Best Time to Visit Hawaii

Top Times of Year to Travel to Hawaii for the best weather, lowest rates, top events, and fewest visitors

Best Time to Visit Hawaii

Kalalau Valley - Kauai

Best Times to travel to Hawaii?

Which month is best to go to Hawaii?

Updated for Travelers in 2024 through early 2025

Whether you're looking to explore Hawaii's stunning beaches or discover more about the unique local culture, Hawaii is an amazing destination for any type of vacation. In this article, we'll explore the various months of the year and discuss which are the best times to visit Hawaii. We'll look at the climate, prices, and activities available in each month to help you decide when is the best time for you to experience the beautiful islands of Hawaii.

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Awini Trail beyond Pololu Valley on the Big Island

Awini Trail beyond Pololu Valley on the Big Island

When's Best to Visit Hawaii TL;DR

Generally, the best time to visit Hawaii for the most ideal overall weather, lowest statewide rates, and the fewest visitors on-island is April and May during the spring and September and October during the fall. Some refer to these times as Hawaii's 'off-season period' or 'shoulder months.' In the summer, it will certainly be more crowded, so early June is best, and during the winter, though typically wetter, we recommend January, especially if you want to see the humpback whales.

Hawaii Tips and details for each top month:
  • April - an excellent month, but avoid holidays when applicable
  • May - the best overall month for visitors, in our opinion. Great weather and reasonable rates
  • September - excellent month, great weather, perfect time for those seeking fewer visitors
  • October - great month, excellent selection of local festivals & events
  • January - wetter than average, but an excellent time to go whale watching

Haven't decided which island(s) you're visiting? Take the quiz and read our companion article: Which Hawaii Island to Visit?

Hawaii Quiz: Selecting the Best Time for you to Visit

As noted, selecting the right time of year to visit Hawaii is no easy task for many visitors. It can be a confusing and even frustrating job, and that's probably the last thing anyone wants when planning a trip to Hawaii. That’s why we’ve created this handy quiz- to help determine which time(s) of the year are best for you. Based on your unique responses, we'll provide the top four months we believe are best for you and your travel party.

Quiz Instructions

Simply read and answer the questions below- each of your answers will earn a set number of points which will be tallied at the end. Make sure to answer as many of the questions as possible to ensure the most accurate results.

Please answer each Question with a "Yes", "No", or "Somewhat" response.

Honopu Valley on Kauai

Honopu Valley on Kauai

If you're considering visiting Hawaii in the coming months, then we've got you covered...

Below we'll go over the latest on each island's conditions, general weather expectations, our expected visitor demand, visitor trends, and much more.

Kualoa Regional Park and Mokolii Island on Oahu

Kualoa Regional Park and Mokolii Island on Oahu

Ultimately, in our honest opinion - there isn't an inopportune time to go to Hawaii. Visiting Hawaii is a dream come true for many visitors, and who can blame them? The weather is fantastic nearly year-round, there's something to do for everyone, and the food is phenomenal (try laulau, and malasadas, trust us!).

Below we'll cover more details about what makes this a great time, or not, to visit the Aloha State.

Totals by Island - 2022 vs 2023

Totals by Island - 2022 vs 2023

Above, we've included an updated graphic comparing visitor arrivals to each major Hawaiian island for both 2022 and 2023. This bar chart provides a more accurate year-over-year comparison by aligning the time frames for both years. The impact of the wildfires on Maui is quite obvious in this chart. What we can say for certain is that demand has softened for mid to late 2024, and the summer 2024 travel season has seen fewer forward bookings than usual. Some experts predict this pattern to continue, especially on Maui for the foreseeable future.

What to Expect in 2024 through early 2025

Prices that have risen over the last two years will likely continue to impact flight costs, hotel & accommodation rates, the costs associated with rental vehicles (Turo or standard rental agency), and other rates/fees due to increases in local electricity costs (Hawaii still generates a significant amount of its electricity from petroleum fuels). As of mid-2024, Hawaii government leaders continue to debate additionally introducing a visitor or climate-impact fee that ranges from $25-$50 per traveler, but this has not been finalized yet. Increases to the accommodation tax, already the highest in the nation at up to 18%, are also not out of the question. There are also ongoing discussions about eliminating some or all vacation rental properties, at each respective island official's discretion, like those found on VRBO or AirB&B. Maui is particularly vulnerable to these changes. We're following these topics closely and will keep this page updated accordingly.

