Hawaiian Island Travel: Hawaii Inter-island Flights & Ferry Ultimate Guide

Hawaii Inter Island Flights

From our many trips to Hawaii, we’ve determined that island hopping around the Hawaiian Islands may not be as straightforward as you might think. In fact, navigating from Hawaiian island to island can sometimes be a little confusing.

To help clear confusion, we’ve created this guide to inter-island travel. Though this guide was originally written in 2009, we keep it up to date as ferry and flight services come and go in the Hawaiian Islands.

1. The predominant method of inter-island travel is by flying.

Many people assume there’s a network of ferries to transport you from island to island. That’s not the case in Hawaii. Ferry service is only available between the islands of Maui and Lanai. To travel between all the other Hawaiian islands, you must fly. Let’s look at frequently asked questions about how to travel between the four major Hawaiian Islands:

  • How do you travel between Oahu and Maui? You must fly. There is no passenger ferry service.
  • How do you travel between Oahu and the Big Island? You must fly. There is no passenger ferry service.
  • How do you travel between Oahu and Kauai? You must fly. There is no passenger ferry service.
  • How do you travel between Kauai and Maui? You must fly. There is no passenger ferry service.
  • How do you travel between Kauai and the Big Island? You must fly. There is no passenger ferry service.
  • How do you travel between Maui and the Big Island? You must fly. There is no passenger ferry service.

2. Most Hawaiian inter-island flights route/connect through Oahu’s (HNL) Honolulu Airport.

Honolulu’s airport, HNL, on the island of Oahu is Hawaii’s largest airport. Most flights route directly or connect through HNL.

Another little tidbit to keep in mind as you consider your flight options is a little island terminology. Oahu is often thought of as the main island as that’s where Hawaii’s largest population lives. The other islands are referred to as “neighbor” islands.

A secondary, smaller airport hub within Hawaii is Maui’s OGG airport.

As you island hop, you’ll discover that some islands have more than one airport. How do you know which airport to choose? Check out our guide, Flying to Hawaii – How to Choose the Right Airport.

3. Check for direct inter-island flights when possible.

If you want to fly inter-island, your best option is to fly direct as that will save you the most time. As previously mentioned most flights do connect in Honolulu, but there are a limited number of direct flights from neighbor island to neighbor island. Look for those as you do your flight searches. They can save you an hour or more waiting at a connecting airport.

So, as you are searching for inter-island flights between say Kauai (LIH) and the Big Island (either Kona’s KOA or Hilo’s ITO), for example, the vast majority of flights for that route include a connection in Honolulu (HNL).  In that example, if you aren’t careful in selecting your flights, you can end up spending upwards of six hours in transit for what should be about an hour-long flight if it was direct. If a direct flight is not available, then be careful to choose a connecting flight that minimizes the connection time.

4. *NEW* Be aware of travel restrictions and possible quarantines due to COVID-19 

In late 2020 and early 2021, Hawaii COVID travel restrictions were very complex. Thankfully some rules are relaxing. As of June 15, 2021, inter-island travel restrictions have been lifted. Once in Hawaii, vacationers are able to travel from island to island without restrictions. The only exception is that if a person is subject to quarantine, they are not allowed to travel from island to island until they have completed the quarantine process.

For Hawaii’s COVID-related travel rules, see these these links to the official sites from the state of Hawaii:

Honolulu Inter Island Flights

Now, we’ll list the airlines that offer inter-island travel service within Hawaii.

Hawaii Inter-island Travel by Air

Here are all the inter-island air carriers along with a few notes including some of the local background. (Note that you can visit these airlines websites directly to determine their current deals, flight maps, schedules and much more information.)


Hawaiian Airlines
This airline is most established and has the largest inter-island fleet of all jet engines. They fly to all the major islands. Hawaiian Airlines is our preferred airline for inter-island flights. From our experiences, their inter-island aircraft is roomy, clean and you can get a seat assignment. As another benefit, they usually provide free maps to your destination island, too.

Southwest Airlines
Southwest Airlines began service in 2019. Current Southwest routes within Hawaii are to Oahu, Maui and Kona on Hawaii (Big) Island. Starting in January 2020, Southwest will add inter-island service to Lihue on to Kauai and to Hilo on Hawaii (Big) Island. One notable benefit to flying Southwest is that up to two bags fly for free without luggage fees.

Mokulele Airlines
This very small airline flies to Oahu, Maui, Molokai, Hawaii’s Big Island and Lanai. Mokulele flies with nine-passenger Cessna Grand Caravan aircraft. We have flown several times on Mokulele. Their flights normally leave from the commuter terminals which are much less stressful than the main terminals. See our article with a video of a flight from Maui to Lanai.

Mokulele Inter Island Flights

Makani Kai Air
Makani Air is merging with Mokulele Airlines in 2020. They fly nine-passenger Cessna Grand Caravan turboprop planes.

*** General Advice For Finding the Cheapest and Shortest Hawaii Flights ***

When you are looking for a Hawaiian inter-island flight, it’s best to explore all your options. Check fares and schedules directly on each of the above airlines. It should be a relatively easy search. As you search, be sure to look for non-stop flights to get to your destination in the shortest amount of time.

How much are inter-island flights in Hawaii? On average, they cost about $150 roundtrip.

As you’re planning your vacation budget, a good number to estimate for roundtrip inter-island flights is $150. It’s a good ball park figure, but hopefully you’ll find something that’s even less. With Southwest entering the inter-island market in 2019, we are starting to see inter-island flights for under $100.

Hawaiian Inter-island Travel by Ferry

Over the years we’ve seen ferry services in Hawaii come and go. Currently, there is only one ferry service in operation. It runs between Lanai and Maui only. Here is the list of current Hawaii ferry service options.

Lanai Ferry

Maui-Lanai Expeditions
This passenger ferry offers ferry service from Lahaina on Maui to Lanai at Manele Bay. In addition to the ferry service, you can purchase Lanai tour packages with this ferry service.

Note: We have made numerous changes to this article as we are made aware of them. Service, routes, type of aircraft, etc. are all subject to change without notice.

Hawaii Inter Island Flights

  1. I’m going to miss the Superferry! What a drag… I had planned to go “Car Camping” with the family on Maui this summer. Oh well. :^(

    BTW – I’ve been living here for 10 years and had no idea that we had two other ferries! :^)

    1. Hi Dave. Are you a Veteran by any chance. I’m Veteran here in Port Charlotte Fl. Was wondering since I’m a Vet can I travel from I guess California to Hawaii on a military Hop. As well as possibly be able stay on a Base while in Hawaii for a couple weeks.
      Thanks for your time hope to hear back from you. C Jones

  2. Dave – yeah, I think the Superferry offered a nice alternative for inter-island travel and it’s too bad that option is gone.

    I’m glad that a long-time resident, such as yourself, can learn something new from this blog from time to time. Traveling in Hawaii and living in Hawaii are vastly different.Through all my travels to Hawaii, I’ve had to solve lots of logistics issues, where a resident probbly wouldn’t have the same needs.

  3. I have a question: we are flying to HI from DC. We land in HNL but want to go straight to Kauai. Since we are flying USAirways to get to HNL, will we have to get our luggage at baggage claim and then go through security again for our flight to Kauai? How much time should we allow between flights? We arrive at 3:45 pm (if all goes according to plan) so what time should we look for a departing flight to Kauai? Thanks for your help!

    1. tracy –

      First check to see if you can check your luggage all the way through to Kauai. If you call US Airways and explain the situation, they may be able to let you know.

      Next, try not to check luggage so that you’ll completely eliminate the possible need to reclaim it and go through security. It is by far the least stressful way to fly…and cheaper to avoid baggage fees. See my article for strategies for just bringing carry on luggage: https://www.govisithawaii.com/2008/08/22/six-strategies-for-packing-light/ If you just bring carry ons, you’ll just need to go from one terminal to another all within the secure area.

      If the above suggestions don’t fit your situation, to be on the safe side, I’d allow 1.5 hrs between flights.

      One good thing about inter-island flights, is that if you miss one, there’s a good chance you can make it onto the next flight.

  4. We would like a simple look at a couple of Islands–is a cruise line the way to go? Which one is your favorite? If we can spend 2 weeks on this trip, we would like to spend half of it on land, and not on the ship.

    1. Susan – I can only share my opinion based on what you’ve described what you’d like.

      While a cruise is a great way to see the major islands in a short amount of time, personally, I prefer experiencing Hawaii on the land. I enjoy waking up to the sound of birds chirping and then in the evening, taking a stroll along paths lit with tiki torches.

      I can honestly say I love all the Hawaiian Islands. They all have their own special features and personalities, so it’s not like if you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all.

      Tell me a little bit more about what you enjoy doing on vacation and I’ll suggest some islands that are best likely to suit you.

  5. This is a great article! My fiance and I are spending our honeymoon at the Four Seasons Manele Bay on Lanai. We will be there for 12 nights (yay for the 4th night free deal!) but want to visit the Big Island for one day. I’ve been doing a lot of research to find good deals because fares are so expensive to and from Lanai.

    I’m a little confused – Hawaiian Airlines quotes $248 from Hilo to Honolulu to Lanai City (the last leg is operated by Island Air) but booking the SAME flights through the separate airlines is $137.

    Would you recommend booking the flights separately? Is there a reason HA is charging so much? We would not check any baggage. I would gladly deal with the extra paperwork to save over $100 each.

    1. Hi Brittany – you will love the Four Seasons at Manale Bay. Have you seen my recent review? https://www.govisithawaii.com/2010/04/12/review-update-four-seasons-resort-lanai-at-manele-bay/

      As for day flights to the Big Island – that’s odd that you are getting such differing prices — especially since HA doesn’t offer flights from Lanai City. They use Island Air for that service to Honolulu from Lanai City.

      You might want to call them and explain the situation.

      The only risk you take in booking separately is that if for some reason one of the flights are delayed, you’re at the mercy of the other airline to honor your flight. It’s a fairly low risk. If it was me, I’d book separately to save.

      Hope that helps. Let me know how it works out.

    2. Hello! There is only one ferry that still remains open that is Maui to Lanai. They offer I think 3 or 4 different departure times a day. A really inexpensive airline to fly between islands is Mokulele airlines. It is a small 9 seater plane and most flights are $40 one way. For some reason if you try booking from Expedia or I think I tried cheap flights also I had to book each flight individually. We went from Maui to Molokai, Molokai back to Maui then to Big Island and Big Island Back to Maui. The only flights from Molokai that were offered at the time were back to Maui so you may want to check on that one. They don’t offer as many flights per day as Hawaiian Airlines but I found it much cheaper once I Went straight to their website to book. The views are out of this world especially up the coast of Molokai which boasts the highest sea cliffs in the world. The Jurassic Park movies used areas of Molokai in opening scenes and parts of movie I read somewhere. The people are super friendly and it was a fun experience for the kids flying in such a small plane. If you don’t like flying or want a perfectly smooth ride maybe not for you since the air current and wind gusts are felt much more in a plane of that size.

