Save money on your next flight

Skyscanner is the world’s leading flight search engine, helping you find the cheapest flights to destinations all over the world.

With crystal clear waters, stunning beaches, and near-perfect weather year-round, Hawaii is always an enticing vacation destination. If you’re planning a December getaway to the Hawaiian Islands, you may be wondering what to pack.

After all, what’s considered warm weather attire in other locales may be too hot and humid for these tropic isles.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to what to wear in Hawaii in December: Pack lightweight, breathable clothing made of natural fabrics. Bring layers for cool evenings and rainy days. Don’t forget the essentials like swimwear, sun protection, and shoes that can get wet.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know to plan your vacation wardrobe for Hawaii in December, including:

Hawaii’s Weather and Climate in December

Average Temperatures

December is one of the coolest and most pleasant months to visit Hawaii. Average high temperatures at popular destinations like Honolulu, Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island range from 78°F to 84°F. Nighttime lows dip down to the mid 60s to low 70s, allowing for comfortable sleeping conditions.

The winter chill is barely noticeable on Hawaii’s beaches. Ocean breezes keep things mild without being too overbearing. Locals and tourists alike enjoy frolicking in the balmy waters through the Hawaiian winter.


December also marks the start of Hawaii’s rainy season on the windward sides of the islands. Increased rainfall can happen on the northeast sides of the islands that face the trade winds. Areas like Hilo on the Big Island and the north shores of Maui and Kauai tend to get more rain in December.

Luckily the showers tend to be fast-moving, and sunny skies often return within a short time. Mt. Waialeale on Kauai, one of the wettest spots on Earth, begins ramping up precipitation totals at this time of year as well.

Ocean Conditions

Ocean temperatures surrounding the Hawaiian Islands remain balmy in December, averaging between 75°F to 80°F depending on location. Combined with fewer visitors in December as compared to Hawaii’s busy winter travel season, beaches might feel almost private at times.

Large winter swells also start cranking up in December, bringing excitement for surfers looking to catch some waves. The famous waves of Oahu’s North Shore receive most of the fanfare, but great surf also arrives on Maui and Kauai.

Calmer south-facing beaches remain gentle for swimming and snorkeling.

What to Wear During the Day


When picking tops to wear during the day in Hawaii in December, lightweight and breathable is key. The average high temperatures range from 80°F on the Big Island to the mid 80s°F on Oahu and Maui. Popular choices include:

  • Lightweight blouses and shirts
  • Breathable tank tops and camisoles
  • Loose-fitting maxi dresses that allow air to circulate
  • Swimsuits and cover-ups if you’ll be at the beach

Moisture-wicking performance fabrics like polyester and nylon are great at keeping you cool and dry. Natural fibers like cotton and rayon work too. Just avoid heavy fabrics like denim, wool, and fleece that could leave you feeling hot and sweaty!


Similar to tops, lightweight and breathable bottoms will keep you comfortable during sunny December days. Consider options like:

  • Shorts and skirts in lightweight fabrics
  • Capri pants that fall below the knee
  • Linen or cotton pants and cropped pants
  • Swimsuit bottoms if spending time at the beach

Avoid heavy pants and dark-colored fabrics that absorb heat. The weather will likely be too warm for jeans, with average highs around 84°F. Leggings and yoga pants can also get quite warm throughout the day. Instead, opt for loose, light colors and fabrics.

Dresses and Skirts

Flowy dresses and skirts are a cute and practical option for Hawaiian days. Choices like:

  • Casual short and long sundresses
  • Lightweight maxi dresses
  • Skater skirts or maxi skirts

will keep you comfortable and stylish. Look for loose silhouettes, breathable fabrics like rayon and cotton, and bright fun patterns. For length, mini, midi or maxi are all great options. Just beware long dresses or skirts could get warm when made from heavy materials.

But the island breeze flowing through a loose maxi dress? Nothing better!

What to Wear at Night

Layers are Key

Evenings in Hawaii during December can get quite cool, with temperatures dropping into the mid 60s Fahrenheit. Packing layers is key to staying comfortable at night.

Start with a lightweight long sleeve shirt or a sweater. Cotton or wool blends work well. Having a layer against your skin will keep you warmer outside. If you plan to eat at an romantic oceanside restaurant, bring a pashmina or cardigan to stay cozy.

