Tips for Hawaii Island Hopping Like a Pro in 2023
If you plan to travel to more than one Hawaiian island, it is very simple to do so. If you’re interested in learning more about Hawaii island hopping, scroll down.
Have you ever fantasized about treating your family to a holiday in Hawaii? With its dazzling azure waters, magnificent sunsets on the horizon, and the opportunity to make lasting memories, it’s an experience your family won’t soon forget.
Hawaii is such an amazing vacation spot that it can only be limited by the imagination of the traveler.
You can choose to spend the entirety of your holiday lazing around the pool and drinking refreshments, but with all of the activities available, why not make the most of your family’s vacation?
Given that Hawaii has 8 major islands and more than 124 small islets, you and your family may wish to spend some of your vacation discovering some of the diverse islands that constitute the stunning state of Hawaii.
SEE MORE: 50 Fun Facts About Hawaii (That Most Visitors Don’t Know!)
Are you considering a family vacation to Hawaii where you can visit multiple islands? What are the costs associated with island hopping and what types of family activities are available? Are there any Hawaii island hopping vacation packages?
No need to search any further – this info will give you all the details you need to plan an island-hopping vacation with the kids in Hawaii.
Hawaiian Island Hopping FAQs.
How much does island hopping in Hawaii cost?
There are a number of flights that run between the islands daily, with prices that differ significantly depending on the hour of the day. Island hopping Hawaii can cost anywhere from $50 to $150.
Can you drive to all the Hawaiian islands?
No bridges exist for traveling between Hawaiian islands; one must resort to inter-island flights or limited ferry services.
Are there ferries between the Hawaiian islands?
Inter-island travel is only available between Maui and Lanai.
Hawaii Island Hopping Cruises.
One can explore the 4 key islands (Oahu, Big Island, Kauai, and Maui) of Hawaii by going on an island-hopping cruise.
Families who enjoy cruising can take advantage of this opportunity to visit multiple islands without having to switch accommodations. It is also a great way to get a sense of each island.
You generally don’t have a lot of time to delve into the islands due to the limited number of hours you’re off the ship. Plus, the cruise ports tend to be situated a bit away from the major attractions. So, you have to be judicious in deciding what you want to do on each island.
Where in Hawaii are the airports?
Honolulu International Airport is the largest airport in Hawaii, and is the main point of arrival for flights from the continental United States and Asia.
Visitors here can make the short journey to Waikiki (8 miles), the longer one to Disney’s Aulani Resort (20 miles), or explore further afield to the North Shore (22 miles) or Kailua (19 miles).
Kahului is the favored airport on the isle, with direct flights from the western part of the United States regularly available.
Visitors have the option of heading to Ka’anapali (approximately 28 miles away), Kapalua (roughly 34 miles), Kihei (close to 10 miles), or Wailea (around 16 miles) from this location.
Kapalua airport isn’t as commonly used as Kahului and is generally pricier; however, if you are staying in either Kapalua or Ka’anapali, it may be worth it to pay the extra cost to fly into Kapalua airport, as it can help save a lot of time.
Kauai’s east shore is home to the Lihue Airport, which typically offers direct flights from the West Coast of the U.S.
Travelers may go to Princeville (roughly 28 miles away,) Hanalei (around 30 miles distant,) Kapaa (approximately 9 miles away,) or Poipu (approximately 13 miles off.)
The Big Island is served by two main airports, Kona and Hilo, with frequent direct flights from the western United States.
Visitors who land at Hilo Airport can take a journey to Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, located about 29 miles away.
Visitors who arrive at Kona Airport can make the journey of roughly 16 miles to Hilton Waikoloa Village.
The Lanai City airport is around 3 miles distant. Flights from the Mainland do not arrive here directly, so you will likely have to fly into Honolulu International Airport and transfer to an internal flight.
The Molokai airport is situated approximately 15 minutes away from Kaunakakai and roughly 40 minutes from Maunaloa.
Getting to Moloka’i from the Mainland will require a transfer through Honolulu International Airport or Kahului Airport. Making a day trip to Moloka’i from Maui is easy with Mokulele Airlines.
Interisland flights from Hawaii – Hawaii island hopping flights
Exploring the islands of Hawaii is best done by air, allowing for spectacular aerial views of this popular holiday retreat.
If you’re going to remain on Oahu, then it’s a quick 35-minute trip from Honolulu airport to the public airport on Lanai, located only 3 miles from Lanai City.
Air travel is the optimal method of transportation when traveling between Oahu and the other major Hawaiian islands (Big Island, Maui, Kauai, Lanai, and Molokai).
The expense of hopping between islands in Hawaii fluctuates depending on the season and the route taken. Nevertheless, journeying between the Hawaiian islands has become increasingly simple.
