What kind of cars are there in Hawaii

Individually to Hawaii: Your guide for the perfect vacation

Small island paradise, many visitors: Hawaii is a very popular holiday destination with tourists around the world. Experience shows that the demand for accommodation, rental cars and the like is correspondingly high, especially in the high season. Accommodation is then often fully booked and prices skyrocket. Thorough planning is therefore very important for a successful Hawaiian vacation. Here are my tips for a trip to Aloha State.

In this article, I'll share my experiences with you and answer important questions: How much time should you plan for your Hawaii vacation? What is the best time to visit Hawaii? What should you definitely not miss? And which islands are actually the most beautiful? I'll explain how to plan your perfect Hawaiian vacation, give you tips on how to get there, how to get around and how to find suitable accommodation, and I'll tell you what you absolutely need to take care of before your trip.

This article is constantly updated. If you should discover outdated information, please let me know!

Instead, would you prefer to know how much a Hawaii vacation costs? Then this way: This is what a vacation in paradise costs.

Hilo, Hawai’i Island.

Planning a Hawaiian Vacation: Table of Contents

Individual Hawaii travel planning: It's that easy

Package tours to Hawaii are popular because they make it easy to plan your trip. But don't worry: You can also do it without a tour operator! And the bottom line is that you are not only a lot without a flat-rate package freer and more individual on the go, but can still a lot cheaper to travel. Because when you plan your trip yourself, you decide where to stay and how much money you spend on food, entrance fees and getting around.

The second good news: Planning a Hawaii vacation is easier than you think. So that you don't have to start from scratch, I have created this guide. At the beginning I also had a lot more questions than answers and spent weeks planning my trip. And you should benefit from that now.

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Oahu, north coast.

Planning a Hawaii vacation: there must be so much time

A reader recently asked me if he would two weeks would be enough for a trip to Hawaii.

My answer was yes and no. Two weeks are very clear on a trip that takes you to the other end of the world a short trip. Of the two weeks, a good two days and nights are spent on return flights and those Time difference of twelve hours in summer or eleven hours in winter is tough.

The human body needs about one day per hour of time shift to change its biorhythm. Of course, that doesn't mean you walk around like a zombie for eleven days. Getting used to the new time zone works much faster for most people. On my first trip to Hawaii it took me about three days to be lively during the day and tired at night, and two days on the second.

At two weeks remain minus flight time for twelve days. And of course twelve days are not enough to get to know all the islands - especially if you hit the limits of your physical endurance on two or three of these days due to jet lag.

Three to four weeks are ideal for a Hawaii vacation

But: One or two islands are definitely there. Nevertheless, I would strongly advise you to travel to Hawaii longer. Three to four weeks are ideal as a travel duration. But if you really want to go to Hawaii and you definitely can't stay longer than two weeks, I won't advise you against it.

For Hawaii, as for so many countries in the world: The longer you can stay the better. I myself was a little longer than on my first trip to Hawaii three weeks on the islands and knew immediately after my return that I would travel to Hawaii again. But not because this time seemed too short to me, but because I fell in love with the island paradise straight away. The second time, I was only there for a week - it was a press trip and I saw so much that this week felt like three weeks. I can't wait to travel to Aloha State a third time and then spend a few more weeks there.

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Three Bears Falls, Road to Hana, Maui.

The best time to travel to Hawaii

Hawaii is all Seasons worth a trip. From April to November it is a little warmer with temperatures between 24 and 31 degrees, while in winter it can cool down to 20 to 27 degrees. It can get fresher on the volcanoes, because there it goes up to a maximum of 4200 meters. On the tip of Mauna Kea on Hawai’i Island - colloquially also simply called Big Island - there is even snow in winter.

Waipio Valley, Hawai’i Island.

The weather in Hawaii

It seldom rains in Hawaii, and it mostly rains locally. Due to winds and the volcanic nature, there are drier and more rainy places on all islands. Rule of thumb: The windward sides in the east and northeast usually get more precipitation and are therefore greener. Hana on Maui and Hilo on the Big Island, for example, are considered rain holes. But that doesn't mean that it rains all the time there.

