Planning your trip to Hawaii is an exciting matter — as Hawaii is the ultimate dream destination for many travelers. The different Hawaiian Islands offer something for everybody: from beautiful beaches to breathtaking volcanic landscapes to rainforests and hills, they are always worth a visit.
The key to a successful trip to Hawaii is carefully planning it in advance. This includes researching both places to stay and ideas for trips. Another important factor is keeping track of your costs. You will have vastly different budgets depending on whether you plan a relaxed sightseeing trip or a family trip or an adventure trip with different activities such as snorkeling and diving.
Make sure to keep track of your costs — Hawaii is a costly holiday destination. Our wide selection of rental cars offers the right model for every budget. Consider traveling in the off-season to save extra money. The early off-season is January through May; the latter off-season is September through mid-December. You can also save money by booking your hotel or condo well in advance.
With reflection and foresight, you can save money in various scenarios. For example, if you plan that every day you will be going on road trips or doing sight-seeing, then you may not need a hotel room with an ocean view, and so, you can save money there. Especially when travelling with children, a condo may be preferable over a hotel.
When beginning to plan your long-anticipated trip to Hawaii, one of the first steps is choosing the season you want to visit. What are the best months for you depends on your individual plans and the factors that are important to you:
Hawaii has great weather, however there are still slight seasonal changes. Remember that it lies on the Southern Hemisphere — which means that your Summer is their Winter. Hawaii's winter season is mainly characterized by big waves and more rain than in the Summer. So if you plan on surfing, Winter is the perfect season for your stay.
The increased level of rain also means that you can see more waterfalls — and the jungle areas are even lusher and greener than in the Summer.
So when is the best time to go? Generally speaking, Hawaiian weather is great all year round, attracting tourists from all over the world at all times. However, we can still classify three travel seasons.
Peak season is at the time of the Winter Holidays — when travelers want to spend Christmas or New Year’s Eve on one of the Hawaiian Islands. This is the most expensive season in all regards, from flights to hotels.
Then, there is another peak season in June, July and August when most countries of the Northern Hemisphere have their summer vacation. This is the time when families most often travel to Hawaii. It is not the cheapest time to travel, but you can still find great offers at reasonable prices. You can reduce costs by taking care of many things in advance. For example, book your rental car online and pick it up at your desired destination for a stress-free start to your vacation.
Then there are the so-called "shoulder seasons": from January to May and from September to mid-December. These are the cheapest weeks and months to travel and are a great choice for more budget-friendly travel experiences.
As with all travel, keeping track of your budget is crucial. The total of your costs depends on where you are staying, what you have planned for the day, and also on the time of year you are visiting.
Flying to Hawaii is expensive and there are no low-cost airlines to this destination. Make sure to check out which islands and airports are cheapest at which time of year to get the best deals. One great way of keeping your costs low: book your rental car in advance. When it comes to discovering Hawaii, a rental car is your best option — and preferable to public transportation or taxis.
As with most vacations, your accommodations are your the highest costs. In Hawaii you will find every type of accommodation, from cheaper hotels to luxury resorts. For the most part, when traveling with more people, the best option is to find a condo or a larger two-bedroom apartment.
When it comes to food and drink, it is completely up to you how much money you want to spend. You can find all the groceries you need in the typical American grocery stores or you can opt for discovering the great variety of restaurants. The second option will obviously be more expensive. With restaurants, avoid the resort areas if you want to save money.
All of the Hawaiian Islands offer you interesting excursions for whatever you desire. You can take a snorkeling trip, or a helicopter tour, or take part in a whale-watching tour — and with each, have yourself the experience of a lifetime.
And don’t forget shopping! Hawaii offers you everything from souvenir shops to small markets to high-end designer stores in the resorts — places where you will find treasures, big and small. Again, keep track of your budget and you will have a great time.
Having your own rental car is a great idea that offers you the freedom to roam the Hawaiian Islands at your leisure. No matter which of the islands you pick for your stay, travelling by car is always the best option as you cannot reach all areas by public transportation — and taxis are very expensive.
For your vacation on Hawaii’s Big Island you can pick any type of car, as most roads can easily be accessed without an SUV. Waimea Canyon State Park is well worth driving all the way up to for its incredibly scenic and panoramic views. Another great road trip destination is Hilo with its many natural wonders.
One classic road trip is the Road to Hana on Maui. Here, you drive up the winding roads of the East Coast and discover something new with every turn you take. In this case, renting a convertible is a great idea so that you can fully experience the beauty of the drive.
When travelling to Big Island for the first time, there is a lot to explore. From beaches to volcanoes to idyllic valleys, Big Island has it all. Depending on what type of traveler you are, you can plan your vacation in advance and enjoy your stay to the fullest. Big Island is also a paradise for hikers with places like Waipio Valley and Mauna Kea.
Maui is a great destination for first-time Hawaii travelers and offers many budget-friendly options. Check out Makena State Park with its peaceful beaches and beautiful sunsets or go hiking along the many free trails like the Kapalua Coastal Trails or the trek to the famous Waimoku Falls.
Kauai is the place to visit if you enjoy dramatic scenery. Drive up to the NaPali Coast to see the impressive towering cliffs. Visit the panoramic Waimea Canyon, known as "The Grand Canyon of the Pacific". Kauai is also home to some of the world’s best waterfalls like Wailua Falls and Hanakapiai Falls.
The Island of Oahu, with its capital Honolulu, is one of the most popular vacation spots in the world. From the historic site of Pearl Harbor to the volcano tuff of Diamond Head with its spectacular view of Honolulu, Oahu offers the perfect activities and sights for everyone. Hanauma Bay on the southeast coast is perfect for snorkeling and enjoying the wildlife.
There is a wide range of hotels that offer all-inclusive stays for their guests. If you travel with small children and plan to get back to your hotels in the afternoons, this might be a great option for you.
In order to fully take advantage of what the Hawaiian Islands have to offer, you should plan to stay for a minimum of 10 days. This will give you the opportunity to get fully acclimated first before you plan any bigger day trips.