What should I pack for a trip to Oahu?

Answers from Our Experts (1)

Catherine E. Toth

The beauty about packing for a vacation on Oahu is this: you don't need much — and whatever you forget to bring, you can buy.

You don't need heavy sweaters or thigh-high boots or scarves. With consistent weather in the Islands — I'm talking the average summer temperature is 85 degree, the average winter temp around 78 degree — you can keep all your bulky, winter clothes at home.

What you do need are the following:

Swimwear: Even if you don't plan on hitting the surf or snorkeling in Hanauma Bay, it's good to have at least one swimsuit or board shorts in your luggage. At the very least, your hotel will likely have a pool.

Sun protection: Most resorts will provide sunscreen for their guests, but it's always good to have your own bottle of high-SPF sunscreen, lip balm and face moisturizers. You might want to consider bringing a hat and sunglasses (preferably with Polarized lens), too.

Waterproof camera: While Honolulu is a bustling city, it's still in the middle of a tropical island. That means there are photographic treasures everywhere, from the mountains that backdrop the city to the turquoise waters off the coastlines. Consider getting a waterproof camera, though, to capture shots from catamarans and surfboards.

Comfortable shoes: Most residents wear slippers — or flip flops — around town. And that's perfectly fine. In fact, most establishments are OK with patrons wearing that for footwear. (Waikiki restaurants are particularly lenient.) But if you plan to walk around the city or hike on one of Oahu's many trails, you should bring along a comfortable — preferably broken-in — pair of shoes. Your feet will thank you later.

Cash: While most businesses take credit cards, some only take cash, so have some on hand. ATMs are plentiful on Oahu, particularly in urban areas, but it's always good to have cash and coins nearby. (Parking meters on Oahu aren't outfitted to take credit cards, for example.)

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