The Budget Babe | Affordable Fashion & Style Blog

Ask BB: What to Pack for a Maui Vacation

I have been invited to spend a week this summer at a timeshare in Maui with my Aunt, Uncle, and their two kids (4 and 1). My mom and brother will be going as well. I am 19 and have never been to Hawaii. A luau could possibly be in the itinerary, along with various sightseeing, shopping, and days at the beach/pool. I have no idea what to pack, besides the obvious bikini, of course. I need help packing things that will be a mix of comfort, style, and fit for the occasion. Please help! —Melanie, Lexington, KY

I was fortunate enough to travel to Maui in the summer of '06, so I have a pretty good idea of what you should pack. Our days were sort of split between daytime activities, which included a lot of hiking and high-adventure activities, and our nighttime activities, which included lots of fun fine-dining, dancing and partying at luaus.

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Pack loose-fitting cotton tees, distressed-denim shorts and comfortable sandals for taking in Maui's sights in style.

If you're not the outdoor-sy type, well, you should be! Hawaii offers some of the most spectacular natural landscapes I've ever seen, so you should definitely take advantage of this opportunity to explore—rent a Jeep, pack some sturdy hiking boots, and get out there! Waterfalls, lush forests, volcanic craters, Maui has it all, and it is truly magical to behold.

Not to sound like a travel agent, but Maui offers many activities from snorkeling to horse back riding (I'd skip that actually, it made my seat sore for hours, haha). There are cycling adventures, zip-line, deep sea fishing, wind surfing, you name it, so definitely pack some essential athletic gear: Sports bras, tank tops, hoodies for layering, long-sleeve tees, jogging/yoga pants, shorts, sneaks, cross-trainers, water bottle—the works.

Admittedly, some days you'll want to explore Maui's quaint towns at a leisurely pace—art galleries, shops, historic sites, etc. For these excursions, you should pack cute flat sandals, lightweight sundresses, draped t-shirts and short shorts. Some chic sunglasses, boho jewelry, stylish headbands to hold down fly-aways (I remember it being really windy at times, especially on the beach), and a fabulous tote will ensure you look cute in all your vacation photos.

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A denim skirt, peasant top and huarache sandals can take you from the pool to lunch to shopping.

Other days you'll want to soak up some sun by the pool, in which case you'll need that bikini you mentioned. Check out my post on where to buy budget-friendly bathing suits.

After a full day of activities, you'll want to head back to your hotel to freshen up and get ready for an evening of partying. Think sexy, sultry, effortless glamor on this island paradise. Pack flirty dresses and metallic sandals. I think all the luaus we attended were outside and while there were dance floors/paved sidewalks, much of the revelry extended to grassy lawns and sandy beaches so heels weren't the most practical footwear. I had some wedge sandals that worked well but ended up wearing my gold leather star thong sandals most nights. At our hotel everyone dressed up but still kept things relaxed.

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Metallic sandals and statement earrings elevate simple yet sexy sundresses for an evening of festivities.

Finally, pack a lot of sunscreen, a brimmed hat (that stays on your head and won't blow away), and a draped jersey cardigan to cover up when it's chilly. (Temperatures are typically lower in the early morning and evening, and of course, air-conditioned spaces.) If you go see the sunrise atop Haleakala, for example, it will be really cold. Then it'll warm up to shorts-and-a-tank-top weather during the day (read: HOT), so dress in layers.

Phew! I think that covers it. Have a blast and send us a postcard!

Readers: What did I miss??

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Pack lightweight dresses in fabrics like cotton jersey that can serve double duty as poolside cover-ups and party attire.

When I went to Hawaii the thing I remember is everyone dressed casual almost everywhere all the time. And everyone had bathing suits on under everything they wore everyday. I went and took a huge suitcase full of fab clothes and spend the entire week in a denim skirt, bathing suit top and tank or cut-offs. It was great!! and even when I went out to an amazing penthouse club in a beach hotel I was totally over dressed in jeans n heels. So the key to Hawaiian fashion is comfort and casual. You can't go wrong!!!
#1 Sher on 2009-05-08 22:16 (Reply)
I live in hawaii. everyone dresses extremley casual, so don't pack anything too fancy. flipflops are a must, and my recomendations are havianas. if you stop over on oahu or kauai, i suggest checking out san lorenzo for amazing brazillian bikinis.
#2 kerri on 2009-05-10 05:27 (Reply)
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