So I went on vacation with the husband recently to Oahu as a belated 5-year anniversary trip. It wasn’t super belated as we hit our five year mark on February of this year, but the trip couldn’t happen then so we went over Memorial Day weekend and got back home on June 8th.
So I packed (like anybody packs) the night before leaving for the airport. I had been shopping around previously for some new summer clothes, shoes etc so I tried to bring those things too. Let me tell you what I brought:
Shoes: a pair of hiking shoes, a pair of older running shoes, casual dress sandals, closed toed keens, flip flops and wedge sandals.
The ability to make 10 different outfit, two work out sets, three dresses, four bathing suits, two pair of pjs, a light jacket, a light half sweater and a rain jacket/windbreaker.
We did spent a few days in Seattle before traveling on to Oahu, and I was cold a few days- I didn’t bring any sweatshirt or sweatpants and I wish I had.
So, lessons learned:
1. I didn’t need to bring so many options. I find that I do this often – I want options. But then I get to the place and I regularly wear the same two or three outfits repeatedly, and never seem to touch the other ones. For example: I brought three dresses and only wore one; I wore it three times but that was the best one for all situations. I didn’t even touch my wedge sandals at all. I mostly wore my sneakers for hiking except for once. I could have brought half of what I did and been fine- and have more room for souvenirs.
2. Bring a pair of comfortable sweatpants and a heavier sweatshirt/one with a hood. After a long day out and about, getting wet and hiking, all I wanted was comfort clothes and I didn’t have any.
3. Don’t bring cotton. Hawaii is hot. There is usually a breeze because it is surrounded by water, but any activity that has you exerting yourself will make you sweat. This ‘no cotton’ rule seems like a duh statement, especially since we hike and camp all the time, but for some reason this eluded me. Maybe because most of my non cotton apparel is work out gear (and not all of it is cute)?
4. Bring your own beach towel, laundry soap pods and small bills for spare change. The hotel had towels for their pool but all the beaches did not. We ended up buying two towels, and a bag of laundry pods because we didn’t think to bring any. Not only was it an unexpected, but it was more expensive than buying it here at home and it took about $50 away from fun spending money.
5. Two bathing suits max. Maybe one for active activities like snorkeling and one for sunbathing. I wore one bathing suit the entire time, rinsing it out or washing it. There was no need for four.
6. A cross body messenger bag or small purse. I had my purse, which is small but can really only fit my wallet and nothing else. I did bring a small backpack too but it was more of a pain if we weren’t at the beach or hiking. I was nervous having it on my back at Pike Place market since I couldn’t see the zippers.
7. Bring lots of sunscreen and put on more than you think you need, more times than you think you need. There is no such thing as a base tan- Hawaii is closer to the equator and the sun bears down on you, even on slightly cloudy days.
I didn’t put any on my legs the first day and got a wonderful hand tan line on my calf from where I rubbed off the extra. I applied everywhere when going snorkeling, but not right after I got out of the water and burned my back. We also brought aloe Vera for that very reason and it was so good to have it.
So there you have it. A few lessons I’ve learned. I can only hope that next time we travel I can take all of this into account.