The time of year you pick to go to Hawaii will greatly affect the kind of trip you have. The weather, crowds and trip costs vary depending upon when you go to Hawaii. Here are some tips on the best time to go to Hawaii.
Time of Year in Hawaii
The most expensive and crowded time of year in Hawaii's December 15 to January 10. At this time of year, not only will the costs be the highest, it will be hardest time to find a room, restaurants will be full, beaches will packed, and parking hard to find. We often go at this time of year anyway because sometimes it is the only time we can get away. The crowds don't bother us and we prepare ourselves for crowded restaurants and parking shortages.
If you are flexible on when you go, we recommend you pick an off season time. During off season, Hawaii seems like a different place to us. Parking is no problem, restaurants have immediate seating and faster service, beaches are empty, and best of all, prices are often 50% less for hotels on some islands.
The best off-season time of year for great prices are between April 16 and June 7 and between September 15 and December 15. Sometimes there are good prices during the third and fourth weeks in January. In February, the prices go back up.
Weather in Hawaii
Any time of year can be stormy in Hawaii and hurricanes can occur in the same season as the eastern US, June through October. The hurricane season is somewhat longer in Hawaii, often into November. Fortunately, hurricanes, or typhoons as they are called in the Pacific, do not hit the Hawaiian islands as often as they have been hitting Florida. But when they do hit Hawaii, they are usually much stronger than an Atlantic hurricanes. Kauai seems to have the worst problem with hurricanes. Some people speculate it is because Kauai doesn't have a high mountain, like the other islands, which may keep typhoons from hitting full blast.
It is hotter in the summer by about 5-7 degrees, but the temperature often seems hotter to us in the winter since the change is more pronounced from where we are traveling from on the mainland. The waves are calmer in the early Spring and late Fall which makes the water clearer for snorkeling.
The whales come start arriving December 15 through the end of February and sometimes as late as mid-March.
Consider the timing of your vacation based on your interests, such as surfing, fishing, festivals, scuba, snorkeling, and other activities that change based on the season and ocean.
Thanksgiving week is one of the holidays that can be less crowded with great travel deals. We have gotten fantastic prices and service in Maui right up to December 15. Christmas is usually packed as are the weeks of Spring break.
Events in Hawaii
There are special events in Hawaii that you may want to plan your trip around. Merrie Monarch Festival, the olympics of Hula, takes place in Hilo every Easter week in April. Music and dance festivals, and sports events, like the Ironman World Championships in Kona, of note take place yearly at the same time. After making your Hawaii trip plans, make sure to check the calendar to see what events are taking place while you are on the islands. Hawaiian hula and festivals can add a fun dimension to a Hawaii vacation.
Changes in Hawaii
A change in tourism patterns and the economy can create an opportunity for cheaper hotel prices in Hawaii. Right now Hawaii is having a downturn in tourism creating some really great hotel deals. New flights to Hawaii have been added by Alaska Air and Hawaiian Airlines which has helped lower airfare. Christmas 2010 or anytime in 2011 may the perfect time to take a fantastic Hawaii vacation.
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