  6. Hi Sheila, You seem very knowlegable so here goes. My company is flying me to Waikiki in March 2011 and providing 3 nights at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. I am not going all that way (from Ontario) and not staying longer. Spouse and 13 year old son also coming. I have found availability and am looking at booking Wyndham Bali Hai Villas in Princeville on Kauai for the first week, Vacation International Sea Mountain on Hawaii (looks like lots to do-black sand beach; Volcano National Park and Akaka Falls) for the second week and ending with the 3 days in Waikiki for my work conference. No clue though how to coordinate all this. Do we have to fly in to Waikiki and go from there? Any input on the resorts I am looking at or advice in general? Any help in planning a smooth vacation would be greatly appreciated.

    1. Susan –

      You should definitely take advantage of that time and see more of Hawaii.

      Regarding your plans:

      – Princeville area is gorgeous, but tends to be a little bit rainy on that side of the island, that time of year.

      – It might be easiest and cheapest to coordinate your flights in and out of Honolulu Airport on Oahu. You should check a flight search tool kike Kayak. It is possible to fly from the mainland directly to Kauai and the Big Island.

      – I had to google the Big Island accommodation you’re considering as I’d never heard of it before. It’s in Punaluu which is really off the beaten path and not near a lot of the Big Island attractions.

      You’d probably benefit from reviewing these online island vacation guides:
      Kauai – https://www.govisithawaii.com/kauai-vacation-guide/
      Big Island – https://www.govisithawaii.com/hawaii-big-island-vacation-guide/
      Oahu – https://www.govisithawaii.com/oahu-vacation-guide/

  7. Thanks for the great information in your article and in response to the other questioners. I have a question, too.

    My wife and I (sans children for the first time in years! :-)will be in hawaii in December and are returning to the mainland on a weekday evening close to christmas. Our flight back to the US leaves from Maui, but we will be spending much of our trip in kauai. We are planning to fly from Kauai to Maui through honolulu on the same day we will be flying back to the mainland, but this interisland flight is unaffiliated with our homeward bound flight that evening. We are trying to figure out what time to fly back to maui on the 23rd in order to be sure we can catch our flight home, assuming no bags to check. Given that it is close to the christmas weekend, it is even more important than usual that we do not miss our flight because of some delay with security or heavy airport traffic that would have been expected by soemone with more experience. For example, if our flight back to the mainland leaves maui at 6pm, should we plan on being back in maui at 4? 2? 3? some other time? We don’t have any experience with the inter island flights. Any information/advice you can give us would be much appreciated.

    1. Marc – interisland flights generally run like clockwork in Hawaii, but as you have suspected with the holidays, the airport and flights will be close to full capacity. If your flight to the mainland leaves Maui at 6pm, I think you’d be safe if you plan to arrive in Maui at around 4pm.

      Some of the interisland carriers make you check luggage if it exceeds weight and/or dimension limits. Bear that in mind and check the limits as you are considering your interisland flight options/fares. We have found that sometimes the rules are enforced and sometimes not. So, it’s hard to say absolutely.

      For example, in April/May we flew in and out of Kauai on Hawaiian via Honolulu. The very same carry-on luggage that we flew into Kauai from Honolulu as carry-ons had to be checked (with a fee!) when we left Kauai.

      Another time (during the holiday period last year) we flew from the mainland to Honolulu to Lanai to Honolulu to the Big Island to Honolulu to the mainland. (Complicated!) We used both Island Air and Hawaiian Air for interisland flights. Luggage we flew into Lanai with Island Air as carry-ons had to be checked with a fee when we left Lanai.

      Please verify this with the airline, but our experience has been that the inter-island carriers are able to check luggage through to our final destination. So, we did not have to leave the secure area to collect our luggage and go through security again.

      Hope that helps and enjoy your visit.

  8. Sheila,

    My spouse, a friend of ours and I are beginning our research into a trip to Hawaii. Because two of us are teachers, our options are limited. We must either go for one week in April or go during the summer. Because we would like to stay a couple of weeks, we are leaning toward the late July or early August. However, I have read that November or December through March are actually the high season months. Are there sights we would not be able to see and would regret missing if we were to wait until the July-August time frame; sights that would make an April vacation a better option?


    1. Steve,

      December (around Christmas) through March are “high season months” only because it’s typically cold on the US Mainland. Folks in the northern states go to Hawaii to warm up. Humpback whales are also visiting the islands that time of year, but the warm weather is the biggest draw that time of year.

      Depending on what island you plan to visit, you will most likely still see humpback whales in April.

      You might want to check out this article I wrote on the best times to visit Hawaii: https://www.govisithawaii.com/2007/10/15/the-best-times-to-visit-hawaii/

      Happy planning!

  9. Hi Sheila,
    thanks for this great article. it is very helpful but sure how updated it is. my family and I (with 3 kids), are arriving from Israel this april via LAX to to OGG (maui) for camping trip. from there we would like to get to the Big Island for two weeks and after to Honolulu for another 2 weeks. we are hopping to camp out the whole stay.
    my questions are:
    1. are there any ferry services b/w these islands?
    2. if so, what is the travel time?
    3. any place online I get more info about it like prices and schedule?
    4. can you recommend any camping sites with hot showers on Maui, Big Island, and Oahu.
    thank you

    1. Kobi-

      This article is still accurate. A few flight paths may have changed here or there, but nothing of huge significance.

      So, there is NO ferry service from Maui to the Big Island or from the Big Island to Oahu.

      For camping, you can find all the Hawaii camping information available here: http://www.hawaiistateparks.org/camping/ There’s really not any private camping that I’m aware of beyond what the state provides.

  10. Hey Sheila,

    Thx for the very helpful information. I thought hopping from island to island would be easier that a major airline but I guess I need to see it like here in CA. It would be like flying from LA to SF. Here, you can drive but it takes a while.
    I had to get perspective of the islands.

    1. Hi Allie,

      Your California analogy is a good one. Though the flights in Hawaii are usually only about 20 minutes long.

      Island hopping in Hawaii is fairly easy, but for the most part, we have to depend on flights to hop us around. 🙂

  11. Hi,

    Great article! Appreciate all the advice!

    We are traveling to Hawaii in mid August of this year. We are staying in Ohau for 5 days, and the Big Island for another 5 days. Me, the wife and 3 kids (5yr, 16yr and 17 yr). On which side of both islands would you suggest we stay?

    Also would you suggest booking our inter island flights now, or take a chance on getting last minute deals?

    1. Brad – It really depends on what you’re looking for in your Oahu and Big Island vacations.

      On Oahu, most people tend to flock to Waikiki Beach. Though it is very popular,it’s not for everyone. Read more about where to stay on Oahu here: https://www.govisithawaii.com/oahu-where-to-stay/ from my Oahu vacation guide: https://www.govisithawaii.com/oahu-vacation-guide/

      On the Big Island, I particularly like the Waikoloa Beach Resort area of the Kohala Coast. It offers moderately priced resorts along with a good collection of restaurants and activities. See more on where to stay on the Big Island https://www.govisithawaii.com/hawaiis-big-island-where-to-stay/ from my Big Island vacation guide: https://www.govisithawaii.com/hawaii-big-island-vacation-guide/

      If you’re going in mid-August, that’s a busy time in Hawaii. I might suggest you book sooner rather than later. I don’t expect any kind of last minute inter-island airfare deal — just based on years of observation. Bear in mind that I don’t have a crystal ball, though. 🙂

  12. Dear Shiela, Your website and expertise is truly wonderful! I am flying in with my family to Waikiki for two weeks in April. But we would love to see Maui. What’s the most economical way of seeing all the natural beauty of Maui? My husband is in his 70’s and can walk a bit, but not that much. Thank you so much! Mary

    1. Hi Mary-

      Thanks for the kind words.

      I assume you’re thinking about a day trip to Maui. If so, there are packaged, organized trips you can do that are stress free, but they can be pricey, starting at around $300 per person. You could opt creating your own Maui tour by catching early morning interisland flights from Honolulu to Maui (OGG), rent a car, return back to Oahu in the evening. You’d pay significantly less by doing your own thing. In fact, you might even save enough that you could pay for a helicopter tour of the island for you both, which would really be amazing.

      Just some highlights of what you might want to see by car:
      – Iao Valley – https://www.govisithawaii.com/2010/06/21/make-a-point-to-visit-this-mauis-iao-needle/ (there’s not a lot of walking required, but there are some short sections that are a little steep.)
      – Go to West Maui – see the beaches
      – Stop off at elevated points in West Maui to whale watch. April is the end of humpback whale season, but they’re definitely still swimming in Maui’s waters.
      – maybe take in lunch at the Plantation House in Kapalua https://www.govisithawaii.com/2007/09/26/review-of-the-plantation-house-restaurant-in-kapalua-maui/ Lunches are tasty and fairly well-priced. It’s also a wonderful place for whale watching.
      – See a bit of historic Lahaina town, especially their famous banyan tree.
      – Maybe go upcountry a bit to see the pasture lands.
      – You might have time to drive up to the top of Haleakala for a very surreal view of Maui. https://www.govisithawaii.com/2010/11/22/mauis-mount-haleakala/
      – For dinner near the airport – I like https://www.govisithawaii.com/2010/01/28/maui-restaurant-review-haliimaile-general-store/ and https://www.govisithawaii.com/2008/06/20/mmm-mmm-mamas-fish-house/

  13. Dear Sheila, Thank you so very much for your great advice! We just don’t know how to thank you. It’s been our dream to go to Hawaii for decades, and now that we are finally retired, we are truly looking forward to this. I went to kayak and looked up airfairs – they all seem to be around 180/rd trip. Is this about right? But I do not know which airport on Maui to chose. There are 6 different choice? Which one do you recommend? And our friends recommended a relatively inexpensive hotel on Maui -Napili Surf Beach Resort. Do you like this one? Or do you have any recommendations about nice, but inexpensive hotels in Maui? My husband loves waterfalls and scenic places. Best if car accessible since we are not spring chickens. All the places you send sounds wonderful. If we stay more than one night, is there anywhere in particular you could recommend we stay? Thank you again for helping to make our dreams come true!

    1. Mary – I’m glad that you are making plans to make your dream trip to Hawaii come true. It is paradise on earth!

      Maui’s main airport is OGG in Kahalui. All the other airports are much smaller and don’t offer as many flights, rental car choices, etc.

