What You Need to Know to Visit Multiple Islands in Hawaii
The flight time from Hawaii's Big Island to Maui is only 33 minutes. It takes only 37 minutes to reach Oahu from Maui. Another quick flight of only 37 minutes connects Oahu and Kauai.
Island hopping to see the likes of Volcanoes Park on the Big Island, Pearl Harbor on Oahu, the paradisiacal Road to Hana in Maui, and the breathtaking Napali Coast on Kauai should be possible, right?
Island hopping in Hawaii is more difficult than you might think. Fear of Missing Islands (FOMI) can make your tropical getaway a haze of airport security lines, rental car counters, and "three more hours" signs if you aren't careful. But if you plan ahead, you might be able to enjoy a trip to more than one island. You can use or earn points or miles for your trip if you plan ahead.
It's possible to spend two or three weeks exploring one of the major Hawaiian islands and still have time left over. It's inevitable that when you add a second island, you'll have to stop doing something on the first island. In addition, you lose nearly half a day between the time you begin packing to check out of your first island hotel and the time you are checked in and ready to explore your second, due to delays at airports and in rental car company shuttle buses.
Plan to see no more than one island per week if you want to make the most of your time in Hawaii and figure out how to see more than one island. It is possible to visit both Pearl Harbor and Volcanoes National Park during an eight-day trip to Maui if you really want to.
If you only have eight or nine days, choose one island, and don't look back with regret.
There are 137 islands in the Hawaiian archipelago, but only six see the majority of tourists. This includes four major islands with U.S. S the mainland via nonstop flights:
Waikiki and Pearl Harbor are located on Oahu.
Haleakala Crater and the Hana Highway can both be found on Maui.
Mauna Kea Observatory and Volcanoes National Park can be found on Hawaii's Big Island.
Kauai, where you can find the incredible Napali Coast
Two other islands are accessible from Hawaii's mainland:
Two secluded Four Seasons Hotels can be found on Lanai.
Hansen's disease (also known as leprosy at the time) patients from Father Damien's colony on Molokai in the 19th century.
Scuba diving, kayaking, and snorkeling day trips to a few uninhabited islands and islets are very popular. Those vacationing in Maui can go snorkeling at Molokini Crater, for instance.
» Find out more: The best times to visit Hawaii, broken down by travel styleWhen to go to Hawaii, based on how you plan to vacation
Only three airlines offer regularly scheduled service between the major islands of Hawaii, and you won't find many ferries braving the rough seas to get there. Hawaiian AirlinesHawai'ian Airlines Airlines like Southwest and Mokulele The second is not owned by Google, but rather by Southern Airways Express (if you do a Google flight search for interisland routes and see Southern Airways' name, it's a Mokulele flight).
Therefore, there are not many flight options for visiting multiple Hawaiian islands.
Inter-island destinations serviced by Hawaiian Airlines include:
Hawaiian island of Oahu's Honolulu International Airport
The Big Island's Kona and Hilo airports
As a result of the pandemic, Hawaiian Airlines cancelled all services to Lanai and Molokai in early 2021, and they have no plans to start flying there again.
Between the Islands, Southwest flies to:
The Big Island's Kona and Hilo
» Find out more: Your complete guide to Southwest's Hawaiian flightsAll you need to know about Southwest's trips to Hawaii
The Hawaiian word for "island hopper," Mokulele travels to:
Flights to Molokai and Lanai can only be taken via the Mokulele. Booking a seat on one of its 11 Cessna 208EX Grand Caravan propeller planes is possible, as is chartering a flight for groups or private tours. Airports like Hana on Maui and Kamuela-Waimea on the Big Island, which are too small for Hawaiian's flights, are accessible via regularly scheduled flights.
Though most islands can't be reached by ferry, Lanai is an exception. This unspoiled paradise is just a quick boat ride away from Maui.
Norwegian, Royal Caribbean, and Celebrity all have seven-night cruise itineraries that begin and end in Hawaii and visit a variety of islands.
If you want to experience the true spirit of aloha during your time in Hawaii, a cruise isn't the way to go. Evenings may feel more like you're on a Caribbean cruise than a real Hawaiian getaway, and your days may feel rushed and scheduled.
To avoid going broke while island hopping in Hawaii, follow these simple tips and tricks.
When flying with Southwest, the first two standard bags are always free.
