3 Tips for Island Hopping in Hawaii

Sunset-in-Maui-Hawaii

A Hawaiian getaway is on the top of just about anyone’s vacation bucket list. Why wouldn’t it be? Gorgeous beaches, crashing waves, unbelievable food and a unique culture all make for one unforgettable trip. However, you probably know that visiting Hawaii means visiting more than one island during your stay. There’s a lot to see, after all, and you’ll want to experience as much of what the islands have to offer as possible. 

 

How You’re Getting There

You’re obviously not swimming from island to island, so it’s important to get familiar with how you’ll be traveling. The islands only offer two ferry services: one between Maui and Lanai, and one between Maui and Molokai. Both services also offer guided boat tours around the islands. Keep in mind, however, that the waters can get choppy. If you don’t have your sea legs, consider sticking to the islands’ airport services.

Traveling by air is actually how most island hopping is done. Hawaii Airlines is the only major airline on the islands, but you can find smaller airports all over Hawaii. You can also opt to take a puddle-jumper flight between islands, depending on your preference.

Which Islands to Visit

Sunset in Maui Hawaii

Image via Flickr by palash.biswas

There are eight major Hawaiian Islands, but only six are accessible to the public. Of those six, only four see much tourist action. The Big Island, Maui, Oahu, and Kauai host millions of tourists a year, while Lanai and Molokai never see more than around 75,000. Each island has something special to offer, so your interests will largely dictate which ones you visit.

Adventurers can stay on the Big Island to enjoy scuba diving, deep-sea fishing, or a hike around an active volcano. Those with an interest in historical events may want to check out Oahu, where you’ll find Pearl Harbor as well as Iolani Palace, where the last monarch of Hawaii was forced into house arrest. Maui is a popular honeymoon destination, with adventures like stunning helicopter rides and relaxing luxuries such as world-class spas.

If you’re still not sure which islands to see, don’t be afraid to ask your hotel’s front desk for recommendations. With numerous places to stay in Honolulu, make sure you find one with friendly, helpful service by using a travel site that offers honest, unbiased reviews.

Convenient Ground Transportation

No matter which islands you visit, be sure to take advantage of whatever public transportation options are offered. They’re surprisingly affordable, and a whole lot of fun.

If you spend time on Oahu, pick up a pass for TheBus, a much cheaper alternative to taxi cabs. You can also find scooter rental services on several islands if you’re interested in a breezy sightseeing experience. Jeeps are another popular transportation option. Although they’re pricier than scooters, they’re a fun way to enjoy the fresh Hawaiian air.

Locals have an easy time navigating all of the islands, but visitors may not be as surefooted. Before you take that trip of a lifetime, get familiar with the ins and outs of island hopping so your experience will go as smoothly as possible.

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