Planning a trip to Maui and starting to think about your Maui packing list? Keep scrolling for the best packing list for Maui you’ll find!
This Maui packing list for Hawaiian vacations was written by Marcie Cheung (a Hawaii travel expert) and contains affiliate links which means if you purchase something from one of my affiliate links, I may earn a small commission that goes back into maintaining this blog.
Planning a Maui vacation but don’t know what to pack?
You’re in luck! We’ve put together a comprehensive packing list of all the best Hawaii vacation essentials. This way, you can focus on enjoying your time in paradise without having to worry about what to bring with you.
Make sure you check out our list and pack everything you need – including items that will make your trip easier and less stressful.
We want you to have the best possible experience while visiting Maui, so be sure to use our guide as a resource.
Want the best Hawaii advice? I’ve visited over 40 times and have tons to share!
Keep scrolling for the only Maui packing list you need!
Want to skip all the planning and just access my detailed Maui itinerary complete with daily schedules, fun activities, and travel hacks? Click the button below.
Flying to Maui: What to Wear on the Airplane
Travel days are often overlooked when people are packing for Maui. It’s important to remember that you’ll need to dress warmly on the drive to the airport and on the airplane.
Most flights have stopped handing out blankets, but they still crank up the cold air. So, be prepared and pack accordingly!
Plus, you’ll probably use these items later if you go up to Haleakala Crater for sunrise or sunset. It’s freezing up there!
If you’re planning on doing some Maui adventures, you might as well wear your hiking shoes on the airplane. That saves you space and weight in your suitcase.
While it might seem like a good idea to wear flip flops or sandals on the airplane, I actually don’t recommend it. That’s because it’s easy to have luggage fall on your feet or break a flip flop in the airport. That’s not how you want to kick off your Maui vacation!
What to Pack in Your Hawaii Carry-On Bag
Now that you know what to wear on the flight to Maui, let’s talk about what to put in your carry-on bag.
First and foremost, if you’re traveling with kids, you’ll want to make sure you have the right activities to keep them occupied. That will vary a lot from family to family, but color books, small toys, and snacks are always good bets.
Snacks and Drinks
I always suggest packing your own snacks when you travel, and Maui is no exception.
It takes about 6 hours to fly to Hawaii from the West Coast and about 10 hours from the East Coast. Most flights to Hawaii don’t provide a complimentary meal and some don’t even offer food to purchase.
We usually bring something with protein (like nuts or jerky), granola bars, crackers, and so many more snacks for the kids. We also make sure everyone has their own water bottle. This is especially helpful with little kids, who tend to make a mess of airplane cups.
We still get the free drinks on the airplane, but we pour them into water bottles. This way, we don’t have to worry about spillage, and we stay hydrated during the flight.
One of the most important items on your Maui packing list should be a pair of Bose noise-canceling headphones.
These headphones are seriously game-changers, and they will help you enjoy your flight to Maui by cutting down on the background noise.
It’s also a great way to watch movies on your own device or listen to an audiobook. It’s also great to have these in the hotel room in case you want to watch Netflix without disturbing anyone else.
I love traveling with my laptop because I tend to research things to do in Maui in our hotel room and I like that the screen is much bigger than my phone.
However, I never check my laptop, I just use a laptop sleeve so I can stick it in my carry-on backpack. That way, it stays safe, and I can use it in the airport when we have flight delays.
Our kids also bring their iPads and Nintendo Switches. We have cool iPad cases for kids that protect them and help the kids prop them up to watch movies.
My husband also brings his fancy Sony camera and lenses in a special photography backpack.
Trust me when I say that you’ll want to bring any electronics in your carry-on bag instead of checking it. It will give you peace of mind from it being damaged or stolen.
No one wants to be that person on the airplane whose phone dies halfway through the flight, so make sure you bring all your charging cables in your carry-on! Many airplane seats now have USB outlets, which you can plug right in.
However, the in-seat USB outlets can’t charge iPads very quickly. Instead, we bring along battery packs just to make sure we can charge devices mid-flight.
What to Wear in Hawaii
Maui is a pretty casual place, and you can wear just about anything you like. You’ll mostly see people wearing shorts, dresses, t-shirts, and tank tops. You can never go wrong with a classic Hawaiian shirt either!
If you’re staying at Maui resort, you’ll also want to pack some sort of swimsuit coverup to wear to/from the pool area or to grab lunch at a resort restaurant.
Attending a wedding? Here’s what to wear to a wedding in Hawaii!
Book a Hawaii Photo Shoot
Whenever we travel to Hawaii, we almost always book a photo shoot with Flytographer. They are super easy, affordable, AND it guarantees that I’ll have more than just selfies. You can get $25 off if you book through this link or use the code HAWAIITRAVEL.
What to Wear in Maui in December-March
Maui in the winter is a great time to visit if you’re looking to avoid the crowds and enjoy some of the island’s quieter beaches.
