The Ultimate Ladies’ Guide to Packing for O’ahu

Updated July 1, 2021.

“Packing is my favorite part of travel!” –said no one ever! It’s not my favorite thing either, and I’m literally a professional packer! But thankfully, I’ve done the hard work for you and pulled together this tried-and-true packing list to help you make the most of your Hawaiian adventure!

Bathing Suit and Cover Up

I love a cute tankini! They’re perfect for hiding that little bit of “winter cushion” you brought with you, and they do double duty as a top for when you go hiking or can be paired with a fun skirt when you go out to a restaurant. The one below comes in 20 colors and fun patterns!

Or if you prefer a one-piece, try this one!

This cover-up comes in several colors and can be worn as a dress by itself as well!

Jumping for joy on Waikiki!

Active Wear

O’ahu offers incredible hiking, horseback riding, parasailing, and more, and you need something to wear for all of those activities! Moisture-wicking fabrics are best, especially if you want to jump in the water on your hike!


Girls, built-in bras are the future, and the future is here. They mean less to pack, less to wash, and they’re super cute!

I know it looks impossible, but it’s totally real!


If you can do it, bring bottoms that go with all of your tops. Black is usually a winner for that, but don’t be afraid to branch out!

Ready to hike!


If you go to Hawaii without a sundress, did you really go? I think not. Get a couple of these to take for yourself!

Happiest in a yellow dress on the beach!


Your feet will take you everywhere as long as you keep them safe and healthy! So treat yourself to a pedicure and a fun toenail polish color, but also make sure to break in any new shoes for at least two weeks before your trip!

Water Shoes

No matter what shoes you choose to take, make water shoes one pair of them! The beaches in Hawaii are on the rocky side, and the coral will cut your feet! Water shoes will take care of that and keep your feet safe.

Athletic Shoes

These shoes are great for running, walking, hiking, or dashing through airports to make that tight Hawaii connection!

Hiking Shoes

Hawaii’s hikes are some of the most beautiful in the world, but sometimes the trails can be a little dicey! The right pair of hiking shoes can help!


Okay, I know “Rockport” is kind of an old lady brand, but hear me out. These are cute! And they have both of the features I require for comfortable sandals: arch support and an ankle strap! My own traveling feet have been through a lot over the years, so trust me when I tell you your feet will thank you for taking care of them!

But don’t forget to put your toes in the sand, too!
Read on: Your Feet and Your Travels

Things You Might Forget

There are certain things you should definitely pack for Hawaii that you might not think of if this is your first time to the islands.

Silicone Wedding Band

With all the outdoor activities there are in the islands, you don’t want to take a chance on losing any valuable piece of jewelry, but especially not your wedding band or engagement ring! Just ask my husband, whose wedding band is still buried in the sands off Kauai since our second wedding anniversary trip there. I always wear my silicone rings when we travel to active locations and leave the nice things at home!

Dry Bag

What is a dry bag? It’s a magical bag that keeps everything safe at the beach or on a rainy hike! You can keep your phone, wallet, book, water bottle, etc., in the bag while you’re at the beach, and you can even take the bag into the water with you so you don’t have to leave your valuables on the beach unattended.

Solid Reef Safe Sunscreen

Solid sunscreen saves space in your liquids bag for carry-on travel, and reef safe sunscreen is better for you and the environment, so it’s a win-win! Hawaii has actually banned the sale of regular sunscreen, effective January 1, 2021! So be prepared before you go and bring your own. It’ll be more expensive to buy when you get there!

Solid Bug Repellent

Similarly, solid bug repellent is essential in Hawaii, and it saves space for your liquid toiletries!

My stackable silicone rings and my husband’s tungsten ring while we’re at the beach!
Need more? Read on: What to Know Before You Visit Hawaii


If you’ve been following me for any amount of time, you know my husband and I both travel carry-on only! I know that’s not for everyone, so here are a few options for however you want to travel.

“Personal Item” Backpack

This pack is perfect for travel because it’s foldable, yet durable! It’s great for flights, perfect for a day bag, and it folds up into a little square so you can tuck it away when you don’t need it!

Luggage Backpack

I am completely loyal to Osprey for my travel luggage needs. They just make such a thoughtful, practical, durable product, and the Osprey Porter bag is my favorite! I can’t recommend it enough as an alternative to roll-aboards.


I get it, backpacks are not for everyone! If you can’t lift your luggage safely or walk with it for any considerable distance, you need a rolling suitcase. And it needs to be hard-sided, just in case it has to be gate-checked!

This was the perfect bag for a day of hiking!

Need more recommendations for things to do, where to stay, and what to eat on O’ahu? Check out my Hawaiian Islands Page!

Love this post? Pin it for later!

One response to “The Ultimate Ladies’ Guide to Packing for O’ahu”

  1. […] More here: What to Pack for O’ahu […]

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this:
Verified by ExactMetrics