Exploring the options for inter-island travel in Hawaii, let us consider the possibilities of taking an intra-island flight.
If you remain on Oahu, your choices for journeying to Lanai and Molokai are confined to the flight services existing on the islands.
Hawaiian Airlines fares for a round trip from Honolulu to Lanai City for a party of four start from a mere $550, making a one or two day excursion to Lanai an easy and convenient option, without having to wait in line for the ferry.
Flights are $138 return per person from Saturday to Wednesday and $143 return per person on Thursdays and Fridays, with no variation in costs throughout the year.
A trip from Maui to Lanai by plane will take 1 hour and 40 minutes, with a layover in Honolulu.
The round-trip fare for a single individual to travel from Maui to Lanai is between $180 and $250. A family of four would thus have to pay more than $700 for their journey.
Mokulele Airlines and Southern Airways Express jointly provide daily flights between 7 different cities in Hawaii, with a total of over 120 journeys.
Flights can be obtained from Honolulu, O’ahu (HNL), Kahului, Maui (OGG), Kamuela, Hawaii (MUE), Kapalua, Maui (JHM), Kona, Hawaii (KOA), Hana, Maui (HNM), and Ho’olehua, Molokai (MKK).
Various departures are available from the start of the day until late in the evening, giving plenty of flexibility to suit the needs of any family.
The cost of a flight with Mokulele Airlines can change often and they frequently have discounts and promotions available, so it’s wise to monitor their website in advance of your trip.
By regularly visiting the website to look for deals, you can ensure that your family is getting the best value.
Infants do not have to pay a fare when they sit on their parent’s lap (proof of birth must be shown at the time of boarding).
Traveling with kids in Hawaii just got more affordable with Mokulele Airlines! The Keiki Discount offers a 25% reduction of their regular fares for children aged 2-11, making it the most economical choice for island hopping.
Mokulele Airlines ensure the highest level of safety for your family by always having two certified pilots on board.
The airline Southwest.
Southwest Airlines has recently begun providing inter-island transportation within Hawaii.
Southwest Airlines is great because they don’t bill for the first two bags (or one bag and a surfboard) and there is no fee if you need to alter your itinerary.
They are currently providing the most economical inter-island flights in Hawaii.
Between Maui and Lanai in Hawaii, there are ferries.
Fortunate for you, there is a ferry line that operates within the Hawaiian isles. This runs from Maui. The ferry to Molokai stopped running in 2021.
Ferry services available at a reasonable cost shuttle between Maui and Lanai, making Lanai an ideal spot for a holiday if you and your family have booked a place to stay on Maui.
The cost of taking a ferry from Maui to Lanai and back is much less than the price of flying from either Honolulu or Maui to Lanai.
Traveling from Honolulu or Maui to Lanai for a family of four can be expensive; however, if you are already on Maui, the cheapest way to get to Lanai is to take the return trip.
From Lanai to Maui by ferry.
The ferry from Lahaina, Maui sets sail from the dock located by the Pioneer Inn at 6:45 am, 9:15 am, 12:45 pm, 3:15 pm, and 5:45 pm.
Departing from Manele, the ferry to Lanai docks at the public loading docks at 8:00 a.M., 10:30 a.M., 2:00 p.M., 4:30 p.M., And 6:45 p.M.
The trip lasts around one hour and offers stunning vistas of the isles of Maui, Lanai, Molokai, and Kahoolawe. On special occasions, it is possible to observe the Big Island from the boat.
The incredible opportunity to observe Humpback whales from the beginning of the year to the end of March is incomparable.
The cost to cross in each direction is as follows: $30 for Adults (12+), $20 for Children (under 12), no charge for Infants (2 and under), and $25 for Military personnel (ID required).
The total cost of a two-way journey for a family of 4 (2 adults and 2 children) will be $200, with all taxes included.
You can be confident that you and your loved ones are secure when traveling on one of Expeditions’ boats, which are approved by the US Coast Guard.
(Discontinued) Ferry from Maui to Molokai.
In the past, there was a swift ferry service that took 90 minutes to transport you and your family from the hustle and bustle of Maui to the hospitable Molokai, nicknamed “The Friendly Isle”.
Molokai, the least developed of the 8 major Hawaiian Islands, is ideal for any family looking to enjoy untouched beaches and exotic jungles.
In 2021 the ferry service was no longer offered. The perplexing part is that the website still seems to be operational, however this is incorrect. It is no longer possible to take a ferry from Maui to Molokai.
The only method of travel from Maui to Molokai is via an inter-island flight.
Hawaii Island Hopping Adventures
Oahu is the most populous island in Hawaii, and it boasts the most amazing activities, sights, and adventures.