      $180pp round trip sounds a little bit on the highside, but only by about $40. I just did a quick check on Kayak picking some random April dates and got $142 per person. As I mention in this article, Hawaiian Airlines is the best of all the inter-island carriers. Their fleet is the largest, cleanest, and they give you free maps. 🙂

      Since you’re planning more time than just a day — you should plan a day going on the road to Hana. It’s loaded with waterfalls on a coastal rainforest. It can be a stressful drive with numerous hairpin turns and one-lane bridges. So, you might consider going with a small guided tour which takes away the stress because they know the road so well, know where the stops are and provide good commentary about the history and sites. https://www.govisithawaii.com/2010/04/14/touring-the-road-to-hana-independently-vs-guided-tour/

      As for where to stay — there’s tons of options. I’ve never stayed at Napali Surf Beach Resort, so I can’t speak from experience. Have you checked out their reviews on TripAdvisor.com? http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Review-g60634-d87317-Reviews-Napili_Surf_Beach_Resort-Lahaina_Maui_Hawaii.html#CHECK_RATES_CONT

      The Napili area is quite nice. It’s in West Maui. Other nearby resorts you might want to consider — Napili Kai Beach Resort is highly rated. There’s lots of good options at Kaanapali Beach, too. We like the Sheraton Maui at Kaanapali Beach.

      Best of luck with your planning and trip!

    2. We enjoyed Napili Resort. It’s free parking, calm beach, and often see turtles. Kaanapali is 10 minutes drives which has nice beach also but expensive hotels. Staff at Napili are nice. You can hike to Ritz Carlton Hotel which is also a nice hotel, but no swimming area. Just nice to visit.

      1. Actually there is a really nice beach at the Ritz Carlton at DT Fleming Beach. Just keep following the path way on the oceanside of the resort, which leads you to that gorgeous beach.

  14. Hi Sheila! Great article, very helpful! I’m getting married September 3rd of this year, and we’re flying out of Raleigh, NC (RDU) on the 4th for our honeymoon.

    We’re staying in Waikoloa (Big Island) from the 4th thru 11th and then in Kaanapali (Maui) from the 11th thru the 18th.

    Any suggestions for the best way to arrange the flights? I’m thinking RDU to KOA (Kona) and then KOA to OGG (Kahului) and then OGG back home to RDU, but I’m not sure if I should try and get one big multi-city flight or try and split it up and book something thru Hawaiian Airlines. We’re also planning on renting cars on both islands to do our own exploring. Thank you for any help you can provide, it can be very overwhelming! -Will

    1. Hi Will and fellow RDU’er. That’s our home airport, too. (https://www.govisithawaii.com/2008/06/26/where-do-i-live-on-hawaii/)

      I recommend that you try search and compare:
      – RDU – KOA – OGG – RDU as a whole. Kayak and Expedia allows you to look at a multi-city trip like that.
      – RDU – HNL, HNL – OGG, then separately look at your inter-island needs.

      From RDU, we usually fly American to either DFW or ORD and then direct from there to HNL. For us, we like cutting out a LAX stop which makes the travel time longer. Plus we like the bigger planes that fly from ORD or DFW. That’s our personal choice.

  15. First of all Shelia – THANK YOU for an amazing resource.

    Just starting to plan our 20-day trip back to Hawaii for the first time in 10-years for March & April 2012.

    You mentioned that larger planes fly from ORD & DFW compared with LAX, and I was wondering if this is a general rule? We’ll be flying into the States from the UK and therefore want to plan the shortest trip but one that is most comfortable.

    We’re looking to visit four islands in total, which I know is ambitious. With around five days on each island we will start with Oahu and end with Maui, but hoped that you might be able to advise if there would be any +ve or -ve to the order of the other two island we’re considering of Big Island & Kauai?

    Looking at maps I see that Kauai is further north and perhaps you might have an opinion of if we should substitute Kauai for either Molokai or Lanai to save on journey times but to try and enjoy the most of what is on offer?

    To give you an idea our trip will be a mixture of relaxing days, activities and trips to see the most of Hawaii we can. We’re not super fit but up for some walking and will be considering the need to hire a car on each island.

    Look forward to your thoughts and thanks in advance


    1. Hi Wilf,

      From traveling from the East Coast of the US to Hawaii, we have found that direct flights from DFW (Dallas) and ORD (Chicago) to HNL have consistently offered the larger aircraft that we prefer. I should add that we try to put all our frequent flier eggs in on basket with American Airlines. DFW and ORD are major connecting hubs for American Airlines. I know AA flies from London to DFW and ORD direct (or at least they have in the past), so that could be an option for you.

      Other airlines may have different hubs with direct flights. For example Delta/Northwest would have Detroit and Atlanta. United Airlines would also have Chicago and Denver. Continental would have Houston, Cleveland, and Newark as hubs.

      Though Kauai is further north, it’s really just a short flight (less than an hour) from any of the other islands.

      With HNL (Honolulu) being the main hub in Hawaii, the vast majority of inter-island flights originate or connect there. It is really easy to get a nonstop inter-island flight from HNL to any of the other islands.

      Maui, Kauai, Big Island, Lanai and Molokai are called the “neighboring islands”. Non-stop flights from neighboring island to neighboring island are difficult to find, but they do exist. I suggest you take some time to determine the non-stops that are available and plan your logistics around that. I was just looking at Hawaiian’s flight map and search tool… I found that they offer a nonstop from LIH (Kauai) to OGG (Maui), but couldn’t find a nonstop in the other direction. I also found nonstop from KOA (Kona Big Island) to OGG and from OGG back to KOA.

      I recommend finding the nonstops to cut down on transfer time. Your vacation time is precious, so no need to spend more time in an airport than what’s necessary, right?!

      You’d probably benefit from reviewing these online island vacation guides:
      Kauai – https://www.govisithawaii.com/kauai-vacation-guide/
      Big Island – https://www.govisithawaii.com/hawaii-big-island-vacation-guide/
      Oahu – https://www.govisithawaii.com/oahu-vacation-guide/
      Maui – https://www.govisithawaii.com/maui-vacation-guide/

  16. Hi Sheila,
    My wife and I will be staying in Honolulu for a week in September. During that time we are thinking of visiting Kona to see some family for a day (maybe overnight). I have been looking at interisland flights and they seem to be $150+ RT each. Is this the cheapest way to travel? Do these prices seem right? A few years ago we did the same thing for $89 RT. Am I better off waiting until the date gets closer?
    Thanks for your help!

    1. Hi doje – Unfortunately those days of $89 round-trip interisland tickets are a thing of the past. With Aloha Airlines going out of business and the cost of fuel skyrocketing, interisland fares are near double what they used to be just a few years ago.

      I don’t have a crystal ball to say for sure, but I really doubt that the pricing you see now will go down. If I had to guess, I would guess that fares are more likely to go up than down.

      Just look at it as a investment in connecting with your family and a chance to see Kona again. 🙂

      Hope that helps.

  17. My son going to be living on Oahu for the next couple of years. How difficult/costly is it to move things from Island to Island if they can’t be taken on a plane (Stuff like scooters and furniture)? Craigslist has always been a good source for second hand stuff, but should I completely ignore anything that’s on a different island?

  18. Hi Sheila,

    We are going to be vacationing on Kauai. My husband really wants to do a helicopter tour of the volcano on Hawaii. Would he need to fly to the Big Island and then book a tour from there or are there tour companies who would have a package from Kauai?


    1. Sandy,

      I am not aware of any tours from Kauai to the Big Island volcano. You would have to fly from LIH (Kauai) to ITO (Hilo) in order to take a helicopter tour of the volcano. With Kauai and the Big Island being on ends of the chain, I don’t believe there are any direct flights from LIH to ITO.

      I’d like to mention that I’ve toured both islands via helicopter and, in my opinion, Kauai is the best for helicopter tours. The island is truly stunning.

      1. Thank you so much for that information and your personal thoughts about the tour options. This will be our first trip to Kauai so touring that island makes perfect sense. The volcano might be best left to a trip to that island specifically.

        Thank you so much for your quick response. I have just discovered this website and I think you offer an incredibly valuable resource.

        Thanks again,

  19. Hi Sheila (another fellow RDU’r). We are going to HI this summer and flying into HNL at 11:30am. We are booked on a 5:30pm flight to Maui in the evening (w the option to go standby-for-free on earlier flights). Is there a way we can sneak in a HELICOPTOR Tour of the Big Island (volcano) from ITO airport (if we skip the 5:30 HNL-OGG flight). If we can manage a flight from HNL to ITO, and then Helicoptor to the volconos from ITO and back to ITO, and then from ITO to Maui later in the evening, my kids would be SO amazed at the learning opportunity. Is that too much to attempt (particularly since if we try to book it Ahead of Time, we might forfeit the tour if our Mainland-to-HNL flight is delayed. (Thanks for all the good advice you have here.)

  20. I wanted to point out that there may be a new reason to give your interisland travel biz to Hawaiian Airlines. My most recent experience with Go! Airlines was that the $s I saved booking with them (as opposed to Haw. Airlines) quickly evaporated when they charged us for “oversized” carry-ons. These were bags we had carried aboard umpteen other carriers more times we could count. They were apparently okay on our outbound flight but not on the return from HNL to Maui, as a petty, Aloha-less ground staffer told us he was “just doing my job”.
    My job, from now on, will be to avoid Go!Mokulele. They clearly are undercutting Hawaiian only to make up their revenue in other ways. That is how they put Aloha Airlines out of business, too.

    1. Jay – That stinks, but Hawaiian has also done this same thing to us, too. Island Air has, too. Unfortunately, I think they’re all guilty of this dirty trick.

  21. Sheila,

    I’ve been looking, but cannot find a non-stop flight between Kona (KOA) and Molokai (MKK) and back. Does one exist? Thanks.

  22. We are planning a visit to the islands Mar 28th to Apr 13th.
    What is the best way to go from Ohau to Big Island, then to Kauai and back to Ohau. We are retired militiary and will be sstaying a military installations. Thanks in advance for any suggestions and informations. Eleanor

    1. Eleanor — thank you for your military service.

      The best way to get around from Oahu to Big Island to Kauai and back to Oahu is with inter-island flights. Basically, that’s the only way since there is no an ferry service between those islands. Our favorite inter-island carrier is Hawaiian Airlines. They fly nice big, clean jets. Usually they give you a very good map of the island you’re flying into which is really useful.

      You should be able to easily find direct flights from Oahu to the Big Island at either the Kona (KOA) or Hilo (ITO) airports.

      Finding a direct flight from the Big Island to Kauai (LIH) might be hard to find or non-existent. So, you’ll probably have to connect in Oahu’s Honolulu (HNL) airport for that island hop.

