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How to plan a Big Island vacation
So you’re planning a Big Island vacation. As a Hawaii Travel Agent, I know that planning a Hawaii vacation can be overwhelming. If you need any help along the way and would rather have an expert plan your vacation, feel free to contact me. Otherwise, keep reading for the ultimate guide to planning a Big Island vacation.
How to plan a Big Island Vacation: When to go to The Big Island
Is there a best time to visit the Big Island? I get this question a lot, so much that I wrote a post about the best time to visit Hawaii. I always get questions about how the weather is during certain times of the year. The good news is that the tourist areas (the west, or Kona side of the island) are almost always dry and sunny.
The Big Island is incredibly diverse and is home to ten of the words fourteen climate zones. The diverse climate means that you’ll be able to see all types of weather no matter what time of the year you visit. The “best” time to visit the Big Island, in my opinion, is during the slower season. It’s never truly “slow” in Hawaii when it comes to tourism, but it is slower in April, May, and late August through October. The exception to this rule is the week of the Ironman in Kona.
Planning a Big Island Vacation: Where to stay on the Big Island
I get a lot of questions about whether or not people should stay in multiple locations on the Big Island. My answer? Absolutely not. Although the Big Island is Big, it’s not that big. It’s easy to access the rest of the island from the Kohala/Waikoloa resort areas, or Kailua-Kona. Most of the resorts and other accommodations on the island are located in these areas. I recommend staying in the resort area or Kona.
If you’re looking for a more relaxing setting, I recommend staying in one of the Waikoloa/Kohala resorts. My favorites are the Fairmont Orchid and Mauna Kea Beach Hotel. If you want to stay in Kona, there are a few options. The Sheraton Kona is a good choice if you’re looking to stay in town. Check out the 7 best resorts on the Big Island for more ideas of where to stay on the Big Island.
The Sheraton Kona.
Flights and Rental Cars
For the most significant savings, I recommend booking your flights and car as part of a package. I’ll do that for you if you plan to work with a Travel Agent, or you can do it yourself through Expedia or Apple Vacations. Do not skip the rental car on the Big Island! Public transportation is minimal, and there is so much to explore.
I recommend getting a Jeep so that you can access areas where you’ll need a 4-wheel drive. Just make sure to check your rental agreement on where you’re allowed to take it. You can read more about why to rent a car in Hawaii. Once you have your flight booked, make sure to check out my post on how to survive the trip to Hawaii and how to fight jet lag.
Planning a Big Island itinerary
I always recommend spending at least one week on each island you plan to visit. This is particularly true on the Big Island, where there is just so much to see. I created a 7-day Big Island itinerary for an example, but I create personalized itineraries for my clients based on their needs and preferences.
How to plan a Big Island vacation | Things to do on the Big Island
There are so many activities on the Big Island; you’ll never get bored! My favorite things to do on the Big Island are kayaking or taking a boat tour of Kealakekua Bay. Here you’ll find some of the best snorkeling in Hawaii, along with plenty of dolphins.
Another tour that’s only available on the Big Island is a night snorkel with manta rays. You can check out my 7 best things to do on the Big Island post or 25 things to do in Kona for more ideas. I also have a post with 100 things to do in Hawaii with a section just for the Big Island.
If a luau is on your Hawaii bucket list, check out the best luaus in Hawaii. You can also find plenty of free things to do on the Big Island. There’s nothing better in Kona than Happy Hour, check out the best Happy Hours in Kona to find out where to go.
More things to do on the Big Island
For even more Big Island activities, I recommend checking out Viator. Viator is the #1 company that I use for tours and excursions. They offer the best price guarantee, and most tours are fully refundable up until 24 hours in advance. That means you can reschedule or be refunded for any reason as long as you cancel in advance. This isn’t an ad; I genuinely love using Viator for activities.
How to plan a Big Island vacation
I hope that this guide to planning a Big Island vacation is helpful. If you have any questions or are feeling overwhelmed, you can always contact me. The Big Island is very special to me (tied for my favorite with Kauai), and I plan vacations on the Big Island and throughout Hawaii every day.
The Big Island is a great place to spot sea turtles. Check out the 7 best places to find sea turtles on the Big Island.
Book your Big Island vacation with a Hawaii Travel Specialist
If you’re looking for a Big Island honeymoon or vacation personalized just for you, give me a call! I specialize in working with clients to create the perfect vacation for you. That means no packages; everything is personalized. Make sure to contact me or go ahead and fill out a custom travel request, and I’ll get back to you to start planning ASAP!
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