Long, long ago in a galaxy far, far away it was the mid ’80s and this university girl was known to fall immediately to the floor of any club – not because she had consumed too many beers.
Actually the beer consumption may have helped with removing any fear from making such a fast vertical drop from standing to sitting on a parquetry dance floor.
But no, beer was not the reason.
The reason was the start of a particular song that was on high rotation at the time, despite its 1968 vintage. No sooner had the first notes, drums and trumpets started than we were on the ground in rows, miming an extremely rudimentary rowing action like the next wave was ours.
That song? The original intro track to the Hawaii 5-0 television series.
Now this song is stuck in my head (without accompanying floor drop and rowing action) – and probably in yours, I’ll get to the reason for today’s post.
We’re heading to Hawaii on Sunday for a family holiday.
My eldest son, who’s now at university and assures me this practice no longer happens, is turning 21 on the Fourth of July.
It’s funny, I remember thinking when he was born (he arrived on his due date and his punctuality has followed him through is life) on such an auspicious date that we’d do something to mark the moment in the US and soak up some Independence Day celebrations while doing so.
And 21 years later it’s happening.
General packing tips
I write a lot here on Styling You about packing tips and how to prep for an upcoming holiday or weekend escape and the three greatest tips I keep coming back to are:
1. Add your destination/s to your weather app on your phone. Start looking at this a few weeks out but if you’re heading somewhere where the seasons are changing then it will be important to track it up until the day you leave. This was so important for us when travelling to Europe last year. We could see that the UK “summer” was going offer up similar temperatures to what we had at the same time in winter in Queensland so we made sure jeans and jackets were in the suitcases. This time we’re heading somewhere where the temperature (daily and overnight) is appearing quite stable. Hawaii in summer is offering days of high 20s and overnights of low 20s. It looks as if the humidity levels will not be as high as those in Bali or Thailand (I’ll be writing specifically about what to pack for Bali before I head there with Mrs Woog in October – we’ve got just a couple of spots left if you’re keen to join in the fun) so that’s a win for the hair situation.
2. Create a mini capsule wardrobe around what you plan to take. I’ve created one for you below but the reason why any capsule wardrobe works is that by putting some planning into the exercise, what makes it into your suitcase will work for a number of different options.
3. In a capsule stick to mostly neutrals with one accent colour. This is how you get more out of what you pack. It’s so much easier to work items back with each other when in neutrals. I’m always a blue girl when it comes to accent colours but you might opt for coral, pink, green … whatever takes your fancy.
Hawaii packing tips
I haven’t been to Hawaii but I’m up to speed with packing for beach getaways of the non-camping variety so the below tips would apply to a similar destination.
1. Don’t pack anything. Many people have suggested this but others have offered cautionary tales of arriving to find it wasn’t the right time for shopping for clothes that worked for them. The exchange rate is also not as kind as the last time we went to the US … oh 2012 your fabulous parity ways were something else.
2. Pack everything. I’m sort of joking but not really. We are flying Hawaiian Airlines and each of us could in theory take two 32kg bags with us. This is information that this reformed packer should not be armed with. Give a girl and inch … or some extra kilos in luggage allowance and it’s like a green light to throw everything from the summer side of the cupboard into the case.
3. Think about what your daily activities will involve. Maybe you’re going to take out time share on a beachside umbrella and plant yourself there for the duration. No judgement here. You’ll need swimsuits, thongs and cover-ups as your mainstays. If you’re doing some day trips or shopping then consider adding in shorts and sneakers.
4. Think about what your nightly activities will involve. We’ll be eating out a lot at night time – from food vans to fancy – so taking a mix of evening options that work for those evenings will be essential. Beach holiday style – even on the dressy side – is not as dressy as if you were going out in a city at home. Think minimalist shifts or maximalist kaftans. Or both.
5. Keep your shoes to about three pairs. Or don’t (see above re loose restrictions on luggage!). If you can pack three pairs of shoes that will mostly work with everything that you pack clothes-wise, then you will very much reduce the space in your luggage. I find that every time I pack heels for a beach holiday I never get them out but don’t that stop you if you’re so inclined.
6. Take more than one swimsuit. I always pack at least two swimsuits if I’m heading on a dedicated beach holiday. This always means you have one dry and available for a quick change from a morning at the beach to an afternoon poolside. Pack rash vests – particularly if you’re planning any water activities.
