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12 Sep 2012
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Travel Tips

Aloha Hawaii Lifers! Below are some ideas about items we find useful having here on Kauai, and you may find useful bringing with you on your vacation.


  • Multiple swim trunks (salt water can lead to stinky swim trunks if not rinsed after each use).
  • Perhaps a wetsuit top or rash guard depending on what kind of activities you’ll be involved with.
  • Sunscreen is highly recommended, though it’s sold many places here, so if you forget, no worries.


If going on short hikes, low-top hiking shoes or sneakers can usually suffice, though you may want to forgo wearing that brand new pair of kicks as Hawaii’s infamous ‘red dirt’ tends to have its way with anything trying to stay new-looking. 

If hiking near water, some may prefer the new waterproof hiking/aqua-sock hybrids. Temperature-wise, shorts will be fine. You may want to bring light pants if planning a more off-trail journey (read: plants grow thick and plentiful around here). 

If planning on tackling the Kalalau Trail, please be well-prepared and know that it can be rugged, and is not for the faint of heart. And lastly, definitely bring a hat or two; the tropical sun can be fierce.

Social Wear

Things are casual in Hawaii…always. That’s why we like it so much. Even at the nicest restaurants, a button down shirt for men, or a casually chic dress or pants (or shorts) and shirt combo for women will do just fine. 

People are generally too relaxed to bother with impressing others with their garb. (But that doesn’t mean you can’t look casually phenomenal!) But seriously, if you want to dine in a tee shirt, nobody’s stopping you.


With the humid tropical air, winter nights can bring a chill depending on where you’re located, so it’s always a good idea to bring something to cover up with, like a shawl or kimono. A North Face jacket might be a bit overkill unless planning on spending time at higher elevations.


While all of our vacation homes are stocked with linens, bath towels, beach towels, and a starter supply of paper products, we don’t assume to know what kind of toothpaste you like to brush your teeth with, so please bring any and all personal products you may need while on vacation. Though it’s pretty mellow around here, we do have grocery stores and pharmacies for any items you may have forgotten.

Hawaii isn’t just a destination, but one version of how life can be lived, even if it’s for a week or two. Bring what you need, bring what you want, but we like to encourage visitors to keep it simple and leave room for the unexpected (like gifts!).

In the words of J.J. Cale, “Traveling light…is the only way to fly.”