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Tips and Travel Guid for Hawaii Island

 The Best Time to Visit The Big Island

Tourism season dips between September and November as families are leaving from summer vacations, so this is great time to enjoy reasonable hotel prices and lots of sunshine.

Surfers will likely catch the best waves from December to March, but it’s also pricey time to visit in late winter as many people come to escape harsh winter conditions in other areas of the country. Visiting during April or May can lead to cheaper hotel prices as well, but temperatures won’t be as warm as in the fall.

Flights

You can expect to spend a large portion of your trip’s budget on your flight to Hawaii, so try to save money here any way you can. Travel on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday for the lowest airfare prices; depending on where you fly out from, just being flexible on the day you fly out will save you on average between $100-$300.

It might be easier to just click the “round-trip” button when searching for flights, but booking flights separately can pay off in a really big way. Booking a domestic flight from your nearest city to the west coast (think Los Angeles or San Diego) through a budget airline like Southwest, and then booking your flight from there to the Big Island can save you $100+ total per person.

If you want to explore both sides of the island, consider booking one-way flights, arriving in Kona and departing from Hilo — or vice versa.

Lastly, book as early as possible. This is not one of those vacations you’ll want to “wait and see” if you’ll find any last-minute deals, because you almost never will. I would recommend booking at least 5 months in advance, but plan your trip even sooner if you can.

 Climate

Consistently temperate weather on the island with temperatures in the 70’s and 80’s make Hawaii a warm, tropical paradise all year long. Daily showers are common in any month or time of year, however there are usually more storms and rainfall in winter months between October and March. With this in mind, pack light layers!

 Where to Stay on The Big Island, Hawaii

A short 30 minute drive north of the Kona Airport is Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel — just a two-minute walk from the widely popular Hapuna Beach. All rooms boast amazing ocean views, and the hotel itself has every vacation amenity you could need. Families or groups might consider renting a condo for more space and cheaper prices, like the beach-side condo resort Royal Sea Cliff Kona that has a central location and rates as low as $115/night in the off season.

On the eastern side of the island, the Castle Hilo Hawaiian Hotel and intimate Hale Kai Hawaii Bed & Breakfast are great options near Hilo.

 How to Get Around

Without a doubt, rent a car. A drive around the entire island (without stops) can be done in as little as 6-7 hours, so splurge a little on a 4 wheel drive and spend a few days exploring! There are too many must-see spots scattered around — both along the coast and hidden in lush reserves — to stay in one spot the entire duration of your stay.

Hawaiian Airlines does offer flights from one side of the island to the other, and taxis are available in urban areas near hotels and airports, but both are pricey; I would recommend against both. Renting a car is the best bang for your buck, given the freedom it allows you and the time it saves.

 Top Things to Do on the Big Island, Hawaii

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

With one of the world’s most active volcanoes, this beautiful national park might be one of the most unique parks in the country! Lava flow straight from the volcano into the sea at Kamokuna is a sight not to be missed, and take a drive around the Crater Rim for a spectacular view.

I’d also recommend making one of your stops the Thurston Lava Tube — an awesome lava tube discovered over 100 years ago with lush forest surroundings and interesting formations created by rushing red lava.

Waipiʻo Valley

The Waipi’o Valley is a stunning valley on the northern coast of the island, and is most easily experienced with a guide rather than navigated alone (private property makes accidental trespassing all too easy!). Take in the towering Hi’ilawe Falls — Hawaii’s tallest waterfall! — from afar at the Hi’ilawe Falls Lookout, or hike through the valley floor to reach the foot of the falls and experience it firsthand.

Fair Wind Snorkel Cruise

A half-day morning cruise with snorkeling, BBQ, and water slides is the perfect way to spend a day on the water in Kona! Should you choose a shorter trip in the evening, you can even have an up-close-and-personal experience with the gentle manta rays known to inhabit an area just five minutes from the coast. We love that this activity is great for couples, friends, and families alike!

Rainbow Falls

Just west of Hilo lies the 80-foot Waianuene waterfall, nicknamed Rainbow Falls for its abundant rainbows. This postcard-worthy beauty is easily accessible (for viewing) in the Wailuku River State Park, but if you’re set on swimming you can do so at the nearby PeePee Falls and adjoining boiling pots at your own risk. This is a great place to see a spectacular waterfall without having to venture too far off the beaten path.