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Is there a worst time to go to Hawaii?
What is the worst time to go to Hawaii? The truth is, there isn’t a worst time to go to Hawaii when it comes to weather, but there is the worst time to go to Hawaii when it comes to crowds.
I already have a blog post about the best time to visit Hawaii, but I wanted to go into more detail because I’ve asked more often if there is a worst time to visit Hawaii than if there is a best time to visit Hawaii!
Does Hawaii have bad weather?
Ah, Hawaii weather. When I get the question “what kind of weather does Hawaii have?” I like to say “all of it.” Jokes aside, the weather in Hawaii is mostly beautiful year-round, but can vary drastically.
The Island of Hawaii (The Big Island) has nine out of the thirteen climate zones! Maui has almost as many. This means you can be in a rainforest, snowy mountain, sunny beach, and dry lava field all in one day. It’s wild.
Does it rain a lot in Hawaii? Yes, there are times of the year when there is more rain, but only on certain parts of the islands. The winter is rainier than the summer, but again, only in certain areas.
Hawaii has some of the rainiest spots on earth as well as some of the driest. The people who built the major resorts on the islands were well aware of this, and most of the popular resorts are in the dry areas on all islands.
The North Shore of Kauai, one of the rainiest areas of Hawaii.
One major exception to this rule is the North Shore of Kauai. It’s so beautiful, you don’t even mind the scattered rain showers. Kauai is the oldest of the Hawaiian islands, and arguably the prettiest.
Even if you stay in an area with more rain (such as North Kauai), it likely won’t rain all day every day. Rain in Hawaii tends to come and go, and have you seen those beautiful Hawaii rainbows?! That wouldn’t happen without rain.
Even if it does rain, you can drive 20 minutes and be in a completely different climate. That is the beauty of Hawaii.
Are there hurricanes in Hawaii?
Hurricanes don’t often hit Hawaii. It has happened, but it’s extremely rare. The best way to explain it is that Hawaii is a tiny target in a vast ocean. It’s not like Florida, where you can count on hurricanes every year.
It’s safe to say that hurricanes are not something to worry about in Hawaii. They can happen, yes, but it shouldn’t be a concern when planning your Hawaii vacation.
The worst time to go to Hawaii has to do with crowds, not weather
Now that we have established that Hawaii has terrific weather all year, let’s talk about tourism. Hawaii is, not surprisingly, very busy during school and significant holidays. June, July, the first half of August, the week of Thanksgiving, and mid-December to early January are very busy.
When is it the least crowded in Hawaii?
You may be wondering when exactly you’ll find the smallest crowds in Hawaii. As I mentioned earlier, Hawaii is beautiful year-round, so there truly is no “off-season.” However, the “shoulder season,” which tends to be September-October and April-May does see fewer crowds and better prices on flights.
I recommend visiting Hawaii during this slower season if at all possible. It tends to coincide with the wedding season, which works out great for honeymoons! You can read my post about how to plan a Hawaii honeymoon to learn more.
As always, there is an exception to the rule. If you plan to visit the Big Island, here is one crucial thing to keep in mind. The Ironman in Kona takes place in October. So although most of the islands are slower in October, the week of the Ironman is going to be packed in Kona, and accommodations will be hard to find.
Let’s talk about the busy season
You’ll likely see more expensive flights, more expensive rates on hotels and resorts, and many popular activities sold out. I understand that some people have no choice but to travel during the summer or holidays, but keep in mind that this is the worst time to go to Hawaii.
That doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy yourselves; it just means that you need to prepare.
You might also enjoy this post: Which Hawaii island is the best to visit?
If you’ll be visiting Hawaii during a busy time, it’s critical to book as early as possible. Many of the popular resorts (especially those in the mid-range with more affordable accommodations) will sell out.
If you have your eye on a particular luau or boat tour, it’s likely to sell out too. As soon as you know your dates, book a package that includes your resort, flights, and car. Just get it out of the way so that you don’t have to stress about it later. I recommend looking at packages on Expedia to get started.
Consider a larger resort
One other thing I’d recommend is possibly staying at a larger resort like the Hilton Waikoloa on the Big Island or Grand Hyatt on Kauai.
I realize this sounds backward, but staying on a more extensive and more spread out property does help make you feel like it isn’t so crowded.
Once you have the “important” things booked, you can move onto the fun stuff. Choose the things that you want to do while you’re in Hawaii. If you’re looking for ideas, I have a post about the 7 best tours in Hawaii that might help you.
Click here to read my review of the Grand Hyatt Kauai. One of the largest resorts on the Hawaiian islands.
Book activities ASAP
Go ahead and book those activities right away. I like to book through Viator because most activities are refundable up until 24-hours before the tour. Viator isn’t just for touristy-tours, you can book a luau, surf lesson, and a lot more, so check it out. Even if you decide that you want to cancel a particular tour, you can always do that later.
That’s all that you need to do! Just be prepared for crowds, give yourself an ample amount of time at the airports, and relax and have a great vacation.
The worst time to visit Hawaii
Once more, I will stress that in regards to weather, the time of the year truly doesn’t matter. Most of the resort areas on all islands are located where they get very little rain. If you are worried about planning around weather, plan to stay in the following areas:
- The south or west side of Maui (Kihei, Wailea, Makena, Ka’anapali, Lahaina, Kapalua)
- The south shore of Kauai (Poipu, Koloa)
- The west side of the Big Island (Kona, Kohala, almost all of the resorts on the island are here anyway!)
- The south side of Oahu (Ko Olina, Waikiki, Honolulu, etc.)
The west side (Kona/Kohala) of the Big Island and the south shore (Kihei/Wailea/Makena) on Maui are two of the driest areas on all of the islands. Staying in either area will ensure very little rain, and probably none!
Hawaii Vacation Tips
Now that you know the worst time to go to Hawaii, and where to stay to avoid rain, let’s talk about things to do in Hawaii while you’re there. Here are some of my favorite Hawaii travel tips:
- Is Hawaii safe?
- 20 things you should never do in Hawaii
- 10 things to know before going to Hawaii
- How much does it cost to go to Hawaii?
- 100 things to do in Hawaii
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