The devastating wildfires that affected West Maui in August 2023 are also continuing to impact Maui's economy at this time, and this will mean price swings, flight demand issues at times, and other factors to consider for those looking to visit the Valley Isle in the coming months. Lahaina remains closed and we urge all potential Maui visitors to be especially mindful and respectful in the islands as the community continues through this tragedy.

We'll keep you posted... this article will be updated accordingly as things change.

Nololu Trail Lookout in West Kauai

Nololu Trail Lookout in West Kauai

Hawaiian Islands Demand

Estimated Hawaii Visitors by Month

Estimated Monthly Visitors by Hawaii Island (2023 & 2022) - Click to enlarge

Estimated Monthly Visitors by Hawaii Island (2023 & 2022) - Click to enlarge

Estimated Monthly Visitors by Hawaii Island (2019 & 2022) - Click to enlarge

Estimated Monthly Visitors by Hawaii Island (2019 & 2022) - Click to enlarge

Estimated Monthly Visitors by Hawaii Island 2019

Estimated Monthly Visitors by Hawaii Island 2019

Hawaii Visitor Demand Forecast

Hawaii 2024 Visitor Demand Forecast (Click to Enlarge)

How to Beat the Hawaii Crowds

When are periods of High and Low Demand?

To assist visitors with visualizing the periods of high and low demand in Hawaii, we've created the following 2024 Hawaii Demand Forecast. We'll also specifically discuss visiting during each month of the next year in more detail below. You can also now check out our initial 2025 Hawaii Demand Forecast to see what we expect regarding high/low visitation periods in 2025.

These charts are an approximate overview of when we expect Hawaii to see increased visitation on-island, based on travel trends in Hawaii over the last several years (excluding 2020 & 2021) and considering recent events within Hawaii.

Hawaiian Lodging Rates

Hawaii Accommodation Prices by Month

Hawaii Hotel Rates in 2023

Hawaii Hotel Rates in 2023

Hawaii Vacation Rental Rates in 2023

Hawaii Vacation Rental Rates in 2023

Hawaii Hotel Rates

Average Accommodation Prices

As is to be expected, when more people are 'on-island' visiting the Hawaiian Islands - accommodation, rental, and flight costs will increase as well. To avoid the crowds and keep rates lower, you can always try visiting during non-peak visitation periods (i.e.; holidays and summer months are high-demand time periods). When preparing for your trip, the following graphic should help provide a general idea of the average rates during different times of the year. These rates fluctuate by island, but these figures still allow you to prepare accordingly.

The rates on the charts seen here are from a couple of years ago and will be updated once things settle from the pandemic, but generally should provide a good overview of pricing during various times of the year. Check out our new Hawaii Trip Cost Calculator tool for a more accurate estimate of exactly how much you can expect to spend on a Hawaii trip in 2024.

Generally, Oahu accommodation prices have remained relatively consistent with pre-pandemic rates heading into the summer/fall of 2024, but the outer-islands continue to see rate increases of 20-60% over pre-pandemic prices.

Hawaii Statewide Average Hotel Price Chart

Hawaii Statewide Average Hotel Price Chart

Waikamoi Ridge Trail forest on Maui

Waikamoi Ridge Trail forest on Maui

Tunnels Beach on North Kauai

Tunnels Beach on North Kauai

Take our When to Visit Hawaii Quiz

Take our quick travel quiz to determine which month(s) are best for you based on your personal interests. Our quiz will generate a personalized page with suggestions tailored to you; including the top four months to travel to Hawaii!

'Best Time to/for...' Hawaii FAQ

Seasonal Events, When to Book, Finding the Best Rates, & more...

Best Time for Good Weather?

While Hawaii is a great destination year-round, the best opportunity for good weather exists during April, May, September, and October. As the tradewinds pick up over the winter months, so do the showers, and surf swells, particularly on the north/northeast (windward) shores of each island. The weather is warm year-round, with average highs in the winter of 78-82ºF (26-28ºC) and 83-88ºF (29-31ºC) in the summer months. Learn more about Hawaii weather.

