Planning Your Hawaiian Getaway

The Hawaiian Islands are quite a popular option for travelers and vacationers. Tropically located in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, they attracted over 9 million visitors in 2016 alone! It is easy to see why the state is so popular with its beautiful serene waters and sandy beaches — and in addition to the beaches, there is plenty more to see and do around the islands. They feature museums, historical sites, unique wildlife, and countless volcanos (some of which are still active). Whether you are visiting by yourself, with a friend, or with your whole family, you can plan a perfect getaway filled with great food, fun activities, and total relaxation. Below are some do’s and don’ts and important things you will need to consider when planning your trip.

Where, How Long, and When to Go

The first step to planning any vacation is obviously deciding where you are going, what time of year you are going, and how long you are going to stay. With Hawaii, you need to decide which island or islands you want to visit the most. This is because unless you plan to stay for a month or longer, you will not have the time, the patience, or the funds to visit every island during one short vacation. If you are unsure of where to start, you can review the visitor’s bureau website for each island and order a free island guide for whatever looks most appealing to you.

To choose when you are going, definitely visit Hawaii during the off-season if you can, rather than traveling during school holidays and typical vacation months. In the summer when school is out and during winter when students are on Christmas break, tons of tourists will be crowding the beaches. During these times, flight and hotel rates are also outrageously expensive due to the higher traffic of tourism. You can find the best values for visiting Hawaii in the months of May and October. While this may not be ideal for families with children, it is perfect for the traveler who looks for reasonably low-priced flights and accommodations.

Air Travel and Accommodations

After you decide which island(s) you want to visit, you will need to begin the search for affordable plane tickets and a place to stay. The best time to buy airline tickets is on National Cheap Flight Day (August 23) because it marks the end of peak travel season, ushering in the off-peak season. You’ll find tickets at the lowest prices from this point on into the fall months. If you are not planning to visit in the fall, you can still find great deals for plane tickets three to four months before your chosen departure date.

The best way to find affordable accommodations is to comparison shop online for the best deals. One thing you should definitely avoid is blowing your entire budget on a fancy resort that can cost $400-600 per night. Instead, opt for a more authentic experience by renting a condo with all the necessary and practical amenities like a kitchen and washing machine. You will save money for nice meals, fun activities, and sightseeing!

Sightseeing and Activities

Whether you are spending time at the beach or further inland on the island away from it, Hawaii has an abundance of sightseeing opportunities and things to do. You can learn to surf, go snorkeling, kayak, visit the Pearl Harbor memorial site, go hiking near waterfalls, take a volcano tour, and visit many sacred and religious sites. A Maui luau is a popular activity that visitors — especially families — enjoy attending. You can find affordable tickets online for not only luaus, but dinner cruises, helicopter tours, zip lines, etc., as well. Some activities, such as sitting on the beach watching a free hula show, are wonderful experiences that won’t cost you a dime!

Hawaii can be the perfect tropical location for your next vacation if you consider each of these vital tips. Don’t forget to take the time to actually relax on the soothing beach while you’re there!