One of the really nice things about packing for a Hawaiian vacation is you can travel light. Your clothes are most likely less bulky than they would be for a cold weather vacation. But there are a few extras that I was glad we had handy and a couple that I will remember for next time.
If you are into this sort of activity and already have the gear, you can save a few bucks ($70-$140 for a family of 4) on rental costs. Also, there is the heeby jeeby factor, I am a little creeped out about the idea of using a used mouthpiece. Bleh! This does take up some packing space but we were glad to have it. You also might have better quality gear than the rental gear.
ScubaPro is a quality brand but per my ocean Lifeguard husband. But everyone’s face is different. It is ideal to go into a dive shop to try masks on to make sure it fits well, as opposed to buying online. There are different sizes and volumes of air pockets in different masks.
We did not bring our own sand toys. Aulani has a really nice and calm cove with lots of sand for the little ones. We spent about $20 on a sand toy set at the resort which came home with us. So it took up luggage space and was an added cost. For next time, I am looking at collapsible sand buckets on Amazon, about $17 for a 3-pack and I saw a lot of mesh bags full of sand toys. Amazon has one for around $4, but the reviews aren’t stellar. There is a 2 pack for just under $7 with better reviews. This is nice for bringing home minimal sand. I wish I would have spent a few extra bucks on those items to enhance our sand toy collection as opposed to duplicating it with overpriced branded versions. All the sand toys we might bring lay pretty flat for easy packing.
If you are a DVC member or are staying in a 1 bedroom villa or larger accommodation, then you have access to free laundry! Between only needing light clothes because of the warmer, milder weather and have access to laundry, I will definitely be more strategic in clothes packing this time around. I might throw a tote, mesh bag or pillow case in to carry dirty clothes to the laundry room (if we stay in a studio again).
I did not have this for our Aulani trip. But I saw a few people walking around the beach and pool area sporting them. Smart! I already bought a 2-pack for my husband and I for our next vacation. You can stick your phone and cards in these, seal it up and carry it around your neck without worrying about it lying unattended under some towels on your beach chair or it getting wet in the pool or ocean. So handy.
Canvas reusable grocery bag
Everyone knows that resort food and sundries are always going to be more expensive than going to a typical grocery store or off-property restaurant. We spent a decent amount of time walking across the street to pick up snack and breakfast supplies from the market in the shopping center. We had a canvas tote and one of those wrinkly totes that ball up into a little pouch. This was nice because the straps are more comfortable for walking across the street than an armful of paper bag or plastic bags digging into your fingers.
There are, of course, other items to pack but these are the few that I did not think to much of until I was on the real trip. If I had to choose just one extra to bring it would definitely be the reusable grocery bag for its versatility.