Best Time to avoid crowds?

Hawaii has visitors during all months of the year, but typically, if you want to avoid the crowds, visit in either November (excluding Thanksgiving) or May for the quietest scene on the islands. Additionally, the first week of June, most of April (excluding ‘Golden Week’ and Easter), and much of September or October are great times to avoid the majority of visitors. Learn more about When to Travel to Hawaii.

Best Time to Book Hawaii Hotels?

As a rule of thumb, book early - no later than 2-3 months before you go! It's not uncommon for the Best Accommodations in Hawaii to get booked quickly, especially during the summer months over holidays. If you are planning to visit in either July or August and especially if you’re planning a visit around the Christmas/New Year’s holiday in late December, then we’d advise booking 4-6 months in advance to ensure you can reserve the room(s) you want. Be sure to check our Hotel Rates for the best prices and to compare all the top travel sites in one quick search.

Best Time to purchase Hawaii Airline Tickets?

As with accommodations, it’s best to typically book earlier than later. The best prices for Hawaii flights can vary dramatically throughout the year, depending on a variety of factors. Generally speaking, to find the best rates, we advise visitors to start searching for flights four months before your trip and to book no later than one month before your planned departure. Using this approach should provide you the best opportunity to find a good deal. If you are planning a visit during Thanksgiving, Christmas, or another holiday, we’d advise you book much earlier, as far in advance as possible to ensure the best price for what will undoubtedly be high-demand tickets during those peak periods.

Best Time to Find Deals & Discounts?

If you’re searching for the best rates when visiting Hawaii, we’d advise you to start your search for flights that arrive/depart in the middle of the week. Flying during the middle of the week will save you a lot of money, especially when flying from geographically further away. Generally, the most affordable rates for both flights and hotels in Hawaii will be primarily during the fall and somewhat so during the spring.

For accommodations, the months of September through November (sometimes into early December) offer the best hotel deals, again excluding Thanksgiving. In the spring, the best accommodation rates can be found from late March until early June (excluding the Easter holiday and Japan’s ‘Golden Week,’ in April).

For tours and activities, while many deals and specials will be ‘last-minute’ - the best discounts and specials run during the summer months (late May - July). Sign up for our Hawaii eNewsletter, a bi-weekly email containing travel tips, to also receive exclusive Hawaii discounts, deals, specials, and other promotional offers.

Best Time for Snorkeling, Swimming, and Diving?

Hawaii offers fantastic snorkeling, diving, and swimming opportunities for much of the year, but the best times are the summer months. During this period the surf will be less intense than during the winter, the water will be warmer, and the weather more cooperative - creating the perfect conditions for exploring in the water around the islands.

In our opinion, Maui snorkeling is the best you'll find in the entire state, followed by snorkeling on the Big Island. Both islands offer great snorkeling locations largely protected from surf and tradewinds on the leeward side of each island.

Best Time to ski or snowboard?

This isn’t a typo; you can ski and snowboard in Hawaii - though conditions will have to be just right. Mauna Kea, on the Big Island, means ‘white mountain’ in Hawaiian and its peaks are frequently found blanketed with a layer of snow. To provide yourself the best opportunity to partake in this winter sport, visit during February or March. Be sure to prepare accordingly, as there are limited facilities and you will need a 4x4 vehicle to reach the summit.

Best Time to take a cruise to/around Hawaii?

The best time to find a good bargain on cruises, including inter-island cruises, will be late November through mid-December. The best time for selection of boats will be in the spring (April/May) and fall (late August-October). Winter months are often more expensive (due to increased visitation), and typically wetter - but do offer the opportunity for whale watching (late November through early April).

Best Time to go Whale Watching?

Each winter, Humpback Whales migrate from Alaska to the warm waters surrounding Hawaii to mate and give birth to their calves. The best opportunities for whale watching will be from late November through mid-April; February and March often provide the best opportunities for sightings.

Best Time to get married/have a destination wedding?

