Celebrating Christmas in paradise this year? See our tips for a winter holiday in Hawaii.
General: DIY / How-To
General: Kid Friendly
Does the thought of getting out of the snow and onto the beach for Christmas sound nice? It certainly does for most people, and that's the reason the last two weeks of December are one of the priciest times to travel to the islands (see Best & Cheapest Time To Book & Travel To Hawaii). But, that doesn't mean that there aren't deals out there for holiday travelers. Tourism patterns are constantly changing, and bargains are still out there. So here are a few tips on how to get to Hawaii for Christmas without breaking the bank.
Figure out who will be traveling with you in your group and what type of vacation you'd like to have. Adults? Children? Adults who act like children? This may make the difference of whether you will be staying at a luxury vacation resort or condo or something more basic.
Nicer hotels and resorts may fill up fast since most travelers, as will the nicer condos. Larger resorts tend to get into the "Christmas spirit" a bit more with decorating and so on. Smaller hotels may not do as much but also often have cheaper rooms. Regardless of what you choose, the key is booking in advance. Start your lodging search now.
What type of activities do you and your group want to do? Some may want to stay at a resort that offers everything and never leave the property. Others may want to explore around the islands and be a bit more adventurous. Every island has some Christmas activities that are fun for the family, perhaps you'd like to plan around that?
If a "shop til you drop" holiday is appealing, then Waikiki (see Waikiki Guide) or Honolulu may be the best place for you. Some of the more popular events that take place on Oahu are the Christmas concerts throughout Honolulu, the boat parade in Hawaii Kai, and Santa's arrival by outrigger canoe in Waikiki.
But it shouldn't be all Christmas all the time on your trip either so plan non-holiday events too. For ideas, view some Free Things To Do In Hawaii, see the Top Hawaii Touristy Things That Locals Love, and if you have kids be sure to check out the Best Things To Do With Kids In Hawaii.
Once you figure out what type of activities you'd like to do, then it's time to narrow it down to which island you'll visit. We cover this topic in more detail in Which Hawaiian Island Should I Visit? as well as How Many Islands Should I Visit?. Oahu is by far the most populous island with the most activities to enjoy during the Christmas season. The other islands will have unique festivals and celebrations as well, so check out our events calendar to find an island that fit's the bill.
We mentioned this a bit in the beginning of this article, but you really need to make your reservations at least 6 months in advance. Yes, it takes planning to get the good deals. It can sometimes be better to go through a travel agent for Christmas travel planning since they can offer the same rates as the online discount websites, but have the ability to plan a complete itinerary for your vacation. Even if you use a travel agent, be sure to read through our Hawaii Travel Itineraries so you can better let them know what you want to see and do.
If using frequent flyer miles, be sure to check on any "blackout" dates, which are often filled during peak holiday seasons. Don't hesitate to call hotels that meet your vacation criteria and see if they offer a special discount package that isn't advertised.
Booking in advance applies for all aspects of your vacation, including the rental car as prices for those will go up as hoolidays approach. Not sure if you need to rent a car, then read Do I Need A Rental Car In Hawaii?
As your vacation approaches, be sure to look over our information articles for ways to enjoy your trip to the islands. Hawaii has no shortage of outstanding beaches, hotels, activities, and restaurants and most places will be open on Christmas day. Be sure to call first and make reservations to be safe.
If all else fails and you can't spend Christmas in Hawaii, you can always take a little of Hawaii's Christmas home with you with this [PID:46] artwork. Afterall, [PID:46] is the thing to say on a bright Hawaiian Christmas Day!
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