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-   -   Habitual Overpacker. Hawaii for 18 days with a 21 inch suitcase? (https://www.fodors.com/community/united-states/habitual-overpacker-hawaii-for-18-days-with-a-21-inch-suitcase-606474/)

DawnCt Apr 9th, 2006 03:23 PM

Habitual Overpacker. Hawaii for 18 days with a 21 inch suitcase?
 
I am a habitual overpacker. The airline wt. restrictions have been useful in that I have reduced the size of my suitcase from 26 inch to a 25 inch. I am considering attempting to reduce that to a 21 inch with an additional tote for cosmetics, breakables and another bag for the snorkle gear. Are there any women who have been successful in this quest? ;)

crazy4Hawaii Apr 9th, 2006 03:56 PM

I never allow myself larger than a 21" suitcase. BUT I've always been on 10-14 day trips. Nonetheless, I believe it can be done, especially if you have an opportunity to wash things about halfway through. Hawaii clothes are typically lightweight and don't take up much room - swimsuits, shorts, short sleeve shirts, sundresses, etc. I KNOW you can do it - and you'll feel good about yourself.

nancy1013 Apr 9th, 2006 04:28 PM

I have also just downsized by suitcase. So tired of waiting to pick up luggage, just want carry on's from now on. I just ordered a new suitcase from ebags. It hasn't arrived yet, but I am determined to use it for my hawaii trip in May. I am also packing for my daughter's wedding, so this should be a real challenge for me. We will have access to a w/d. Mahalo

janisj Apr 9th, 2006 04:43 PM

I've done a 5 week trip - in winter - to Europe - w/ both very dressy and hiking clothing - w/ woolens/gloves/scarves/boots and even long underwear -- in a 21 inch bag.

18 days to Hawaii would be a piece of cake.

MelissaHI Apr 9th, 2006 06:10 PM

In Hawaii, it's mostly balmy, so your clothes will be light. if you main weight/space problem stems from toiletries, check out the stores to see if they carry your brands (so you don't have to!). we have macy's, Neiman Marcus, sephora, drug stores.....

SashasMommy Apr 9th, 2006 08:04 PM

This won't help with weight, but it will with bulk... check Target in the travel section for the compression bags. They have a pack of 3 bags for $12 or something like that, and they actually work. I bought some for my upcoming trip and tried it to see how it worked. Pretty easy to use.

travelingtedrows Apr 9th, 2006 09:22 PM

Everybody overpacks for Hawaii! I applaud you wanting to scale down. Tropical clothes are light and shouldn't take much room. Take those things it would be difficult to replace in Hawaii. I would definitely pack 2 swimsuits (they always take a long time to dry and who likes to put on a wet suit?), bras and undies, favorite cosmetics, shoes that fit, a few basic clothes-tops, shorts, dresses and snorkel gear. Wear a heavy, functional sweatshirt and a big skirt on the plane.

Most of all, I would stuff an extra duffle bag in my suitcase for going home. Go to Walmart, Hilo Hattie's or the flea mart in Hawaii and pick up the extra stuff you need. The clothing is cheap and colorful. You will fit right in. Buy a great beach towel once you get there. You'll use it there and love it at home.

It never seems to be as burdensome checking in luggage on the way home as it goes getting there!

janisj Apr 9th, 2006 09:24 PM

Those vacuum bags (Space Bag abd Pack Mate are the two main brands) do work. But they are of most use when you take them empty. Don't be tempted to use them on the way to Hawaii to over-fill your bags. Then on your way home you can use them to compress you clothes - especially good for bringing dirty clothes home. This will let you squeeze more into your bag and make room for all the souvenirs and new things you buy along the way.

If you use vacuum bags to fill your suitcase to the max at the beginning of the trip there is no wiggle room for the trip home.

patg Apr 10th, 2006 08:24 AM

Another nice thing to buy is a pareo, a length of cloth that can be used for a wrap for evening or the beach.

Definitely bring two swimsuits and try to limit yourself to two pairs of sandals plus one pair of walking shoes that you'll also wear on the plane. Then pack 1-2 skirts or dresses, 2 pair of pants, 3 pair of shorts, a sweatshirt, and a sweater for evening wear, though you may not need it.

You can find a laundromat and do a load halfway through the trip, cutting your socks/undies/tshirt quota to 9 or 10 apiece. It might be worth it to look for a condo that has laundry facilities.