However, a lot of people don’t realize that Maui can be quite chilly in the winter, so it’s important to pack accordingly. It’s often in the 60s in the evenings when people are dining outdoors or attending a luau.
It also tends to rain a bit more in the winter, so it’s nice to bring along a light rain jacket. I usually bring a foldable jacket that I can stash in my bag until I need it.
Maui is a beautiful island any time of year, so if you’re planning a winter trip, just be sure to pack for the weather, and you’ll have a great time. Check out my full list of what to pack for Hawaii in December!
Things to Pack for Maui with Babies and Toddlers
Maui is an idyllic destination for families, but it’s important to be prepared before you go. For families traveling to Maui with a baby or toddler, you’ll want to bring enough clothes to last your entire trip, plus extras in case of accidents.
It’s also easiest to pack your own diapers, wipes, bottles, formula, pacifiers, medications, etc. Things are expensive in Hawaii, and you won’t want to race around Maui looking for these items.
SPF swimsuits and rashguards are also super helpful for these ages. And you’ll want swim diapers if you’re staying at a resort with a pool. For footwear, toddlers who are walking should have a pair of sandals and water shoes.
Make sure to figure out which tours/activities you’ll be doing and see if you need anything specific (like long pants or closed-toe shoes). With a little planning, Maui can be the perfect vacation spot for families with young children.
What to Bring to Hawaii with Kids
Maui is all about the sun and the sand, so make sure to bring plenty of swimsuits and sun-protection clothing. Hats are also essential for keeping the sun off your face, especially if you’ll be spending time outdoors.
If you are doing a lot of outdoor activities, keep in mind that Maui’s red dirt will stain clothing. It helps to bring old clothes that are okay to get stained rather than new clothes if you are going hiking or doing an ATV tour.
Maui is also home to some pretty amazing restaurants, so it’s worth packing one “nice” outfit in case you want to go out for dinner or do a luau.
And speaking of luaus, if you’re planning on attending one, it’s customary to wear Hawaiian-print clothing. You can usually find Hawaiian-print shirts and dresses at most retail stores in Hawaii these days.
Hawaii Essentials Worth Packing
There are a lot of things you should add to your packing list for Hawaii. These tend to vary from person to person so I’m just going to list my top packing essentials for Hawaii that apply to everyone.
Maui is known for its crystal-clear waters, pristine beaches, and thriving coral reefs. In order to protect these delicate ecosystems, the state of Hawaii has passed a law banning the use of certain sunscreens.
Only sunscreen that is reef-safe and does not contain oxybenzone or octinoxate will be allowed on Maui beaches.
While this may seem like a hassle, it’s actually quite easy to find reef-safe sunscreen. You can buy it when you get to Maui (it’s the only kind they sell) or you can purchase it ahead of time.
Just make sure to add it to your Maui packing list!
Maui is well known for its stunning beaches and natural beauty, but did you know that it also has a ban on plastic bags?
That’s right, if you’re planning on doing any kind of shopping while you’re on Maui, you’ll need to bring your own bags.
I’m a fan of nylon bags because they fold up and hardly take up any space. Plus, you can use them as extra carry-on bags or stash dirty clothes on your way home.
So, be sure to add a couple of nylon bags to your Maui packing list.
No trip to Maui is complete without a beach bag packed with all the essentials. Of course, you’ll want to pack your sunscreen and swimsuit, but you’ll also need a few other items to make the most of your time on Maui’s beaches.
You can also pack an extra set of clothes in case you get wet, and don’t forget your sunglasses and hat to protect you from the sun.
With these items in your beach bag, you’re sure to have a fun and relaxing time on Maui’s beaches.
What to Bring on the Road to Hana
Maui is an absolute dream, and one of the top things to do while you’re there is driving the Road to Hana.
And because it’s such an all-day adventure, it’s really important to plan your stops ahead of time so you can be sure to pack the right Maui packing list items for your adventures.
When in doubt, pack a swimsuit, bug spray, sunscreen, and a hat.
But in addition to packing Maui essentials in your beach bag, you’ll also want to make sure to have Maui car necessities like snacks and drinks. We like to pack a cooler bag and fill it with cold drinks and snacks so we don’t have to make any extra stops along the way.
And if you might want to hit up one of the roadside fruit stands, make sure to bring cash. Trust us, planning ahead will make your Road to Hana experience that much better.
What to Pack for Sunrise at Haleakala Crater
One Maui activity that most tourists forget to pack for is driving up to Haleakala at sunrise.
Haleakala Crater is cold during the day, but it is FREEZING before the sun comes up. Don’t be one of the tourists standing there with chattering teeth.
Instead, make sure to wear long pants and a jacket. You might even want to bring blankets from your hotel. And it helps to wear a knit beanie and even have hand warmers in your pockets, especially if you are taking photos or video.