      Finding a direct flight from Kauai back to Oahu will be a piece of cake.

      To simplify your search process, use the “Multi-city” option in the “Trip Type” for your flight search. That way, you’ll have all your flights under the same reservation.

  23. Hi Sheila,

    This is a great website, keep up the good work!

    This Nov we’ll be flying from Tokyo to HNL and then transfer to Kapalua Maui with Island Air (we’re staying in Kaanapali so we thought JHM is easiser since it’s closer than OGG). How long of a transit time do you think we’ll need for international arrivals, pick up luggage, clear customs, and head over to the commuter terminal? We have options for a 2 or 4 hour layover, would we be able to make it in 2 hours or would it be safer to book the later flight and then standby the earlier one if we make it out in time? Are there penalties for missing a flight and then standby the next one for Island Air?


    1. Thanks for the kind words, Michael.

      Since I’ve never flown in to Hawaii from a foreign country, I’ve not seen their immigration/customs/baggage process and, unfortunately, I have no idea how long it normally takes there. You might want to email your HNL questions directly to them. Here’s the link for that: http://hawaii.gov/hnl/contact-us

      What part of the plane will you be sitting in? The closer to the front? The quicker it is to get through the lines.

      If I had to guess, I would guess that you might be able to make it with a 2 hour layover, but it will be very tight.

      For your standby penalty question – I recommend you ask Island Air directly. Here’s a link where you can submit your questions:http://www.islandair.com/contact-us/customer-relations/

  24. This whole inter island flights have become quite frustrating to me. I am shocked at the prices of the flights (wanting to fly from honolulu to kauai) and that some of the airlines won’t let us bring our surfboard (i.e. – go Mokulele) because its over 6 foot. I feel so frustrated and don’t know what to do!? the one airline (hawaiian air) would cost us $750+ to fly a stinking 29min flight!?! insanity!! if you have any suggestions…i would totally appreciate it. We really wanted to fly with go Mokulele(they have the best deals) but the whole surfboard thing has us stuck!

  25. Sad the environmental wackos had to ruin boat travel, too. My question is.do you have to go thru getting molested by TSA, every time you fly from Island to Island? If so, I will do a cruise or do one island at a time.

  26. Hi Sheila,
    I appreciated for all the advices. I am sure everyone found this website is super helpful.
    My boyfriend and I are planing to visit Hawaii this May.This is going to be our first time visiting Hawaii. We have a lot to concern while we are planing our trip. We are thinking to depart from San Francisco on May 11 (Friday) and come back by May 20 (Sunday)- will be 9 days & 9 nights. We are thinking to visit Oahu & Kauai Island this time. Maybe spending 4 days in Kauai and 5 days in Oahu. Should we fly from
    SFO (5/11)-Honolulu (5/16 AM)-Kauai (5/16 AM)- Honolulu(5/20AM)-SFO(5/20)

    or Should we SFO (5/11)-Honolulu (5/16 AM)-Kauai (5/16 AM)-SFO(5/20)

    or SFO (5/11)-Kauai (5/16 AM)-Honolulu (5/16 AM)- SFO(5/20)

    The price difference between option 1 and option 2 or 3 will be $200 cheaper.

    Which plan would you recommended? Will be very appreciate for any comments or advices.

    Both of us are 25 yrs old. Do you have any advice for us which hotel we should stay, we are trying to stay in the ones that’s next to the beach (like those where you can walk out to the beach from the room)
    We are hoping to explore the nature in Kauai, (waterfall, beach, boating…)
    My boyfriend wants to do snorkeling in either Oahu or Kauai, but the fact is that I don’t know how to swim. Do you know any snorkeling or scuba diving that is safe for those who dont know how to swim?

    1. Hi Angel,

      Though option 1 doesn’t appear to be as convenient (i.e. extra flight) with it being cheaper by $200, if it was me, I’d go with the cheapest option. You are lucky that you are flying from the West Coast where you can fly direct from the mainland from SFO.

      There’s quite a few hotels on both Kauai and Oahu where you can walk right out to the beach. For a little more guidance, read these two articles:
      Where to stay on Oahu: https://www.govisithawaii.com/oahu-where-to-stay/
      Where to stay on Kauai: https://www.govisithawaii.com/kauai-where-to-stay/

      As far as snorkeling in Hawaii, I have a couple of recommendations:
      – Go on a snorkeling excursion on a catamaran. They usually give you a little training session and keep a bit of an eye on you in the water. See my article for first time snorkelers: https://www.govisithawaii.com/2008/04/14/first-time-hawaii-snorkel-advice/ Wear the flotation devise and you’ll be fine.

      – The Disney Aulani resort on Oahu had a great man made snorkeling reef that would be a good place for you to cut your teeth on. https://www.govisithawaii.com/2011/10/11/disney-aulanis-rainbow-reef-rocks/ Aulani is a hotel on the beach so that might make a good place for you to stay.

  27. Dear Sheila:
    Thank you for your invaluable service to travelers and the State of Hawaii! My son was granted from a major organization due to serious illness. He would like to go to Hawaii. They are granting a one week trip and we are clueless on the best island to see given the time frame. Trip will probably be in April or May and since the family will be going along we all like hiking,dining out, exploring, sightseeing…and while the rest of the family likes swimming/beach, it isn’t my thing. Would Maui be a good choice, or would it involve more travel time? We are on the East Coast. Also, are there nice private places to stay? We don’t like commercial venues. Any advice appreciated!

    1. Hi Lucy,

      We fly from the East Coast, too. There are some flights direct from Maui from Chicago and Dallas, I know for certain on American Airlines. That definitely makes getting to Maui quicker.

      Even if you have to fly to Honolulu and connect to an interisland flight, that doesn’t add a ton of travel time when you consider that most interisland flights are only about 30 minutes.

      There are lots of nice oceanfront and oceanview vacation condos that you can rent. A condo definitely offers a lot more privacy plus other perks too: https://www.govisithawaii.com/2008/01/30/why-staying-in-a-condo-on-a-hawaii-vacation-is-a-savvy-choice/

      I think Maui could be a good choice for you. Also, you might want to consider Kauai depending on how much hiking you like to do. Either island is gorgeous with lots to offer.

      Hope that helps!

  28. Hi Sheila,

    We are planning for a 15 day trip to Hawaii in April and we want to cover at atleast 3 islands. Here is what we have planned so far:
    – fly from east coast to HNL, stay in Oahu for 3 days.
    – fly from Oahu to Kauai, stay Kauai for 6 days
    – fly form Kauai to Maui, stay Maui for 5 days
    – fly from Maui to HNL to catch a return flight back to mainland.
    Do you think its too much of a flying time and cost associated with it?
    Can you please suggest to optimize our itinerary a bit?

    1. Hi Ripal,

      Looks like you have a great plan there. Though Honolulu is the main hub, Maui is starting to become a bit of a hub within Hawaii, too. So looks like you’ve got your Maui plans in the right place.

      I don’t think you’re itinerary is too much flying time at all. The inter-island flights are short. You also look like you’re planning a good number of days at each island.

      You might want to price out your to and from flights to Hawaii separate from your inter-island flights just to see if you can save.

      1. Thank you Sheila for your reply.
        Considering the costs associated with the trip, we are thinking of trimming down to 10 day trip to Hawaii. This means, we have to drop Oahu from our itinerary but that leads to an another problem. Directly flights from mainland to Maui are atleast $250 more compared to flying to HNL.
        If we fly to HNL from mainland, we need to follow HNL-OGG-LIH-HNL route.
        If we fly to OGG from mainland, we have OGG-LIH-OGG route.
        I am all confused on making a correct decision.

        1. If price and schedule are equal or comparable, go with the option that reduces the number of times you must connect. That reduces the chances of delays due to weather or mechanical issues.

  29. Hi Sheila,
    I am planning a trip to Hawaii with my wife. its a 9 day trip. What we have zeroed in are Moloka’i (3 days), Maui (3 days) and Lana’i (3 days). after doing lots of maths we have decided to land at Maui and do Island hopping. What I could not find is direct connection between Moloka’i and Lana’i. So what would be best way to go about it? How much is it going to take by ferry / air ?

    Thanks a Lot !

    1. Hi Anuj – I’m not aware of a direct flight from Moloka’i to Lana’i either.

      You might compare connecting in Honolulu with flights versus using the ferry system. You could take the ferry from Moloka’i to Maui in Lahaina. From Lahaina, you could get the Lanai Expeditions ferry to Lana’i. Use the links in the article for each to check their current schedule and pricing for each ferry system.

  30. Planning a trip this June for 6 persons but don’t want to buy flights yet in case plans get cancelled last minute. How likely and expensive will it be to buy the inter-island flights just a few days before travel instead of booking them now?

    1. karan – unfortunately, it’s impossible to know whether you’d be taking a risk by waiting.

      With the cost of fuel rising as much as it has recently, I would guess that the prices are more likely to go up rather than down.

      Another point to consider is that if you wait, you may not be able to get the preferred flight schedule that best fits your needs.

  31. Hi,

    I am visiting the Big Island in the first week of June and would like to plan a day trip to Maui. There are 5 people in my family and 5 people in my brothers family. Can you tell me what wold be the best or only way to travel that wont break the budget? Or should I just forget about the budget?

  32. Hi Sheila!

    I am considering moving to Hawaii, but I was thinking it would be a bit easier to get between islands(I will probably have to do some island hopping while searching for a stable job). How much does an inter-island flight cost and is it viable to live on 1 island and work on another?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Jon —

      Use the links in this article to check the latest fares. Prices do vary over time.

      In my many travels to Hawaii, I’ve encountered several people who live on one island but work on another.

  33. When I spent 4 months in Maui, there were people working on different Islands than they lived but I only heard of it between Maui and Molaki (I believe that is Hawaii’s only ferry route).

  34. Hi there, I’m going to Oahu on a three week course and will have 4 days free to do as I please before returning to New Zealand. I was thinking of flying into Hilo and staying at Volcanoplaces for these 4 days flying back to Honolulu midday 23rd May and flying out back to New Zealand on the same evening at 11pm. Not knowing anything about Hawaiian airlines and weather Is it risky flying from Hilo to Honolulu the same day that my International flight leaves and is 4 days and nights to long to spend up at the volcanos? What would I need besides a passport to fly inter Island as a New Zealander? Any advice and guidance would be appreciated! Many thanks Sheila 🙂

    1. Hi Wendy

      It’s not very risky at all flying from Hilo to Honolulu the same day. Hawaiian Airlines usually has the top on time record of any US airline, mostly because weather rarely delays flights in Hawaii.

