What is the Best Hawaiian Island to Visit

I am here to help make the question, what is the best Hawaiian island to visit a little easier. You will end up needing to answer many other questions first. To best answer this question it is important to evaluate many things as each island offers significantly different experiences. I personally think that the big island (Hawaii) is the best Hawaiian island, but I have only been to Kauai, Oahu, and the big island.

So the question really becomes what is important to you, and your experience. Is this a vacation trip? Business? Scouting out your future home? I will lay out several things for you to consider as you make this decision on which Island to visit.

I have always found “Hawaii” to be a confusing term. Hawaii, is the Big Island, while many people refer to Hawaii when thinking of Oahu, and the city of Honolulu, or perhaps Pearl Harbor. There are several islands that make up the Hawaiian, but the 4 main islands are, Kauai, Oahu, Maui, and the Big Island (Hawaii)

What is the Best Hawaiian Island to Visit

Expense

I would think most people’s primary concern/consideration would be the cost factor. Honolulu on Oahu is by far the most inexpensive island to fly to and therefore by default becomes the destination for the majority of travelers. Oahu is also the most populated and, in my opinion offers the largest number of possible activities. It is definitely “touristy”, which is both good, and bad depending on the experience you are looking for. With the touristy feel of Oahu comes more expense in everything from dining to Lodging. I personally recommend using VRBO (Vacation Rentals By Owner). You can read about that by following the link.
Airfare is one of the biggest expenses when considering a trip to Hawaii so it would appear Oahu with the cheapest flights would be a chief consideration, but I do feel that ends up being offset by the expense of everything else.

Activities:

If outdoors is your thing, the islands should definitely be on your list, everything from biking to surfing, hiking to shopping, and volcano watching to snorkeling. Seriously there are so many opportunities to be out, and about doing stuff. It is one of the things I love the most about Hawaii, and the Big island in particular.

What is the Best Hawaiian Island to VisitHonolulu on Oahu has some of the highest end shopping in the world. Kona on the Big Island is definitely not as high end but does have its share of good shopping as well.

Weather Considerations:

I include the category of weather because you may not be aware that there is a dry side and a wet side, and the difference between to the two sides is vast. This isn’t really a consideration for which island to pick as they all generally have a wet side and a dry side, but it is something consider when picking your accommodations. For example on the Big Island, if you are looking for that lush jungle feel you are going to want to stay on the Puna side of the big island, or if you like the drier side, Kona is the area for you. The weather is pretty much always warm, Low 70s to low 90s whether on either side is what you can expect all year round.

Thinking of Living Here?

This point is what spurred my interest and knowledge seeking. I thought it would be too expensive to actually live in Hawaii and was subsequently looking at the Philippines and some of the typical central/south American countries, but then ran across an ad for some real estate in the Puna district of the Big island. Very inexpensive! Why?
People do fear buying and building on land that could be engulfed in lava, and it has happened twice in the last 70 or so years. I did extensive research before purchasing 2 lots in Nanwale Estates. There is of course a chance that my property could become worthless, however lava hasn’t flowed in this area in over 300 years, that’s 300 years of paradise.. I paid under 12k for both lots. I haven’t built yet, but I am working on it and that is a part of what this website is about, so check it out. As I write this post, this is a developing situation and will be for the next several years, so check back frequently for updates, and new information. I do share these on my facebook page as well.

Some Final Thoughts

As you can see the reason to visit the Islands are varied, and ultimately the best Hawaiian Island to visit will be found in your heart. This post is by no means all-encompassing in its overview of the various reasons, however it is designed to help you evaluate what you are looking for, and explore further. As my site grows, more and more links will develop in this post that will help you make your decision. Looking back at my experience I do wish I had stumbled upon a site like this one.
I would very much welcome your feedback and comments, whether you agree or disagree with the various points above, your input has value so please do comment below.

