Picture: James Brad

Picture: James Brad

As the weather was gradually starting to cool down in Australia and I was just starting to get my jackets and jeans out of hibernation, I was lucky enough to get on a plane to tropical Hawaii, where I’ll be living in bikinis and summer dresses again for the month of May.

When packing for this trip, I was adamant that I wanted to travel with only carry-on luggage, as I’ve been trying to pack smarter and lighter each time that I travel. To be honest, I think there were a few non-essential clothing items that I packed with me just because I had the space, so I’ll update this post once my trip is finished and let you know if anything could have been left out of my bag.

When I went to Europe, I based my packing methods on a capsule wardrobe (incorporating a few basic colours and working your pieces into that colour scheme), so my colour palette was quite dark and simple. However, on this trip I knew that it would be a mixture between a casual beach holiday and an active hiking and adventuring trip. I decided to pack a mix of colourful, printed dresses and playsuits; comfortable, practical workout gear; basic shorts and tops; and swimming gear, so I could cover all bases.


Even though this was predominately going to be a warm tropical holiday, with temperatures generally sitting around 30C, a few of the places that I’d be visited were quite elevated (I plan on doing quite a bit of hiking) and I knew I might even be out at night (like the Observatory on the Big Island, for example), so I made sure I packed some warmer tights and a few comfortable long sleeved options too.


Below is a comprehensive packing list of everything I brought with me on this trip, so I hope it helps you when deciding what to pack for your summer holiday! 



  • 3 X swimmers (2 x bikinis, 1 x sports bra style bikini)

  • 1 X swimming rash vest (no one likes to be sunburnt!)

  • 1 X spring suit (short wetsuit - I get really cold!)

  • 3 X tights (1 x plain black, 2 x printed workout style)

  • 5 X shorts (1 x dressy, 1 x denim, 3 x comfy workout style)

  • 1 X printed maxi dress

  • 1 X long printed jumpsuit

  • 1 X short printed playsuit

  • 1 X light waterproof jacket

  • 1 X black hoodie

  • 2 X light long sleeve shirts (black and grey)

  • 9 X tops (3 x plain singlets (black, grey, and black and white striped), 2 x workout style tops, 3 x T-shirts, 1 x dressy embellished top)

  • 4 X short beach dresses (2 X colourful printed dresses, 2 X colourful plain dresses)

  • 3 X sports bras

  • 2 X bandeaus

  • 2 X crop top style bra

  • 7 X underwear

  • 1 X light PJ

  • 1 X baseball cap

  • 1 X felt wide brim hat

  • 4 X socks



  • 1 X Teva strappy sandals

  • 1 X Birkenstock Giza sandals (WELL worn in - beware: new Birkenstocks are notorious for killing your feet)

  • 1 X Sketchers black sneakers

  • 1 X Timberland waterproof hiking sneakers



  • 1 X cabin size Pacsafe backpack

  • 1 x 13L small Pacsafe backpack (for under seat)

  • 1 x small handbag (rolled up in backpack)



  • Passport

  • Eye mask (some were provided on plane, but I brought my own)

  • Earplugs (some were provided on plane, but I brought my own)

  • Plastic Ziplock bags (just a couple for putting toiletries in that might leak; and cash, phone, electrical cords etc to keep them dry and separated)

  • Waterproof backpack cover (or plastic poncho)

  • Glasses

  • Sunglasses

  • Contact lenses + solution

  • Small sewing kit (safety pins, 1 needle, black thread, small nail scissors)

  • Combination locks for all the zips on both my bags.


  • Toiletry bag that you can hang up (great for hostel bathrooms)

  • Shampoo + conditioner (I like to bring my own in 100ml reusable containers)

  • Epilator + charger (or razor)

  • Hairbrush

  • Toothbrush + toothpaste

  • Wet wipes

  • Tweezers (remember to pack these in your checked bag!)

  • Sunscreen

  • Body butter / body moisturiser

  • Face moisturiser

  • First aid: Nurofen, band aids, nasal spray, Vital Greens (a powdered multi-vitamin)



  • Phone + charger

  • Laptop + charger

  • Watch

  • Powerboard a powerpoint and USB chargers, with a changeable overseas adaptor.

  • Headphones

Eleea Navarro