      I don’t think 4 days is too long to spend on the Hilo side. I’ve probably spent a total of 7 nights in the village of Volcano over the years. I’d go back again to spend more time there. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park has so much to see, do, hike. Plus there’s more sight seeing in the area. If you get bored, you can always do a scenic drive over to the Kohala Coast. Here are my Big Island sight seeing recommendations: https://www.govisithawaii.com/2007/10/25/best-big-island-budget-fun/

      As far as I know, your passport is all you’ll need to get through security for your interisland flight.

  35. Hi – I will be traveling LIH – OGG – KOA on HA with luggage that will need to be checked. Will I be able to check my bags through to KOA from LIH ? Or will I have to pick them up in OGG and re-checkin?

    Also on my way home I will be traveling OGG on HA (through HNL) back to DCA on Delta. Can I check my bags through to DCA in OGG ?

    Many thanks !

    1. Jason – unless things have changed, you should be able to check your luggage all the way through. We flew two different inter-island carriers from Lanai to Hilo with a connection in Honolulu and were able to check our luggage all the way through.

  36. Hi nice article. I’m from go! airline and we jsut changed our name from “go!Mokulele” to “go! Hawaii’s Low Fare Airline” or “go! operated by Mesa Airlines” can you please update the article if possible?

  37. hi sheila

    i live in vancouver and planning a trip to hawai end of oct or end of nov, nothing finalized yet as i am sooo confused. which month is better to come? we are a family of 4 , 5 and 1 yr old , me and my husband. and we are looking for a weeks vaccation to hawai. kindly i need your advise on our vacation. we are even interested to travel to diff islands but do you think 1 week would be enough? we love nature, falls, scenic drives and at the same time have to think about children specially 1 yr old. can you help us plan our 7-8 day trip …where we should go what we should see…where to stay?which islands you think is worth visiting i am sure all of them are beutifull but with baby we will rent a car and fly internally to make our trip less hectic.
    any help would be appreciated, i dont know what all to ask you as i have so many questions but anything from you would be beneficial to us, regarding hotels, tourist spots, fares, flights, food places on different islands?
    please advise

    1. anjali – In my opinion, you should only go to one island with just one week. Each island offers more than a week’s worth of great things to see and do — well beyond simply enjoying the beach.

      I recommend end of October over end of November. The reason being is that many Americans go to Hawaii to celebrate Thanksgiving, which is at the end of November. Rates and crowds are up around Thanksgiving time.

      Based on what you described, Kauai might be a good fit for you and your family. The scenery is amazing. There’s great waterfalls to see that are easily accessible. Lyngate, Poipu Beach Park, and Kalapaki beaches are all gentle beaches for kids. (Please note that ocean conditions can change at anytime, so please check conditions before going out.) The Kauai Marriott is on Kalapaki Beach, so you wouldn’t have to pile the kids in the car to go to the beach if you stayed there. (Here’s my review of the Kauai Marriott: https://www.govisithawaii.com/2009/01/02/review-of-kauai-marriott-resort-a-piece-of-paradise/)

      So, that should get you on your way of planning. Beyond that, you might want to consult with a travel agent.

  38. Hi Sheila,

    My wife Nicole and I are planning a vacation to Hawaii, we have booked our flights from London – San Francisco at the end of Nov this year and we plan on spending 2-3 days there before coming to Hawaii. We are both mid 20s and I have a prosthetic limb due to my time in the Army so my questions (if you can assist) are what is the best airline to fly from mainland US to Hawaii? What would you advise as the best way to spend 10-11 days, i think we would like to see more than one island, spending time at Pearl Harbour is a must for me though, and if possible what resorts/hotels would you recommend? We have spoken to travel agents back here in Scotland but if im honest i think their knowledge is limited. Hope to hear from you soon, Thanks Paul & Nicole

    1. Hi Paul & Nicole

      From San Francisco, I would recommend you fly on Hawaiian Airlines. From SFO, they fly larger planes — usually 767’s rather than the 757s that many of the other major airlines provide from the Bay area. To find the cheapest rate, you have the option to fly out from either San Francisco airport or Oakland airport.

      Another plus with Hawaiian, is that they provide a free meal even in economy and the other major airlines don’t.

      You may want to try to book asap as “end of November” could coincide with Thanksgiving (last Thursday of November). Hawaii is a popular destination for Thanksgiving holiday.

      We highly recommend spending time at Pearl Harbor on Oahu. But, you don’t have to stay on Oahu in order to do that. Island hops to Oahu to see Pearl Harbor are easy. You could go independently as I describe here https://www.govisithawaii.com/2011/04/04/a-day-trip-island-hop-to-oahu/ or there are many tour companies that will arrange the whole day for you.

      With 10 or 11 days, I recommend you try to keep your stays to just one or two islands at most. There’s so much to do and see on each island. In order to choose where to go, check out the many good resources in this post: https://www.govisithawaii.com/2010/06/28/how-to-pick-the-best-hawaiian-islands-for-your-vacation/ Hope that helps.

  39. My husband and I are flying to Hawaii and staying in Oahu in Nov to visit my daughter and son-in-law who are in the military. We can only stay for a week due to me working in the school system. I would like to look into the one day tour to the big island from Oahu. Which tour company to you recommend? Also does the price includes flight and tour? Which airlines does it fly with I really like Hawaiian airlines?

    1. Usually the packaged tours to go from one island to another does include the cost of the flights — at least that has been the case in all I’ve encountered. I have no idea who each company uses for flights. Most of the tour companies either have a toll-free number or live chat to ask them questions.

  40. Hi Sheila,
    We are a couple from Denmark (Europe) visiting Hawaii for 3 weeks from Dec. 19 – Jan. 10th.
    We plan to see different island, but can you recommend anything about which island we “must” visit, what to see and do, and how long time we should spend on each island?
    Kind regards,

    1. Marianne – plan to spend at least 5 to 6 days for each island that you plan to fit into your trip. “Must” visit really depends on what you want to do. Check out the resources here on choosing the best Hawaiian Island for you: https://www.govisithawaii.com/2010/06/28/how-to-pick-the-best-hawaiian-islands-for-your-vacation/

      As you’ll be there over New Year’s Eve, you may want to make some of your travel plans around which island you want to be on for the holiday. Oahu generally offers the most and biggest fireworks events, but it also attracts big crowds. Take a look at last year’s events to get an idea of what might be happening this year. https://www.govisithawaii.com/2010/12/31/new-years-eve-fireworks-celebrations-in-hawaii/

  41. Hi sheila
    I may be moving to ohau in the near future and I plan on bringing my motorcycle with me. I was hoping I would be able to tour some of the other islands with it. Do the ferries accommodate vehicals or are they strictly for passangers?

    1. Hi Gary – unfortunately, there are no passenger ferries from Oahu to any of the other Hawaiian islands.

      The Hawaii Super Ferry did provide service from Oahu to Maui and Oahu to Kauai a few years ago, but that ferry system was short lived due to public outrage. There is no statewide Hawaii ferry service. unfortunately.

      The only ferry service in Hawaii is very limited with ferries between Maui and Lanai and Maui and Molokai. I am not sure if they allow motorcycles. You’ll have to check directly with them. But, seeing that you can’t get a ferry from Oahu to Maui or any of the other islands, that’s probably a moot point.

  42. Thank you for the useful information. We are planning a trip to Oahu in January 2013. We found a condo in Hauula to rent for 5 days and plan to stay in Wikiki for 2 days. We want to snorkel, go to a luau, see pearl harbor, diamond head, visit beaches, try authentic food, coffee, etc. What are some luaus to visit? Beaches? Restaurants? We are renting an SUV so we don’t mind traveling around the island. We want to do as much as possible! Thanks again!

    1. Leah – check out these articles:
      – there are some great Oahu luaus to choose from. The Polynesian Cultural Center kind of does a different luau set up where you eat the traditional foods (buffet style) in one location then afterwards you can see their evening show in a stadium-style seating set up. Their evening show is spectacular. More here: https://www.govisithawaii.com/2010/12/14/ha-breath-of-life-an-unparallel-polynesian-show/

  43. We need a web page like yours. Thank you.

    We have a resort to stay at in Maui Sept.6 to 13 2013. We plan to make reservations to camp at Papohaku beach park. We would like to camp Sept 2(labor day)3,4,5.
    Can we ferry the car from Molokai to Maui? If not is there car rentals at the ferry stops?

    The steps:

    We have to take a one way airfare from St Louis to Molokai, rent a car. Then ferry to Maui. Rent a car to get our resort. To go home we would purchase a one way ticket to get back to St Louis.

    I am hoping that the ferry has a daily schedule to Maui. Have you any other suggestions that may help us?

    P.S. We know that every island has it’s own personality. Camping first would help us to slow down and rest. It would help us get the pulse of the islands.

    1. Marie — unfortunately, the Molokai/Maui ferry does not take cars.

      A few years ago we were able to rent a car from Avis in Lahaina(where the ferry comes in to Maui). A van came to the harbor to pick us up and take us to the car rental office in Lahaina. I just did a quick check and I didn’t see that office, though there is one just about 10 minutes north in Kaanapali.

      I recommend you use a search engine map, like maps.google.com and search for “car rental Lahaina” and go from there. Some may have van service to the harbor, I don’t know for sure as things are always changing. Worst case is that you’ll have to get a cab for a 10 minute drive to one of the closer offices.

      As for any other suggestion, I highly recommend you make your ferry journey from Molokai to Maui in the morning as the sea is much, much more smooth.

      Also, for your return home, it would be best if you flew from Maui to St Louis, leaving Molokai out of the equation.

  44. I’m staying on Maui and taking a hop to the big island one dya. what to see pearl harbor and sea life as i have ones that what to swim with the dolphins. can i do this all in one day ? and how?

  45. My husband is military, and we have three young children. We would really like to leave Oahu and visit Maui or Kauai sometime though. I heard the humpback whales are migrating near Maui right now!! I have also been wanting to do a dinner cruise.

    I guess my question for you is what would be the most affordable way for us to have a weekend trip or just a few days away from Oahu? The kids are six, two, and one and a half.

  46. Sheila,
    my husband and I are planning a very short trip to hawaii. he won a paid trip for 4 days/3nights. Can you tell me what is the best romantic hotel and on which island its on? also what are the absolutly must to do’s? is mid March an ok time to visit?
    Any input will be greatly appreciated! thank you!

    1. mel – you should read our guide for first time to Hawaii – https://www.govisithawaii.com/first-time-visitors-guide-to-hawaii/ which leads to our articles that answer many of your questions. Must dos depend on which island you choose. You should spend some reviewing the resources to choose the best island for you.

