Hawaii is one of our favorite destinations. The culture, food…and the weather is incredible.
When we visit, which is usually somewhere between 2 – 4 weeks (you need this much time to get to at least 3 different islands!) we only bring a carry on!
You ask how we fit everything we need for more than a week in paradise in a carry-on bag? We ask what more do you need than a bathing suit?
As I mentioned above, really all you need is a bathing suit, coverup and flip flops. But lets splurge a little and bring some small extras to spoil ourselves.
Caroline’s Carry On
- 4 sundresses
- 2 t-shirts
- 4 bathing Suits 🙂
- 2 exercise outfits
- 1 pair of running crops
- 1 sweater for evenings
- 2 sports bras
- Tennis shoes
- Flip Flops
- Teva Sandals
- Hotel Slippers
- Rain jacket
Josh’s Carry On
- 3 t-shirts
- 2 pairs of shorts
- 1 bathing suit
- 2 long sleeve shirts (nice enough to wear to fancier dinners)
- 1 lightweight henley
- 1 sweatshirt
- 2 exercise shirts
- 1 pair running shorts
- 5 pairs underwear
- Tennis shoes
- Flip Flops
- Hotel slippers
- Rain jacket
I’ve almost completely stopped traveling with toiletries, unless they are special ones I know I can’t get or I am going to a new country and don’t know what to expect. Especially if you are traveling for more than 2 weeks it’s cheaper to simply stop by the store once you arrive and pick up shampoo, conditioner etc.
- Travel size toothpaste
- Make up for women (…or guys I guess if that’s your thing)
- Hair brush/comb
- Contact lens supplies (Josh uses Clear Care which has been referred to as the “golden handcuffs” of lens care, it’s very difficult to find internationally)
- Any specific medication you may need
*Most everything else you can purchase when you get there and use it for the 2+ weeks you are visiting.
What We Actually Wore
Mainly we wore a bathing suit, flip flops and a cover up (or t-shirt) every day.
We usually do a load of laundry weekly, but like I said the main thing we are wearing is our bathing suits so there isn’t a whole lot of laundry to do. At night we will put on our nicer clothes to go to dinner and wear those for the evening, but Hawaii is so casual unless you are going to a very upscale dinner you can usually get away with dressy/casual look. We almost always go on a few longer hikes in Hawaii which our favorite way to see the best scenery and is where our exercise clothes and tennis shoes come in handy.
If you aren’t in your bathing suit, women you can wear your sundresses every day and men you will usually just throw on your shorts with a t-shirt, flip flops are almost always acceptable.
Life is easy in Hawaii, don’t overcomplicate it with a bunch of luggage!
Do you travel with just a carry-on? How do you pack? Let us know in the comments!
Colleen Brynn says
My parents have managed to master the traveling just with a carry-on thing, but I don’t think I’m quite there yet!
Deia @ Nomad Wallet says
I’ve mastered the art of packing in a carry-on for tropical destinations. Basically, I just bring enough clothes for one week and just do laundry if it’s a longer trip. I have no idea how to fit jackets etc into a carry-on, though.
Jan Augsburger says
I love to pack in a carry on. I have everything I need. I have traveled to Italy three times with a carry on. I usually can only go for one week but I add one day for travel. so I pack 4 outfits and wear them twice. I put each outfit in an extra large zip lock and sit on it which makes it very flat. I put my accessories in four small bags to go with the outfits. In one compartment I have a folded bag that turns into another carry on. My purchases go in the extra carry on and I fold my purse in it when flying home. I use 3oz shampoo and sample cosmetics. I make sure the hotels I stay in have a blow dryer. I have always gone in the early spring or fall so I have taken a weather proof jacket. The shoes I choose are always waterproof and there are a lot of really stylish boots and shoes that are waterproof. This is my first trip to the tropics and it’s a new experience for me.
We only travel with carry on’s, and have for a number of years. France , England, Ireland, Hawaii. 2 weeks each.
I use travel size anything I can get. I will take casual 4 outfits, 1 dressy. 2 pair shoes, light jacket, if I need heavier coat I’ll carry it. ( usually go in warmer weather), besides underwear and hair items, travel pillow, small throw( like airlines use) sometimes they don’t have enough. For my bathroom items I will use two bags one for items I need to take out at check in and the other for dry items. One pouch for jewelry etc. tuck in purse or pocket in bag.
I always use small purse instead of my medium size, and don’t have to worry about items I don’t need and getting lost or keeping in rooms. I can tuck it into a larger carryon bag that I keep with me under seat.( that holds a ton of hard to pack things curling iron, neck pillow, etc., I have room for I-pad, magazine, snack and drink.. . . If I run out of space in my carry on case, I will use the vacuum bags and can get a lot more in. I even take a small pillow besides my neck pillow I do use the vacuum bag for that. ( I have a hard time sleeping on different pillows.) Usually I will roll my clothes they fit better, if I have trouble then I use the vacuum bags. I’ve learned over the years that most people always over pack
I love traveling by carry on. No line waiting, No luggage carrousel waiting. grab and go.