specific holidays  keeping the weather condition in mind and it was getting to be a problem to constantly drag around things that I knew I wasn’t going to use (but maybe I was?) especially accessories and jewelries because it took up too much space. I mean, no one needs four scarves, three pairs of chinos and 5 set of underwears and five purses for a weekend away, yet somehow excess can follow you everywhere. After years of travelling for work and leisure both locally and internationally, I’m starting to feel more and more like a pro. I think I’ve got my packing system down to a science and know when to exclude certain things.

Now, just because I’ve figured out what to leave out doesn’t mean I’ve completely mastered what to include. It’s always a fun chaotic process putting together all of my outfits, especially for something like beach holidays in a far away place that requires you to sit on a plane for more than 15 hours, because let’s be real, I can’t waste any space in my suitcase for this! I think it is really important to have all my looks for each day in order so that I don’t have to worry about that when I get there. In fact this is what I do for all my holidays now. I know exactly what to wear on which day! I have a list with all clothes and accessories noted down in my phone and I try to stick to the looks I conceptualized. Being organised always helps! No need for unnecessary luggage, especially since we have to pack keeping the weather condition in mind- if travelling to a colder destination, winter wardrobe takes up way more space than summer wardrobe!

Okay, so getting ready for a beach holiday is basically like playing a game of dress-up with everything in my closet and trying to combine the perfect pieces to create exotic and may I say sexy beach worthy outfits. I feel so many emotions in this process. It’s so much fun but sometimes a little crazy because my clothes just end up in different closets, boxes and drawers (I have plenty) around my doll’s house like London flat and I can’t find anything that I want (you’re probably familiar with that feeling right?) immediately! But what calms me down is thinking about the new adventure I’ll be heading off on and then happiness takes over. And sometimes I’ll just continue wearing some of the clothing I’m testing out, like wearing an old dupatta as beach sarong or a chiffon see-through tunic top as cover-ups.

Now coming to the point of packing for Hawaii- because let’s be honest that not all beach holidays are like holidays in Hawaii, right! It’s exotic, unique and posh! Exactly what items and clothing you will want to take with you on your Hawaii vacation will depend a lot on the activities you’re planning. And, if you’re like many people, you’ll probably over-pack as you try to plan for every possibility. I have categorized my Hawaii wardrobe in 3 major sections- casual day wear on the beach, dressing up Hawaiian style and special considerations. 

Casual Day Wear on the Beach:

Comfortable casual look to catch a flight from Ohau, Honolulu to the Big Islands Hawaii
Comfortable casual look to catch a flight from Oahu, Honolulu to the Big Islands Hawaii: Zara Denim shorts, New Look off-shoulder cotton tunic in ethnic print, Accessorize diamond weave floppy hat and heart shaped mirror sunnies from ebay

One of the most important things to remember is that when you’re in Hawaii, you’ll be outside much of the time – relaxing on the beach with your favorite book in the hand, walking, riding, snorkeling, bicycling, sailing, strolling, boating, surfing, hiking, or swimming. For daytime, casual is definitely the way to go. Casuals have taken over 60% of the space in my suitcase. For a dozen days holiday in Hawaii, I have packed 5 swimsuits and a few pieces of beach cover-ups to wear on the beach. But what do you wear from your journey from the hotel to the beach? Maxi dresses, long gypsy skirts in chiffon and tropical printed harem pants are my edit for this casual day out look in Hawaii!

Hawaiian Style: 

Packing Picks for Hawaii
I got me one! Yayyy from ebay😉

I am a believer of dressing up for the occasion and for the places you are going. So, a traditional Hawaiian Hula skirt and flower jewelries have gracefully find its place in my suitcase. Tropical prints, vibrant colors and fruits shaped clutch bags are my go-to Hawaiian style!

