Are you wondering what to pack and what to wear on the Road to Hana in Hawaii? In this guide we tell you everything you need to take with you for the journey on the road to Hana.
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But before we can get into your Road to Hana outfits and packing list essentials, it is worth taking time to discuss what exactly you can expect on the Road to Hana and how it affects what you need to bring with you.
What is the Road to Hana?
So what is the Road to Hana? Well it is a must see tourist site for any visitor to the island of Maui in Hawaii comprising of a 64-mile / 103.6km drive on the Northeast coast of the island.
The road starts at Kahului and finishes a few miles past the town of Hana. And it is a pretty epic drive with plenty of twist and turns so if you aren’t a confident driver be sure to travel with someone who is or take a tour instead.
On the Road to Hana you can see amazing beaches, dazzling waterfalls, a bamboo forest and even a volcano.
Depending on how long you want to spend on each of these locations and what stops you intend to do will obviously affect what you should pack for the road of Hana and how long the drive will take you.
For instance are you planning on just going hiking or are you planning to do some swimming too? Also the weather on and around the Road to Hana as well as how busy the road is will also impact the length of time it takes you to complete.
Generally speaking however you can expect to take 10-12 hours to complete the Road with stops, and I don’t advise you out anything else on your Maui itinerary for this day as the drive can be tiring.
What to Wear on the Road to Hana
Considerations for your Road to Hana Outfit
I would say there are two ways to go when you are thinking about what to wear on the Road to Hana and putting together your Road to Hana outfit.
And that is one that prioritises swimming and one that prioritises hiking.
If you want to do lots of swimming I recommend ladies having a bikini base layer with a beach cover or shorts and top. And for men on the road to Hana swimming trunks and a t shirt.
There are toilets along the road to Hana but cleanliness can be an issue so if you plan to do a lot of swimming you will want your swimwear on for the journey.
However if you are planning on not swimming and doing more intense hikes then you should priority an outfit that can deal with mud and be comfortable for walking in humidity.
If you don’t want to wear your swimwear in the car but plan to swim, be sure to pack a towel and outfit that you can change in and protect your modesty at the same time.
Note: if you plan to visit more of Hawaii on your vacation be sure to check out our other Hawaii posts:
What to wear on the Road to Hana
Although it can be hot and humid on the road to Hana we advise that you always take a sweater with you.
It is recommended that you get an early start to drive the road to Hana – i.e. don’t leave later than 7:30am. And if you leave earlier than this as many recommend it can be chilly. on the road.
There are lots of amazing swim spots on the Road to Hana and you will definitely want to go for a dip. As I mentioned above, there are few changing places on the Road so it is best to wear your swimsuit in the car.
For women bikinis may be easier as it is quicker to dry etc however wear whatever type of swimwear you feel most comfortable in.
Personally I think loose trousers that are made of natural fabrics i.e. cotton are the perfect thing for the Road to Hana.
The reason for this is because they are cool in the heat but they can also protect your legs on trails and from mosquitos.
However it is worth remembering that the trails are muddy so colors that don’t show the mud are better than light colored trousers for the trails.
Note: you could obviously also wear shorts but your legs will probably get quite muddy and aren’t protected from spikes from greenery on the walk. I would opt for loose cotton trousers for this reason bit this is personal preference.
Loose T Shirt / Blouse
A Loose T shirt or a blouse is perfect for the Road to Hana. Choose a natural fabric to help reduce sweat and go for a looser fit again to keep cool.
Depending on the weather and time of year of travel will depend whether you will find t shirts or blouses most comfortable.
You can also wear tank tops and vest tops if you like just be aware that there are lots of mosquitos on the road and protect your arms if you have a strappier top.
It gets rainy on the road to Hana so you will want to make sure whatever you wear can get muddy or you can protect yourself from the rain in a severe downpour.
For this reason a waterproof poncho is a great addition to your Road to Hana Packing List.
If you have gaiters you could use them to keep your trousers clean but it isn’t necessary.
Waterproof Make Up
If you want to make make up while in Maui we recommend wearing waterproof in make-up. That is because it is firstly humid and secondly you will be going swimming and hiking in waterfalls, which will cause non-waterproof makeup to run.
You don’t want panda eyes on your photos so be sure to take waterproof make up with you.
No matter the time of year you visit the road to Hana, you will want sunglasses with you.
It is important no matter the month of year you travel that you have a hat with you. Style really isn’t important here so feel free to wear a straw hat or baseball cap, or whatever you feel most comfortable in.
Best Shoes for the Road to Hana
Many people who plan to go hiking on the Road for Hana will want to complete the Pipiwai Trail to Waimoku falls. This can be muddy and isn’t a paved or dry trail. For this reason we recommend
for the more advanced trails or on other trails after rain as these are closed toe and can deal with the mud better.
However if you do opt for hiking boots then you will need to make sure you have a lightweight and breathable pair that can cope with the Hawaiian climate.
I would only recommend sneakers for in the car and at the major tourist stops on the Road to Hana rather than on the longer trails especially after a lot of rain.
Sandals are a great way to keep your feet cool in Hawaii but you will want to have a pair that is easily washable due to the mud and can cope with uneven terrain if you plan to hike any unpaved trails.
What to Pack for Road to Hana (Non Clothing)
Although we recommend applying sunscreen before you set off on the road to Hana, you will need to take some with you in your day pack.
The road to Hana will take c.12 hours to complete, and this with the water activities you will be doing means that sunscreen reapplication will be required.
Quick Dry Towel
You will need a towel for sweat and for after a swim at the waterfalls and beaches so you will need a towel with you.
We recommend taking a quick dry towel with as you will need to use the towel at multiple stops so you will want something that dries quickly.
Motion Sickness Tablets / Motion Sickness Bands
There are over 600 curves and bends on the Road to Hana. So even if you aren’t prone to motion sickness in cars there is a chance you may experience it on the Road to Hana. For this reason we always recommend having some motion sickness tablets with you for this drive.
There will be lots of bugs on the road to Hana no matter the time of year you travel. Therefore be sure to take plentiful bug spray with.
The Road to Hana is a beautiful place so be sure to take a camera with you.
Batteries are used up quickly on the road to Hana so have an external battery pack with you.
If you are driving yourself we recommend having an in-car charger as you will drain your phone battery quickly here.
Water and Snacks
Although there are some stops and snack shops on the road to Hana, these are infrequent. Therefore we recommend bringing a plentiful supply of water and snacks with you.
FAQs About Road to Hana Outfits
Can I wear flip flops on the road to Hana?
You can wear flip flops on the beach at the road to Hana, however I would not advocate wearing thongs on the trails.
Should I take a change of clothes for the Road to Hana?
If you are driving yourself rather than taking a tour I would advise keeping a spare outfit in the car when journeying the Road to Hana. The reason is you can get soaked in a downpour, get excessively muddy on the trails or just want to change out of your swimwear.
Therefore if you have room in your backpack we strongly recommend taking a change of clothes with you but it isn’t essential.