How to pack your family for a trip to Hawaii!

If one thing is for certain, it is that traveling gets a lot more complicated after having kids.

I remember trips I used to take before my days as a parent. All I needed was a plane ticket and a backpack of clothes, and I could figure the rest out when I got there! Who cares where I crashed or if I had the correct supplies for my plan… I could buy stuff as I needed it and enjoyed the fun of the spontaneity.

Now with a kid in the mix, it is the literal opposite. Travel times are planned around my kid’s sleep schedule, multiple bags packed to the brim, every supply imaginable comes with us just in case (my toddler is currently potty training and has asthma… hello opportunity for things to go wrong).

This month, we are headed out to a wedding on Oahu, and I am determined to do our packing right. Not only do we need to make sure to have the right supplies for a full day of travel there and back, but also supplies for having fun while in Hawaii. This is our first time traveling there, and we have been well informed that any beach supplies will be exponentially more expensive on the island as they bank on tourists who show up unprepared.

So, let’s start with the first part – supplies for travel. Our first trip with our baby (she was only 9 months old) we learned the hard way what not preparing for traveling disaster gets you. We were stranded in Chicago O’Hare for 24 hours and ended up booking about 36 hours of travel to get to our final destination. We ran out of diapers, formula, clean bottles, changes of clothes…. Everything! Let me tell you that is the first and only time I will ever make that mistake. We have the system down now after several following successful trips, so here are the essentials that will be carried on the plane with us:

My toddler’s carry-on:
-iPad, fully charged and loaded with kid-approved movies and games
-Apple charger
-2 full changes of clothes
-2 potty training diapers (in case of emergencies)
-Target $3 bin felt learning toys (LOVE these – lots to do with them and no sweat if you lose this $3 item!)
-Magic coloring book and markers (Crayola’s magic invention of markers that ONLY work on special papers… no coloring all over themselves!)
-swim suit
-swim diaper

Why you ask, do we need a swim suit in our carry on? In the case of lost luggage, I want to be prepared with things we MUST HAVE once we arrive in Hawaii.

Toddler flight carry on bag essentials 2
Getting my toddler’s carry-on bag ready for our flight to Hawaii! The duffel is from Pottery Barn – it is just the right size!
Toddler flight carry on bag essentials 4
My toddler benefits from my IPSY subscription too – I use some of my pouches when I pack her for trips, like this little marker case here!

i play. Baby Girls’ Ruffle Snap Reusable Absorbent Swim Diaper, Pink/Multi Stripe, 12 Months

Crayola Colour Wonder Mess Free Coloring – Disney’s Moana Coloring Book, 18 Pages with 5 Mess Free Markers – The Magic of Color Without the Mess



Parent carry-on:
-noise cancelling headphones
-iphone charger
-DSLR camera
-1 full change of clothes
-swim suit
-flip flops
-book or magazine to read
-adult coloring book
-swim suits
-lillebaby toddler carrier

Flat lay Beats wireless headphones 2
A few of my carry-on essentials. I am OBSESSED with my wireless Beats Solo Wireless headphones!
Lillebaby toddler carrier
If you are traveling more than a few hours, it is pretty much guaranteed you are messing with your kid’s sleep schedule. I love the Lillebaby toddler carrier (rated up to 60LBS!) so my daughter can nap on my back while we run through the airport to make connections.
The idea is that we have lots of entertainment, and changes of clothes if we get stranded or our baggage does not arrive with us. With an outfit and our swimsuits, we have the ability to enjoy our day in Hawaii while waiting for the rest of our supplies to end up at our destination.

Beats Solo3 Wireless On-Ear Headphones – Rose Gold

SIX-Position, 360° Ergonomic Baby & Child Carrier by LILLEbaby – The COMPLETE All Seasons (Stone)

Now, on to the checked bags.

I won’t go through the obvious things, but the supplies we are bringing to show up prepared for Hawaii and also avoid expensive purchases. We want to do lots of beach time, snorkeling, hikes, etc.

First, I am excited about the snorkeling gear coming with us. I picked up these masks that allow you to breathe regularly while your face is under water… I think it will be essential for my toddler who will obviously see us snorkeling and HAVE to do it herself, but I think is too young to be able to breathe just out of her mouth with her nose plugged in a traditional snorkel setup. They were $35 each, but will be items we keep for many other tropical trips to come.

OCtobermoon face mask snorkel 1

Octobermoon Original 180°Full view Panoramic full face Snorkel Mask.with anti-fog and anti-leak snorkeling Design,See More water world With Larger Viewing Area (Black, Large/Extra Large)

Next, we loaded up on sunscreen. I prefer mineral based organic sunscreens for my family (which are expensive to begin with), so I can’t imagine how much they will cost in a beach-y, tourist-y, city. This Garden Goddess mineral based sunscreen is our family tested favorite.

Goddess Garden Organics Sport SPF 30 Natural Sunscreen, Continuous Spray, 6 Ounce

Swim shoes are a must for my toddler. I want something that she can wear to the beach, in the water, and back. These Nike Velcro swim shoes were an obvious choice since kids grow so darn fast… the Velcro let me purchase them a little larger and I can loosen the strap as she grows.

Nike Kids Sunray Adjust 4 Little Kid/Big Kid Volt/Black Boys Shoes

In my luggage you will also find an easily collapsible beach bag, beach towels. With it being January and I am from a pasty state (Washington), I also have been using some self-tanning lotion, which I will bring extras of so I can have a nice beachy glow for my trip without actually hitting the tanning beds and damaging my skin.
Self Tanner – Organic and Natural Ingredients Sunless Tanning Lotion and Best Bronzer Golden Buildable Light, Medium or Dark Gradual Tan for Body and Face 7.5 oz

I think that about sums up the extra essentials that will be with us for our Hawaii trip! Is there anything I missed that you ALWAYS bring to Hawaii when you travel? What about your family – is there anything you pack you consider essential?

X.O. – Abbey Co.

*Disclaimer* I am an Amazon affiliate and get a tiny kickback if you purchase anything from my links… I only share things that I use and love, and it is just a small avenue for me to earn money to support my blog as I go.

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