      There are many romantic hotels on Hawaii. Personally, we quite like Four Seasons Lanai at Manele Bay – https://www.govisithawaii.com/2010/04/12/review-update-four-seasons-resort-lanai-at-manele-bay/ It’s on of the best kept secrets and also one of the very best luxury values in all of Hawaii.

  47. Hi Sheila,
    My husband and I will be in Hilo from April 30 to May 9 2013.
    I am so pleased about Lei Day (my birthday, would you believe it?)
    This trip is for our 50th anniversary and we chose the Big Island because it is less commercial and offers us so many different areas within a relatively small land mass.
    However, we would like to do a one day tour of Honolulu and we want to fly out of Hilo (not Kona). Do you know a tour company that offers a round trip flight, visit to Pearl Harbour, a couple other sites, and would return us that night to Hilo Airport. Our hope is to see lava flow from the air. Any and all suggestions would be appreciated. Thanks Judy K

    1. Hi Judy – That’s nice that you’ll be in Hawaii over Lei Day. I have been to Kauai over lei day and the cultural events for the day were really interesting.

      I do not know of any tour company that flies out of Hilo for a day trip to Honolulu. There might be one that exists, but not to my knowledge.There are tours from Kona to Oahu, though.

      You might consider creating your own day tour. here’s what we did https://www.govisithawaii.com/2011/04/04/a-day-trip-island-hop-to-oahu/

      Here’s advice about seeing lava flow by air — https://www.govisithawaii.com/2009/11/30/hawaii-helicopter-vs-plane-scenic-tours/

  48. Dear Judy – thanks for your info – I read several posts, but still need your advice. I want to fly into Kona, run a race, spend the night and then travel onto Maui for a 2 week vacation with husband, sister and brother in law.

    I ‘m trying to decide if it’s too much (expensive, time) to have everyone join me in Kona, and thinking maybe I just go to Kona and meet up with them in Maui.

    Any suggestions on flying into Kona, getting transportation (renting a car), getting hotel and back to airport to fly to Maui?
    Any help is sincerely appreciated.

  49. I’ll be traveling with my family to Princeville in Kauai in August for 10 days and was wondering if it was possible to take a quick excursion over to Lanai by boat. Are there boat excursions that run between Kauai and Lanai? How would I go about finding out about something like this?

    1. No – there isn’t ferry service from Kauai to Lanai. The only ferry service to Lanai is from Maui.

      You could fly to Lanai from Kauai, but you would have to connect in either Honolulu or Maui. Since there are no direct flights from Kauai to Lanai, the travel time to and from Lanai will probably be surprisingly more than you expect.

  50. Hi, I’m planning to fly Hawaiian Airlines (with bags to check) ITO-LIH with 30 min connection in HNL, do you think it is enough time?


    1. Hi Carlo – that could be tight, but I think it’s doable. Normally the airlines won’t book the flights that close together unless they think it’s feasible.

      We didn’t have checked bags, but once we made a 30-minute connection in HNL — essentially going from one end of the airport all the way to the Commuter Terminal. We even had to go to the ticket counter and go through TSA, but we made it. Of course, we walked as briskly as we could.

      If your bags miss the connection, there’s usually an inter-island flight arriving the next hour that your bags will be on.

      If you are concerned, I recommend you contact Hawaiian Airlines directly.

  51. Hi there,
    I’m a nurse and have a great job opportunity on Oahu (government job) yet I do not want to live in oahu. I’m married and have 2 young children (6&8)
    so I want to live in either Kauai or Maui I prefer to raise the children there. Is this possible? Can I ferry to work on another island everyday?
    Thanks in advance for any help 🙂

  52. I read your 108 advices, but no one is staying on Molokai. We are using a timeshare there for 2 weeks in April, and would like to know how best to spend our time so that we get to see other islands but don’t spend it in airports. We like that it will be low key there, but we don’t want to miss any must-see’s. Thanks for any help you can lend.

    1. Here’s our list of the best things to see, do and try on Molokai: https://www.govisithawaii.com/2014/02/25/best-things-to-see-do-and-try-on-molokai/

      You will not be able to avoid airports if you want to see other islands with the exception of Maui which you can visit via ferry, but we caution you about that in the article above.

      Check flights to and from Oahu, then perhaps, you could plan in a day trip and fit as many of these sights in as possible: https://www.govisithawaii.com/2011/04/04/a-day-trip-island-hop-to-oahu/

  53. Aloha! We are planning a two island trip (Maui and Kauai) and am curious about how to transport perishables from one island to the next. Items such as coffee creamer, mayo, mustard, vegetables, bread, butter, alcohol, etc. It doesn’t make much fiscal sense to have to re-purchase all of those items on the 2nd island. Any ideas? Thanks!

    1. All TSA rules apply in Hawaii just as they do anywhere else in the US. So, the gels and liquids (creamer, mustard, mayo, etc.) that are in a containers more than 3 oz must go into checked luggage. If you plan to carry any gels and liquids on board, they must all fit into one, 1 quart-sized ziplock bag. Also, note that, your checked luggage may be exposed to the sun and heat while loading and unloading.

      As far as we know, there are no restrictions on transporting vegetables and fruit from one island to the other. However, you cannot transport them from the mainland or to the mainland.

  54. I booked a package vacation and will be staying at WAIKOLOA BEACH MARRIOTT RESORT & SPA on the Big Island. We would be interested in seeing the memorial at Pearl Harbor along with the sights on the Big Island. Should I book my own flight out of KOA to Honolulu or would it be best to hook up with one of the travel agencies for a tour?

  55. My daughter is marrying a Kiwi in June, so halfway between Ohio and New Zealand is Maui. We have rented a house for the wedding week. After the wedding my wife and I are staying an extra week. Please suggest another island that is a can’t miss. We would prefer a B and B or a treehouse in the “jungle” to any type of resort. Our first honeymoon was 2 days on the shores of Lake Erie. Anything you suggest will be way better. Thanks

  56. Hi There,

    My family (wife and 4 kids from 16 to 4) have 8 days planned on Maui in late May – early June. While there is enough to keep us occupied (including lazy days on world-class beaches), I would like to get to the Big Island to visit Volcanoes National Park and the lava flow. Do you have a reputable tour company you recommend for this? Renting a car is definitely an option but just increases the complexity of a day trip.

    thanks for the great site. It’s already been extremely helpful!

    1. David, there are several tour companies that may offer day trips from Maui to the Big Island. Tour companies are always changing the services they offer, so we can’t say for sure which ones do or don’t. The two companies that have the largest presence in Hawaii are Roberts Hawaii and Polynesian Adventures so that may be a good starting point to check. Most full package island hop day tours are offered through Oahu, though.

      You should be aware that seeing the lava flow is not a guaranteed situation. You’ll likely see evidence of volcano activity in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, but you may or may not see an actual lava flow. Lava is currently flowing into a residential area and sightseeing is not permitted.

      See this post for more ideas: https://www.govisithawaii.com/2008/04/29/island-hopping-from-maui-to-see-the-big-island-lava-flow/

  57. Hi Sheila,

    I am looking for the most economical way to travel from Big Island to Kauai for a weekend. The two of us live in Hilo but could travel to another airport if needed. So far all that I have found for an option is really Hawaiian Airlines. Any help is appreciated.

    Thank you!

    1. All the commercial airlines offering interisland Hawaii travel are included in the article. At the moment, Mokulele doesn’t offer service to Kauai and Island Air doesn’t offer service from the Big Island. So, you might want to try to price out those airlines in separate legs. Otherwise, Hawaiian is the only option to get you to and from on the same airline.

  58. Hi. My family is having a couples retreat in April 2016 to the island of Kauai. We will be in Kapaa to be exact. First time ever visit Hawaii, just purchased a vacation membership. What are your recommendations for exciting events for couples. We would like to island hop as well.

      1. Bear in mind that the dates of some events may not be set far in the future. Some events may not be set until roughly six months before the event.

  59. Great article. Thank you. My husband and I and another couple have booked a condo at Lokelani on Maui in February. We go mostly for the whales. Our friends live in Phoenix and we live part time nearer to Vegas. Should we search for fares to Maui or Honolulu and then to Maui? And which airport would be more economical Vegas or phoenix?
    One more question we love the Scotch Mist for whale watching because it’s a sailboat. Are there other sail boat whale watches? Thanks

    1. Linda – check fares to/from all airports to determine the most economical. Sometimes we see great fares from Phoenix and sometimes from Vegas. Use this article for tips and resources to keep you informed and to get the cheapest airfare: https://www.govisithawaii.com/2010/05/10/strategies-for-finding-lowest-airfare-to-hawaii/ The ideal situation would be to fly directly into Maui to cut out connections/time and the potential for delays.

      There may be more sail boats other than Scotch Mist, but we are not aware of them. Have you tried a google search.

      1. Thanks shiela for quick reply. I am signed up with Airfarewatchdog.com. I have googled sail boat whale watches. Trilogy and Gemini come up but they are more of a catamaran. I don’t think they use their sails much but I have emailed them to verify. Thanks

        1. Great, Linda.

          We’ve been on Trilogy many times. They are all catamarans. They’ll usually put up the sails briefly, but it’s not like a full sailing experience like you’d get with a sail boat.

          Best of luck with your fare searching!

  60. My wife and I are coming to Maui in Sept 2015 for 11 days. What is the best way to plan a trip to Pearl Harbor. Is there discounts available.


    1. Milton – You have to fly as there aren’t any ferries that go from Maui to Oahu. You have two options:
      – Guided tour companies will organize the entire trip for you including flights and all tours once you’re on Oahu. This is low stress, but pricy. If you search for guided tours from Maui to Oahu, I’m sure you’ll find a list of companies. As for discounts, I recommend you shop around to find the best price.
      – Create your own guided day tour to Pearl Harbor and other scenic parts of Oahu. This is cheaper and more flexible, but you have to do your own planning/navigating. https://www.govisithawaii.com/2011/04/04/a-day-trip-island-hop-to-oahu/

      1. Thanks for the quick reply. OK, I will probably do my own planning. Is a rental car a must or is there other options? also to make a great day trip what recommendations do you have?

        1. Read the article I linked in the previous comment to you. It pretty much covers everything we did for a great day trip.

  61. I want to take a 1 day tour from Lihue, Kauai, to Big Island. What company do you recommend? We depart Kauai on Sat Jun 6, so we have available Wed, Thursday or Friday this week (Jun 3, 4 or 5)

    1. We don’t know of any company that provides one day tours from Kauai to the Big Island or vise versa. You’ll have to arrange your own flights from island to island. I doubt it’s possible, but you might be able to coincide your flight arrival to be in time to get on a guided island tour. Otherwise, you’ll have to rent a car for the day and do your own exploring.

