We are halfway through the week 🙂 anddd my birthday is in a few days so make sure you stop by on Friday for a special post! So before I left on my trip to Hawaii, I did a ton of research – What do I wear? What should I pack? How will I get those Instagram worthy photos? I’ve included my top 4 packing tips for a Hawaiian getaway below along with my number one photo tip!
Shein Dress (old – similar here) | Sole Society Sandals c/o (also love these) | Ellen & James Handbag (similar here) | Forever 21 Hat (old – love this and this)
First things first – how amazing is this pool? These photos were taken during our stay at the Royal Hawaiian (definitely check out this post for more vacation photos and a breakdown of what we did) and I am just obsessed with the pink retro aesthetic that flows throughout the hotel. The hotel actually has access to two pools, but this is the main one on the property and the one that we visited the most 😉
Before I left, I was stumped as to what to wear and items to bring with me since I had never been before. I did extensive research and read article after article, but after having been there, I can confidently share my 4 packing tips for a Hawaiian getaway.
Bring Clothing That You Are Comfortable Wearing
I think that a lot of people tend to shop for vacations and don’t try things on beforehand or pack items that they “think” they might wear just in case. Your suitcase has limited storage so I think it’s really important to only bring items that you feel comfortable in. There is always the chance that the new items (or even old items) won’t fit or may have other flaws so trying on your clothing before you leave is always a good choice.
Plan Outfits Accordingly
If you have an itinerary, you should have an idea of what type of clothing would appreciate for various activities. If you will be active, it might be a good idea to bring sneakers and activewear and if you’re planning to swim, it would be a good idea to bring a swimsuit and cover up. I know this sounds pretty basic, but even then, you might still have a hard time figuring out what to pack and to be honest, “what to wear to Hawaii” was the thing I researched the most.
I recommend choosing outfits ahead of time and bringing things that you can mix to maximize packing space. This is what I would bring to a Hawaiian getaway (or any other tropical location):
- Flowy Dresses (so much more comfortable in the humidity – and keep in mind that it might be breezy so maxis were the best option closer to the beach)
- Tops – Flowy tops and off the shoulder silhouettes were what I wore the most
- Bottoms – Jean cut offs, linen shorts, culottes, and skirts that you can mix with tops…and maybe a pair of jeans
- Light Jacket – You may run into a bit of rain throughout the trip (especially when hiking) so a light, portable jacket is perfect
- Swimsuits – Bring at least two so you switch them out when one is drying
- Cover up (unless you want to walk around in your swimsuit)
- Shoes – Flat sandals, espadrilles and low block heels are perfect
- Sneakers – Bring a pair for long walking days, working out and mild hiking
- Activewear – Loose tops and leggings were perfect for exploring, lounging or travel
- Hat – Highly recommend bringing one (or two)…I wore mine almost everyday!
- Straw Tote or Bag – much lighter and much more natural looking with the environment
- Jewelry – I like to bring lighter pieces that I can mix with different outfits
- Sunglasses – You WILL need these
- Sunscreen – You WILL need this too
What not to bring
- Stilettos or any other crazy high heel
- Super tight dresses (unless you want to sweat like crazy)
- Sweats (enough said lol)
Get Creative with Your Packing
I am a huge advocate of the space saver bags for packing. They are so easy to use and free up a lot of space in your suitcase. Aside from those, I love stuffing things inside of other things. I always stuff the inside of my hats, purses, and shoes with smaller items like socks, undergarments, swimsuits and lighter clothing. Even though, you are getting more creative with your packing, you definitely shouldn’t pack more unnecessary items in there because you have more space – you’ll need that space if you do any shopping or bring souvenirs back 😉 I should also note that aside from using cosmetic bags for my toiletries, I also put all of my liquid or gel items in ziplock bags to prevent spillage and it’s been a lifesaver more than once!
Be Mindful of Your Carry on
I always like to keep the most important things in my carry on since it’s with me the whole time. Not only do I keep a light change of clothes with me, but I also pack other things such as:
- Small Toiletries – deodorant, toothbrush/paste, small hairbrush, bobby pins/hair tie
- Light Make Up – compact, lip gloss
- A Pair of Sunglasses
- Electronics – Laptop, camera and phone along with all chargers and equipment
- Portable Phone Charger
- Small Snacks
- A Scarf or Cardigan
- Expensive Jewelry (and pretty much any other small expensive items)
Bonus Tip – How to Make the Most of Your Photos
This isn’t necessarily a packing tip per se, but one of the questions I got asked the most was regarding my photos. A ton of people wanted to know how we got shots without other people in them in crowded areas.
Most people take vacation photos at any given time because they just want to have the memory of being there and don’t give a second thought about random people being in the shot (totally fine). And while I also love taking these photos for my personal use, there is something magical about getting more professional and secluded shots. To do this, I highly suggest waking up early (no photoshop required lol!). Yes, it sounds crazy to wake up at the crack of dawn on your vacation, but I found that this is necessary in order to get the best photos in an otherwise normally crowded area (and for best lighting). I noticed that a lot of other guests started to come out around 7am and by 8am, the beach and pool area were starting to fill up and the sun was brightly shining. We were up by 5:30am everyday and out shooting by 6:30am. I loved doing this because I felt like we had so much more time in our day and made the most out of vacation since we were already dressed and ready to explore 😉
What tips would you add?
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