Hawaiian Airlines charges $25 for the first checked bag and $35 for the second, which is a lot for such a short flight between neighboring islands. However, the first checked bag for HawaiianMiles members is only $15, and the second is only $20, saving you at least $40. If you're planning to island hop with Hawaiian Airlines, have all of your traveling companions sign up for the airline's frequent flyer program.
If you book your flight with Hawaiian Airlines using the The Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard®1Hawaiian Airlines® World Elite Mastercard® when booking directly with the airline and paying with a credit card; however, only the primary cardmember is eligible for free checked bags.
Find out more: » What the Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles program gets rightWhat's great about Hawaiian's loyalty program
You can accumulate valuable points toward free flights on Southwest. Rapid Rewards pointsRR Points, or Rapid Rewards Points membership in the loyalty program is transferable to other Southwest Airlines flights and can be used for travel anywhere Southwest flies.
Even if you never want to return to Hawaii, anyone who uses Hawaiian's island-hopping service should join Hawaiian's loyalty program, HawaiianMiles. Any unused miles can be easily converted into Hilton Honors pointsThe Hilton Honors Program For every ten thousand HawaiianMiles, you'll receive fifteen thousand points good toward hotel stays virtually anywhere in the world.
Furthermore, participants in the Points programMethod based on points can transfer their HawaiianMiles to other loyalty programs for points.
Those who choose to fly with Hawaiian Airlines can take advantage of the World Elite Mastercard® from Hawaiian Airlines using it as a means of payment for air travel, with the added bonus of 3 miles for each dollar spent. In addition, a sign-up bonus is up for grabs. Spend $2,000 within the first 90 days and receive 70,000 bonus miles. The card also includes a 50% discount on companion fares, which may motivate you to return to the islands sooner rather than later.
Several different Southwest Airlines credit cards offer bonus points for spending. The -annual-fee Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit CardCredit Card with Extra Southwest Rapid Rewards® Points has this introductory offer for new cardholders: Spend $1,000 in the first three months and get 50,000 bonus points.
Determine in advance which credit card you want to apply for by selecting your preferred hotels. Use a Marriott Bonvoy credit card, such as the, if you want to stay at the historic Moana Surfrider on Oahu. Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit CardBonvoy Boundless® Credit Card from Marriott For every dollar you charge to your room at the hotel, you can earn up to seventeen times as many bonus points. Ramada Plaza Waikiki is a great place for Wyndham Rewards members to stay and earn points if budget hotels are more their style.
» Find out more: Find the best hotel credit card for youCompare hotel credit cards to find the one that suits your needs.
DiscountHawaiiCarRental.com is where you should go for all your rental car needs. Avis, Thrifty, Dollar, Enterprise, and Alamo all offer rental cars at reduced prices on com. Many resort areas allow one-day car rentals, saving you money on the rental and parking fees as well as the rental itself if you plan to spend most of your time lounging at the resort and only a little time exploring.
Reserve your rental car earlyBe sure to book your rental car in advance. Rental car agencies in Hawaii began cutting back their fleets and exporting vehicles as soon as the pandemic hit. If you delay your reservation, you may have to pay up to $1,400 per day.
If you delay, you may not be able to reserve a car at all.
However, if you plan ahead and reserve your room a few months in advance, you may be able to find rates as low as $130 per night. Deposits or prepayment are typically not necessary when renting a car. You can always cancel and rebook if the rental agencies increase their stock and lower their prices.
Hawaiian Airlines' vacation packages may include either the airline's own flight deals or discounted hotel and car rental rates negotiated with the hotels. Pleasant Holidays, another Hawaii-focused travel agency, occasionally has affordable island-hopping deals. Search its sites to get a quote for your entire trip, then compare that to what you'd pay if you booked your flights and hotels separately.
The outrageous resort fees in Hawaii and the equally outrageous parking rates in Honolulu have made the state notorious. It's possible that they'll add an extra $100 to your hotel bill per stay. Plan your finances sensibly
Discover more about: How to travel to Honolulu on points and milesTips for using points and miles to visit Honolulu
Don't go island hopping in Hawaii unless you have at least eight or nine days to spare. You'll enjoy yourself more if you choose the island that's first on your list. You can fly between the major islands if you have the time or can't help yourself.
Take advantage of deals, like the HawaiianMiles neighbor island checked bag discount, and use co-branded credit cards to get the most out of your stays at each hotel.
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