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The Secrets to Finding the Cheapest Flights to Hawai’i

May 29, 2024

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You may subscribe to the adage that Tuesdays are the best time to book your flights. You also may believe that paradise comes at a price. Before you can embrace the spirit of Hawai’i, there’s the daunting task of navigating the complex world of airline tickets. With so much to consider, you’ll need to book another trip in order to relax from booking this one.

We’re not here to tell you which day of the week to book your flights, or try to convince you that traveling to Hawai’i is in fact affordable. We’ll leave that up to you. But what we can do is offer our secrets for traveling to Maui on a budget and how we’d go about finding the cheapest flights. (But we really want you to book and explore our secret beaches, enjoy our Hawaiian cuisine, embrace whale watching season, and experience lūʻaus so keep reading.)


Understanding the Seasons

Truth is, there’s no guaranteed “cheapest” time to fly to Hawai’i. There are periods of the year that may suit you better to avoid crowds and high price tags, but the trick is to be flexible with your travel plans.

If you’re looking for budget flights, consider traveling in the late spring or early fall. You may find some downtime in May and June after the spring break crowds have left and before the summer crowds arrive. Come September and October, the weather is still nice and you’ll land before the holiday crowds come.

We do know that you may be coming with family for the holidays, or whenever your schedule allows. If that’s the case, we get it, so here are some tips when looking for affordable flights even during busy season:

  • Consider flying into smaller airports
  • Book your flight around two to three months in advance
  • Sign up for airline email alerts to know when deals hit
  • Keep your airline in mind as budget airlines tend to have lower prices than major players.


Using Price Comparison Tools

Never settle for the first option you see. Price comparison tools allow you to explore the flight landscape so you get the best deal. There are a lot of price comparison tools so use the one you trust.

If you don’t know where to start, consider using Google Flights or Kayak. Both are simple to use and let you find flights based on your budget. You’ll also notice many flights have a layover, and if you’re looking for budget options, you may have to be flexible with choosing non-stop flights or not. Price comparison tools give you the total trip time to plan accordingly based on what you’re comfortable with.

Take Advantage of Airline Sales and Promotions

Despite their desire to make money, airlines know people want to travel without spending their annual salary on flights. Because of this, they’ll often offer sales or promotions to save you money and entice you to fly their airline.

It’s never a bad idea to set your email preferences as such that you get notifications when these promos are happening. And following these airlines on social media is another great place to learn of flash sales and the latest deals. You may even find deals on an airline’s specific mobile app.

It is important to acknowledge that airline promotions often come with stipulations, such as blackout dates, limited seat availability, and potential additional fees for checked baggage or preferred seating. (All of these can also be present without a promo so read the fine print regardless.)

While you may be saving money on the ticket, the fine print may be taking some additional funds you’re not even aware of. Be sure to read the promo guidelines fully and pair airline promotions with budget-friendly travel tricks, like when you actually travel and where you fly into.

Exploring Alternative Routes and Stopovers

As mentioned before, budget-friendly travelers may have to settle for a layover. While it may not be the most appealing option, it’ll save you money overall. Plus, depending on which city you stopover in and how much time you have, you can always leave the airport to explore for a few hours before take-off.

One of the biggest benefits of Hawai’i is the ability to travel between the islands once you’re here. While the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport—also known as Honolulu International Airport—in Honolulu is a popular airport to fly into, consider airports on neighboring islands. These include Kona International Airport (Hawai’i), Lihue Airport (Kaua’i), and Maui’s own Kahului Airport.

Flying Into Maui

We may be a bit biased, but to us, Maui is the best island. Whether you’re here on Maui to spend a day, a week, or longer, Maui has so much to offer to everyone. Our main airport is Kahului Airport and receives the majority of commercial flights. It’s conveniently located near car rental agencies, shuttles, and resorts in Maui’s popular tourist areas.

Other airports Maui offers are Kapalua Airport—located on the west side of Maui—and Hana Airport, on the east side. Given the location, size, and number of flights, Kahului Airport is your best choice.

While you’re on Maui, don’t forget to stop in and see us. Maui Ocean Center has everything for families, couples, and individuals, offering an amazing experience to see Maui’s wildlife. Dine at our Seascape Restaurant and shop at our Ocean Treasures gift shop as well—no aquarium ticket required—and experience what our wonderful island has to offer.



When traveling to Maui there will never be a shortage of things and places to see. Make sure you’re always abiding by local and cultural laws when exploring the natural beauty of Maui and most importantly, relax! That’s what you came to do after all. 


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