Thinking about taking a trip to tropical Hawaii soon? The time you plan your trip can make or break your plans for a warm, sunny getaway.
Find the best time to visit Hawaii for great weather, affordable airfare, and lower-priced accommodations – plus the worst months to plan your visit – in our quick, informative guide!
Why You Should Visit Hawaii
A relaxing trip to tropical Hawaii is on most everyone’s bucket list for a reason. From the temperate weather, gorgeous scenery, and black sand beaches to the vibrant local cuisine and friendly Aloha spirit, if you’re thinking about planning a getaway, the Hawaiian islands are the place to visit.
But your Hawaii experience will be dramatically different depending on the time of year you go. If you visit during the busiest season, when airfare and accommodations skyrocket in price, you’ll spend a lot more and struggle to find an empty spot to settle in on the beach.
If you unwittingly plan your vacation during Hawaii’s hurricane or rainy seasons, you could spend much of your visit holed up in your hotel. It’s hard to enjoy the natural wonders the islands have to offer when it’s pouring rain for days at a time!
We share the best time to visit Hawaii below. You’ll see the best time to visit overall, the most affordable time of year, the months when it’s least crowded, and the worst time to plan your visit.
Let us be your travel planning guide so you can enjoy the fullness of the Hawaii experience!
Overall Best Time to Visit Hawaii
The overall best time to visit Hawaii is anytime during April through October. You’ll get to take advantage of warm temperatures, little rain, and the opportunity to spot budding springtime flowers and emerging foliage all around the islands.
Since March and November are tied for Hawaii’s rainiest months, planning your visit in between these wet periods will give you the best chance of sunny, clear skies. In April, you can expect temperatures from 71°F to 84°F in Hawaii.
Planning your visit during May through October (Hawaii’s “summer” months) will be a bit warmer, with average temps hitting anywhere from 84°F to 88°F. It’s rare for temperatures to surpass 90°F in Hawaii, year-round.
Cheapest Time to Visit Hawaii
If budget is your main planning concern, you can schedule your Hawaii vacation during the cheapest times to visit Hawaii. The cheapest time to fly to Hawaii is during the months of February and March.
Flights are more affordable during February and March, which are near the end of Hawaii’s mild “winter” season. Your chances for excellent weather are a little diminished during February and March, but that doesn’t mean it’ll be a torrential downpour for your entire stay.
Hawaii in February is temperate and mild, with temperatures around 63°F to 79°F. Since December and January are popular months to visit for “snowbirds” seeking warmth or a tropical place to spend the holidays, the less-busy February is one of the cheapest times to fly to the Hawaiian islands.
In March, daily temperatures pick up a bit, ranging from 64°F to 83°F. Flights are still relatively cheap during March, which marks the tail end of Hawaii’s winter season.
With the ease of checking flight and accommodation prices online today, it’s possible to find great deals on Hawaiian vacations and packages beyond February and March. We’ll talk more about finding great Hawaii vacation deals in just a bit.
In any case, if affordability is a big deal to you, don’t plan your visit during December. It has the highest airfare and accommodation prices of the year.
Least Busy Time to Visit Hawaii
If sparsely populated beaches, tropical serenity, and quick service at local restaurants is what you’re after, you should plan your visit during the least busy months.
Hawaii’s low seasons are during April, May, and early June with another dip in visitors between September and early December. With most kids in school during these periods, you’ll run into fewer vacationing families and less crowded conditions throughout Hawaii.
Exceptions are common school break periods, when the number of visitors takes a sharp increase. This includes Spring Break (late March to early April) and Thanksgiving Break (last week of November) especially.
Here’s a look at the average temperatures and weather for these less-busy times:
- April: 71°F to 84°F
- May: 73°F to 84°F
- June*: 74°F to 87°F
- September*: 76°F to 89°F
- October*: 75°F to 84°F
- November*: 69°F to 82°F
- December: 64°F to 81°F
*Hawaii’s hurricane season runs from June 1st to November 30th each year. Keep this in mind when planning your visit – it’s one of the reasons these months are less busy for tourism to the Hawaiian islands.
Worst Time to Visit Hawaii
If you’re trying to avoid crowds, jacked-up prices for hotels, flights, and rental cars, or dreary weather that would keep you indoors on your tropical getaway, you need to know the worst times to visit Hawaii.
If you’re trying to avoid crowds and higher prices, August, December, and January are the worst times to visit Hawaii. August is the most popular summer month for Hawaiian vacations, leading to fewer deals on flights and accommodations during this time.
There’s another sharp increase in visitors during mid-December through January due to the holidays and many people taking time off from work or school. More demand for flights, rental cars, and hotels drives the prices up during this period, meaning you’ll end up paying a lot more for your Hawaii stay.
If you’re trying to avoid rainy, unseasonably cool weather, March and November are the worst times to visit Hawaii. These months are tied for the wettest months in Hawaii. The weather on the Hawaiian islands is always relatively moderate and rarely dips below 64°F, but you’re in for lots of rain and cloudy skies if you visit during March or November.
More Things to Consider
When you factor in average temperatures, the busy season, and rainfall, it might seem like planning the perfect Hawaiian vacation is really difficult. But the reality is that Hawaii boasts moderate, comfortable temperatures and weather year-round.
It’s hard to go wrong when you’re going to Hawaii! Even the most crowded months will provide you with an enjoyable stay – that’s why so many flock to the islands during these times.
If you want to plan the best Hawaiian vacay, keep these seasoned traveler tips in mind.
- Book your flight early. Airlines reserve their lowest Hawaii ticket prices for those who book early. As the trip date nears, flight prices only increase. There are exceptions – airlines dropping ticket prices last minute to fill seats on flights, for example – but these last-minute discounts aren’t reliable and fill quickly during popular travel times.
- Travel mid-week for the best prices. Flying out and back home on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday will net you cheaper flights and hotel accommodations than Friday through Monday (when most people travel).
- Pick the right island for the best prices. With 8 large islands and hundreds of smaller islands making up Hawaii, it’s important to choose the right island to visit if you want an affordable stay. Oahu tends to be the cheapest due to more direct flights there and plenty of hotel availability. With more availability, prices are driven down, even during busier months.
- Consider camping out. For a budget-friendly trip that will get you closer to nature and expose you to more of Hawaii’s natural beauty and charm, consider camping out! Campsites are cheaper to book than hotels and condos. As long as you plan your visit outside of the rainy season (November through March), camping is one of the best ways to experience Hawaii.
- Avoid island-hopping. It’s tempting to make your way across Hawaii, visiting all the islands you can on your first visit. But island-hopping means pricey inter-island flights and ferries that will make your trip more expensive. Booking longer stays at your hotel, condo, or campsite, as well as longer car rental periods, will net you cheaper prices than breaking your stay into smaller chunks as you try to experience all the Hawaiian islands.
So, When Should You Visit Hawaii?
So there you have it — our take on when to go to Hawaii. You can scratch Hawaii off your bucket list without breaking the bank when you keep these travel tips in mind. While a trip to Hawaii is never “cheap,” you’ll find that there are tons of ways to maximize your fun while keeping to a budget.
Whether you travel seeking the best weather and tropical scenery (April-October), the cheapest stay (February-March), or the fewest crowds (April-early June and September-early December), you’re going to have a great time in Hawaii.
Check out an other-worldly black sand beach, spend the day swimming with dolphins or spotting whales, and take a hike to experience Hawaii’s tropical environment and unique foliage.
Don’t forget your obligatory lei, fruity drink, and traditional Hawaiian cuisine – poi, poke, and maybe a serving of Spam and eggs – to really make your Hawaiian getaway perfect.