Anonymous Apr 10th, 2006 08:39 AM

I don't think I've ever seen anyone in Hawaii wearing socks except when climbing around volcanoes or Diamond Head.

kureiff Apr 10th, 2006 09:50 AM

It shouldn't be too difficult. I'd bring a couple pairs of shorts, some t-shirts, three or four dresses, and three or four swimsuits.

I lived in my swimsuits while in Hawaii -- you never know when you'll want to stop and snorkel or stop and boogie board. You can buy pareos when you're there.

I wore my swimsuit all day and wore a dress at night for dinner. Good luck! And have a wonderful trip!

DawnCt Apr 10th, 2006 10:44 AM

I should add that this will be our forth trip to Hawaii, so it is even worse that I know what I will need and take way more than that. I love the suggestion about taking two bathing suits, I normally take four! I have my pareos and I will take only one bathing suit coverup. Maybe a bit of color coordination will cut down on the amount of footware,etc. We will be staying in condos so there is easy access to laundry facilities. I don't plan to carry it on the plane as I know that I will use that expansion zipper. We usually take an Army duffle bag for laundry and I can easily stuff that on the way home. I have the compression bags but they aren't good for clothing that you don't want to wrinkle. I have used them for beach towels. Its good to know that I am not being unrealistic and I will take a dress or two that I bought on my last trip, just in case I don't find one when I am there. ;)

christy1 Apr 10th, 2006 10:52 AM

I don't pack more on a 21 day trip than I would for a 7 day trip. Do laundry! Every hotel can do this for you, or if you're renting a condo you'll probably have your own washer/dryer.


suze Apr 10th, 2006 12:47 PM

Sure, I do it every time (mine is a 22") for Mexico or Hawaii. You don't need much for a beach vacation!

Pack as if you were going for 5-7 days and do laundry or hand wash once or twice.

Wait and buy your beach towels, sarong, sun hat, suntan lotion after you arrive.

suze Apr 10th, 2006 01:00 PM

Wear anything bulky on the plane ride over. Your biggest pair of shoes (sneakers?) and layer a tank, with a long sleeve blouse, and a jacket or sweater.

My pack list is similar to Pat's above.

Into your suitcase put:
2-3 bathing suits
1-2 sarong/pareo
2 pair comfortable sandals
3 shorts
2 capris or very lightweight pants
1-2 sundress or skirts (optional)
7 tanks, tshirts, sleeveless blouses
undies
2 pair lightweight socks
light robe &/or sleepwear

SeaSkye Apr 10th, 2006 01:29 PM

Going to Kauai at Christmas we had luggage lost in both outbound and return trips. If you can wheel it on going over, you don't take the risk. I never wear everything I take to Hawaii, so I know this trip could be done with a carry-on. The big culprit is shoes. Can you wear your tennies and bring one pair of dressy sandals and one pair of beach/pool sandals? Wear pants on the plane, with a light jacket, and all you have to pack are a couple swimsuits, pareo, a few pairs of shorts and shirts, and maybe a festive skirt that goes with a nice tank top or shell.

LLindaC Apr 11th, 2006 01:11 PM

Are you sure you can't rent your snorkeling gear over there? If not, just take your mask and buy or rent a cheap pair of fins. Really saves space. I bought travel/hiking pants from Patagonia which are a few ounces and don't wrinkle, same for shirts. I am doing 10 days in Switzerland in a carry-on size bag.

DawnCt Apr 11th, 2006 02:38 PM

I usually bring a rolling duffle for the snorkel gear, condiments, spices, Crystal light, etc since we are staying in a condo. We shop for groceries there but some things are just easier to bring from home. I have the "split fin" fins and so they don't take up that much room in the duffle. I think the most helpful thing is the concept of packing for 7 days and not 17. That narrows what goes into the suitcase.

suze Apr 11th, 2006 03:12 PM

Dawn, If you are checking luggage and have a rental car(?) you might as well use a 25" rather than try to squeeze into a 21".

The 19-21" idea comes from people who will be using public transportation, taking trains around Europe, traveling solo, etc.

The true test (to my mind) if you have overpacked or not (and it takes a few trips to decide)... did you use every single item of clothing and shoes that you packed in your suitcase? My answer is always yes (in my 22" with my pack list above)!


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