When you take your dream vacation to Hawaii, you naturally want to see more than one of the Hawaiian islands. But closing the 80-mile gap between Oahu and Maui isn't as easy as hopping on a ferry or hiring a shuttle. Treacherous currents between the islands throughout the year deliver stomach-rolling 20-foot swells. Inter-island cruises take a minimum of seven days to get from Honolulu to Oahu, making air travel the only viable option for direct travel between the two.
Flight time for inter-island flights isn’t too long, making island hopping accessible, especially if you can find cheap flights for your round-trip. This is especially important if you’re doing day trips, but airfare isn’t usually too bad, especially if you’re flying Hawaiian Airlines.
Fly the Friendly Skies
If you're planning to split your vacation time between the two islands, booking through major airlines that fly to both such as Hawaiian, Virgin, Alaska and United are often the best way to save money. Planning an itinerary that flies to Honolulu and continues to Oahu after a few days is often as cheap as just flying to one or the other, according to Travel Pirates. Depending on the time of year, buying the leg between Honolulu, Oahu and Kahului, Maui, can run $150 or more.
Book a Commuter Flight
Saving money isn't necessarily the only factor in booking air travel from Oahu to Maui, however. It might be worth it to spend a little more and get a better view of the scenery as you're traveling. Get a bird's-eye view of waterfalls, whales and more on these flights, which fly at a lower altitude than jets. Commuter flights also save the time and hassle of passing through TSA checkpoints since they don't fly out of the main airport terminals.
Mokulele Airlines even lets your pet fly with you in the cabin at no extra charge – providing it's well-behaved. The daily commuter flights travel from Honolulu-to-Maui destinations that include Hana, Kahului and Kapalua. First-class leather seating offers an excellent view, but limited under-seat storage has limits of 15 pounds and maximum dimensions of 22 inches tall by 14 inches wide and 9 inches long. There's also an extra charge for baggage, with rates increasing the more bags you bring.
All-in-One Travel Deals
Booking all-in-one travel deals can include your accommodations and flights on Oahu, Maui, or the Island of Hawaii for a single price. A sample itinerary might consist of a flight from the mainland to Honolulu where you'll stay for three nights. Travel on to Maui on day 4 for an additional three nights before departing for a direct flight back to the continental United States from Honolulu International Airport through Southwest Airlines or United. This is a great travel tip if you want to check in for your vacation and not have to worry about anything after you say Aloha!
All-in-one travel deals give you the flexibility to add on excursions and tours much as you would when taking a cruise. The travel packages don't always include transfer from the airport to your hotel, however, so check out transportation services like rental cars. Likewise, when booking excursions, check to see whether the adventure picks up at the hotel, or if you must make your way to a specified location via ferry service or other public transportation.
Hawaii has so much to offer, from snorkeling to seeing humpback whales to touring Pearl Harbor to enjoying the north shore beaches, the major islands like the Big Island, Kauai, and the island of Oahu have many attractions. But don’t forget about lesser known places too, including Waikiki, Hilo, Molokai, Kona, Lihue, Haleakala National park, Lahaina, Lanai, and Kihei, among many others.