Although Hawaii generally has great weather year round, the summer months of June through to August tend to be the best, with warm-hot sunny days and little chance of rain. This coincides with the United States long school holiday period, so if you are thinking to visit Hawaii to escape the winter cold back home, keep in mind that accommodation gets heavily booked out and you can expect crowds along the beaches and at most of the archipelago’s major sites.
There is another peak in hotel prices during the United States winter school holidays over Christmas/New Year, with domestic tourists looking to escape the mainland cold. But if you opt for late January, you should avoid the biggest crowds and be able to take advantage of some good accommodation deals.
Both spring and autumn see far fewer other tourists throughout the archipelago, with the weather still warm enough to enjoy Hawaii’s island living. It’s also possible to secure some good flight and accommodation deals during these months, although you should try and avoid the last week in April/start of May when hotel prices see a sharp peak as Japanese arrive in Hawaii on their annual break.
Try and book as far in advance as possible to get the cheapest flights to Hawaii at any time of the year, but particularly if you plan to travel during the New Zealand summer holiday period when plenty of others have the same idea! Winter school holidays can also see another peak in demand for flights, making good deals harder to come by if you are looking last minute, but the cheapest flights to Hawaii are generally found in the spring and autumn off seasons.
Flights from Auckland to Hawaii – 8 hours 50 minutes.
Flights from Wellington to Hawaii – 11 hours 25 minutes.
Flights from Christchurch to Hawaii – 11 hours 30 minutes.
Flights from Queenstown to Hawaii – 14 hours 20 minutes.
Both Hawaiian Airlines and Air New Zealand operate flights to Hawaii from Auckland throughout the week with comparable flight ticket prices, while United Airlines flies the same route but is slightly more expensive. From Wellington, the most direct route is through Nadi with Fiji Airways, while those looking for flights to Hawaii from Christchurch should connect through Auckland first. From other New Zealand cities, the cheapest flights to Hawaii are usually connecting through either Auckland, Nadi or Sydney, with a combination of airlines that each offer their own special deals throughout the year.
No matter which side of the aircraft you sit on, passengers are normally treated to fantastic views across Oahu and the Hawaiian Island chain on arrival.
The Honolulu International Airport is located 8 kilometres northwest of downtown Honolulu, and there is a SpeediShuttle that provides door-to-door service from the airport to hotels across the city, departing every 20 minutes. There are shuttle attendants waiting at baggage claim areas in both the International and Domestic terminals where you can buy tickets, and the shuttle stops are located just outside.
A cheaper option is to take one of the public bus routes that either go into the city or west from the airport. Buses depart around every 30 minutes from stops on the second level outside the airport and tickets can be purchased from the driver, although passengers should be aware that there are baggage restrictions and you may be refused with oversize luggage.
The quickest, but most expensive option into Honolulu from the airport is with a metered taxi, taking around 10 minutes, and passengers should be aware that there is an additional charge of 50 cents per piece of luggage.
(prices quotes are from London)