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Heading to Hawaii for vacation and wondering what the best airplane outfit is? With the right clothes, you’ll stay comfortable on your flight while still looking fashionable when you land in paradise.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: Wear loose, lightweight layers like a tank top with a cardigan or jacket and bring compression socks. Pack a sweater, jeans and sandals or sneakers so you’re prepared for Hawaii’s cooler mountain regions or air-conditioned places.

Plan Outfits Based on Hawaii’s Climate

Check the Weather Forecast Before You Go

Before packing your suitcase, be sure to check the weather forecast for the areas of Hawaii you’ll be visiting. Hawaii has a number of different climate zones, ranging from hot and dry to cool and rainy. The weather can also vary quite a bit between the islands.

Use a reliable source like the National Weather Service to see predicted temperatures, rainfall, and wind conditions.

Knowing Hawaii’s weather ahead of time will ensure you pack properly. You’ll want to bring sun protection like hats and sunscreen if heading to the dry leeward sides of the islands. Meanwhile, waterproof shoes and an umbrella are wise choices if visiting a rainforest like Waimea Canyon on Kauai.

And don’t forget the bathing suit – Hawaii’s beaches await!

Dress in Layers for the Plane

Layering lightweight, breathable clothing is key for comfort on the long flight to Hawaii. Temperatures in the plane cabin may fluctuate, so having versatile layers allows you to comfortably adapt.

Start with moisture-wicking pieces next to skin. For women, a camisole, tank top or breathable T-shirt is a good base layer choice. Men can wear a T-shirt or moisture-wicking undershirt. Follow this with a lightweight cardigan or hoodie that can be easily removed or added as needed.

In your carry-on bag, pack a large, airy scarf. An oversized scarf can be worn in many creative ways – loosely wrapped around the shoulders, loosely twisted around the neck, or folded into a blanket. The possibilities are endless for airplane comfort!

Finally, be sure to wear loose, stretchy pants or leggings you can sleep in. Jeans may be too restrictive for an overnight flight. And swap out shoes for slip-on options like flats, loafers or sneakers so they are easy to remove.

By strategically layering clothes, you’ll stay cozy on the plane ride to paradise. Once the aircraft doors open to Hawaii’s balmy tropical air, you can shed layers and emerge ready to soak up the island life!

What to Wear On the Plane

Comfortable Tops

When traveling to Hawaii, comfort is key during the long flight. Choose loose, breathable tops made of soft fabrics like cotton or modal. Flowy shirts, peasant blouses, and lightweight sweaters make excellent choices. Stay away from restrictive tops like tailored button-downs.

A cozy cardigan or hoodie is great for keeping warm onboard.

Breathable Bottoms

Opt for bottoms made of lightweight, breathable fabrics like linen, cotton, or rayon blends. Stretchy fabrics like jersey knits can also provide ease of movement. Avoid thick, restrictive denim. Instead, bring items like joggers, harem pants, leggings, or flowy maxi skirts and dresses.

Make sure your waistband is comfortable for sitting for extended periods.

Supportive Footwear

Choose supportive, comfortable shoes for the flight. Flip flops can cause foot pain over time. Better options include slip-on sneakers, loafers, or low heels. If you need to change into dressier shoes for Hawaii, pack them in your carry-on bag.

Sneakers like Allbirds or Rothy’s pack flat and provide cushioning and arch support during long flights.


Don’t forget accessories that maximize comfort on the plane! Here are some great options:

  • Lightweight scarf – use as a blanket or pillow
  • Eye mask and earplugs – block out light and noise
  • Travel pillow – prevents a sore neck
  • Compression socks – increase circulation
  • Lip balm – fights dry air
  • Hand sanitizer – reduce germ spread

Following these tips will have you looking stylish yet feeling oh-so-comfy on your way to fabulous Hawaii! Aloha!

What to Pack in Your Carry-On

Extra Tops

Packing a few lightweight extra tops in your carry-on is always a good idea when traveling to warm destinations like Hawaii. You may want to change after a long flight or spill something on what you’re wearing.