As noted in the weather question, to avoid the wettest weather, try and plan your wedding for the summer months; anytime from late April until late October is usually a pretty safe bet. The middle of the summer will be warmer but is also typically the driest. Hurricane season runs from June through November as well, but storms are historically rare events. Ultimately, all factors considered - the best month for a destination wedding in Hawaii is in May.

Best Time for Hiking?

Hawaii offers some of the best hiking in the world if we may say so ourselves; a hiker could probably traverse Kauai’s trails alone for years and never get bored. As with most things in Hawaii, the hiking is excellent year-round, but the best months for hitting the trails are during the late spring and early fall (April, May, September, and October). The weather will be drier during these months, as well as throughout the entire summer, but unlike the summer, these spring/fall months will also be cooler. Be sure to take plenty of water and sunscreen before you head out, as the UV is very high in Hawaii year-round. If you hike during the winter months, be prepared for showers and trail conditions to potentially be messier / less maintained.

Best Time to visit Kilauea Volcano or go stargazing on Mauna Kea?

The Big Island’s Kilauea volcano has erupted almost continuously since 1983, sometimes more spectacularly than at other times. While there isn’t a ‘best time’ to witness something controlled by geologic forces, especially given the unpredictable nature of the volcano; if you’re planning to hike around the volcano or within Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, we’d advise the same as we did in our hiking question - visit during the spring or fall when it’s not at hot, and the weather will be cooperative. The summer will often be too warm to hike anywhere near the older black lava flows.

On the other hand, if you’re heading to the summit of Mauna Kea for some stargazing, then the summer months are best due to the same warmer temperatures. The peaks of Mauna Kea can become downright frigid at night, especially during the winter months. Remember, a full moon will offer the best opportunities for clear stargazing, and be sure to prepare accordingly before heading to the summit.

Best Time to go Fishing?

Fishing is another activity that can be partaken year-round, as different species of fish will bite at different times of the year and off the coast of each unique island. Summer tends to be one of the most popular periods for fishing - offering marlin (blue and yellowfin), skipjack, and ono. Fall and spring both offer good marlin and mahi-mahi fishing. Winter months are best for catching snapper, skipjack, tuna, and striped marlin. If you're visiting Maui, we recommend Fish Maui.

Best Time to Surf, Bodyboard, or Paddleboard(SUP)?

The best time for water activities like surfing and bodyboarding will be during the winter months. The biggest waves, for professionals, will be on the north shore. For the rest of us non-pros, the south coast is best during the winter. During the summer and fall (May - September), the waves will be calmer on the north shore of each island - so all skill levels can partake.

For other water sports like paddleboarding, we like the spring and fall the best, but this again can be a year-round activity if you select the right location(s) based on the time of year you visit.

Best Time for local festivals and events?

The best time to visit for island festivals and events depends on what you're looking for during your visit. 'Merrie Monarch,' also known as the Olympics of Hula, is held in Hilo on the Big Island every April. Over on Oahu, you can catch the 'Waikiki Spam Jam,' also usually held in April. The 'Aloha Festivals' takes place on all the islands each year in late September.

King Kamehameha Day (June 11) and Lei Day (May 1) also both offer various festivities, including impressive lei draping ceremonies of the King Kamehameha Statutes on both the Big Island and Oahu. Check our Hawaii events page for more information on what might be taking place during your visit.

Wailua Falls on Maui

Wailua Falls on Maui

Makalawena Beach on the Big Island

Makalawena Beach on the Big Island

Hawaii Driving Tour Apps

Location-Based Applications

It's like having a tour guide in your car! Listen to stories, legends, history, and what to do and see, at the right place and time.

Shaka Guide uses your GPS to guide you to interesting places along the way on each of the main Hawaiian islands. Automatic audio tours with turn-by-turn directions mean all you need to do is to turn on the tour and drive. Check out driving Tours for Circle Island Oahu, North Shore Kauai, and Waimea Canyon & Na Pali Coast.

Hawaii Airline Flight Times

Hawaii Flight Times

Airline Costs & Flight Rates

This section will be updated once more information is available and the airline industry has had a chance to return to some sense of normalcy. Currently, rates are still competitive airline to airline and demand fairly strong.

