Luxury tour operators cost more, but they’ll cover your logistics on complex, multi-island trips. Tauck’s 12-day “Best of Hawaii” tour covers 12 days, 21 meals, beachfront resort stays, multiple tours, and your travel between the islands, and ranges from $6,990 to $8,990, depending on the time of your visit.
Cruising is also popular for Hawaii travel and can simplify your trip; one flat fee typically covers accommodation, food, and stops at multiple islands. AdventureSmith Explorations offers a small-ship luxury yacht eight-day cruise through four islands starting at $3,800.
Natural Hawaii travel bargains
The most alluring part of Hawaii travel is the awe-inspiring natural beauty — green cliffs plunge into cerulean seas, while palm trees line white sand, red sand, black sand, and even green sand beaches.
Beaches in Hawaii are all free and open to the public. Buy or rent a snorkel set at the start of your trip and you’ll be equipped to explore the colorful underwater world that lies just offshore.
Guided day trips are a good way to get out on the water; you can reach offshore islands on a snorkel cruise and learn about the humpbacks that winter here on a whale watching tour ($60 and up). For something more active, consider surfing lessons (about $75) or a kayaking trip (about $150). Because Hawaii is a popular family destination, many outfitters offer discounts for kids under a certain age.
Hiking trails and waterfalls can also be accessed for free or a small fee, including some of Hawaii’s top attractions: iconic Diamond Head on Oahu ($5 per vehicle), seal and bird watching at Kilauea Point National Wildlife Refuge on Kauai ($5 per person entrance fee), lava trails at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park ($25 for 7 days), and sunrise viewing atop Maui’s Haleakala National Park ($25 for 3 days).