Choose breathable fabrics like linen, cotton, or rayon for items you can wear in Hawaii’s hot climate. Consider packing a tank top, t-shirt, blouse, and maybe even a swim coverup that doubles as a cute outfit.

According to the Transportation Security Administration’s 2022 air travel statistics, over 90 million carry-on bags went through airport checkpoints last year, so lots of savvy travelers know the smart strategy of packing backup tops!

Lightweight Sweater or Cardigan

While the islands are hot, a lightweight sweater or cardigan can come in handy for cool nights or heavily air-conditioned restaurants or stores. Look for one made of a breezy open knit fabric, perhaps in a fun Hawaiian print. You can tie it around your waist or shoulders during the day if needed.

Consider packing it towards the top of your bag so it can be easily accessed inflight if chilly.

Jeans or Pants

Pack one pair of lightweight pants or jeans in case you want to head somewhere slightly more polished for dinner. Dark wash jeans made of breathable denim or linen or cotton pants are perfect choices. Make sure they are wrinkle-resistant too!

You’ll likely be living in shorts, dresses, and swimsuits most of the trip, but it’s wise to have one outfit that’s pants-based. The Aloha spirit is casual, but you never know if you’ll end up at a restaurant with a no-shorts policy!


Don’t forget sandals! Whether they are casual flip flops for the pool or beach or something dressier like leather slides or block heels, you’ll need open footwear for Hawaii’s climate. Consider packing two pairs so you have backup if one gets wet.

According to Tripadvisor’s 2022 Travelers’ Choice Awards, 3 of the top 10 beaches in the U.S. are in Hawaii, so you’ll want to be prepared to hit the sand in style and comfort!


Round out your airline carry-on with travel-size toiletries like shampoo, sunscreen (SPF 30+), medication, etc. Check the TSA’s website for the latest guidelines on what is allowed in carry-ons and make sure none of your items exceed the permitted quantities for liquids, gels, aerosols, creams or pastes.

Having a mini first aid kit with bandages, anti-itch cream, pain relievers is also wise for any destination! Bon voyage!

Tips for Looking Stylish After Your Flight

Change into Beachwear

After a long flight, one of the best things you can do is change into beachwear. Swap out those travel clothes for a cute sundress, maxi skirt, or lightweight shorts. Bring sandals that go well from day to night.

If you have a swimsuit on under your outfit, you’ll be ready to hit the beach or hotel pool anytime.

Keep it breezy and beautiful by opting for natural fabrics like cotton, linen, and silk. They’ll keep you cool in the tropical heat. Toss on some fun Hawaiian print accessories like a pareo, floppy hat, or woven handbag. It instantly says vacation mode.

Don’t forget the sun protection like hats, sunglasses and sunscreen though – that Hawaiian sun is strong.

According to a 2022 survey by Travel+Leisure, over 80% of travelers say getting dressed up on vacation makes it feel more special. So dig into your suitcase for those perfect vacation pieces you packed just for this.

It might be a fancier cocktail dress for evenings out or some trendy sandals to take your outfit up a notch.

Freshen Up Your Hair and Makeup

Once you land in Hawaii, head to the restroom to freshen up. Start with your hair. Smooth down flyaways and fix your part or style. If you wore your hair up, let it down to flow in that tropical breeze. Add some styling product or accessories like clips or a fun scrunchie.

Touch up makeup by powdering shine zones, reapplying lip color, curling lashes, etc. You’ll look like you just stepped out of the salon.

Don’t forget to hydrate and moisturize after your flight too. The cabin air can really dry out skin. Smooth on some body lotion and lip balm for an instant glow up. If you want to go the extra mile, book a blowout or makeup appointment at your hotel’s spa or salon. You’re on vacation – treat yourself!

Travel blogger Samantha Brown told Conde Nast Traveler, “I always like to freshen up before I get off the plane because I want to look good for Hawaii, not the airplane.” As soon as you feel that tropical air, you’ll be so glad you took the time to refresh.


By dressing in layers, wearing breathable fabrics and packing versatile items, you’ll stay cozy on your flight to paradise while still looking cute when you land. With this complete packing guide, you’ll touch down in Hawaii ready to start your vacation off in style.

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