Inter-island travel in Hawaii is usually done by plane. And, with two major players, flights are abundant.
Hawaiian Air has over 100 flights per day. They fly full-size jets between the main airports on the islands– Honolulu (Oahu), Lihua (Kauai), Kona & Hilo (Big Island) and Kahui (Maui).
In addition, there are a number of smaller commuter airlines that offer inter-island travel. Island Air, is the largest. It flies 18- or 35-seat De Haviland Dash 6 or Dash 7 aircraft. The only ferries in Hawaii are the ones connecting Maui with Lanai and Molokai.
Though prices will vary, a reasonable price for a flight to another island is from $80 to $105. Hawaiian Air offers coupons and discounted rates, as do many Hawaii travel companies, so it is possible to find cheaper inter-island travel by air.
You can purchase an inter-island pass good for one week, ten days or two weeks. This allows you unlimited inter-island travel for the length of pass. Passes are available for Hawaiian Airlines.
Also, you can take a “mini-island overnighter” if you just want to spend a day on another island, or you can rent a car and explore the island — and then another one, if you like — for as long as you want. The possibilities are truly limitless.
The search is up to you — just customize your inter-island trips yourself. You can search for the best prices between the different Hawaiian Islands. And, you can choose from air travel only, air and car travel, or a “combo kit” of air, hotel, and car travel.
Also, don’t worry about “waiting to get a ticket”: virtually all of Hawaii’s inter-island travel companies offer daily trips, so you can either plan to island-jump in advance, or just make it as spontaneous as you like! Again, there really aren’t any “restrictions”: there are special packages for families, and, of course, “honeymoon packages” for those romantic trips for two.
If you’re already in Kona, on the Big Island, for example, you can plan to take a trip to Oahu, Maui, or Kauai quite easily — the prices aren’t prohibitive, and it’s easy to get from one island to another.
On the other hand, if your idea of Hawaiian paradise is spending more time on the water than on land, then book a cruise that will let you “float the days away” while slowly gliding along the entire island chain. Cruises are excellent ways to enjoy a “hotel on the water” if that’s your desire. Norwegian Cruise Lines is the main cruise company that starts and ends their cruises in Hawaii. However, because they operate foreign-registered ships, they are required to stop at a port outside the US. So, a trip to Kiribati is part of the package.
Prices for cruises are understandably higher than budget travel in the islands, but offer an entirely different perspective for your trip.
Once you arrive at the neighboring island of your choice, normal car rental qualifications and restrictions apply. And it’s very important to note that drivers in Hawaii must be 25 years of age, and must possess a valid driver’s license and major credit card in their name.
Remember, though, for best pricing and assurance that a car is available, call ahead to make reservations. All the major car rental companies have offices at the airports listed above.
Enjoy your travels throughout the islands!