Here’s my first edition of “What to Pack,” a blog I want to share for those of you who have no idea where to start, or maybe some of you just need a few tips. After visiting 40+ countries and living in 6, I’ve learned some “must- haves” and “don’t- needs” through the years. Here we go…
Last week I took my first cruise on the Norwegian Cruise Line- Pride of America to four Hawaiian islands: Oahu, Maui, Big Island and Kauai. If you want to check that out- I wrote about it here. I live on Oahu, so to my advantage or perhaps detriment, I was able to pack whatever I wanted. Needless to say- I packed way too much! I didn’t really care this time- since baggage amount/weight didn’t matter, but I would definitely trim down if I did this again.
First things first. I’m big on having the appropriate shoes for every occasion. I took nine, that’s right, nine pairs with me! And honestly- I would still take seven of those again. I tend to get blisters on the top, where flip-flop straps meet my thin skin, so having a couple different pairs helps me. Here’s what you need and why:
- Hiking boots/shoes: Hawaii is full of gorgeous hikes where you want support and grip. Specifically, I used them for (or would have): Maui- Haleakala Crater Hike, Big Island- Volcano National Park.
- Keens: For waterfall hikes. Hawaii goes between hot and misty/rainy. I was shooting myself for not having them the day we did Waipoo Falls hike on Kauai. My tennis shoes ended up super muddy and I had to take them off to cross part of the water fall. Keens can hike, do water, kayak, the gamut.
- Tennis shoes: For everyday walking, working out…
- Rainbow flip flops: Always. It’s island life- you need flip flops. And you want to make sure to take them off the ship with you, to change into after muddy hikes.
- Water flip flops: I brought cheapy $2 ones this trip. Sometimes I bring my chaco flips, other times my Hawaiian slippahs. You’ll want them for the beach. *Some people are okay using their rainbows for everything. I have an aversion to sand, so like to have one sand-free pair. I know, I’m weird.*
- Evening sandals. For the evening dinners, I usually wore dresses. So I had a pair of navy Birkenstock flips and a black pair of braided Rainbows. If you coordinate your dresses better than I did, one pair would be fine.
Side note: I have knee issues now, so need more supportive shoes for walking distances. In my “olden” days, when I could be a bit more minimalistic, I probably just would have brought: tennis, keens, rainbows & black flips.
- 9 t-shirts/tanks (whichever you prefer to wear)
- 3 workout tanks (if you like to workout)
- 3 workout shorts (for hiking, outdoors stuff)
- 4 shorts (no jeans needed)
- 6 dresses, 1 skirt (wore my skirt to dinner one night & used as back up bottoms for next day.)
- 3 swim suits (unless you actually intend on getting in pool on ship- gross!)
- 2 kaftans (for lying on ship deck and shielding yourself from the sun)
- board shorts/wet top (once again- in case you’re allergic to sun like me)
- undergarments + socks
- jacket (light weight) + long-sleeved workout shirt (for the crater & volcanoes)
I always pack my stuff in Eagle Creek cubes. I roll everything, so it’s neatly displayed in the cube and doesn’t wrinkle as much. Shirts/tops in one cube, dresses in the other. Underwear in a small one. All sports stuff in a duffle- which turns into my laundry bag on the ship.
Just remember- if you’re really minus a dress or shirt- you can always pick one up in the millions of tourist shops.
- Toiletries: Make-up, Shampoo/conditioner, Suncreen, Razor, hair stuff
- Bags: Tote (everything bag to take off ship with you every day), small backpack (for hikes, water…,) Small clutch (for around ship)
- Hats: 1 floppy (to shade neck as well), 1 baseball (for activity)
Remember- Hawaii is hot and humid. You will spend some time in lines, do lots of walking, and in general; you’ll end up hot and sweaty for portions of the trip. If you think, “active wear during the day, cute in the evening,” you’ll do well. I ONLY wore a light zip-up in the evenings- for the shows. I had so hoped to have a reason to wear a sweatshirt, but I simply didn’t. Hawaii is consistently hot. Maybe you’d want a pair of jeans for travel or back-up, but you won’t need to wear them.
I had a total of one large suitcase, one carry-on and my tote. There is plenty of room for the suitcases under the beds.
If you have anything you want to add or questions, feel free to comment below! And if you’re going cruising soon- enjoy!!