7. Take outfits that work back with your swimsuits. This can include cotton frocks and cover-ups as well as shorts and tunic tops. A swimsuit can become a bottom layer of an outfit so make it all work together and you’ll extend your holiday wardrobe. Ideal for that elusive beach-to-bar concept that only seems to happen if holidaying sans kids.
8. Pack a beach bag. The flight from Brisbane to Hawaii is less than 10 hours so I’ll probably make my beach bag my carry-on bag. Or I’ll pack one flat in my case. I reserve the right to change my mind. Make it a bag that is a neutral or something that can work back with your capsule. We also take our Turkish towels with us – ideal for any day-tripping that might happen as these towels take up next to no room in the bag. Mr SY will use a backpack as his cabin bag and this will then double up as a day-tripping bag for us too.
9. Pack a cross-body bag. No matter where I’m flying to, I always take a cross-body bag that can fit all my essentials – money/cards/phone/lip gloss/passport. It keeps you hands-free and your valuables close.
10. Pack a hat. And sunscreen. I do pack a broad-rimmed hat in my suitcase for a beach holiday. Here’s how. Coupled with sunscreen, these are my must-haves. I love the beach but my skin is fair and I don’t take any chances.
11. Pack a couple of different pairs of sunglasses. I keep my holiday accessories to a minimum (mostly my everyday jewellery and one statement necklace and/or ring/bangle) and prefer instead to mix up my look with a different pair of sunglasses. You have them on all day and for sunset cocktails, so why not take a couple of options?
12. Pack your active wear. Or don’t. I’m still debating this one with myself. I packed it for Europe and didn’t use. We walked a lot but I wore my FRANKiE4 sneakers. If you’re a running fiend then I know active wear will be mandatory for you. Shopping is my cardio, so as long as I have comfortable flats I think I’ll balance out the Mai Tai cocktail and Hula pie consumption. I will also be on the lookout for a yoga class so maybe some tights would be a good addition.
13. Wear an in-flight outfit that won’t have you sweltering on arrival. This is the tricky thing about flying from winter to summer. You have to dress for the day/evening you depart and the cold onboard situation but be able to adapt that outfit for arrival. I’m going to go for a lightweight pant, tee and sneakers with layers I can easily take off and pop in my carry-on on arrival.
15-piece Hawaii travel capsule
Another tricky aspect of packing in winter for a summer destination is that you won’t be able to necessarily duck out to the shops to buy something new to fill any gaps. The shops are currently in full winter mode – albeit sale mode – so spring styles will be in store in a matter of weeks. GAH!
You will need to go back and really look through your summer pieces and see if you can make them work. When I did a recent edit of my wardrobe, I did so with the winter season in mind but also with an eye to what might make good options for our Hawaiian holiday. I put those pieces aside then so it will make it easier this weekend when it comes to narrowing down what makes the cut.
If you are desperate to buy, I’ve included links below to some online stores that sell resort and summer styles all year round. I can highly recommend you check out Sequins and Sand, Blue Bungalow, Birdsnest and Adrift.
With the below capsule, use the types of clothing as a starting point – add in more shorts or dresses to suit your style, the length of your stay and what you have planned on your trip.
1. Sacha Drake maxi dress $249 (on sale) @ Birdsnest
2. Jets kaftan $159
3. Bird Keepers dress $69.95 @ Birdsnest
4. frockk top $169 @ Bell and Ford
5. Betty Basics singlet $19.95 @ Birdsnest
6. Bird Keepers shorts $69.95 @ Birdsnest
7. Oroton bag $197.50 (on sale)
8. Kooringal hat $39.95 @ Sequins and Sand
9. Seafolly sunglasses $69.95 @ Birdsnest
10. Sunseeker beach tote $19.96 @ David Jones
12. Queensland Swimwear Company one-piece $149.95
13. FRANKiE4 Footwear ELLiE sneakers $229.95
14. FRANKiE4 Footwear PENNi sandals (re-stocking soon)
15. Havaianas $24.99
So over to you? Have you got any beach or island holiday packing suggestions to add? Have you been to Hawaii? What shouldn’t we miss (we’re just on Oahu this time, staying at Waikiki).
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