VRBO Big Island Hawaii

VRBO on the Big Island Hawaii, what is that you might ask? VRBO stands for vacation rental by owner, many of you in the vacation rental circles will be familiar with this terminology, many will not. Vacation Rentals By Owner is a network of private home-owners who have chosen to provide their home as a vacation rental. It is their desire to match their availability with your vacation.
In the last two years I have availed myself of this resource, since I have been visiting the Big Island of Hawaii and in particular the Puna District. My purpose beyond vacation, was to spend time researching specific subdivisions for the future home for my wife and I.

So Why VRBO vs a hotel?

There are several advantages I have found with using VRBO. 1st and foremost, I can stay in a location that is far more specific. Question? Can you stay in a hotel in the Leilani subdivision? How about Pahoa itself? In the smaller towns of Puna how many choices do you have for the those hotels? With a vacation rental by owner you have many options to choose from. The thing that I liked best was that I could choose a place in the very specific subdivision I might be interested in purchasing from. Sometimes the very same street! Below is a current view of the available vacation rentals on the big island of Hawaii. This next pic is the area to the right of the picture around Pahoa, but zoomed in so you can see more homes in a smaller area. Now you can see an the expanded availability of homes in specific sub-divisions. This really is a key point for me that makes it so perfect.

Ratings and Reviews

So what if you are like wait, someones home? What if its weird, what if its dirty, What if its small or ugly? I am sure you can think of many things that would cause you concern when you are contemplating a VRBO vs a Hotel. That is one of things that I love about VRBO. You have all the access to the reviews and ratings. Check this one out. Just one of the many I currently see.

I clipped this so you could see for yourself. If you click the link it will take you to the VRBO site you can read all 51 reviews for this particular home. Every comment from the negative to the positive. In fact, I usually read the negative ones, since I assume the person who wrote that review is very focused on the details of that visit. I find the negative posts often contain greater details. I really want to know what that person had trouble with, so that I can then evaluate for myself if that will be a problem for me as well.

Want to save money?

Its been my experience that It saves me a good deal of money to go with a VRBO, especially when it will be a longer stay then just a couple of nights. This is kind of anecdotal so I’ll let you do your own research, but every time I have gone, I have done a price comparison between a typical hotel and various comparable homes, and each time the comparable home comes in significantly less expensive. I have not been disappointed yet. I also like the flexibility of choices when it comes to pricing. Its such a wide range of pricing. Just check the map above, $47 to $250 per night. Plus you can see what you are spending your money on, before you decide.

Privacy, and space for your elbows

You ever feel like you can’t escape? It starts out as pretty minor feeling, you get annoyed about something, and you just want s minute to regroup. So you decide to leave the situation. Perhaps go to another room, or go outside, maybe your a smoker and you take a smoke break. But wait, you walk out to your anticipated relief, to find a person or persons you don’t really care for and you are like noooo!!!!. So you immediately decide to redirect, and to go to your back up smoke locale, only guess what…. there again another personality you just don’t want to deal with. That is how I feel at a hotel.

You are on vacation you are seeking relief from the strain of work or a home situation or whatever, and you book yourself into a hotel only to discover there is a conference in town…. that week… are you kidding me right now!? I just spent how much money to find the pool overflowing with people, and the restaurants full, etc.

This is definitely one of the things I love about VRBO. You set the stage for how private or communal you desire. The key to Vacation Rentals By Owner flexibility in my opinion. Flexible price, flexible location, flexible privacy, flexible features..

The Big Island of Hawaii is one of the best spots for VRBO in my opinion because of the wide variety of possibilities. Resort style homes, to a small private cottage. Can it get any better then that?

What do you think?

I hope you have found this post thought-provoking and helpful. I chose this topic to share, because it really has worked out well for me personally, and I wanted to share my experience with others. Please do take the time to share your thoughts or experiences in the comment section directly below.

It is super helpful when I hear back from you all. I have adjusted many of my posts and answered many questions over the years based on the feedback of visitors to my websites. Just like the ratings on VRBO I depend on comments below to help me make adjustments to this site. Again my goal is to be as helpful to you as possible.

I also post all of my content on my Facebook page, Puna Now so be sure to like my page for all things Puna related.