The recently announced (potential) merger between Hawaiian and Alaska airlines will have implications on Hawaii travel; we'll touch more on that as the merger process evolves.

Demand for Maui flights will vary as the island recovers from the devastating wildfires in August 2023.

As a general rule, we continue to advise travelers to book their flights well in advance of their trip.

Hawaii Weather

What to Expect - Rain & Temperatures

Hawaii Weather Summary

High/Low Temperatures & Monthly Precipitation
Hawaii Island Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec
Statewide
80/65°F
4.5"
80/65°F
3.5"
80/66°F
4.2"
81/68°F
3.7"
83/69°F
2.6"
85/71°F
2.0"
85/72°F
2.9"
86/72°F
2.7"
86/72°F
2.7"
85/71°F
3.5"
83/69°F
4.4"
81/67°F
4.5"
Oahu
80/66°F
2.7"
81/65°F
2.3"
82/67°F
1.9"
83/68°F
1.1"
85/70°F
0.8"
87/72°F
0.4"
88/74°F
0.5"
89/75°F
0.4"
89/74°F
0.7"
87/73°F
2.1"
84/71°F
2.2"
82/68°F
2.8"
Maui
80/63°F
3.7"
81/63°F
2.3"
81/65°F
2.3"
83/66°F
1.7"
84/67°F
0.6"
86/69°F
0.2"
87/71°F
0.5"
88/71°F
0.5"
88/70°F
0.4"
87/69°F
1.1"
84/68°F
2.1"
82/65°F
3.1"
Kauai
78/65°F
4.5"
78/66°F
3.2"
78/67°F
3.5"
79/69°F
3.0"
81/70°F
2.8"
83/73°F
1.8"
84/74°F
2.1"
85/74°F
1.9"
85/74°F
2.6"
83/73°F
4.2"
81/71°F
4.7"
79/68°F
4.7"
Big Island (Kona)
81/66°F
1.7"
81/66°F
0.9"
82/67°F
1.1"
83/69°F
0.5"
84/70°F
0.6"
85/72°F
0.4"
86/73°F
0.6"
87/73°F
0.8"
86/73°F
0.7"
86/72°F
0.6"
84/70°F
0.9"
82/68°F
1.8"
Big Island (Hilo)
79/64°F
9.8"
79/64°F
9.0"
79/65°F
12.1"
79/66°F
12.4"
81/67°F
8.0"
82/68°F
7.6"
82/69°F
10.8"
83/69°F
9.8"
83/69°F
9.1"
83/69°F
9.7"
81/67°F
12.1"
79/65°F
10.3"

*Climate Notes: Weather and Climate numbers are aggregated from trusted weather sources providing the monthly temperature and precipitation figures for each island's primary airport. These airports collectively provide a solid statewide estimate of weather conditions, but should not be taken as a "whole-island" forecast. Weather conditions can change dramatically within Hawaii and on each island due to the diverse topography, changes in elevation, the trade winds, and other unique island conditions. Temperatures are provided in Fahrenheit and Precipitation in Inches. Travelers can additionally view more information about each island: Kauai | Oahu | Maui | Big Island

Hawaii Statewide Weather

Hawaii Statewide Weather (click to enlarge)

Hawaii weather can often be about as sporadic as it gets, and as such, forecasting the weather on Hawaii can be both daunting and confusing to first-time visitors. 

The tropical climate makes you quickly realize, 'this isn't the mainland,' and the environment takes some getting used to.

We encourage all visitors to check out our Hawaii Weather page, but here are a few quick pointers on Hawaii's weather to summarize:

  • Read up on the forecasts at the University of Hawaii Weather before you visit and during your stay, as they have the best and most accurate estimates on the islands.
  • Don't listen to the Weather Channel or watch the NOAA forecast graphs, of course, they'll predict rain - it technically rains almost every day in Hawaii... for about 10 minutes at a time.
  • The only time it's really wet in Hawaii for a prolonged time is during the winter months, usually from November until March. But it's not a wash by any means.
  • Temperatures at sea level usually run about 76-85 °F (24-29 °C) all year-round. Temperatures at night are typically 12-18 °F (3-4 °C) cooler, but this can change dramatically depending on your altitude.
  • Speaking of altitude, if you're planning to go up to higher elevations on either Maui or the Big Island, bring a small coat and long convertible pants. It can get very cold at the summit of the larger volcanoes!
  • Hurricanes in Hawaii are historically rare events, but the last few seasons have seen increased tropical activity, and several tropical storms come close to the islands. If you're visiting during Hawaii Hurricane Season (June 1 - November 30th in the Central Pacific), then we advise you keep an eye on the tropics before your visit. Visitors may want to bookmark the Central Pacific Hurricane Center website for future reference.

