From the cliffs of the Napali Coast to Waikiki Beach, there’s something for every type of traveller to discover on Hawaii. Each year, over 9 million people flock to the Hawaiian islands to soak up the sun, sand, and unique culture.
Are you planning a trip to Hawaii? If so, you might be worried about making sure this is a perfect getaway. As a first time visitor, there’s a lot to learn. Which islands should you choose to explore? How do you get around? This guide will answer these questions and more.
1. Choose Your Island
First, you need to choose your island. Many new visitors to Hawaii don’t realize just how many islands there are, and just how big all of them are. Each island has so much to see and do, so it’s best to stick with one or two for the duration of your stay to really soak it up. Here are some of the more popular islands.
- O’ahu – This is the classic island home to some of the most well-known sights like Waikiki, Pearl Harbor, and Lanikai Beach. It’s sometimes called “the Heart of Hawaii” since it’s so jam-packed.
- Maui – This is a diverse island known as a “honeymoon” island because it has so many beach resorts and luxurious accommodations.
- The Big Island – This is the largest island in Hawaii and it also has the most volcanic activity! You can find almost all of the world’s climate zones here.
- Kauai – Finally, Kauai is the Garden Isle. This is the most laid back of the islands, and it’s where you’ll find the famous Waimea Canyon and the Napali Coast.
2. Know When to Visit
There’s no perfect time of year to visit Hawaii. It’s usually busy all year long since it draws in visitors from the United States, Asia, and Australia. The high season is the most crowded, and this runs from November through April.
Like always, you’ll want to avoid traveling during the holidays. The most affordable and less busy times to visit are during April, May, September, and October.
3. Book Your Flight
Once you know when you want to visit, it’s time to choose your flight. Most flights will go through the Honolulu International Airport (HNL) which is on the island of Oahu. From there, you might have to take a smaller flight or a boat to get to your final destination.
Avoid taking the cheapest flight if it means wasting time with layovers or days of travel. If you’re flying from a major US city, you shouldn’t have a problem finding a direct flight.
4. Rent a Car
Do you need to rent a car on the island? The answer is most likely yes. Unless you’re staying at an all-inclusive resort with unlimited transportation and activities, you’ll need a way to get around. Getting around most of the islands is going to be a challenge without a car of your own. Plus, you’ll be able to travel on your own terms and schedule.
5. Decide Where to Stay
Choosing where to stay in Hawaii is a big decision. From Luxury Retreats on the Big Island to eco-resorts in the jungle, you’ll need to decide what’s right for your needs. If you plan to do more exploring outside of the hotel room, you might not need to stay right on the beach or in a particularly popular spot. On the other hand, if you’re visiting Hawaii to relax and enjoy the views, paying more for a luxurious location might be worth it.
You can search for accommodation options for Hawaii below.
6. Pack Right
Knowing what to pack to Hawaii is confusing. The weather can be unpredictable on a Pacific island, so it’s always better to be over-prepared. Temperatures are usually pretty mild, but you should protect yourself from the sun and potential rain.
Any Hawaii packing guide will include must-haves like sunglasses, rain jacket, sandals, hiking boots, and more. Plan your packing around your activities, and don’t forget to bring a few extra layers just in case.
Travel Insurance in Hawaii
Are you ready to enjoy the best Hawaii has to offer? There’s so much to see and do, you’ll definitely need to come back a second (or third) time. Don’t try to fit everything into your single trip. When in Hawaii, go by island time.
It’s okay to take things a little bit slower and to take in the views. There’s a reason so many people love Hawaii. Go discover this paradise for yourself.