  62. Hi Sheila,
    We have booked a home to rent in the Mountain View area near Hilo for 3 months beginning Jan 1, 2016. We are going to use our American FF miles from Chicago to get to Hilo. While there, we plan to visit the Arizona Memorial at some point and found your Oahu day-trip itinerary a good tool to use as we plan this day.
    Since we can choose any day in that 3-month period to plan our Arizona Memorial/Oahu, we are not sure what time frame is best to choose from or to avoid. In other words, it is better to visit in early January vs. mid-February, etc, etc. Or perhaps absolutely avoid travel on March 10th, etc. I hope I am expressing myself clearly. Are there certain times in the years when travel to the Arizona Memorial/Oahu is better or worse? We are in our 70s.
    Thank you so much for this website.

    1. Bobbie – to avoid crowds, go mid-week and avoid visiting on and immediately around holidays and other popular times for visitors to be on Oahu – for example, avoid MLK Day, Valentine’s, Presidents Day and also the Pro-Bowl

  63. Im a nurse and will be working a contract assignment in Honokaa, Hi for 13 weeks. My daughter is a Marine stationed in Kanahoe. What steps should I take to get from Honokaa to Kanahoe to see her?

    1. Fly, probably from Hilo to Honolulu. Then you’d have to have ground transportation (rental car or TheBus) to get to Kaneohe.

  64. Dear Shelia, I just happened to find a link to your website. Thank you for providing such wonderful and a invaluable information. I did, however, want to (gently) point out what looks like a few (minor) typographical errors. They concern the spelling of Mokulele Airlines. I see two variations of the spelling in the paragraph in question: Mokuele and Molulele. I hope you don’t find it too rude of me in pointing this out. Since I used to work as a legal secretary I can’t seem to help myself when it comes to proofreading. Aloha!

    1. Thanks Tracy. I’ve corrected the typos. I’m not Hawaiian or a trained writer, so I’ve always found spelling Hawaiian words to be a big challenge.

  65. Going fr/Kona to Lihue. Would like to take early flight to HNL, spend day in Honolulu area then late flight fr/HNL to LIH. Am concerned about baggage transfer to later flight as well as transportation to/from Pearl and possibly Diamond Head. (Not renting car in Honolulu.)
    Any comments/suggestions?

  66. Sheila, your site is AWESOME and your tips are fantastic!! My wife and I will be going to Hawaii for the first time in a couple of weeks and reading your tips has been invaluable for me to make every decision about this trip. Since we will only be in Hawaii for 10 days, I decided to stay in Oahu only but I am considering day trips to Kaui and Big Island. My idea is to take them a few days apart from each other, since they seem to be intense and long days. Below are a couple of links that I’ve found and I’d love to hear your comments about these day tours. Thanks a million in advance!

    1. Thanks for the kind words, Ricardo.

      I took a quick look at the links. It appears that the site you linked is an activities reseller/consolidator. So, likely they’ll sell you a tour that’s provided by another company.

      One red flag flew up on the Big Island one that infers that you’ll be able to see lava flowing to the ocean in Kalapana. It’s been at least a year or more…I can’t even remember how long ago…since lava was flowing in to the ocean at Kalapana. So for this company to advertise that is dishonest. On that alone, I wouldn’t book with them.

      Some alternatives to consider:

      – Polynesian Adventure Tours (Grayline) and Roberts Hawaii are two of Hawaii’s biggest tour providers and have good reputations. See what they offer.

      – An activities reseller/consolidator that we’ve booked tours through on occasion is HawaiiDiscount.com. Check their prices, which can be quite good sometimes.

      – It’s nice having guided tours, but you can plan your own day trip to another island for much, much cheaper. You have to do all the planning, though — book your own flights, book a rental car, navigate to the sites, etc. You have more freedom, too.

  67. Hi Sheila,

    first of all thank you for all the information you provide in this site. I am planning a trip to Hawaii for next April and I intend to use this extensively.

    Can I ask you a couple of questions?

    1) Im going with some friends from Brasil and we are staying there from the 15th to the 25th of April. how many Islands should we see? 2? 3? and which one of them?

    2) Is it possible to rent a boat in order to travel from Oahu to Maui?

    Thank you,


  68. Dear Sheila,

    I’ve just come upon your site and don’t have words for how much weight it lifted from my shoulders!! 🙂 You guys provide a variety of informations here, it’s amazing! THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THAT
    I’m coming to Hawai’i for 2 weeks in the beginning of february and I was just about to lose my mind trying to plan everything out. Now I decided to quit the craziness and to let it become a spontaneous trip.
    The only thing I’m a bit worried about is how much the interisland flights will be booked on a short term.
    I’ll arrive in Honolulu from where I’d like to go to Maui for a couple of days. After that I’ll probably go to Big Island for one or two days and then back to O’ahu.
    Can you tell me vaguely how much these connections might be booked on short term?

    Maui-Big Island
    Big Island- O’ahu

    That would be a great help!

    Thanks a lot in advance and again thanks for keeping up such a beautiful and informative website!

    All the best from Berlin,


    1. Simone – I’m glad that you are finding Go Visit Hawaii to be useful for your planning.

      In the main article, there are links to the interisland carriers. From each of those links, you can check flights and pricing. For convenience, just start with Hawaiian Airlines. That will give you exact pricing for the routes and dates you want.

  69. Hi,
    My husband and I have been discussing air travel in and out of Kauai and we came upon this blog entry. Do you know why IslandAir quit service to Kauai and why none of the others offer service to that island? We find it interesting that there is only one airline, Hawaiian, that offers very many inter-island flights to and from Kauai. Have they muscled out the competitors?

    1. To our knowledge, no reason was ever given for Island Air ceasing service to Kauai. As always, services are subject to change, so they may eventually add back the service.

      1. Today, it was announced that Island Air will resume service between Oahu and Kauai starting again March 15, 2016.

  70. Thanks much for all the nifty travel advice Sheila. One topic that I haven’t noticed yet though is on public transportation on each island. So if I hop from Oahu over to the big island, is there any public transportation such as bus service or do you pretty much have to rent a car or book a tour? If there is bus service, do you recommend it as a reasonable way to get around to the major sites on the big island?

    1. Oahu has an excellent public transportation option with TheBus. Kauai, Maui and the Big Island have public transport bus systems, though not as good as Oahu has. Personally, I don’t think I’d ever want to have to depend on the bus systems on Maui, Kauai and the Big Island as a tourist. They’re just not as useful for tourists to get to scenic attractions. We always enjoy the freedom of renting a car. The name of the public bus service on the Big Island is called Hele On. So, take some time to explore their route maps to see if they suit your interests. Also, be sure and check their luggage restrictions if you’ll be having luggage with you.

  71. Hi, I am so glad I found your website. It is so helpful 🙂 My husband are I are going to Hawaii for the first time (first kid free vacation also!) We will be flying from SFO. Since we only have about a week there I wanted to know if it’s too much to visit 3 islands? We were thinking Maui, Kauai and Ohau being the optional island. It has been my dream to go so I am happy just to go to one island! We also wanted to stay at ONE luxury hotel at one of the islands we visit, and then rent a ocean front condo on the other. Which island would you recommend for the luxury stay and which one for the private condo? And would you recommend flying into Maui first vs. into Kauai first? We want to do a little bit of everything: relax at the beach, snorkeling, sight see waterfalls, off roading with jeeps, experience luau…and definitely eat!!! I appreciate any advice you can give me this is my dream vacation and I don’t want to screw it up with the planning 🙂 Another question I have is do I need to book all the activities ahead of time before I get there? Or will I just be able to book the activities once I am in the area?

  72. We are flying to Oahu in Sept, the 9 of us want to go to the big island to see the volcanoes just for the day, what would you recommend. We want to make a full day of it

    1. There are guided tours you can book from Oahu to the Big Island. Or you can plan your own day by flying in and out of Hilo and renting a car.

  73. Round-trip flights from Maui to Kauai on Hawaiian Airlines are around $200pp for April/May 2016. Is that about the going rate these days, or should we wait and hope for a better deal? We are looking to stay in Kihei area and Poipu area. Are those good areas to choose? Thank you!

  74. My family is coming to spend two weeks in June, splitting our time between Oahu and the Big Island. We have struggled to decide if we should go with the convenience/reliability of Hawaiian Air or go for the adventure/ views with Mokulele for the island hop flights. Since both airlines sell one way flights for exactly half of round trip ones, we thought we had finally decided to go from Oahu to Kona with Mokulele (when our schedule is more flexible) and fly back out of Hilo (closer to where we’re staying) with Hawaiian Air (when we have to catch our flight back from Oahu to the mainland the same day). Do you have any info on rental car companies where we could pick up from Kona and return to Hilo for no/minimal fees? P.S. Your site has been invaluable to my trip planning! Mahalo!

    1. Wendy – thanks for the kind words.

      Since car rental fees are always subject to change, we don’t keep track of them. If you have a Costco membership, check rental rates with them. Also, Hawaii Discount Car Rental is a good source to get rental car quotes. They’d probably be able to tell you if you can avoid the fee for dropping off a car in a different location. See our tips for saving money on car rentals in Hawaii: https://www.govisithawaii.com/2011/01/19/7-hawaii-car-rental-money-saving-ideas/

  75. Hi Shiela- This is a very helpful resource. Thank you so much for your time. My family and I (two adults, 12 and 14 year old girls – all avid and experienced backpackers) are planning an epic adventure in August, 2017. We have to be perfect in our organization and request for backcountry permits and timing and are trying to figure out what makes the most sense for us. We will be spending 2 weeks backpacking, and one week at a bed/breakfast and resort at the end. We will be on Kauai, Maui, and the Big Island. Essentially, we will be backpacking in Kalalau on Kauai for 6-7 days, Haleakala on Maui for 3 to 4 days, and 3 to 4 days Waimanu Valley on the Big Island. We are flying from Boston, and flights are obviously not up yet for that timing, so that will come later. We will need to be flying 4 people around to the islands, so would like to minimize the cost, as much as possible, and we are not sure if there is a better plan for timing. Most likely with flights from boston, we will be flying into Hawaii (Big Island). That will likely be on a weekend.

    Do you have any advice as to which we should do first or tips on how to organize the airfare portion of the trip. Does it save us anything, if we fly to one island vs another. If I can choose to fly into Maui from Boston, does that save more money, then fly to Kauai, then Big Island, or do I have to do fly into big island, then fly to Kauai, Maui, and back to Big Island. This will lead our scheduling plans for making reservations at all the Parks / Permits, and want to have a timeline for that, but trying to figure out what makes sense.

    Could you give me a sense. Do all the airports have rental cars? How about Uber services? Could that be a reliable way for us to travel, as we don’t actually need the car for much of the time, just getting from one park to another.