Low season, high season, low season

It gets full especially in the American vacation as well as from June to August and in the Whale season December through early April, when numerous humpback whales give birth in the waters around Hawaii. There is also hustle and bustle Christmas and New Year.

If you want to travel without crowds of other tourists, you should plan a stay in Hawaii in May or November.

Surfing in Hawaii: The Best Time to Have Good Waves

Hawaii is inextricably linked to surfing and has some of the best and biggest waves in the world. Big wave season is from November to February. Then winter storms over the Pacific cause the waves on the north coast to grow up to 20 meters. End of November, the beginning of December The Reef Hawaiian Pro also takes place on Oahu, where the best surfers in the world compete.

For beginners and advanced surfers, Hawaii has ideal conditions all year round. Even in the big wave season there are bays with small or smaller waves everywhere. Tips for good breaks can be found here: The best surf spots for beginners on Oahu, Maui and the Big Island.

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Haleiwa, Oahu.

Planning a Hawaiian Vacation: Which Island Is Right For You?

Hawaii is a chain of islands and consists of 137 islands and atolls. Of these, however, only eight are inhabited and six accessible to tourists. If this is your first time traveling to Hawaii and only have a few days or weeks to spare, you will inevitably wonder which islands to visit and how much time you should plan on each island.

By far the most visited island is the Main island of Oahu, because most international visitors land at the airport of the capital Honolulu. The largest island is the volcanically still very active and growing Hawai’i Island, which gives the entire Hawaiian archipelago its name. The most mysterious island, on the other hand, is little Ni’ihau. A visit to the privately owned "Forbidden Island" is almost impossible. Access is only granted by invitation.

Haleiwa, Oahu.

In addition to Oahu and Hawai’i Island, Maui, Kauai, Molokai and Lanai are also interesting for tourists. Each of these islands is different - and each one is worth a visit.

How many islands you can visit depends on the length of your trip, but also on how often you change islands and how deep you want to immerse yourself in island life.

If you want to hike along the Napali Coast on Kauai to Kalalau, you should plan for a few more days if possible. And if you want to learn to surf on Maui, it's worth staying a little longer there as well. Choosing the right island depends on your individual interests and preferences.

You can find an overview of the individual islands including all important information and sights in this article: Island hopping in Hawaii: which island is right for me?

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Planning a Hawaii Vacation: Getting There and Getting Around

Honolulu is Oahu's main airport. So the capital of Hawaii is most likely the start and end point of your trip, unless you feel like traveling directly after or before a 22-hour flight. Several airlines fly daily from Honolulu International Airport to the other islands.

It's best to stay on Oahu for a few days at the beginning and at the end of your trip, as you'll be flying over Honolulu anyway. Two days are enough for Honolulu and Waikiki, the north coast is nicer and less touristy. From Airport to Waikiki the journey by rental car, bus or taxi takes about an hour. In rush hour it can take twice as long. You can drive to the North Shore in around two hours.

Island hopping in Hawaii: How to get from island to island

You get from island to island by plane for relatively little money and in a very short time. The Oahu-Maui route takes around 40 minutes, and the longest route between Kauai and Hilo on the Big Island, with a stopover in Honolulu, takes two to four hours, depending on the connection.

Island Air flies between Oahu, Kauai, Maui and Lanai,Hawaiian serves all islands and Mokulele only flies to the smaller airports on the islands. Flight tickets are available from around 50 euros.

Who prefers with the ferry drives has a hard time. There are only two ferry connections between the Hawaiian islands (as of October 2015). The Molokai Ferry Runs on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays between Maui and Molokai. The crossing takes just under two hours and costs a good $ 60. The Expeditions connects Maui and Lanai and runs five times a day. The crossing takes an hour and costs $ 30.

Maui from the air.

Driving in Hawaii: rental car vs. bus

The USA is a car country and Hawaii is also part of the USA despite its exposed location. With a car you can get around much more comfortably everywhere, but of course you can travel without it. Oahu has with TheBus a relatively well-developed local transport system. The bus also goes to tourist destinations. It looks worse on the other islands.

