With another Aussie winter fast approaching, it’s time to start planning your next sunny adventure. The Hawaiian Islands offer a myriad of travel options and experiences but these six hacks can help you get the most out of your island holiday.
Hack #1: Stick to the Shoulder Season
If you’re looking for a laid-back island vibe, travelling during the shoulder season is key. With less tourists visiting the Hawaiian Islands, you won’t be battling the crowds at key attractions and activities. Crowds aren’t the only thing you’ll miss, as the shoulder season comes with more cost-effective flights and accommodation options. The best place to start is by avoiding travel during Australian and U.S. school holiday periods.
February-March (excluding American Spring Break in March)
Mid-April to mid-June (excluding Easter and school holidays)
September to mid-December (excluding school holidays and thanksgiving week)
Hack #2: Visit More Than One Island
Landing at Honolulu international airport, it’s easy to check out the vibrant city, Waikīkī beach and enjoy the island of O‘ahu. However, with some flights taking as little as 30 minutes, it’s just as easy to visit neighbouring islands; Maui, Kaua‘i or The Island of Hawai‘i. A 10 day trip will allow you ample time to explore more than one island, opening up new experiences like visiting Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Island of Hawai‘i, navigating the scenic Road to Hana on Maui, or experiencing jaw-dropping mountain tubing on Kaua‘i.
Hack #3: Drive and Discover
Driving is one of the best ways to see more of the Hawaiian Islands and discover hidden gems along the way. Take in amazing coastal views, stop at scenic lookouts, explore lush landscapes and discover breathtaking beaches at your own pace. The roads of Hawai‘i are easy to navigate and most major car hire companies will accept an Australian driver’s licence. Be sure to reserve your vehicle in advance, as quantities can fluctuate on the islands.
Hack #4: Eat like a local
There’s always time for food, and after hiking, swimming and exploring, you’ll be looking for the best spot to dig into a delicious Hawaiian feast. For a local’s guide on where to eat, consult your friendly hotel concierge who can point you in the right direction, or check out this list of reliable local eateries. Don’t be scared to explore beyond the tourist hotspots as Hawai‘i has more to discover around every corner. Some of the best eats are tucked away in local neighbourhoods, offering a taste of local flavour and culture.
Hack #5: Head for the Happy Hours
Set your alarms – Happy Hour is serious business in Hawai‘i. Every day, you’ll find an array of delicious drinks and tasty pupus (appetisers) ranging between US$5-10. Happy hour on the Hawaiian Islands is as much about the food as it is about drinks, so if you don’t mind eating lunch late or dinner early, take advantage of some of the amazing Happy Hour menus and bargains. Times vary from place to place, but you’ll be able to find a Happy Hour close to you between 2pm-6pm.
Hack #6: Keep it Simple – Pack Light
As Australia’s climate fluctuates throughout the year, Hawaii has consistent tropical temperatures of 25-30 degrees year round, making packing an absolute breeze. Forget about cramming unnecessary clothes into your suitcase, just throw in your beach wear, hat and aloha shirt and you’re ready to go! Remember some layers, if you plan on visiting some of the higher elevations like Haleakala National Park on Maui or Mauna Kea Observatory on The Island of Hawai‘i. As all flights from Australia arrive in the morning, be sure to pack your beach wear in your carry on so you can hit the waves before check-in.