Even though I have been lucky enough
to travel to Kauai many times, I find I still have a tendency to
OVER PACK. I have a little list I keep of the things I
need to take with me, and I know it's really sufficient, but as
I start packing up the suitcase I begin to think, "Well,
maybe I will need this.... Or, are 4 pair of shorts REALLY
enough?" And in the end I stuff a few more clothing
items in the bag than are necessary.
When it comes to clothing, you
don't need much. I don't know how many is
"enough" for you, since we are all different, but I do
know most people get there and find they needed less than they
thought. Instead, there are some other things on your
packing list you might want to give more attention to.
Things you'll want:
Sunglasses. The sun can
be quite bright in Hawaii
At least two swim suits.
Good to have a dry one to put on if your other is still wet.
Comfortable (but cheap) beachwear. Stuff that you can throw on, don't care whether
it gets sand on it or gets wet and is easy to change in
and out of. If you can't find anything at home, there
will be places to get beachwear on Kauai. Light
colors are best. You'll roast in black or dark
A couple of big T-shirts for
snorkeling in (or for wearing in the water). The sun
reflects off the water and while you're in there feeling
pleasantly cool, unbeknownst to you, your skin will be
baking. Wear T-shirts in the water so you don't spend
the first 4 days of your trip in misery with sunburn.
If you are feeling adventurous
and wish to hike, you'll want some sturdy shoes that can get
a bit muddy or wet, or even Kauai Red Dirt stained.
Whatever you do, because of that red dirt, there's no need
to bring NEW or particularly nice shoes to Kauai.
Addresses of folks you want to
send postcards to, along with stamps. Everyone will be
delighted to receive your postcard from Kauai, right?
If you happen to own a
soft-sided collapsible cooler, bring it too. It can fit in
your suitcase and is great for trips around the island. It
works well for some light snacks and a couple of cold sodas.
An extra bag... I find it's
always a good idea to take along an extra bag (one that
packs small & light but is durable) that you can pack
extra items you might buy while on the islands, and check
along with your other luggage before boarding the plane
home. The suitcase often seems much fuller on the trip
home, and you may need the extra space. The
alternative is to buy a duffle bag while you're on Kauai to
pack things in to take home.
Various sizes of
baggies. Good for things like-- putting wet clothes
in, sealing food & snacks in at the condo (this helps
keep the ants & things away), packing food items to take
to the beach, etc.
An umbrella. You may not
need it, but then again, maybe you will. And if you
find yourself in three days of Kauai downpour (which isn't
likely but does happen) , umbrellas may be
hard to find.
Things you may want but can
probably easily find while you're there on Kauai, usually
Sandals to wear on the beach,
and everywhere else. (It's my view that except for while hiking, socks
may be totally unnecessary on Kauai.) Unless
you're bringing very comfortable and well worn sandals,
sometimes it's good to have two pairs that fit your feet
differently, in case one pairs starts chaffing or giving you
blisters- You can switch to the other pair.
Cheapo sandals can be bought for around $7 at WalMart or
Underwater Camera (if you're
into photos with fish) ($10)
Water shoes (Aqua sock) if you
plan to walk around in the ocean ($8)
Any beach items/accessories
can be purchased on island and then you don't have lug
them across the ocean (mats, lotion, etc.)
If staying at a time share, the
condo will have all the dishes and linens and things that you
need, but no food. So no condiments. And no
laundry detergent. So... This might seem silly, but when
you come across little condiments (packets of salt, pepper,
ketchup, mayonnaise, etc.) that would otherwise be thrown
away, collect them and bring them over in a ziplock baggie in
your suitcase, so that when you want to fix lunch or
breakfast at the condo, you don't have to go and buy full
bottles of things at the store. Also, if you come across
single load laundry detergent, that's also helpful. Last time
I went, I got a bunch of those little Wisk tablets... Those worked
well because they were very small & easy to pack.
One suggestion about packing....
I read a recent tip from a flight attendant that said to pack
your smaller items (underwear, socks, etc.) by category into
zip-lock bags. Then if you are one of the lucky few who gets
their luggage searched at the gate, the officer won't be digging
through all your little personal stuff.
This may not be a new tip, but a
reminder: It is also very wise to pack your
shampoo/hairspray/etc (items that can leak) inside ziplock
bags in your suitcase. I have had a bottle punctured
inside my luggage before, and it leaked all over my clothes.
Also, a lesson learned on a cruise
one time: I always try to pack one small change of
clothes in my carry on bags (which is getting harder to do
these days with new security measures) because sometimes we
are parted from our luggage for longer than desired. If
my bags don't arrive the same day as me, it's good to have a
swimsuit and some clean underwear to change into.
Anything that I couldn't easily replace and simply could not do
without for 24 hours I try to put in my carry on bags, if
Our favorite in-flight
entertainment items have become our portable DVD player with a
bunch of movies from Netflix.
If you like movies and are
not a Netflix member, you should check it out. It works
very well for traveling because you have no due dates for your
movies and you can mail them back from any mailbox in Honolulu or Princeville,