Hawaii: My Big Island Packing List

Hawaii: My Big Island Packing List

Aloha everyone! Today is my last day on the island and I am 100% not ready to head back to the real world. This trip has been amazing and I can’t wait to share more of it throughout this month. If you want to see some of the great photos I have been taking be sure to head over to my Instagram to see some great shots I have managed to take while here. Now to the point of today’s post: what did I even pack for this incredible trip? Well keep reading to find out my exact packing list! And be sure to comment at the end to let me know if you found this helpful!

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The Bag

For this trip, I opted for my Longchamp carry-on suitcase. I actually bought this bag in Athens 4 years ago when my carry-on’s wheel broke unexpectedly. The bag was expensive but it is 100% worth the money. It has tons of space for a carry on and the soft side design means I can fit more in it than I can in a standard carry-on bag and that makes packing so much easier. It has a 2 wheel design, which I actually prefer to 4 wheels and the handle has adjustable heights. This is my favorite carry-on bag AND it even has my Dad’s stamp of approval! He has taken it on some business trips because it’s such a great bag even if the color isn’t his favorite! The newer version available here has even more pockets and organization than my version!

Personal Item

My personal item is my favorite Vera Bradley bag. They don’t make the exact bag anymore, but they have this one pictured above that is almost identical but actually even better (and I have been wanting to buy it for a while). This bag has plenty of space for my computer, wallet and some other things like a book, my headphones and my other carry-on essentials for the long flight. I love Vera Bradley bags for their fun colors and durability and this one is no exception. The best part: it has a little sleeve on the back so it can slide over the handle of my rollerboard bag making it easy to navigate airports.


So, packing clothes for this trip was a bit different from my past few trips. Most of my recent trips involved cold weather and so the clothes I packed were much different this time around. One nice thing I discovered: its much easier to pack for warmer climates because the clothes take up less space! Now, as a recovering overpacker, I tried my best to keep things in check, but I had no idea what our itinerary would actually entail so I needed to pack some extra clothes. So here’s what I packed:


For this trip, I deviated a bit from my standard travel shoes, but I still included some staples. I packed my Nike Free Run sneakers and my Vibrams for hiking. I then packed a pair of flip-flops for the beach and my trusty Sam Edelman Gladiator Sandals! This gave me a good selection of shoes for every activity we would do on the island. The best part was that my Vibrams doubled as water shoes which definitely came in handy!

Cosmetics and Toiletries

For this list, I am not going to go into details about my makeup because I just packed my basics that I talked about here. Aside from my makeup, I packed the following items:

Assorted nonsense

You know those things you throw in your bag while packing that don’t really fit in one category? This is for those. Now for this trip there were a couple of Hawaii-specific things I had to consider when packing. First, plastic bags are illegal in Hawaii, so I made sure to pack some reusable shopping bags. I also knew we planned on going snorkeling, so I picked up this mask and snorkel on amazon for a great deal! It wasn’t the best quality, but the price was definitely unbeatable. This saved me from having to rent one and it means I have one for any future travels.

As for normal, extra nonsense in my bag, I packed my AMAZING new blow dryer. Now I could write a whole post on this blow dryer alone, so definitely check it out if you are in the market for one. I also packed my Curling wand for if I wanted to look extra nice one night, some cute accessories, and my go-to carry-on items for surviving the long flights!

Now I am going to enjoy my last day in paradise and lament going back to the real world! From one Misguided Millennial to the world, this has been my Hawaii packing list! Happy Travels!

10 thoughts on “Hawaii: My Big Island Packing List

  1. Hawaii is a dream of mine! I want to visit so badly. It looks beautiful there! Also that bag – I need it for my next vacation!!!

    1. It is so amazing! I definitely recommend watching for flight deals and trying to make it here! And that bag is AMAZING. I highly recommend it.

  2. Always hard leaving the Hawaiian islands. So beautiful! A good packing list is always essential as the weather can definitely change.

  3. I’ve only ever been on the big island for an unexpected layover, but always say I will visit if I ever get to go back to Maui. My husband probably really wishes I would take your packing advice next trip because I always end up with a 2 bags plus take up half the space in his!

    I’m curious given that you are currently on the big island have you been impacted by the recent volcanic activity there? My heart has been breaking for the always welcoming people of Hawaii who have been effected.

    1. The Big Island has been amazing! And packing is always a struggle for me too so I definitely understand the two bags thing!

      And we got lucky with the volcano! We visited the south part of the island our first day before the eruptions began and luckily weren’t staying down there. We unfortunately didn’t get to go to the park but safety is most important! It is really sad about what is happening and it only seems to get worse each day 🙁

  4. Wow this looks unreal! What a good, detailed list of things to pack. Will be using this when packing for my trip down there in the summer!

    1. Happy to help! I would definitely recommend trying to plan more of your itinerary ahead of time than I did because it can help you cut down on packing a bit!

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