Island Hopping in Hawai’i

Island Hopping in Hawai’i

I moved to Hawai’i four years ago, and have lived on 3 of the most populated Hawaiian islands. I was surprised to find out that most of my family on the mainland doesn’t know the difference between the islands. I hope to clear up any confusion about the geography of this beautiful archipelago. Island hopping in Hawai’i is quick, relatively cheap, and very common.


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Island Hopping in Hawai’i: What are the islands?

Eight major islands make up the Hawaiian archipelago, with several atolls. The islands consist of many much smaller islets, and seamounts in the North Pacific Ocean. The eight main islands are Hawai’i, Maui, Kaho’olawe, Lāna’i, Moloka’i, O’ahu, Kaua’i, and Ni’ihau. When island hopping in Hawai’i, you can consider visiting 5 of those islands, minus Kaho’olawe and Ni’ihau.

Set up of the islands

Hawai’i is divided into five counties. Hawai’i, Honolulu, Kalawao, Kaua’i, and Maui. Kalawao and Maui both occupy the island of Moloka’i, and are the only counties that share the same island. You can take a boat from Maui to Moloka’i and Lana’i.

The most visited islands are Maui, Hawai’i (Aka The Big Island), O’ahu, and Kaua’i. Each island has a very different feel and vibe. I highly recommend spending a day in each if you are planning a trip to the islands.

How To and Schedules

The process is easier than you’d imagine. There are multiple (usually 4-5) flights per day between the islands. Island hopping in Hawai’i only takes 30-45 minutes of air time. Each island has an airport. The Big Island has two major airports, one on Hilo side of the island and one on the Kona side. You can book your flight online like any other domestic flight, and show up an hour before.

Covid Regulations

You can read about each individual island and their covid regulations here on the Hawai’i county government website. Currently there are covid regulations where you need to quarantine or get tested when you arrive on certain islands, like the Big Island. O’ahu, however, does not require a test or a quarantine when you arrive.


Island hopping in Hawai’i is not dangerous or scary. The planes are full sized, and you can fly with major airlines like Southwest, or Hawaiian Airlines. There is also Mokulele Airlines who operates scheduled inter-island. They charter flights among all Hawaiian islands with airports. Below you can see me flying with my partner, Southwest Airlines. Southwest has amazing policies like two free carry ons and free flight changes. (This particular post is not sponsored, I just love my airline partner).

Island Hopping in Hawai’i: Pricing

Depending on the time and day of the week, the price of flights vary. Currently, I have been paying between $40 and $70 for a one way ticket. I recommend checking different variations of times and days for island hopping in Hawai’i to get your best deal and ideal schedule.



Island Hopping in Hawai’i: Views

Each and every island is gorgeous and unique. It’s a special experience to view them from above. You will see hues of ocean blues that are so beautiful, you’ll think you’re dreaming. From bright red colors of the islands from above, to crystalline waters, these island hopping flights in Hawai’i never disappoint.

If you have any questions, please comment them and I will be sure to answer!

As always, I hope this was helpful and that you get to experience the beauty of these islands from above.

All my love,

Samantha xx

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