We also recommend wearing closed-toe shoes (like hiking boots or athletic shoes) and warm socks.
It also doesn’t hurt to bring along something to eat. The nearest restaurants are kind of far away, and not much is open that early in the morning.
But despite the chilly temperatures, driving up to Haleakala at sunrise is one of the most magical experiences Maui has to offer. So don’t forget to pack warm clothing!
Packing List for Maui Hiking
Maui is a hiker’s paradise with its lush landscapes and diverse terrain. But before you head out on the trail, you’ll want to make sure you have the proper gear.
Maui can be a bit buggy, so be sure to pack bug spray. And you’ll want to protect yourself from the sun with sunscreen and a sun hat.
Wear sturdy shoes or hiking sandals, as flip flops are not ideal for hiking. It helps to wear shoes that are already worn in to help you avoid blisters.
Finally, depending on the intensity of your hike, you may want to bring additional items such as snacks, water, and a first aid kit.
By following this Maui packing list, you’ll be sure to have a safe and enjoyable hike.
What to Bring Snorkeling in Maui
No trip to Maui would be complete without spending some time snorkeling. Whether you are snorkeling on your own or doing a Maui snorkeling tour, there are a few things you’ll need to add to your Maui packing list.
First, you’ll need a swimsuit and a rash guard. Rash guards are great for preventing sunburn, and they also help to keep your skin from chafing when you’re swimming.
If you are doing a Maui snorkeling tour, remember to read the information carefully to see what to wear on the boat and what to bring with you. They will usually provide all the snorkeling gear.
If you are snorkeling on your own, it’s often cheaper to buy a snorkel set rather than renting one. You can pick up a snorkel set at any sporting goods store or even at some grocery stores.
And last but not least, don’t forget to pack some mask defogger. Mask defogger is great for keeping your mask clear and fog-free while you’re snorkeling.
What to Wear at a Maui Luau
If you’re headed to Maui, one of the things you’ll want to do is go to a luau. They’re a lot of fun, and you’ll get to experience some traditional Hawaiian culture. But what should you wear?
For men, khaki shorts or pants with a collared shirt or an Aloha shirt are your best bet. You don’t want to be too casual, but you also don’t want to be over-dressed. Just aim for something in the middle.
Women have a few more options. You can go in a dress or pants and a nice shirt. For dresses, a lot of women opt for maxi dresses – either solid colors or tropical prints.
Again, you don’t want to be too casual, but you also don’t want to be over the top. The goal is to look like you’re enjoying yourself without being too formal.
As for kids, they can pretty much get away with anything. A lot of families dress their kids in Aloha shirts or dresses, but really any clothes that are comfortable and appropriate for the weather will work.
And for footwear, avoid wearing heels. Some luaus take place in grassy areas or on the beach, so flats work best.
What to Wear for a Maui Photo Shoot
Maui is such a beautiful place to visit, and what better way to commemorate your trip than by booking a Maui photography session?
Maui is the perfect backdrop for family photos–the vibrant colors of the landscape provide a stunning contrast to your outfits.
Most families choose to dress up a bit for their Maui photo session, with men/boys wearing collared shirts and women/girls wearing dresses.
Wearing all white can look really crisp for Hawaii photos on the beach. And wearing Aloha prints is always a good idea.
Maui photographers are used to shooting in all types of lighting conditions, so you’ll be sure to get some great shots no matter what time of day you book your session. Although I recommend aiming for close to sunrise or sunset for the ultimate lighting.
Another way to really take your Maui photos to the next level is to get fresh flower leis to wear. There are even haku leis (like a flower crown) that are so stunning in photos.
Trip to Maui FAQs
Maui is pretty amazing any time of the year. However, it can get busy during school breaks. So, the best time to go to Maui is usually mid-April to June or September to mid-December. This is the best way to enjoy fewer crowds and save money on airfare and hotels.
We’d say that seven days is the perfect amount of time for a trip to Maui. In terms of geography, it’s a medium-sized Hawaiian island. That means that with one week in Maui, you should be able to see most of the top sights, do a few Maui activities, and have time to just enjoy the island.
If you’re going to do a luau in Hawaii, Maui has a ton of great options! If you’re visiting Maui with kids, the Old Lahaina Luau is really popular with families. However, if you are on a Maui honeymoon or kid-free trip, we highly recommend the Feast at Mokapu. It’s a much more intimate affair with a plated, 3-course meal and fantastic entertainment. It’s worth the splurge!
What to Pack for Maui Wrap Up
I’ve visited Maui more than ten times, and these are the top items I suggest adding to your Maui packing list.
Hopefully, you have a better idea about Hawaii vacation clothes to pack, as well as other things to add to your Hawaii checklist.
And finally, don’t forget to pack your sense of adventure! Maui is an island that has something for everyone.