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The Ultimate Beach Vacation Packing List for Hawaii

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Check out our beach vacation packing list for your summer beach adventures including summer wear from our sponsor Vanity Fair.

Beach Vacation Packing List

Last summer my husband and I took our first non-kid vacation since having kids. We spent 5 days alone together in California.

It was marvelous.  It felt so good to get back to the foundation of our family – us. We decided that no matter what, we wanted to make sure to get some time alone together at least once a year.

This summer we have the amazing opportunity to take our couples vacation on Oahu! Thanks to the generosity of some very dear friends and whole lot of frequent flier miles, we are heading to Hawaii for the first time ever.

Our plans for Oahu are two-fold. First, I want to get as much of the beach and water as I can. I grew up on a lake and I miss the water living in the desert. Second, I want to see as much of Oahu as we can but still leave time to relax and rest and connect with my husband.

Of course, I’ve been shopping and working on a packing list for our beach vacation.  I tend to pack very light when I travel and my husband tends to … not pack light.

Beach Vacation Packing List for Hawaii

Swim suits: Of course, this is a must have for a beach vacation! I only have one suit but I may head out to get another one because putting on a wet bathing suit is not fun.

Sunglasses: I wear sunglasses all year round but they are particularly important around water.

Rash Guard: Living in Las Vegas, we’re used to strong sun. Our entire family swims with a rash guard, which is basically a tee shirt made out of swimsuit material. It helps to keep the sun off our backs and shoulders, which are both prime areas for sunburn.

Hat: I have very thin hair and my part line always gets sunburned. I’ve finally accepted that I need to wear hat even if I hate doing it. It also helps shield faces from the sun.

Sun Dresses:  I wear sun dresses all summer long. They are much cooler than shorts and a tank top.

For this trip I’m packing a combination of day sundresses and a new fancier sundress I bought for a few nicer dinners we have booked.

Vanity Fair Strapless Bra

Strapless Bra: Sundresses are great for staying cool, but they don’t always work well with a normal bra. My new dress needed a strapless bra to go with it.

About a year ago I fell in love with Vanity Fair bras.  Of course I went straight to Vanity Fair to find a strapless bra for my new dress.  The Beauty Back is my favorite Vanity Fair bra and this Beauty Back strapless underwire bra has a strap that can be worn three ways.


A strapless bra is great for tank tops and halter tops, too.

Vanity Fair Cooling Touch Bra

Cooling Touch BraLast summer I learned about Vanity Fair’s Cooling Touch bras.  The bras are made with a special fabric that’s super light and helps you feel cool.


I don’t do well in humidity so I want some undergarments that will help me stay cool even when the air is thick with humidity. Cooling Touch is perfect for a tropical vacation.

Dressy Sandals: I pretty much wear flip flops all summer long, but since we are going to nicer restaurants, and I have fancy new dress, a light pair of dressy sandals are in order.

Flip Flops: These are better known as “slippahs” in Hawaii. They are great for the beach and are light and easy to pack.

Walking or Hiking Shoes: Along with miles of beaches, Oahu also has many hiking trails so bring along a sturdy pair of comfy shoes.

Light, waterproof jacket: It rains a lot in Hawaii, but it doesn’t rain for a long time. A light rain jacket will help keep us dry.

Camera and extra memory cards: Yes, your phone will take photos, but it also only has so much memory on it. I travel with a lightweight DSLM camera when we travel and a few extra memory cards just in case.

After Sun Lotion: I’m very very careful about being in the sun, but sunburns happen. Having a good after sun lotion on hand saves us from a late night run to the drug store.

Sunblock: No one wants to spend their beach vacation inside after the first day in the sun. Sun protection is so important! We use sunblock on faces, arms and legs and a rash guard for backs and shoulders.

Bug spray: Hawaii is tropical so it has mosquitoes. Bring along your favorite bug spray to keep them at bay in the evenings.

Ok, all you Hawaii experts – what am I forgetting? I’ll be back later this summer to update the post with anything I forgot to pack that is a beach vacation necessity!

This article may contain affiliate links.

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  • Jessica Holoka
    June 27, 2016

    That’s awesome that you’re going on a Hawaiian vacation! Great packing list. I have to look into those bras. They sound great for sticky NJ summers!

    • Camille
      June 30, 2016

      Yes! With all that humidity they’d be great!

  • Ashley
    June 24, 2016

    How fun!! My husband went to Hawaii before we met and has talked about how amazing it is for years. I’d love to go some day! Hope you have an awesome time!

    • Camille
      June 25, 2016

      Thanks Ashley! He definitely needs to take you back someday!

  • Cosmetics Aficionado
    June 24, 2016

    OMG a bra that keeps you cool??!! How neat!

  • Jessica Scull
    June 24, 2016

    Not gonna lie – that bra sounds amazing. Totally need!

  • Christa
    June 24, 2016

    OK I want to go to Hawaii so I can require a packing list like this!

    • Camille
      June 24, 2016

      Ha ha! I didn’t think we’d ever be going! 🙂