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What to Bring With You When Snorkeling in Hawaii

a group of people swimming in the water

Are you getting ready to embark on a snorkeling tour? If so, you’re probably wondering what you should bring with you. After all, you’re going to be swimming in the ocean. You can’t just jump in the water in your regular clothes!

When going snorkeling in Hawaii, it is important that you pack some essentials. These include:

Bathing suit

You’re going to be swimming in the ocean. Therefore, you need to pack a bathing suit. Don’t pack just any suit, though. Make sure what your packing is comfortable and appropriate. A string bikini is great for tan lines but not great when swimming under the blazing sun for several hours.

For those who are paler and prone to sunburn, it does not matter how much sunblock you put on, snorkeling is a great recipe for turning into a lobster. Rashguards with SPF protection are highly recommended.

For those who get cold easily, a spring suit wetsuit is a great solution in the wintertime when the ocean averages around 77 degrees. Although that does not seem too cold to most it may feel colder after floating in the water for several minutes and if there is a persistent breeze. In the summer the temperatures average around 82 degrees making it much more comfortable for simple bathing suit wear.

Also make sure to consider colors and embellishments. There are wild animals swimming around you, some of which may be drawn to sequins or bright colors. Make sure to pack appropriately, with consideration of your circumstances.

Change of clothes

You won’t want to walk around in a soaking wet suit after you’re done having fun in the water. Therefore, bring a change of clothes. We recommend something lightweight and comfortable, with a jacket to protect against the wind. You’ll be thankful to have something dry to change into, trust us!


Snorkeling in Hawaii is an ocean activity. Therefore, you’re going to want a towel to help you dry off after you get out of the water. It’s not required, but towels are much better for you than air drying. Especially since the wind can be a bit chilly on wet skin.

Towels can also be used as sun protection too. Wrap them around yourself after swimming and your skin will get a much-needed break from those harsh UV rays.

Swim shoes

Believe it or not, taking swim shoes while snorkeling is a great idea. Especially if you are snorkeling around reefs. This is because shoes can protect you from cuts and injuries. The last thing you want to do is cut your foot on a piece of coral and have to stop the fun for treatment.

Additionally, injuries in the water can attract local wildlife. This is not only unsafe for you but for everyone else joining you on the snorkel tour. Therefore, consider bringing shoes that are safe and water-friendly to protect yourself and other swimmers.

Reef safe sunscreen or rashguard

Skin protection is important when snorkeling in Hawaii. After all, temps here can soar over three digits with the sun is blazing in the sky most days. Therefore, you should bring some form of biodegradable sunscreen or a rash guard when snorkeling.

We ask that you use reef-safe sunscreen or a rash guard in an effort to protect the environment. Our ecosystem is more fragile than ever and protecting it from harsh chemicals found in most sunscreens is our number one priority. Make sure to take this into account when thinking about sun protection and planning for your day on the water.

Waterproof camera

If you don’t take photos, did you really go snorkeling? We don’t think so! If you want to make the most out of snorkeling in Hawaii, you should definitely bring a waterproof camera with you. You can buy disposable cameras or nicer digital cameras that are both water and shockproof. These are perfect for snorkeling because you can get great photos of wildlife and not have to worry about protecting the camera.

In addition to the waterproof camera, make sure there is some form of security strap on it so you don’t accidentally drop it in the water.

Snorkel gear

What’s a snorkeling tour without snorkel gear? If your tour doesn’t offer snorkel gear as a part of your excursion package, then you’ll need to bring along some essentials. These include both a mask and fins.


Most importantly, you need to wear a mask. This will help you see clearly when you’re looking down into the water. It will also have a mouthpiece so you can continue breathing without having to lift your head up for air.


In addition to a mask, you should also bring along fins for your feet. They help you propel yourself through the water and fight the moving currents. Make sure your fins are adjusted beforehand to fit your specific shoe size so they work properly and are comfortable to wear.

There you have it! With this simple list of essentials, you’ll be able to go snorkeling in Hawaii.

Kauai Sea Tours

Are you ready to book the snorkeling tour of your dreams? If so, contact us at Kauai Sea Tours. We have been taking customers like you on snorkeling excursions for many years. We’ll go up to the Napali Coast where you’ll enjoy breathtaking scenery, stunning wildlife, and an afternoon you’ll never forget.

Don’t trust just anyone when snorkeling in Hawaii – trust Kauai Sea Tours to show you all that Hawaii has to offer!

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