If you’ll be out late into the night, also pack a light jacket. A water-resistant windbreaker breaks the breeze while still being breathable. And it takes up little room in your suitcase. A fitted puffer vest also traps heat close to your core.

Jackets and Cover-Ups

In addition to traditional jackets and sweaters, some great layering options include:

  • Beach cover ups – Flowy kaftans or wraps add warmth with style.
  • Dusters and kimonos – Open lightweight coats allow you to layer over evening wear.
  • Ponchos and shawls – Cocoon yourself in soft woven fabrics.

Pack items in breathable natural fabrics like cotton, silk, or rayon weaves. These will keep you cozy while still allowing airflow to your skin.

And don’t forget the accessories! Adding a felt fedora, wide-brim sun hat, or floppy beach hat will protect both your head and hairdo from getting messed up by those island night breezes.

Essential Accessories


Hats are an essential accessory when visiting Hawaii in December. The tropical sun is strong year-round, so wearing a hat will protect your face and head from sunburn. Wide-brimmed hats like fedoras, panamas, and sun hats are great options. Baseball caps also work well.

Look for hats made of breathable natural materials like straw to stay cool in the heat. Many tourist shops in Hawaii sell fun, local-style hats too.


Sunglasses are a must for protecting your eyes from the bright sun. Look for sunglasses that block 100% of UV rays. Wraparound styles fit closely to the face, preventing sunlight from sneaking in from the sides. Polarized lenses reduce sun glare reflected off the ocean water and wet surfaces.

Trendy options like aviators or wayfarers work well. Kids need sunglasses too to protect their delicate eyes.

Swimwear and Beach Attire

December is a popular time for water activities in Hawaii. The average ocean temperature is a comfortable 77°F. Pack your favorite swimsuit and cover-up for days at the beach and pool. For women, bikinis, tankinis, and one-piece suits work well.

Look for bright colors and prints that capture the fun Hawaiian vibe. For men, board shorts in colors like red, yellow, and green fit right in. Rash guards provide sun protection while snorkeling or surfing. Water shoes also come in handy when walking on rough lava rock or exploring tide pools.

And don’t forget the beach towel!


Water Shoes

When visiting Hawaii’s beautiful beaches and tropical landscapes, having the right footwear is key. Water shoes like sandals, aquatic socks, or boat shoes work well for water activities. Brands like KEEN and Chaco offer lightweight, quick-drying models with rugged soles for exploring tide pools and hiking to waterfalls.

For snorkeling the clear waters, socks give footing without damaging coral reefs. Consider packing aqua socks to toss in your beach bag too!


From December’s sunny skies to festive luaus, sandals are a quintessential Hawaii shoe. Leather slides, sporty Teva styles, and flip flops work for most island activities. And bejeweled dressy pairs double as party shoes!

For comfort while sightseeing, prioritize arch support, straps, and cushioned footbeds. Brands like Olukai craft sandals specifically for Hawaii’s terrain. Consider packing an extra pair of cheap flip flops too – they make perfect post-beach throwaways after traipsing through the sand.

Hiking Shoes

December invites crisp morning hikes through lush rainforests and up volcanic mountains. When tackling Hawaii’s rugged natural trails, sturdy hiking shoes provide traction and protect feet from sharp lava rocks.

Waterproof leather boots with durable Vibram soles from brands like Merrell and Columbia offer support for miles of trekking. For moderate day hikes, trail runners or lightweight mesh hikers work too. And don’t forget moisture-wicking socks to keep feet comfy and blister-free!

Setting out with proper footwear enhances Hawaii’s sweeping vistas and lets you make the most of the island’s diverse landscapes.


The Hawaiian Islands enjoy warm, pleasant weather in December, with average highs around 80°F. Pack lightweight, breathable fabrics that will keep you cool and comfortable in the tropical climate. Bring layers for cool mountain peaks and evenings, as well as raingear in case of passing showers.

Focus on versatile pieces like dresses, skirts, shorts, tanks, and tees that you can mix and match. Don’t forget essentials like swimwear, sun protection, sandals, and shoes that can get wet. With proper attire that’s suited to the environment, you’ll be ready to fully embrace the island life and December weather in Hawaii.

Sharing is caring!

Similar Posts