Packing in a Carry On: Hawaii
The first vacation of 2021! And if all goes well it will not be the last. I have to say, since it has been almost four month without travel (thanks again COVID!) I felt a bit rusty packing. Thankfully I document all our packing so a quick refresher from Alaska and Galapagos gave a great starting layout for Hawaii.
First let’s review some new gear!
- Of course we had to break out the COVID Canvas bag which worked very well for all of the 2020 trips so I used the same items
- Snorkel gear – I think any other year I would have had no issue renting equipment or using tour provided gear. Something kept poking me to just make the investment in our own so we would not have to worry about cleaning processes from rentals. I figured it is equivalent to the ski gear we have (helmet, goggles, etc) – pull it out once or twice a year and its a win. I follow the Bucket List Family and they recommended Cressi so I purchased their snorkel set for us. We ended up loving these both from a portability and usability stance – it was great not to rely on rentals for this.
- Dry bag – since we expected to be on the beach and in the water, there was a concern on how to secure out valuable items. You are warned a lot about the high incidence of break-ins and theft, not to leave any valuables in the car even if they are out of site. So I purchased a dry bag with a strap that I could bring into the water just big enough to hold our phones, wallet, and car keys. I also have this phone waterproof case from previous trips that works very well.
- Beach blanket – I figured there would be more than on occasion where a large blanket could come in handy so I grabbed this extra large blanket that folds down amazingly well and is quick drying.
- As far as other beach items, our Airbnb had all the beach essentials – towels, chairs, umbrellas, etc and this is common with Airbnb rentals in Hawaii so if this is important for your trip, make sure to check that it is included so you do not have to rent or pack them.
Full Packing List
Packing cubes size small, medium and large
Small Packing Cube: Toiletry Bag
- Medications (Ibupofen, Meclizine – for my sea sickness, Tums)
- Bar of solid soap
- Solid sunscreen
- Lush solid shampoo
- Toothbrush with sanitizer pod / floss
- Hair Brush
- Razor /Spare razor head
- Band-Aids/first-aid and Q-tips
- Hair accessory bag (headband, hair ties, hair clips)
- A thermometer and pulse oximeter
- Lip balm
Quart Bag for 3 Ounce Liquids
- Tooth paste
- Travel size body lotion
- Travel size conditioner
- Travel size face wash
- Face moisturizer in repurposed container
- Steroids/Aquaphor (for my terribly dry skin)
- Insect repellent (going with a lotion is easier than a spray!)
- Not shown: Hand sanitizer (2 oz and packed an additional 8 oz bottle in a separate bag)
Medium Packing Cube: Small Clothing Items
Large Packing Cube: Clothes
- Two shorts – active and denim
- Four tank tops
- Two t-shirts
- Active legging pants
- Two long sleeves with UPF protection (his and hers) – essential for the sun!
Update: If you can believe it, even this many clothes was over packing! You are in a bathing suit and active wear most of the time. Get a place with washer/dryer access and you will be good.
- Northface rain jacket
- Microfiber towel
- Sunglasses and glasses case
- Charges for various devices
- Small packing cube
- Travel detergent
- Travel day bag backpack
- Camera / tech bag
Side pocket: Rain cover for backpack
Camera and Tech Bag
- Phone power bank charger
- Car phone chargers
- External hard drive
- Gopro 5 and accessories
- Phone waterproof case
- Small carabiner clips
- Small key chain flash light
Update: I barely used the Go-Pro and accessories – it ended up being dead weight. Everything else here is very useful!
- Medium and large packing cubes
- Snorkel gear
- Dry bag
- Beach blanket
- Black flip flops and Xero trail sandals
- Folder with travel documents and itinerary
Canvas Bag – Personal Item
What I wore on plane – leaving the snow infested north east plus the sunrise at Haleakala where temperatures are in the 40s (still warmer than NJ right now) so worked out that I could wear warmer clothes!
- Darn Tough socks
- Basic tank top
- Long sleeve merino base 150
- Yoga pants / fleece pants
- Xero hiking shoes
- Fleece and winter jacket
I also threw in … Quarry Quarrel!
We were able to play this compact game on the flight, our early evenings (let’s be honest, every night is an early evening for me… especially with the time zone difference!), and on rainy days. This was such a fun addition to our travel bag that is defintiely a keeper.
And I still got it! Everything packed snug and ready to go. Thank goodness domestic flights do not have a weight limit – this one was definitely on the heavier side but I still have some wiggle room.