Basic Hawaii Vacation Planning | Getting started on your plans

Aloha Bruce offers some keen local insight into “Basic Hawaii vacation planning 101” on this new episode of the Hawaii Vacation Connection Podcast. Calls and emails and messages with questions from savvy travelers have been pouring in at Hawaii Aloha Travel, and Bruce offers his insider’s take on what is most important when booking a Hawaii vacation.

Demand is high, Bruce says, and it is only going to grow as we roll into the summer holiday season. “Time is running out, and availability is getting really, really tight.” International travel to Hawaii is expected to surge. The time to book is now. The number of available rooms and rentals decreases as demand soars.

Bruce shares real-time pricing for a 5-day Maui vacation for two from Atlanta in the coming weeks, and the numbers will startle you. “Make sure you have a realistic budget.” That’s one of the most important parts of basic Hawaii vacation planning 101. So is knowing what you want. “Don’t get your islands confused.”

You need to budget your time, not just your money. Bruce talks about how to consider Hawaii’s four major islands of Oahu, Maui, Hawaii Island (the Big Island), and Kauai. “I would pick just one island and go with it for a full, immersive experience,” says our host of a typical 5-day stay.

This leads to key factors to consider for “island-hopping” or visiting more than one island. It takes a lot to visit the islands of Molokai and Lanai, where accommodations are limited, fairly exclusive, and frankly expensive.

When you island-hop, Bruce notes, “Make sure you understand that it’s a travel day.” Timing your itinerary is vital when considering basic Hawaii vacation planning 101. Too many Hawaii visitors want a multi-island Hawaii vacation and don’t understand the actual pricing they face. And the cheapest option isn’t always the best option. “We want you to have a good time! We’re really doing this every day.”

Real talk about transportation during a Hawaii vacation is up next, with Bruce noting that taxi and rideshare services are quite limited and spendy on Maui, the Big Island, and Kauai. “It is tough to get started,” Bruce says of basic Hawaii vacation planning 101. He explains the importance of booking well in advance to take advantage of always-changing discounts and incentives.

Bruce will be off on his own Hawaii vacation for his upcoming birthday, which will involve waterfall rappelling and other adventures that will surely make their way onto the next Hawaii Vacation Connection Podcast. “Give me a buzz!” Bruce says. “You know who to call.”

Choose the right time to visit

The peak tourist season in Hawaii is from December to April, when the weather is warm and sunny. During this time, airfare and accommodation prices are at their highest. To save money, consider visiting Hawaii during the off-season, from May to November, when prices are lower and the weather is still pleasant as part of your Hawaii vacation plans.

Book your flights in advance

Booking your flights in advance can help you save a significant amount of money. If you are flexible with your travel dates, consider traveling midweek, as flights are cheaper on weekdays. Most people can’t do that, so Bruce suggests giving Hawaii Aloha Travel a call and speaking to one of our advisors.

Island Hopping

To travel between the Hawaiian Islands, you must fly. No bridges or tunnels connect the islands, so the only way to move from one island to another is by air. There are 3 main carriers that offer inter-island flights; Hawaiian Airlines, Southwest, and Mokolele. These flights are relatively short, typically taking only 30 minutes to an hour, and offer stunning aerial views of the Hawaiian Islands. When planning an island-hopping trip, booking your flights in advance is important to ensure availability and secure the best prices. Remember that flying between islands can add to the overall cost of your trip, so be sure to factor this into your budget when making youur Hawaiian vacation plans.

Opt for budget-friendly accommodations

Accommodation is one of the largest expenses in any vacation, and Hawaii is no exception. To save money Hawaii vacation planning, consider staying in a budget-friendly hotel or vacation rental. You can also opt for a bed and breakfast, which can provide a more personal experience at a lower cost.

Rent a car

Renting a car can save you money on transportation costs and give you the freedom to explore the islands at your own pace. Keep in mind that gas prices in Hawaii are higher than the mainland, so consider this when budgeting for your trip.

Eat like a local

Hawaii is known for its delicious cuisine, including plate lunches, poke bowls, and shave ice. To save money, consider eating like a local by trying out food trucks, local cafes, and farmers markets. These options are often less expensive and provide a taste of the local culture.

Be mindful of activities and attractions

Hawaii has a wealth of activities and attractions to explore, from snorkeling and hiking to visiting historical sites and cultural centers. To save money, consider visiting state parks, which are often free or low-cost, and taking advantage of local discounts and deals.