A selection of the finest activities on Oahu encompass a visit to the Polynesian Cultural Center, Pearl Harbor, lounging at Waikiki Beach, trekking up Diamond Head, and exploring the Dole Plantation.
You can experience the character breakfast or dinner, or their signature luau, at Aulani, the Disney Resort & Spa, without needing to stay at the resort.
Maui is an ideal site for honeymoons and babymoons, but it is also an exceptional destination for family vacations.
Visiting Maui offers plenty of exciting activities, such as a journey down the Road to Hana, witnessing the day’s first light at Haleakala, trekking the Iao Needle, exploring the Maui Ocean Center, and snorkeling at Molokini.
The four most widely visited locations for accommodations on Maui are Kapalua, Ka’anapali, Kihei, and Wailea.
Kauai, dubbed “the Garden Island,” is renowned for its gorgeous beaches, coast, and mountains, making it the most stunning island of the Hawaiian archipelago. It is a favorite destination for both honeymooners and thrill-seeking travelers.
On Kauai, people often enjoy activities such as trekking the Na Pali coast, snorkeling in the North Shore, cruising down a sugar cane canal in a tube, and taking a boat trip.
Most people prefer to stay in Poipu, Kapaa, or Hanalei/Princeville.
The Big Island, aptly named, is the largest of all the Hawaiian islands, boasting a wide variety of climates and scenery.
Visiting Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, viewing heiau, admiring waterfalls, and taking an ATV tour are some of the best activities to do on the Big Island.
Many tourists choose to remain in Kona due to the abundance of resorts located there.
Lanai, the least populous of the inhabited Hawaiian Islands, still has plenty of activities to offer.
On Lanai, you and your loved ones can go horseback riding through the jungle, explore the numerous tidepools, or just unwind on the 18 miles of private Hawaiian beaches.
If you and your family are feeling daring, you can explore the five most awe-inspiring treks available on the island of Lanai.
The Hawaiian island of Molokai boasts the longest unbroken fringing reef, making it a must-visit destination for anyone interested in snorkeling.
If you’re looking for a combination of history and excitement, why not try a guided mule ride along the highest coastal cliffs in the world? After a stunning 2.9 mile journey, take some time to discover the historic Kalaupapa National Historic Park.
Formerly a fishing hamlet, the old settlement was the place of residence of an assemblage of exiles with leprosy in the 1800s.
If budget is an essential factor for your family, then you should look into one of the 9 cost-effective hotels on the island. Additionally, take a look at my comprehensive review of Hotel Molokai.
To visit how many islands?
Coming back from a holiday more fatigued than when you departed is the worst possible outcome.
When you book your family holiday, don’t try to pack in too much. Instead, make it a time where you can all relax and enjoy each other’s company – together or individually.
If you are going to be in Hawaii for a five-day period, it might be worthwhile to spend a day on an island tour with a knowledgeable local guide.
They will provide you and your family with an exciting day filled with activities, as well as a chance for much-needed rest and relaxation by the beach.
For trips to Hawaii of about seven days, you may want to spend a couple of days on either the picturesque Lanai or Molokai islands.
Maui provides great access to both of these locations, enabling you and your family to experience a thrilling journey. You can also enjoy quality time together on the pristine beaches of these tropical havens.
If you and your family plan to spend more than 10 days in Hawaii, think about visiting two of the busier islands (the Big Island, Oahu, and Maui) and taking a peaceful break with your family on Lanai or Molokai.
You can stay in Maui and take trips to both Lanai and Molokai.
Journeying from island to island in Hawaii is a breeze! There are plenty of possibilities for an incredible Hawaii island-hopping experience!
Have a look at my posts that compare Maui to Oahu, Oahu to Kauai, Kauai to the Big Island, Kauai to Maui, and Maui to the Big Island.
What Hawaiian island can you visit for the least amount of money?
Oahu is likely the most cost-effective island to visit due to the abundance of direct flights and its affordability compared to other islands.
You won’t be at a loss for something to do on Oahu, as it is full of inexpensive or free activities and sights.
Discover one hundred and five tricks for vacationing in Hawaii without breaking the bank.
Is Island-Hopping in Hawaii Simple?.
Flying between Hawaiian islands is a speedy and effortless process.
When organizing your Hawaiian holiday, account for the time needed to go to and from the airport, as well as renting/returning a car; this will consume a portion of your holiday.
Can you get to Niihau?.
Sort of. Niihau is a privately-owned island and you must be granted permission in order to go there.
You can go on a boat trip from Kauai and go snorkeling near the shore of Niihau.
How Long Is the Flight Between the Hawaiian Islands?.
If you’re questioning the means of traversing between Hawaiian isles, here is an outline of the flights that connect them.
