News today that the airlines are planning to “standardize” the size of carry on luggage. Reading between the lines we know that means in most cases, we’ll be able to bring less with us onto the plane in the near future. IATA is suggesting an “optimal” size of 21.5 x 13.5 x 7.5, which is smaller than the current size most airlines allow.
On the other hand, packing for Hawaii can still be easy. Here are our top 11 suggestions revised, plus several shared by visitors. Please let us know if you have anything else for the list. We think the main rule to go by is “Keep it Simple.”
1. Leave the turkey at home. We once met a visitor who brought a turkey from the mainland for Thanksgiving dinner. Just remember there’s nothing much you can’t buy here if you need it, including food and medications. And much of it won’t cost any more than on the mainland. So don’t loose sleep if you should forget something.
2. Travel clothes that make sense. Pack things that don’t need a lot of care. Stay away from dry cleaners and you won’t pay $10 or more per garment. One product we’ve found that works well is t-shirts and other travel clothes from Ex Officio. They wash in the sink, dry in a few hours and always look good.
3. Pack carry-on snacks for the trip and some for after you get here and are tired and hungry.
4. Unlined Goretex type shirt/jacket is helpful for rain and wind protection without making you steam. Something warm for the plane and nights, like a lightweight sweatshirt or sweater, might be good too.
5. Hiking boots are useful and can be worn to lighten your baggage. If you have old shoes/boots, consider wearing those and leaving them behind to have even more luggage space on the return.
6. Limit T-Shirts you bring. There are so many great shirts to buy in Hawaii. Even living here, we all have a plethora of Hawaii t-shirts.
7. Snorkeling gear can stay home. Why not rent, or purchase inexpensively in Hawaii.
8. Avoid checked bag fees entirely by sticking with limited clothes in a carry-on bag.
9. Travel with an inexpensive and lightweight luggage scale and know your carrier’s limitations. This is a “can’t travel without” item at Beat of Hawaii.
10. USPS Flat Rate Boxes. With an abundance of post offices throughout state, take advantage of fast and relatively inexpensive shipping in both directions to supplement what you can take with you. Including liquids that won’t make it in a carry-on environment. Easy to find bubble wrap keeps fragile things safe.
11. Dufflebag or Tote for the return trip. Consider either bringing a nylon dufflebag or buying a Rubbermaid tote for the return trip. After you go shopping, you may need it. Yes you will pay for the checked bag, but it will likely be far cheaper than shipping all that stuff home, even by Priority Mail.