Tropical Travel Packing Tips

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My husband and I just returned from Maui last week, so today I want share some packing tips for tropical locale with you. And yes, you’ll have to look at some of my photos, too! (I mean it’s no fun if I don’t post pics, right?)

First of all, y’all probably know I’m not such a light packer! I’m great at being the voice of reason when I’m helping my clients pack for trips. For myself…not so much…but the good thing is, I learn something new about travel packing every time I take a trip (which isn’t nearly as often as I’d like it to be!!)

 6 packing tips for Hawaii or any other tropical vacation

1. On the plane, wear slip on shoes and layers. Just when you think you know how hot or cold a plane will be, it changes! And yay, TSA isn’t making us take our shoes off anymore, but I like to take my shoes off on the plane (and put sleeping socks on) but I’m sure not padding my way into the bathroom in just my socks, eww!

I also wore black joggers and my grey T  from White House Black Market. Confident I wasn’t going too get cold, I added my jean jacket for a bit more leisure in my “athleisure” outfit.

2.  Here’s an even better tip…pack shorts in your carry on! You definitely don’t want to be wearing (read: sweating in) joggers once you arrive in the glorious humidity! It’s super easy to change  in the airport ladies room while you’re waiting for your bags. (That’s right, I’ve never done carry on only an don’t intend to!)

3.  If possible plan out your itinerary and plan all of your outfits accordingly. Then, if you tend to be an over-packer like me, take a couple of outfits off! For a 7 day trip, 3 pairs of shorts and 2 sundresses should be enough.

Hawaii is SUPER casual. You can wear your swimsuit and a cover-up all day and be perfectly appropriate.

Lunch at the Hula Grill

I had visions of changing my clothes for dinner each night, but it didn’t happen. I already had my jean shorts on, so I wore them to dinner, too (sooo hungry!!) I did change out of my t I’d had on all day!

The second night we ate free pizza from the hotel out at the pool bar, so I didn’t feel the need to dress up and wore what I’d worn the night before (I mean I’d only worn it a few hours after sundown!)

Check out the fun entertainment at The Kaanapali Beach Hotel.

Kaanapali Beach Hotel


Tropical Travel Packing Tips

This Mai Tai is called the “Back Scratcher!”

4. Pack knits –super comfy (to me) and they don’t wrinkle. We made reservations for Mama’s Fish House for our last evening on the island. It’s a special restaurant, and I originally wanted to wear my new Kate Spade dress. But at the last minute I thought, “Wow, this dress is big!” It would probably take up a lot of room in my suitcase and probably wrinkle, too!

Instead, I wore my beloved Tommy Bahama dress. If we’re friends on Facebook, you’ve probably seen it (several times) before. Oh well, I love my old clothes! This dress isn’t available anymore, but I highly recommend T.B. sundresses.

The dresses are incredibly lightweight, comfortable and lots of times, very bra friendly.

I adore my Tommy Bahama dress!


My Anniversary Lei! Smelled divine!

5. Invest in a rash guard if you plan to do any water activities. I love my top from O’Neil!

We took the Trilogy snorkel boat to Molikini, which had a second stop at Turtle Town. (Highly recommend this company!) To be honest, I mostly bought my rash guard so that my very Irish husband would also buy one. Gotta admit I was happy I had it! Not only do rash guards protect your skin from burning while you’re in the water, but they helped keep us warm.


Boarding the boat for Molokini

I learned an interesting fact from one of the boat’s crew members.  The water is 10 degrees warmer at the second snorkel spot, but it feels colder because your core body temperature lowers after being in the water the first time. A girl’s gotta stay warm while looking for turtles!

6. Take at least 2 bikinis. The fashion blogs I read before I went all said you need a dry swimsuit while the wet one is drying. My suits didn’t take long to dry, but I found my new bikini to not be as comfy as my 9 year-old one (bummer) and I wouldn’t have wanted to wear it all 7 days. Even if you’re a one-piece gal, I promise you you’ll at least want to have a tankini for your ocean/beach activities.

Bonus non-fashion tip: My very favorite thing I took on this trip was my Yeti water bottle! Yep, it’s that big! My husband won’t ever get his own water and I drink a lot of water and knew we’d need it in the sun and humidity. I filled it up with ice and water in the morning. There was still ice in it all through the night! Love my Yeti!!


Thanks for taking a look today! It was nice to re-live my trip on this incredibly rainy day! Next, it’s back to fall fashion!












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