Special Considerations: 

As we will be celebrating our union of 7 years and this partnership of 15 years in Hawaii, we plan to dine at the famous revolving restaurant Top of Waikiki where one will be expected to dress accordingly. No casual or slippers allowed.  So, I packed for a special dinner date-night maxi dress and accessories to style with that will enhance our experience.  I will be wearing a tomato red gown with embellished neckline and accessorize with a champagne- golden box clutch and a pair of stilettos.

Based on activities we’ve planned, and the parts of the islands that we’ll be visiting, I have planned for other items and clothing, for example, while much of Hawaii’s climate is tropical, higher elevations can be cool, especially at night. Volcanoes National Park (Big Island of Hawaii) and similar places can be breezy and cool at any season. A pair of jeans, or a light jacket, sweater or sweatshirt is quite comfortable in these situations. I packed a waterfall  cardigan in black and my go-to leather jacket to keep me warm at night. The beach sarongs can play two-in-one as scarf to tie around the neck.

Packing picks for Hawaii : What’s in my suitcase? 

1. Outfit
Maxi dress, one piece and two piece swimsuits, kaftans, kimonos and DIY beach cover-ups (Using dupatta).

Packing Picks for Hawaii
Asos maxi dresses and becah cover-ups

Packing Picks for Hawaii

2. Accessories

Slip-ons, wedges, strappy flats, floppy straw hats and boho head, chains, beach straw totes, tropical fruit clutches and large shopper bags.

Top tip: A wide brimmed straw hat looks amazing on the beach. Bonus: it gives you extra protection from the sun.

Asos Straw floppy hat and hair accessories
Asos Straw floppy hat and hair accessories
New Look fruit shaped clutch bags and transparent beach bag
New Look fruit shaped clutch bags and transparent beach bag

3. Skincare and make-up
Kiehl’s sunscreen for face and neck, Nivea travel friendly pocket-sized bottles for body because you can carry them easily on the beach, Clinique two-in-one foundation and concealer, shimmery lip glosses and vibrant hued eyeshadows- both by Mac Cosmetics, Aveda botanical Kinetic face mist and metallic body art from Claire’s.

Packing Picks for Hawaii

4. Beach essentials

Must have: Plastic zip bags and a couple fashion magazines
Must have: Plastic zip bags and a couple fashion magazines

Umbrella (I was born a Bengali, I carry my Umbrella everywhere;)), a good book to read, couple of quality fashion magazines, ipad/iphone to take notes(I take notes constantly about anything and everything), plastic zipper bags to keep your phone secured and safe from the sand and water, a XL beach towels, face wipes.

5. Camera, tripod and Cash (The C’s are the most important items that you should never forget, tripod not so much may be)

Leave a little room:

I love the idea of coming back from a holiday with something with me other than wonderful memories and pictures. So, I like to buy a souvenir of our vacations, may be even a little magnet to stick on to our fridge, therefore, it is always important to leave extra room in my luggage for our return trip. I have gathered that the crafts, artwork and souvenirs available in Hawaii are extra tempting, because they cover a broad range of cultures including Hawaiian, Polynesian, Chinese, Japanese, Portuguese, and much more. Let’s see what I like there!

Top tip: A good idea is to keep a master list of the items that you take on each trip on your word processor. As a new trip approaches you can copy that list, rename it for the trip at hand and add to it the specific items you need for the upcoming vacation.

Your list can also include things that you need to do around the house before you leave, for example; we switch off the central heater, cover our bed and sofa with an old bed sheet, emptying the fridge making sure no raw or cooked food left,  or put the gym membership on hold for the days we’ll be away (not when it is less than a week).

Although I am bursting with happiness and joy of being here, however I am a tad bit sad to miss the semi-final and the final of ICC Cricket World Cup. All fours teams qualified to play in the semis are the most deserving ones of this tournament but like all sports, I have my favorite and I want them to win! I wish India- the defending champion, all the best and hope they retain their title. You all can wish me a very happy holiday! If not, I know I will have fun:)

5 thoughts on “Packing Picks for Hawaii”

  1. What a great post! Very informative. I’m sure I’ll revisit this post when I plan a vacation. I wish you a great time!

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