Stylish Kauai Packing List in Winter: November to April (Rainy Season)

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Packing list for Kauai, Hawaii: Kauai is Hawaii’s fourth largest island and its famous for its impressive coastline, especially the Na Pali coast. Think pretty beaches flanked by massive grass covered cliffs.

This is one place where its worth the splurge on a helicopter ride.

Packing wise you’ll want to be prepared so your wardrobe and gear doesn’t hold yourself back from any adventure your presented with. Winter which runs from November to April is known as the rainy season, and Kauai in particular is well known for its rain. So visiting during this time means preparing to protect yourself and your gear from the rain when it happens. And don’t stress if you’re visiting during this time as it likely wont rain all day or every day, so you’ll still have plenty of sunshine.

This packing list is aimed at a 4 day to 1 week holiday. If visiting for 2 weeks you can double the items, and/or make use or the laundry facilities to keep your luggage light. Read on for my Kauai Winter / rainy season packing list.


When to Visit Kauai: Weather and Seasons

As Hawaii technically has two seasons rather than four, I’ve broken the seasons down into Winter (Rainy) and Summer (Dry) below. If you really need it broken down into four seasons some websites describe Autumn/Fall as September, October, November and Spring as April, May and June.

What to pack in Summer in Kauai (May, June, July, August, September, October): Summer, also known as the dry season is a great time to visit Kauai and Hawaii in general. Temperatures are typically in the 70-high 80’s (F) range during Summer (21-32C), and things are at their coolest (in summer) in May, September and October. Hurricane season occurs during this time but you’ll unlikely be affected. Just make sure you check weather predictions before you go. During summer dress in lightweight materials or in moisture wicking fabrics, sandals and swimwear will also be your best friends.

What to pack in Winter in Kauai (November, December, January, February, March, April): If you’re hoping for the best weather possible during the rainy season aim for April. Kauai is one of the rainiest places in Hawaii but don’t let the rain dampen your holiday. If traveling during Kauai’s winter pack a rain jacket, a rain cover for your bags and waterproof shoes. Ensure you take extra care by only hiking in enclosed shoes if rain is predicted as it’ll help you get through walks when the path gets muddy.

An umbrella is a must during this time, and be prepared to embrace your friend and mine, the oversized plastic poncho. Mine’s pink and I look as amazing in it as you’d expect. Temperatures don’t differ too much from summer but can get down to 60’s on colder days and nights, plan for 15-29C / 60-80F.


What to Wear in Kauai in Winter

How to dress for Kauai in Winter:

  • 1-2 pairs of sneakers or hiking boots: do some research if you plan on doing a lot of hiking to determine if you need proper hiking boots. For casual walks and hikes you’ll be fine with decent sneakers. Aim for shoes that do well in wet weather
  • 1 pair of flipflops: for the showers or just daily wear
  • 1-2 pairs of sandals
  • 1 pair of nicer boots: for evenings if its raining and you want to go out to dinner
  • 1 pair of water shoes: I never used to wear these until I got old and now always pack a cheap pair because I imagine there are sea urchins everywhere
  • 2-3 plastic ponchos: You can buy these cheaply and they’re quite compact. I always pack two incase I get caught in the rain without an umbrella or a waterproof jacket
  • 3-7 pairs of underwear: depending on your handwash game
  • 3-5 bras: if you’re spending a lot of time at the beach 1-2 will be fine. Kauai is laid back and you’ll be fine wearing your swimmers instead. If doing a lot of hiking a sports bra will be better as well.
  • 2-3 swimsuits
  • 3-5 tops: it’s winter in name but it wont be too cold. Pack a mix of t-shirts and long sleeved shirts
  • 1-3 dresses
  • 1-2 pairs of pants: as mentioned above, its winter but you wont get too cold, still pack atleast one pair of pants just incase
  • 1-3 pairs of shorts: or skirts, but make sure you have atleast one pair of shorts for adventure type activities
  • 1-2 pairs of leggings: if you prefer to hike in these.
  • 1-2 pullovers / sweaters
  • 1 x rain jacket
  • 1-2 pajamas
  • 1 hat
  • 2-4 pairs of socks: if doing lots of hiking, otherwise disregard or just pack one pair
  • 1 x jacket: for night time when you want to look more stylish
  • 1 x umbrella: if you’re light on space just buy one once you get there
  • Waterproof bag cover: if you are traveling with a back pack it will be good to have incase you and it get caught out in the rain.
  • 1-2 towels


What to Pack for Kauai in Winter: Other Items


Travel Insurance for Kauai

Travel insurance is such an important part of your trip. It can help protect you if you have an accident and need medical care, but also if your belongings get stolen or damaged. Especially if you’re not local to the area, or if you’re from overseas. I use and recommend World Nomads as I’ve used them for over 11 years on all my trips. I find them easy to deal with and its easy to get a quick quote and apply online.

You can get an idea of prices by using the tool above.


Safety and Health in Kauai

 Hawaii in general is a laid back island, but stay safe and don’t put yourself into any unnecessary danger. Kauai has lower levels of crime but its not non-existent. Don’t wander into dark streets alone and don’t leave drinks unattended just as you wouldn’t back home.

Pay close attentions to signs indicating strong currents at the beaches, and stay between the flags if they’re set up. Try and avoid swimming alone on isolated beaches, and the same goes for hiking. While its great to have a place to yourself, try to avoid hiking alone to somewhere where you wont see another person all day. If something goes wrong it could be a long time before you get help.

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