In this feature, InStyle’s Senior Editor Diana Tsui (pictured below) documents what she packed and what she wore for her trip to Hawaii.
Having grown up in New York City, I’m lucky enough to have experienced the urban life. So when it comes to vacations, I go for the extreme opposite: Whether it’s snowboarding in Jackson Hole, Wyo., or hiking in upstate New York, I crave outdoor adventures. This time my husband and I headed to Oahu, Hawaii, with the intention of surfing, snorkeling, and indulging in all of the amazing local food.
When it comes to packing, I aim to squish the most amount of stuff into the tiniest bag possible and still leave room for snacks. I always bring back snacks from any locale. To maximize my tiny carry-on, the shoes go at the bottom. Then I roll up all my clothes and place them in by section—outdoorsy clothes go at the bottom and the lighter, more delicate pieces at the top.
Since we were headed to warmer climates, I brought three pairs of shoes: practical, if unattractive, hiking sneakers, my trusty Birkenstocks, and a pair of dressy (but low!) sandals for dinners out. Then I threw in some easy to wear silk dresses and separates—they pull double duty as coverups! A few bikinis, colorful sunglasses, and one rash guard later, I’m ready.
—Diana Tsui; coordinated by InStyle’s Senior Market Editor/Digital Correspondent Dana Avidan-Cohn
1. Birkenstock for J.Crew$130; jcrew.com for a similar style
"Thank god for slide-ons! They're great for the beach and walking around."
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2. SunglassesFrom left: Asos, $23, asos.com for a similar style; Westward Leaning, $180, westwardleaning.com; Illesteva, $220, net-a-porter.com.
"In N.Y.C., I lean towards classic black sunglasses but when it’s hot, sunny, and tropical, it’s all about color. Whether it’s mirrored lenses in shades of blue and pink or white frames, it feels happy."
4. Basta Surf$194; bastasurf.com
"Most surf lessons will provide you with a plain black rash guard but I'd rather pack my own. The long sleeves are handy to protect against the sun while the velcro pockets are meant for stashing the car keys. An added bonus: The shore photographer was able to spot me easily in a sea of surfers."
5. Beauty Must-HavesFrom left: Bite Beauty lip pencils, $24 each, sephora.com; Tom Ford Jasmin Rouge Eau de Parfum, $210, nordstrom.com; Chanel Le Vernis nail color in Rose Caché, $27, chanel.com; Rogue Bunny Rogue eyeliner, $28, blush.com; Marvis toothpaste, $14, amazon.com
"Besides loading up on sunscreen, I try to keep my face relatively bare during the day. For a night out I add a flick of eyeliner and bright pink or orange lip. And a mini-sized Tom Ford Jasmine Rouge has a heady, tropical scent that's perfect for Hawaii."
6. Bailey's Aloha Shirts Top$4-$20; alohashirts.com for a similar style
"Aside from loading up on snacks (hello, spam musubis!), I also try to find a special piece that reminds me of my travels. Given how popular Hawaiian prints are this spring, I made a beeline to Bailey’s Aloha Shirts. The little shop is jam packed with over 15,000+ new and vintage shirts. This one dates to the '70s. I’ll roll up the sleeves, toss it over cutoffs or a black mini."