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You are watching: How do you travel between islands in hawaii

With simply eight miles separating several of the closest significant Hawaiian islands (such together Lanai and also Maui), this Pacific archipelago is a tempting destination for island hopping. And it can it is in quick and easy to explore multiple Hawaiian archipelago — however you need to be strategic. Furthermore, come really enjoy Hawaii friend don’t want to constantly be on the move, therefore you have to stay on each island long sufficient to soak it all in prior to continuing ~ above the next.

To get roughly the islands of Hawaii, you deserve to fly by helicopter, travel by ferry or hop on a boat. But while there room options, in most cases, friend are more than likely boarding a flight before saying aloha come your next Hawaiian island destination.

To help you setup a seamless Hawaiian vacation, we’re breaking under all the methods you can get around the archipelago that comprise the Aloha State.

Kauai’s Waimea Canyon: the cool Canyon of the Pacific. (Photo by Don Smith/Getty Images.)

Oahu is the hub

Oahu is the hub of Hawaii and its inter-island travel. This is where global flights right into Hawaii will likely land, as well as where the bulk of the U.S. Mainland flights operate. You can catch a trip from Honolulu global (HNL) to almost every one of the major neighboring islands. If you’re not certain which archipelago you could want to hop to on your Hawaiian vacation, it’s still a pretty for sure bet to book your main flights in and out of HNL. The said, don’t acquire too comfortable and also only remain on Waikiki the entirety time as Hawaii it s okay much, much much better the more you explore.

Honolulu airport. (Photo by Getty Images.)

From HNL, it have to only take around 30 to 45 minute of flight time to gain to the other significant Hawaiian island on a sewage flight. If you deserve to lock your key flights right into or the end of Honolulu, you have the right to trust that the rest of the logistics have the right to be cleared up later.

Related: ideal ways to gain to Hawaii making use of miles and points

Flying between the islands

Traditionally, Hawaiian Airlines has actually been the dominant airline operating inter-island travel, and also it still is a an extremely common selection with multiple day-to-day flights between the islands. However, Southwest airline is now a very formidable contender in Hawaii, i m sorry is good for travelers searching for the ideal deal to fly to the big Island, Maui or Kauai.

Southwest paris to Hawaii! (Photo by Summer Hull/The point out Guy.)

Southwest operates flights from HNL to Kauai (LIH), Maui (OGG), Hilo (ITO) and also Kona (KOA). However, recognize that you will be going with Honolulu ~ above those flights, so if you wanted to fly nonstop native Kona come Kauai, your ideal bet is probably Hawaiian airline for that form of route.

There’s also Mokulele airline which has 120 everyday flights v some distinctive Hawaiian destinations including Lanai and Hana.

Another option isMakani Kai Air, i m sorry is a charter company with a little fleet of little planes that will certainly fly travelers in between the islands to areas like Princeville top top Kauai, Molokai or the KalaupapaPeninsula, a national historical park that requires a allow for entry.

Lanai waiting is a turbo-prop alternative for those heading native Honolulu appropriate to the small island of Lanai to stay at the four Seasons or similar.

Take the Ferry come Lanai

Prefer to spend some time at sea to heading ago to the airport? it is feasible to take it a ferry in between Maui and also Lanai withthe explorations Lanai Passenger Ferry. The hour-long trip will expense you around $30 one-way (kids $20), yet there room only five departures and also returns each day, so you have actually to plan day trips carefully.

(Photo by Isabel Thottam.)

Fly to Molokai

The island of Molokai is not obtainable directly native the U.S. Mainland. In order to gain to this island, you’ll should take a connecting flight from HNL, OGG or JHM. You can publication flights via Hawaiian Airlines, Makani Kai air or Mokulele airlines to Molokai native these 3 airports, and also the flights only take around 25 minutes.

Book a cruise between the islands

If girlfriend really desire to obtain the many out of her Hawaiian vacation and also have the time and budget to perform so, consider taking a cruise. Cruise lines such together Disney Cruise Line and Norwegian Cruise Line provides a range of itineraries that take you come the four significant islands — some even incorporate overnight stays. You’ll view Oahu, Kauai, Maui and also the huge Island without worrying about how to get around other than gaining on and also off the ship. With Norwegian, girlfriend can also combine a cruise around Hawaii with a pilgrimage to French Polynesia, which sounds most terrific to us.

In the instance of Disney, the cruises about Hawaii space actually 10-night cruises that begin or end in Vancouver with stops on lot of Hawaiian Islands.