 Ultimately, don't fret about the weather, it's Hawaii! Showers are typically short-lived and sporadic, and the temperature is almost always just right.

Hiking Wiliwilinui Ridge Trail on Oahu

Hiking Wiliwilinui Ridge Trail on Oahu

Hawaiian Island Updates

Things to know for each island

When planning your trip, there are a few things to keep in mind for each Hawaiian island, in addition to our Hawaii Essential Things to Know. Below we've made note of the most significant events and/or dates that may affect each island during your visit.

Best time to Visit Kauai

The best months to visit Kauai are in April, May, August, September, or OctoberThe weather on Kauai is consistently warm (highs in the mid-70's to mid-80's °F [24-29 °C]) year-round and visitors will enjoy the driest weather on the south shore and western portions of the island. Annual events include the May Day Festival (May) and Eo E Emalani I Alakai Festival (October) and the Chocolate & Coffee Festival (October).

For more information, be sure to read our Best Time to Visit Kauai article.

Best time to Visit Oahu

Oahu is a great island to visit at any time of the year. Still, if you especially want to dodge the crowds (on this most populous Hawaiian Island) - then the best months to visit Oahu are in May or later in the Fall (September and October are both great choices). Both times offer better rates on the island but still have fantastic weather conditions. Also, be sure to note that the last week of April is also 'Golden Week' in Japan - which can generate a large influx of Japanese visitors during that period. Other annual events on Oahu that draw international crowds include the Honolulu Marathon (December) and the Hawaii International Film Festival (October). 

For more information, be sure to read our Best Time to Visit Oahu article.

Best time to Visit Maui

The best months to visit Maui are in April, May, September, or October. If you’re visiting for whale watching, February is a good choice for peak season activity. Travelers looking for the best deals on Maui accommodations should also seek out travel periods in the spring and fall, as they will be the cheapest months to visit due to decreased demand. As far as events, Whale watching increases visitation starting in November and continues until the spring. Weatherwise, Maui temperatures remain consistently warm with daytime highs in the 75-85 °F [24-29 °C] range during the summer and winter, respectively. If you're heading to the summit of Haleakala, be sure to bundle up accordingly as it gets quite cold atop the volcano. 

For more information, be sure to read our Best Time to Visit Maui article.

Best time to Visit Big Island

The best months to visit the Big Island are May, August, or September for the best combination of great weather, low rates, and fewer visitors. Weather on the Big Island, like the other islands, stays consistently warm year-round. The main thing to note weather-wise is the differences between the Hilo (wetter and cooler eastern windward side) and Kailua-Kona (drier and warmer western leeward side). Annual events that generate an influx of visitors are the Merrie Monarch Festival (around Easter Sunday) and the Ironman competition (Kona side, typically in October). 

For more information, be sure to read our Best Time to Visit the Big Island of Hawaii article.

In summary, as you prepare for your trip - remember to check local calendars for events, review the status of the parks and locations you'd like to visit, prepare and pack the proper travel supplies for the island(s) you're visiting, and make sure not to worry too much about the weather; Hawaii is known as "paradise" for a good reason.

Ultimately, the Best Time to visit Hawaii is when you choose to go! If you still can't decide exactly when to go, no problem - try our quiz linked below, and we'll suggest four months we think are best for you. We hope you have a great trip! Aloha!

Akaka Falls on the Big Island of Hawaii

Akaka Falls on the Big Island of Hawaii

Best Month to Visit Hawaii

Which Time to Visit?

Detailed Seasonal & Monthly Overview

To assist visitors further, we've broken each month out in detail. If you want to find out quickly (TL;DR) which months are best for you - skip down to our Best Month to Visit Hawaii Quiz below.

Spring in Hawaii

Less rain starts to fall on the islands as the trade winds die down to their summer levels, making this an ideal time to visit. Some call this the start of the "dry" season. The weather is almost always perfect, and, in general, this is the best time to find good bargain travel activities. After mid-April (typically after Easter), most airfare and lodging prices drop as a result of the "high-demand" period ending. The last week of April and the first week of May are often a time when most Japanese visitors will arrive due to the "Golden Week" holiday in Japan.

Water temperatures measure near the high 70°F (21° C) mark this time of year, and the surf begins to die down as the trade winds let up. The best part of the spring is the fresh flowers, fruit, and vegetation that can be seen around the island. This is our favorite time to visit. We should note that the spring does hold one large event on the Big Island of Hawaii that can cause crowding on the Hilo side of the Island: the Merrie Monarch festival, which is held annually starting on Easter Sunday.

Summer in Hawaii

Typically, the summer months, as a whole, result in less visitor demand. This fact will benefit visitors in the form of lower rates for both accommodations and rental vehicles. Some will label this the "low season," however, this "low season" classification can often be misleading regarding pricing your trip and of what crowd sizes to expect.

Since June through August are very popular with travelers in general, not just to Hawaii, Airline prices will often increase into late May through July, as demand is higher for seats nationwide. Thus, if you are flying from the East Coast or the Midwest, the most expensive flight you pay for might ironically be the continental flight to the West Coast.

According to the tourism authority in the islands, July continues to be the month with the most visitor arrivals. To us, this makes sense because this is when most families visit the island, as their children are out of school. The same is true for local children on the island; this is their summer, and they often frequent the same beaches, trails, and places you'll be visiting, too.

The summer months are always the warmest on the island, and temperatures can reach as high as 90+°F (32+°C) under the right conditions. Combined with the high humidity, the heat can occasionally be unpleasant for some travelers not accustomed to it. Surf is at its lowest during the summer, and the rain clouds are few and far between, except on the windward coast.

Fall in Hawaii

More rain begins to fall in November as the trade winds increase to their winter levels, and there are days where rain showers will dominate on the windward coast and mauka areas. Occasionally, Kona storms will dump a tremendous amount of rain on the islands and can cause wind damage in several areas. Tropical Storms and/or Hurricanes can also still pose a threat to Hawaii during the fall. However, as a general rule, Kona storms cause more headaches than tropical storms. So what exactly IS a Kona storm? 

Kona Storms in Hawaii

When a Kona storm develops or moves into the area, the prevailing wind pattern changes - south and southwesterly winds replace the trade winds. Since the winds typically affect the Kona coast of the Big Island, the storms have thus taken on that name.

Although destructive Kona storms are fairly rare, they occur often enough to warrant a mention here. Kona storms bring high winds, heavy rain, snow atop higher mountains (like Mauna Kea and Mauna Loa on the Big Island), and lightning and thunder can occur (a rarity in Hawaii). Due to extreme terrain differences in the islands, weather conditions can be highly variable across a relatively small area. Gusts of wind up to 60 mph (96km/h) have been known to happen on the Big Island, while other portions of the Hawaiian chain simply deal with increasing breezes.

In general, the fall months and the spring months are very similar. Like in the spring, the Big Island of Hawaii can become quite busy during October, as a major event is held on the island. Typically, in October, the Ironman Triathlon event is held on the Kona side of the Big Island of Hawaii. Check online calendars for the exact dates each year. Also note that in the late fall, visitor demand to Hawaii begins to increase in mid-December, which typically causes rates for flights, tours, and accommodations to rise.

Winter in Hawaii 

By the first day of winter, the high demand period in Hawaii around Christmas and New Year's has begun on the islands.

The 'high season/period' term, of course, brings back the debate about defining "low" and "high" season. And although the tourism authority in the islands, using 2018 data, shows the second highest number of visitors arriving in December of each year, it's important to note that most of these visitors are showing up for about a week - Christmas through New Year. This period is always a busy time on the islands and can almost single-handedly make this the "high season" for accommodations. Thus, on average, the prices are higher and occupancy rates are higher.

Bottom-line on pricing: expect to pay more in winter months. As noted in the introduction, Christmas is a time that anyone who dislikes crowds should avoid coming to the islands.

The high temperature remains a comfortable average of near 78°F (25°C). Water temperatures are often around 74°F (23°C) during this period, and swimming can be rough as a result of the higher surf. If you're coming to Hawaii to see any surfing events, then this is definitely the time to come -, especially on Maui and Oahu. During the winter months, this is one of the only places in the world you can come play in the snow (on the Big Island and occasionally Maui) and swim in the (warm) ocean in the same day.

Winter is also the whale watching season in Hawaii. Humpback whales travel all the way from Alaska every winter to mate, calve, and birth their young (usually in the shallow waters off the coast of Maui).

Unless you are coming specifically for big surf or to see whales, we believe winter is usually the least desirable time to visit the islands. Despite the waterfalls being more active due to the rain, and the potential to see huge surf and the amazing shows put on by whales breaching off the coast, the combination of higher prices, wetter weather, and cooler temperatures has never sat well with us. You can easily visit during the spring or fall for much cheaper prices and better weather.

Take our When to Visit Hawaii Quiz

Take our quick travel quiz to determine which month(s) are best for you based on your personal interests. Our quiz will generate a personalized page with suggestions tailored to you; including the top four months to travel to Hawaii!

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2024-2025 Hawaii Budget Calculator

Estimate the Cost of your Hawaii Vacation

Calculator Overview

This calculator is designed to provide both a comprehensive and regularly updated budget estimate for planning a trip to Hawaii. Currently, rates are applicable for 2024-2025. Generally, these rates should provide a good estimate for any time period between 2024 and mid 2025.

This budget tool considers all of the following:
  • Hawaii Flight Costs including airfare from various destinations, baggage fees, etc.
  • Hawaii Accommodation Costs including different lodging types, Hawaii's now roughly 18% accommodation tax, parking fees (if applicable), which island you're staying on, etc.
  • Hawaii Vehicle Rental Costs including various types of vehicles, fuel costs, and number of miles driven daily.
  • Additional Costs including dining + gratuity, visitor fees to parks, etc., and Hawaii Tours and Activity costs.

Hawaii Flight Costs

First, consider your flight costs to Hawaii. Select your departure location, update the number of travelers (if applicable), and check whether you expect to pay baggage fees, below.


Hawaii Accommodation Costs

Next, let us know which island you'll be visiting (select the primary island if you're visiting more than one), select a lodging type/classification, update the number of nights (default is set to a week), update the number or rooms (if applicable), and check whether you expect to pay parking fees (common in more densely populated areas on Oahu and/or Maui).



Hawaii Car Rental Costs

Now, let's consider your vehicle rental costs (if applicable). If you're not renting a car, select 'No Car,' but for most visitors, we highly recommend a rental. Update the number of days (which will default to +1 day more than you selected in accommodation nights) and choose an estimate for your mileage each day. If you're not sure, we recommend you leave the default option selected.


If you select 'No Car' this will be zeroed out by default!















Other Hawaii Costs

Finally, consider a few last potential costs and fees for your trip. There's dining (we've included gratuity in the estimates), and we've selected all three meal options by default. Then, there are potential fees for parks and other attractions, which are a relatively new factor to now consider when estimating a Hawaii budget; select the applicable options below. Finally, select the amount, if any, you expect to spend on Hawaii Tours and/or commercial Activities. Be sure to update the number of people dining and people the fees/tours apply to if applicable; these numbers will default to the same number of people you selected previously for this trip estimate.













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You may not have exact dates yet, but provide a rough guess or estimate below. This will help us refine the calculator and provide more accurate data throughout the year. Mahalo!

Final Question

If you're visiting another island, please let us know below. This will not affect the estimate or rate you're provided. This is for research and calculator improvement purposes only. Mahalo!

Typical Hawaii Visitor Timeline

Approximate Travel Planning Timeline for a Hawaii trip

Approximate Travel Planning Timeline for a Hawaii trip

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