Preparing for your dream luxury vacations & villa rentals in Hawaii is all about being ready for what this tropical paradise has to offer. You’ve got beaches and warm weather, and that means dealing with the ocean, the sand, the heat, the sun and sometimes the chilly breeze at higher altitudes.

For maximum fun, here’s a list of what to bring:

  1. Sunscreen. Hawaii is in the tropics where the sunlight can be very harsh. If you want to minimize the risk of sunburn (and cancer), then a sunscreen is imperative. However, it’s best if you don’t use the regular sunscreens, which may have chemicals that can damage the coral reef and the fragile ecosystem. Instead, use sunscreen that’s deemed “reef safe”.
  2. Sarong. Women need this versatile piece of cloth, as they can be used as many different things. You can use it as a swimsuit cover-up, place it on the sand as a blanket, or use it to wipe yourself down as a towel. It can work as a skirt or even as a scarf. They’re definitely lightweight, and as a bonus the dry in just a short while.
  3. Mid-thigh swim trunks for men. In Hawaii, guys don’t really wear tight swimwear like speedos.
  4. Waterproof phone case. No one these days go anywhere without their smartphone, but that can be a bit risky in Hawaii where there are lots of potential for water damage. So if you’re going to the beach, frolic on boats, or hike near waterfalls, a waterproof case for your smartphone is a must. These things are transparent, and can be waterproof enough to allow you to shoot photos and videos underwater. They can protect the phone from the sand as well.
  5. Floatation strap. Now if you’re going into the water and you don’t want to part with your smartphone, a waterproof phone case isn’t enough. That’s because your phone will just sink to the bottom of the ocean floor if you drop it. to keep that from happening, you need to use a floatation strap so you can still retrieve your dropped phone.
  6. UV sunglasses. Ray-Ban is a classic option, especially with the hook end tips that keep the sunglasses in place if you’re jogging, hiking, or on a boat. But any brand will do as long as you’ve got UV protection to go along with it.
  7. Leave-in hair conditioner. Dipping in salt water and sunbathing are Hawaiian vacation staple activities, but they can be hell for your hair. Your hair may dry out, so for protection you may want to use leave-in hair conditioner to protect it from the elements.
  8. Breathable water shoes. While flip-flops, which the locals call “slippers”, are common in Hawaii, you don’t have to pack them for your vacation. You can just buy one there. However, they’re not always practical. So for all occasions including nature hikes, a better choice is to wear mesh slip-on water shoes. They’re very comfy, since they’re lightweight and breathable unlike bulky hiking boots. The best ones have water grain soles that provide excellent traction when you’re walking in slipper or muddy terrain.
  9. Light jackets. It can be a bit cool in Hawaii during nighttime, so a light jacket can be very useful. Sometimes it even rains. The jacket also helps if you’re going on a hike at high altitudes, like on Mauna Kea or Mauna Loa.
  10. Kindle. Sometimes you just want to read a book while you’re on the beach, but an actual book can be heavy and easily damaged. A Kindle is much more convenient, plus it offers a whole lot of books in its memory. It’s not is much a book replacement but a mobile library.

Pack these essentials for your Hawaiian vacation, and enjoy your holiday!