All sizes Car rental companies are located at the airports and it is usually not a problem to rent a car locally. However, especially in the main season, it is possible that certain vehicle classes are fully booked. If you want to be on the safe side, you should book your rental car from home. With many providers you can cancel a booking at very short notice at no cost if you change your mind.

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Road to Hana, Maui.

Accommodation in Hawaii: From motels to luxury resorts

In Hawaii you have the choice between Resort Hotels, Hotels and Bed and Breakfasts. There are hardly any hostels and there are hardly any Motels are not to be found here. Really cheap overnight accommodations are largely eliminated if you don't plan to camp. There are campsites on all islands.

A single night in the super chicFour Seasons luxury resort Oahu in Ko Olina, for example, costs around $ 700 a night in a double room (without breakfast). The Four Seasons is by no means an exception. But don't worry: it can also be cheaper.

That's about the cost of that Hilton Garden Inn in Waikiki round 190 dollars and is thus well on average for Honolulu. And the resorts are not nearly as expensive everywhere as on Oahu's west coast. So there is chic Koloa Landing Resort in Poipu, Kauai, a double room from about $ 190. In return, you get a lot on offer, for example washing machines and dryers in the room.

The only motel in Hawaii is located on Maui, is located directly on a wonderful beach and is the perfect starting point for exploring the island. A double room in Days Inn Maui Oceanfront in Kihei is depending on the travel period from about $ 120 to have.

If you are not into luxury hotels anyway, there is a great one for you wide range of bed & breakfast accommodation and holiday apartments. Also Airbnb has long since arrived in Hawaii - and is recommended as a cheaper alternative.

Camping in Hawaii

Are comparatively cheap Campsites in the State Parks and Forest Reserves. The equipment is very different: some places are also suitable for mobile homes and campervans and offer electricity, drinking water and modern sanitary facilities, others are only accessible for hikers with tents and only have simple composting toilets and no running water.

The Hawaii Department of Land and Natural Resources lists all campsites including amenities. You can also reserve a place online there.

You should have accommodations Be sure to book in advance, especially in the high season and around American public holidays. All hell breaks loose on Oahu in particular. This also applies to campsites that you can reserve in advance. State park campsites can be reserved up to a year in advance. However, this does not apply to the courses on Oahu. Reservations can be made there from 30 days in advance. You can also reserve 30 days in advance in Forest Reserves - with the exception of those on Kauai, which is 90 days. You can stay at most campsites for a maximum of 5 nights.

By the way: You can - provided you have your own rental car and with the exception of the Big Island - quarter without hesitation in any part of the island. The distances are so short that you can reach any place from anywhere in a short time.

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Planning a Hawaii vacation: useful things to read on

These things also helped me plan my trip:

The Lonely Planet Hawaii travel guide (available in English and German).

Maps for individual islands and regions are available in the travel guide or in the Tourist Information Offices in Hawaii. Information material can also be obtained from Hawaii Tourism Europe. But if you want to keep track and see all the details on a map, you should consider getting one Road map think.

The Geo Special zu Hawaii comes into your home with some great stories that make you wanderlust even before the trip or on the way to your Hawaii vacation. Among other things, there is a portrait of a German family moving to Maui for a while, a fascinating report about the Kalalau Trail on Kaua'i, a story about Paige Alms, the only surfer to date who surfed the monster wave Jaws with pure muscle power is and a piece that explains why the hula is still part of the Hawaiian tradition.

Post from Hawaii is an absolute must for every Hawaii vacationer who loves to read. The book is a collection of letters from Mark Twain, in which, as a young correspondent, he describes the beauty of the islands.

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Do you still have questions? Then off to the comments!



about the author

Anna | Anemina Travels
Anna loves the sound of rain on a tent roof, conversation around the campfire, and North America. She would prefer a spontaneous road trip to a day at the pool and most of all she prefers to be outside - for hiking, surfing or snowboarding.