A trip to a Hawaiian paradise is something you’ll remember for years to come, but planning a vacation to Hawaii can be a bit overwhelming. There’s so much to see and do, you’ll need to make some essential choices about how to spend your time on the islands.
Fortunately, an experienced travel agent like your friends at Sunset Travel & Cruise can help you narrow down the options! Use the guide below to help you make the right choices to create your perfect Hawaiian vacation!
The whole point of working with a Hawaii travel agent is customization and recommendations. Instead of sifting through hundreds of destinations and activities on your own, you can work with your travel agent to find lodging and activities that align with your interests, priorities, and sense of adventure.
This guide will look at the basics of planning a vacation to Hawaii, and outline how a travel agent can make a world of difference!
Travel Agent’s Guide to Planning a Hawaiian Vacation
Choose a Home Base
The first big step is determining your “Hawaiian home base” – that is, where you’ll be staying. Not only does this mean choosing your hotel or resort, but also which island you want to call home for your trip!
While you’ll surely be able to explore more than just the island you set as home base, choosing lodging that meets your needs – and in close proximity to some of the things you’d like to do – is a great way to cut down on travel time and set the stage for the rest of your vacation.
This home base will depend on budget, space, preferred amenities, and surrounding attractions. The more preferences you can provide for your travel agent, the better equipped you’ll both be to find the perfect lodging for the rest of your vacation plans.
Get to Know the Islands and What Each Offers
To help you choose a home base as you begin planning a vacation to Hawaii, let’s take a quick look at what each island has to offer. There’s a ton of options and to cover every single detail of the lush, diverse slices of paradise that are available to explore would be impossible! But, this brief overview should help point you in the right direction.
Known as the “Gathering Place,” Oahu is the most popular island for visitors. With bustling nightlife, premier resorts, the capital city of Honolulu, and plenty of activities, this island is what most people think of when they picture a Hawaiian vacation.
Also a popular Hawaiian Island, but not quite as crowded, Maui (the “Valley Isle”) has many of the same amenities as Oahu. It’s also home to the 33,000-acre Haleakala National Park, Makena Beach Park, and numerous opportunities for outdoor adventures like hiking, ziplining, and whale watching!
Excellent for outdoorsy types, Kauai, the “Garden Isle,” hosts botanical gardens, historic sites, seaside cliffs, and beyond. It’s the rainiest of the islands, but that means particularly beautiful flowers and other foliage. Balanced against these natural wonders, Kauai still has plenty of comfortable, luxurious resorts as well!
Big Island (Hawaii Island)
The island of Hawaii, often referred to as the Big Island, has everything from mountains to rainforests, sandy beaches to active volcanos, and is ideal for people who want to immerse themselves in natural beauty. Larger than all of the other islands combined, the Big Island is less touristy, but has no shortage of resorts and amenities.
Perhaps the most peaceful of the Hawaiian islands, Lanai is known for its relaxing atmosphere, small population, and luxurious resorts. The smaller island is home to roughly 3000 residents, beautiful beaches, and truly majestic views from Puu Pehe Sweetheart Rock. There are still things to do, of course, but this little slice of paradise is perfect for truly getting away.
Last but not least, Molokai is the smallest, most intimate Hawaiian Island. It’s steeped in culture and tradition, with limited amenities that lean more toward small shops and family-owned accommodations. There aren’t many tourists, and Molokai is an excellent choice for history buffs and people looking for a different approach to their vacation in Hawaii.
Planning the Logistics of a Vacation to Hawaii
Now that you have a basic overview of the islands, you can work with a travel agent to determine your home base and start making plans from there. Depending on your interests, age, budget, and so much more, you can find just the right activities.
Inter-island travel is certainly possible, but you’ll want to plan ahead for short flights and ferry rides to make sure you get where you want to be (and back to your home base) without hassle. If you’re choosing activities spread across the islands, make sure you account for travel time.
Consider what you’d like to explore and what’s most important to you. You probably won’t be able to experience everything the Hawaiian islands have to offer on your first trip, but with some strategy (and expert tips from a travel agent), you’ll be able to pack an awful lot into a relatively short stay.
And there are ways to save money on your trip! Read our blog post, Ways to Make Hawaii Vacations More Affordable.
Avoid Over Planning Your Itinerary
Of course, part of the purpose of visiting paradise is to relax and recharge – so we recommend not over planning! Across the islands (or even just one), you’ll find tremendous amounts of exciting things to do, and just as many opportunities to soak up the sun, bask in nature, enjoy great meals, and beyond. It’s a lot!
With that in mind, choose your activities wisely, and leave plenty of time for meandering exploration and relaxation.
Working with a Hawaii Travel Agent
With so many options, an experienced travel agent can help you narrow down all of the choices and estimate the costs of a vacation to Hawaii as well.
When talking with a travel agent, be clear about your preferences, ask plenty of questions, and let their expertise guide you. You can work together to find appropriate lodging for you and your group, then plan from there for activities, travel arrangements (including around the islands), and places to visit.
No two Hawaiian vacations are exactly alike, and top travel agents – like the experts at Sunset Travel & Cruise – can help you design the tropical vacation of your dreams. Contact us today for a free consultation!