    Lastly, could you give me a ballpark as to around how much money the flights cost (not the big one from Boston, I have a ballpark for that), but the small flights. Need to add that into the budget. 🙂 I really appreciate your time and knowledge on this.

    1. Here’s how I would approach this puzzle – I’d list all the combinations and then price them out. As our article says, Maui has become a bit of a secondary hub for Hawaii, so you may want to either fly into and/or out of Maui.

      Yes, all the airports have rental cars. We always rent cars when we are in Hawaii, so we’ve never needed or considered Uber. I’m pretty sure they’re in Honolulu. Check directly with Uber to see if they offer services on the islands you’ll be visiting.

      Maui, Kauai and Hawaii Island all have public bus transportation systems. You might want to look into them to see if they can get you near to where you’ll be starting and finishing your backpacking treks.

      We provide links to all the inter-island airlines in the article. From those links you can generate fare prices to use in your budget.

  76. Hi Shelia, I’m am planning a trip to Maui next February with my 3 children who are 3, 13, 17. I am on a budget and completely lost on how to coordinate everything. We want to see the volcanoes and waterfalls which I recently found the active volcanoes are on the big Island only. Would it be cheaper for me to island hop or take an air tour?. Any advice would be greatly appreciated also maybe advice on where to stay in maui? Affordable condo style on or close to beach.

  77. My family (11 of us) are considering a trip to Hawaii in 2017. My father really wants to visit Pearl Harbor, while my husband & I would like to stay on the Big Island. Would it be feasible to fly into Honolulu early in the day, visit Perl Harbor and then fly to Kona or the reverse – fly into Kona for the bulk of our vacation and then fly to Honolulu, visit Pearl Harbor & then fly out of Honolulu that same night?

  78. Dear Shella

    i want to visit for the first time to hawaii , and i was researching alot about the islands, but i need ur opinion in this, which islands should someone go when visiting first time to hawaii knowing that it will be too expensive to visit all the islands from the first trip.thank you

  79. Very helpful resource you are providing.
    1st time visitor to Hawaii; 62 yr old couple.
    13 days ; going to Maui- 6 days and Kauai -7days
    Hope to do a day trip to Big Island (from Maui)- see volcanoes and a day trip to Oahu (from Kauai)
    Are there non-stops from Maui to Kauai?
    Are there non-stops for both my day trips or should I change my departure island for the day trips? Perhaps both day trips from Maui?
    Is it feasible to do the Oahu trip on my last day as I head back to Phila.? i.e. Kauai to Oahu in morning- depart for Phila. at night?
    Thank you for you advice.

      1. Some more thoughts:

        Regarding Oahu on the last day – note that you will have do something with your luggage. You may be able to check it all the way through to your final destination, but I’m not certain about that. Otherwise, you’ll have to bring it with you for your sight seeing. It is recommended that you never leave your valuables unattended — even in a locked car.

        Also, you can check flight options back to the mainland via online travel sites like Expedia, Airfarewatchdog, etc.

  80. Sheila,

    We have booked a 10 day trip to Maui in March 2017. Me and my fiancé’s second time; 1st time for my future in-laws. My mother-in-law really wants to make a day trip to Kauai so that we can do a helicopter tour of where they filmed Jurassic Park. Considering the flights, would you recommend just a day trip to the island, with a specific goal in mind or would it not be really worth it?! I suppose we’d have to do round trip flights and rent a car. What’s your opinion? Have you ever done a day trip to one of the islands? Thanks!


  81. Hi there,

    I have planned to stay at Hyatt Kauai during Feb 5-10, 2017. How can I have 1 day trip in Honolulu for shopping?

  82. hello

    we are planning to stayon big island few days and then go to maui, we are a family of 4 (2 adults and 2 kids 4 and 6) and the cheapest price i found by air was 641$US can you tell me if there is local company doing better ? or maybe another way to transfer between those two islands ? Thank you for your help 🙂

    1. As the article indicates, there is no other way to and from Maui except flying.

      Did you check all the airlines listed in the article? If you haven’t, you should check pricing and schedule on each one of them, individually.

  83. I am surprising my husband with a 20-year anniversary trip, originally I was looking at a cruise, but after looking at your site, I would rather stay and visit several islands. Would you recommend a hotel/resort over VRBO? I have seen some amazing locations and I do not need or can afford luxury, I want experiences! What do you suggest??

  84. We plan to visit May 2018 and right now thinking will begin in Maui. It appears there is currently only 1 ferry from Maui? Thanks for your response and all of the wonderful information on this site!!

  85. I am planning a trip to hawaii sometime shortly after may 2017. A 18th B-day/graduation gift for my daughter. and belated grad gift for my 19 yr son. We are staying 7 days and having served at Pearl Harbor in the early 80’s I really want them to have the BEST island experience that’s possible. Of course I want to stay on Oahu, and show them specific things that I was able to enjoy. Snorkeling, surfing, (board,wind and body). A couple off the path swimming holes, found with the help of locals.As they have never been to the ocean I could use some recommendations for quality,competent,instructors. I’m afraid I’ve forgotten more than I knew to begin with on those subjects.lol And which island is best for the different activities. Sightseeing is of course on the list also. I am pretty familiar with Oahu sights, but could use some guidance sightseeing the other islands. Thanks for the informative website. Mahalo Bra!

    1. Aloha Chet – even though you have a lot of experience being in Hawaii, you may want to take a look at our first time visitor’s guide: https://www.govisithawaii.com/first-time-visitors-guide-to-hawaii/ The first two articles listed on that guide should be particularly helpful regarding your questions.

      Regarding snorkeling – this article was written for us by a local: https://www.govisithawaii.com/2015/10/12/where-to-snorkel-on-oahu-away-from-the-crowds/

  86. Hi Sheila,
    Thank you for putting together such an informative website. I was wondering if the inter-island flights are usually on time or if there tend to be delays. We’re planning on staying in Maui but our flight home is from Oahu at 10:20 PM. Would booking a flight from Maui that gets us to HNL around 8:00 PM be fine or should I be looking at earlier flights so we have a cushion in case of delays? Thanks in advance!

  87. Four of us are coming to the Big Island near the end of April, staying near Kona. This is a first-time visit for all of us. Besides the Big Island, we would like to visit Oahu and possibly Kauai or Maui and it appears some of the inter-island airlines are no longer operational. Any suggestions on what airline(s) are options? We want to make the most of this one week. Thanks for your assistance.

  88. Hi, I’m planning a trip to Kauai with my family this summer. On my bucket list is a visit to Kalawao on Molokai. The Father Damien and leper colony history fascinate me. My mom said she read there’s not much to see anymore, and it wouldn’t be worth the trip. What’s your opinion? I think a mule ride down a crazy path to get there sounds interesting. But is it worth giving up an entire day for it?

  89. Hi, I am planning to visit Kauai and would like to go to HNL to tour Pearl Harbor, Diamond Head and go to the Pineapple Plantation. Can you tell me the best way to travel from Kauai to HNL? Can you shed a little light on the following: how Kauai is since the flooding a couple of weeks ago and how far is the Big Island from Kauai. I need Hawaii to settled down before I get there, LOL.

    1. As the article states, you have to fly from Kauai to HNL.

      All the Hawaiian Islands are short flights from each other — less than an hour flight. Check a Google Map to see how far the islands are from each other.

      Check the special alerts on the GoHawaii-Kauai page for updates on what is and isn’t open after the record breaking flooding.

  90. Sheila, I am planning a trip to Hawaii in early April for my husband and I and our daughter, son-in-law, and five children. We would like to visit Pearl Harbor and see the active volcanoes on the Big Island, but spend most of our time on Maui. Our grandchildren range from 2-10. We like our trips to have an education component to them, as well as

  91. Sheila, I am planning a trip to Hawaii in early April for my husband, myself, our daughter, son-in-law, and their five children, ranging from 2-10. We would like to see Pearl Harbor, the active volcanoes on the Big Island, and spend some down time on Maui. Ideally, my husband and I would have a room separate from the kids’ lodging and we would be on/very close to the ocean with a pool. I understand from reading your other articles that flying is the best way to get between the islands. I’m struggling with logistics. Can you help and do you have any lodging suggestions? Thank you.

    1. I can understand how overwhelming it could be to organize a trip for that many people, including kids. You might want to consider getting a travel agent’s assistance, especially one that specializes in Hawaii. They can help you with all the planning and logistics. Generally it doesn’t cost you any extra to get a travel agent. They earn their money from the commission they make when they book your flights, hotels, tours, etc.

      Just FYI regarding the volcano on the Big Island. It’s not currently erupting, but that’s all subject to change. It had been erupting continuously since 1983, but recently stopped in August/September. It has taken “breaks” in the past only to reactive, so it’s entirely possible that it could be actively erupting again by the time you go in April.

  92. How is the “sight seeing” on inter-island flights vs. the plane tours? Could one use the inter-island flight as a substitute?

    1. Inter-island flights are designed to just get you from airport to airport and not much more. Helicopter tours are best for aerial sightseeing.

  93. I am cruising to Hawaii from Vancouver in September. I have the option of getting off the ship a day early in Lahaina and taking the ferry to Lanai where I’ll be staying, or finishing up the cruise in Honolulu and flying back to Lanai. What is the best option with a wheelchair?

    1. That’s a good question, Debra. My guess is that it would be easier to fly from HNL to Lanai especially if you have a lot of luggage.

  94. Hi- we are planning to trip to HI in December 2020 for about 7 days. We would like to spend the majority of time on Maui, then a few days on Oahu to visit friends. Is it possible to fly into Maui airport, take inter-island flight to Oahu, then fly out of Honolulu? Thanks!

  95. Hi Sheila. I am curious if it is realistic to fly from KOA to HNL in the morning, then fly back to the big island in the evening. I know they offer the flights, I’ve looked on Southwest, but as far as logistics go, is that a reasonable plan? We will stay on the Big Island, but would just like to see a couple of things in Oahu. Do you have any feedback?

  96. Hi Sheila,
    My husband and I are going to Hawaii for the first time. We are landing in Honolulu and planning to spend a week there. Then we would like to go to Maui for a week. I’m really confused as to if there is a ferry between the two or not? Several articles say there is a ferry, but I wonder if I’m reading outdated material?
    If there is no ferry how long is the flight between the two? We are flying home from Honolulu so would need round trip (ferry or flight)

    thank you

  97. Flying into KOA in March but hubby and I want to leave the kids with Grandparents in Kona and then we get the chance to island hop! Maui is #1 choice, how do we get there? Any other recommendations?

    1. As the article states, you must fly. No other options. All recommendations are in the article.

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