Everybody that has once planned a big trip knows that the key to success is a good structure. Important questions to ask yourself are:
- How long can you stay away on holiday?
- What is your budget for transportation, accommodation, etc.?
- Where will you sleep?
- How will you get to your destination and how do you get around once there?
Once these questions are answered few things can go wrong anymore. Sure, you might get rained out a few days or experience some bad luck, but you still have a warm place to stay in paradise!
To set up the basic structure of your trip to the Big Island the following resources might be of interest:
- The first step: start planning your trip to Hawai’i
- How to find a good flight
- Decide where to stay and how much to move around
- What accommodation fits your needs best (hotel, resort, vacation rental, B&B)?
- Getting around: do you need to rent a car on the Big Island?
- The cherry on the cake: choosing your activities
These steps are described in more detail below.
1: Visitor information: start planning your vacation
To sketch an outline for your Hawaii trip it helps to know a thing or two about the islands. Think for example about whether you want to go during high or low season. And how many islands do you want to visit? How long do you want to stay, and what are the unmissable things that you need to do or see?
These are all questions that deserve thoughtful consideration, and we have prepared several resources to help you answer them:
- In an ideal world, you’d have enough time to see as many islands as you’d like but, when reality strikes and time becomes an issue, sometimes you are forced to narrow it down to two, or even one. Decide which island is the best fit for your interests with our breakdown of Oahu vs. the Big Island, Oahu vs. Maui, and the Big Island vs. Maui.
- Read our thoughts on these topics in our guide: The first step: how to start planning your vacation.
2: Flying to the Big Island and inter-island flights
Because Hawaii is so far away from the mainland air travel is often the biggest expense for your vacation. This is yet another part of your vacation that can be optimized! We have no magic bullet, but do have plenty of experience buying these tickets.
3: How much do you want to travel around?
The Big Island is BIG, and it is possible that setting up camp in a few different places on the Big Island is the best choice for your vacation to minimize transport times. For example, Kona and Volcano Village are a great combination to explore the beaches with the volcanoes!
Read more about destinations on the Big Island.
4: What is the best accommodation option for you?
Half of your time on Hawaii will be spend at one place: your chosen accommodation. You can choose between luxurious resorts, quaint bed and breakfasts, and affordable hostels. What works best for you depends on your budget and personal preferences.
Regardless, our hands-down favorites in almost every scenario are vacation rentals!
Read more about choosing the accommodation that fits your needs.
5: Getting around the Big Island with or without a car
You are almost ready to go now, the only problem is that you don’t yet have transport! No problem, getting around on the Big Island is very easy with a car. Not having a car complicates your planning a bit, but is by all means also a viable option.
Read what we think about getting around the Big Island with and without a car.
6: Bonus: activities (this is where the fun starts!)
If you have not arranged the basics yet, reading on might not be the smartest thing to do. However, who are we to deprive you from the best thing of planning your trip to Hawaii? We are talking of course about adding the most amazing activities to your trip! Besides, you have read this article all the way to the end, so you deserve a little extra.
You will never be able to “do it all” during your vacation here on the Big Island, so you should be selective. Our personal favorites are:
- Going to the beach
- Seeing the lava
- Doing the manta ray night dive
- Go stargazing, and
- Taking a helicopter tour.
Don’t take our word though, but see for yourself: 20+ activities and things to do on the Big Island.
You also might want to have a look of our list of itineraries to get started.