Going from Oahu to the Islands in Hawaii:
|Honolulu, Oahu to Kahului, Maui||30 Minutes|
|Honolulu, Oahu to Kapalua, Maui||35 Minutes|
|Honolulu, Oahu to Lanai||35 Minutes|
|Honolulu, Oahu to Molokai||35 Minutes|
|Honolulu, Oahu to Lihue, Kauai||25 Minutes|
|Honolulu, Oahu to Kona, Big Island||40 Minutes|
|Honolulu, Oahu to Hilo, Big Island||45 Minutes|
Maui to Hawaii Island Hopping.
|Kahului, Maui to Honolulu, Oahu||39 Minutes|
|Kahului, Maui to Lanai||2 Hours 2 Minutes (non-direct)|
|Kahului, Maui to Molokai||2 Hours 17 Minutes (non-direct)|
|Kahului, Maui to Lihue, Kauai||49 Minutes|
|Kahului, Maui to Kona, Big Island||35 Minutes|
|Kahului, Maui to Hilo, Big Island||40 Minutes|
Island-hopping in Hawaii starting on Kauai.
|Lihue, Kauai to Kahului, Maui||49 Minutes|
|Lihue, Kauai to Lanai||2 Hours 11 Minutes (non-direct)|
|Lihue, Kauai to Molokai||2 Hours 27 Minutes (non-direct)|
|Lihue, Kauai to Honolulu, Oahu||35 Minutes|
|Lihue, Kauai to Kona, Big Island||55 Minutes|
|Lihue, Kauai to Hilo, Big Island||2 Hours (non-direct)|
Island-hopping in Hawaii starting in Kona, the Big Island.
|Kona, Big Island to Kahului, Maui||35 Minutes|
|Kona, Big Island to Lanai||2 Hours 27 Minutes|
|Kona, Big Island to Molokai||3 Hours 10 Minutes (non-direct)|
|Kona, Big Island to Lihue, Kauai||55 Minutes|
|Kona, Big Island to Honolulu, Oahu||47 Minutes|
|Kona, Big Island to Hilo, Big Island||2 Hours (non-direct)|
Island-hopping in Hawaii starting in Hilo, the Big Island.
|Hilo, Big Island to Kahului, Maui||40 Minutes|
|Hilo, Big Island to Kapalua, Maui||2 Hours 23 Minutes (non-direct)|
|Hilo, Big Island to Lanai||2 Hours 16 Minutes (non-direct)|
|Hilo, Big Island to Molokai||2 Hours 11 Minutes (non-direct)|
|Hilo, Big Island to Lihue, Kauai||2 hours (non-direct)|
|Hilo, Big Island to Kona, Big Island||2 hours|
|Hilo, Big Island to Honolulu, Oahu||55 Minutes|
Island-hopping in Hawaii from Lanai.
|Lanai to Kahului, Maui||2 hours 7 Minutes (non-direct)|
|Lanai to Kapalua, Maui||2 hours 47 Minutes (non-direct)|
|Lanai to Honolulu, Oahu||35 Minutes|
|Lanai to Molokai||1 hour 36 Minutes (non-direct)|
|Lanai to Lihue, Kauai||2 hours 4 Minutes (non-direct)|
|Lanai to Kona, Big Island||2 hours 19 Minutes (non-direct)|
|Lanai to Hilo, Big Island||2 hours 29 Minutes (non-direct)|
Island-hopping in Hawaii from Molokai.
|Molokai to Kahului, Maui||2 Hours 15 Minutes (non-direct)|
|Molokai to Kapalua, Maui||1 Hour 37 Minutes (non-direct)|
|Molokai to Lanai||1 Hour 34 Minutes (non-direct)|
|Molokai to Honolulu, Oahu||29 Minutes|
|Molokai to Lihue, Kauai||2 Hours 8 Minutes (non-direct)|
|Molokai to Kona, Big Island||2 Hours 12 Minutes (non-direct)|
|Molokai to Hilo, Big Island||2 Hours 27 Minutes (non-direct)|
Taking a tour of the Hawaiian Islands can be exciting if you have enough time to properly experience each island.
This article has been created to assist you in discovering economical ways to explore the wonderful sights of the Hawaiian islands.
You may need more advice for the ideal family trip to Hawaii.
No matter what choice your family makes, you can be certain that your holiday will provide your family with an incredible experience.
Travel Pixy provides the ideal advice and guidance for arranging an ideal Hawaiian getaway with your family, including how to explore the islands!
Now that you are aware of the existence of flights between the Hawaiian islands, learn more about what to do by reading my guides to the best luaus in Maui, Kauai, and Kona.
Topic: Tips for Hawaii Island Hopping Like a Pro in 2023
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By: Travel Pixy
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