What about island hopping?

Another question we frequently get is “what about island-hopping?”

This is a tough call. A lot of people like the idea of being able to visit two or more of the islands while here. The reasons to do it are obvious: you get to see and experience another island, for a fairly minimal increase in expense compared to the cost of the flight to get to Hawaii from the mainland.

The trade-off is that there is still an added expense, plus you burn precious vacation time traveling. So in this blog post, we’re going to look at the reasons you may or may not want to island hop, and the logistics involved if you do.


In the past, almost all trips to Hawaii would start in Honolulu, and that is where most people would stay. If you wanted to visit a neighbor island, you’d have to book a separate flight. But as more people have discovered Kaua‘i, Maui, and the Big Island over the past 20 years, airlines have accommodated travelers by adding more direct flights from the mainland. Today, it is easy to find direct flights that cost the same or even less than it costs to fly through Honolulu.

Unfortunately, it’s still not very easy to get between the islands. So the question is, is it worth it to island hop?

Ultimately, this is a judgment that only you can make. And a big factor is how much time you have available. But there is so much to see and do on each island (we did write a full book for each island after all) that we lean toward picking just one, and taking time to soak it in so that you aren’t rushing for your whole vacation.

When you island hop, you have to pay for extra flights that will likely run at least $75 (often more) per person one-way. And if you checked luggage to get to Hawai‘i, you’ll have to pay baggage fees when flying between islands, too. By the time you check out of your hotel, turn in your rental car, get through airport security, fly to another island, and then pick up your rental car, you can easily burn a full day of vacation traveling.

That said, we understand that for many people, this may be their one-and-only chance to visit Hawai‘i, so the added expense and time of getting to another island is worth it. In most instances, Hawaiian Airlines is your only choice for getting between islands. Depending on your route, Island Air and Mokulele Airlines may have tickets available.

There is a ferry that runs day trips from Maui to Moloka‘i and Lana‘i. Download our app for more information.

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