Theme Destination Packing – Hawaii Edition

My family and I love to travel and travel often. The excitement for each vacation never ceases. I start packing in anticipation weeks… sometimes months in advance. And I’m not ashamed to admit it!


This extra time I spend preparing gives me the chance to put together things that all work together, creating a theme with our destination in mind. This includes fun outfits, putting away clothes from the closet that will soon become “new” to me again while on vacation.

I also put together what I call “goodie bags”. These bags are full of fun items for each family member keeps them entertained during the flight, often in theme as well! Example: tropical island destination means a goodie bag full of gold fish crackers, gummy sharks, Water WOW underwater book, and little mermaid stuffed dolls. (Pictured below.)

For more tips on packing for a trip with a toddler, check out this postKeep reading for Hawaii specific packing tips for toddlers below.

I plan all these things months ahead of time in order to keep myself looking forward to upcoming exciting adventure. The extra time frame also helps spread out any expenses I might have, so that putting together goodies and buying a new outfit or swimsuit isn’t a burden all on one paycheck.

You may have more questions regarding theme packing and how you can accomplish something similar for your next getaway. Here’s the simple breakdown.

Theme Destination Packing

My plans often center around the theme of the destination. And yes, we all do this to a certain extent, dressing for the weather of our destination for example. But this form of packing takes destination packing a step further.

For instance, when traveling to San Francisco, I plan an iPod playlist full of songs that feature the iconic city and state: Sitting on the dock of Bay and California Girls are two musts!! Traveling to the airport and listening to these tunes gets us all in the mood for the vacation to come! My book of choice for Cali: Tales of the City or any book based in the City of San Fran. Snacks for plane: Gheradellis San Fran based chocolate and red fish gummies.

This is just a simple example of how my packing adventures begin.


Vacation Capsule Wardrobe

Let’s move on to another example of having fun with packing: capsule wardrobes!

Yes choosing two to four colors to pack up gives you simple pieces that all fit together seamlessly (see what I did there?).

Take for instance the Big Apple. Yes New York this past Fall was just exactly what I had imagined. The city was busy with life, culture and activities to plan. One undeniable fact about the city is it’s fashion sense, from business casual to trendy high couture. Outfit choices was definitely a high priority on my mind when packing.

So my choice was to keep my colors and patterns understated yet classic. Black, Red, and Camel Tan were my choices to mix and match throughout our week long trip. The great thing about packing with a capsule wardrobe is everything can mix and match together allowing you more outfits with less items packed. It was a huge hit!

Now onto our upcoming trip to Maui, Hawaii. My capsule wardrobe colors: Royal Blue, Aqua and White. See below my suitcase essentials, all pieces staying in my capsule theme.


Here are some of the items I found on Amazon to complete the look!

Toddler’s “Diaper Bag”

For continuing the theme of our Hawaiian adventure, here is my toddler diaper bag packed up and ready for the airplane. The tropical theme is carried throughout with the mermaid toys, Sea Turtle counting, colors and shapes, Water Wow Under the Sea, and Fish window clings.


To house these fun items, here’s my new teal LAND backpack diaper bag! I’m in love with this backpack as it’s perfect for keeping my hands free and is built for a mom’s convenience! As I went to the island and was in and out of this backpack, I found it perfect for travel. On the airplane it was not too big to fit underneath the seat in front of me and not to small to house all the toddler essentials and toys. I took it to the beach, pool and even shopping was easy leaving me hands free for souvenir shopping and toddler corralling.

I planned on only using this LAND diaper backpack for travel, but now I’m a believer and will use it on a day to day means. Durable canvas fabric make it perfect for wear and tear, not to mention how casual it feels going with any outfit you have planned.


***Yet to be packed includes snacks full of gold fish, pearl coated Sixlets, and shark gummies to continue our theme!

***The movies we will have downloaded for the trip include Moana and Lilo and Stitch… Just Go With It, Pearl Harbor, or Aloha if baby falls asleep (fingers crossed!).

***Playlist will include Somewhere over the Rainbow by Israel kamakawiwo Ole and Better Together by Jack Jonhnson. Think ukuleles!

***My beach book of choice: About a Girl, Lindsey Kelk and The Descendants by Kaui Hart.


I hope this gives you some fun things to think about when planning your next tropical Hawaiian vacation. As they say, some of the most enjoyable things in life is simply the anticipation. So look forward to trips, travel and getaways and anticipate only the best things in life.

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