From bucketlist-worthy Oahu to the natural splendor of Molokai, many wonder: is there a way to see all the Hawaiian Islands in a single trip? We've got you. Read on for the complete guide on how to travel between islands in Hawai‘i.
Ready to get started? Fora’s Hawai'i travel planners have insider intel to help you decide where to stay and how to get around to ensure your trip is seamless. Plus, they can hook you up with sweet hotel perks and VIP upgrades in the process.
Connect with a Fora Advisor to customize & book your trip to Hawai‘i today.
First, is island hopping in Hawai‘i worth it?
Yes and no. Each island absolutely offers a unique, amazing experience. However, if you’re only spending a couple days in Hawai‘i, you might want to stay put — otherwise, you may spend more time traveling between the islands than actually enjoying them.
On the other hand, if you’re going on a five- or six-day adventure in Hawai‘i, you might be able to visit at least a couple islands without hyper-condensing your itinerary. Still, seeing all the islands and what they have to offer is only possible if your timetable is measured in weeks. Otherwise, you’ll likely miss out on some of Hawai‘i’s best places to visit.
The best way to travel between the islands in Hawai‘i: by plane
Flying is the best way to get from one island to another. We won’t say it’s cheap to island-hop by plane, but the other options either mandate your schedule (like a cruise), limit where you can visit or simply aren’t cost-effective or timely.
All the major islands have airports (but Oahu is the hub)
All the best places to stay in Hawai‘i are near airports. But most air travel goes through Honolulu on Oahu, the urban center of Hawai‘i.
Oahu offers direct flights to all eight major islands, but you can’t always fly direct from one of the less developed islands to another. This can really bloat your travel times (but working with an advisor can cut down on this).
How much does it cost to fly from island to island?
Generally, inter-island flights cost between $50–$100 per one-way ticket. If you want to visit multiple islands, those totals add up. Your Fora advisor can help here (including cutting down on unnecessary costs).
How long does it take to travel between Hawaiian islands by flight?
Most trips take about 45 minutes or less. But between security, baggage, potential delays and so on, it could take up to four or five hours to get from one island to the next.
Other inter-island travel options
If you don’t want to take a plane to the other islands, you still have choices. Here are the other ways to travel between the Hawaiian Islands.
Some tours offer day trips to other islands by helicopter
Day trips by helicopter are expensive, but oh-so-worth it if you want to do something unique and adventurous.
There’s no better way to get such a picturesque view of the islands. Plus, you’ll get a great vantage point to admire Hawai‘i’s unparalleled scenery. Among the top options: flyovers on the Big Island through Volcanoes National Park.
There are cruises that stop at each island
Some Hawai‘i cruises will take you to all (or most) of the major islands. More often than not, you’ll get to spend a day or two on each island before moving on.
It’s actually one of the more economical ways to travel between the islands in Hawai‘i, but the downside is that you’re unable to travel at your own pace. For example, if you want to spend an extra day or two on Oahu, arguably the best Hawaiian island for families to explore, you’re beholden to the cruise schedule.
And remember: Your Fora Advisor can help here (including building more time into your itinerary).
You can also take a ferry from Maui to Lanai
Lastly, if you’re enjoying an adventurous Maui getaway (or a relaxing ), you might consider a sojourn to Lanai, one of the most exclusive islands in Hawai‘i, by ferry. The trip costs around $30 per ticket but the hour-long voyage might be worth it for the ocean views alone.
Plus, the ferry terminal is only a short drive from some of the best places to stay in Maui.
A Fora Advisor can help you travel between islands in Hawai‘i
Still not sure where or how to start your inter-island Hawai‘i vacation?
Let your Fora Advisor do the heavy lifting. They'll work with you to determine which itinerary is best for you while offering up insider travel tips and hotel perks (so you can splurge elsewhere!).