Related: exactly how we supplied points and also miles because that a household Hawaiian vacation

(Photo by Isabel Thottam)

Helicopter to remote areas

If you desire to obtain dropped into a really remote Hawaiian area, the only method to carry out so is by helicopter. Blue Hawaiian is a charter company and will take hikers and also travelers to less-touristed areas and also far-flung trailheads.

Unless you room invited by the owners, a helicopter tourism is the only method you’ll floor on the pristine so-called Forbidden Island the Niihau. This lightly populated island is 70-square miles in size and can (sometimes) be viewed from Kauai’s Waimea Canyon. Half-day excursions to Niihau begin at $465 per person.

Unfortunately, helicopter tours don’t permit you to lug your suitcase and also simply get dropped off to start a brand-new island life — you’ll need to return v the pilot to the island you departed from.

Use airline miles for intra-Hawaii travel

You deserve to use a selection of airline mile to island-hop around Hawaii, yet most that them bring you right back to the exact same Hawaiian airlines operated flights. However, no every airline dues the same number of miles for inter-islands flights on Hawaiian, so it payment to shop roughly with the mile you have available. And, the course, if you space flying on one inter-island course operated by Southwest, climate you have actually yet another set of choices. Here’s a outline of some famous options, prices listed as one-way other than where noted.

Kona airport (Photo through Summer Hull/The clues Guy.)

(Here’s what it is favor to island-hop top top Hawaiian Airlines and what the is favor on Southwest Airlines.)

American mile to fly Hawaiian:7,500 mile in economy, 15,000 in first

Delta mile to paris Hawaiian:7,500 mile in economy

Hawaiian Airlines:7,500 mile in economy, 15,000 in first

JetBlue point out to fly Hawaiian:6,000 mile in economy, 12,000 in first

You cantransfer clues from follow Ultimate Rewards to JetBlueat a 1:1 proportion if you have actually cards such together theChase Sapphire ReserveandChase Sapphire preferred Card. Citi ThankYou has actually a 1:1 transfer ratio to JetBlue. Those with the JetBlue Plus map get10% of your redeemed clues back.

Note that JetBlue awards on Hawaiian Airlines should be booked over the phone with JetBlue, yet in our check call, access lined up roughly with what United presented as available.

United mile to fly Hawaiian: 7,000 mile in economic climate (10.5k miles if take trip is within next 30 days)

Virgin Atlantic miles to paris Hawaiian:7,500 mile in economy, 15,000 in very first (infants 2,000 mile in economy/10,000 in first)

A benefit of making use of Virgin Atlantic miles is that they are basic to earn, as you can transfer fromAmex membership Rewards,Chase ultimate Rewards,Citi ThankYou Rewardsand even Marriott Rewards. We’ve likewise seen periodic transfer bonuses from bothAmexandCitiin the past, so your award rates might be discounted even further by transferring throughout these promotions.

Southwest Airlines:Many inter-island fights top top Southwest space currently easily accessible for 2,000 come 4,000 rapid Rewards points each direction. You deserve to earnRapid Rewards points from Southwest credit transaction cards, such as the Southwest fast Rewards Plus credit Card . Friend can likewise transfer her points in on a 1:1 ratio from follow Ultimate Rewards and also cards such as the follow Sapphire wanted Card. On Southwest, you’ll obtain two complimentary checked bags and accessibility to in-flight streaming entertainment at no fee (on your own device). You can additionally put that Southwest Companion happen to an excellent use come score a 2-for-1 deal!


Free island-hop via the joined Excursionist Perk

If you want to obtain a Hawaii island-hop in your bigger booking “for free,” publication your pilgrimage to Hawaii using joined miles. For example, you could fly Houston – Honolulu (stop) – Lihue (stop) – Houston for the same number of miles as just Houston come Honolulu and back (45,000 in saver economy). Due to the fact that Hawaii is in a various award chart region than the lower 48, it functions for a complimentary stopover using the united Excursionist Perk on a round-trip booked through United miles.


Here room the ideal credit cards for flying through United miles. If you do publication your island hop through United, you’ll need to acquire your Hawaiian airline confirmation code to choose your seat straight with Hawaiian.

See more: Have You Seen Or Did You See ' And 'Have You, Have You Seen / Did You See

Bottom line

Most of your Hawaiian island-hopping is likely to be excellent via commercial aircraft, despite there room some exceptions to that general rule. You might not need to use airline miles because that an inter-island trip in Hawaii if cash prices space low enough. We always recommend law the math to make certain you are getting a decent worth for your points. But if you space flying Southwest (fixed-value points), or when prices cross that $100 threshold, utilizing miles end up being a transaction worth considering.

Ready to island-hop on Southwest Airlines. (Photo through Summer Hull/The clues Guy.)

To help you on her Hawaii-planning journey: