What Makes Hawaii A Standout Summer Value

Before you comment that $700 is not a deal and you’re going elsewhere, read on. Hawaii summer airfares have been $700 to $1,000 or more for at least the past 15 to 20 years. Airfares have been on the rise globally in recent months, and Hawaii is not excluded. That having been said, there are still some exceptional Summer values to be found.

1. Reasonable airfares. While you may not consider $700 reasonable, contrast that with a price of double or more for West Coast to Europe airfares this summer. The difference can pay for your entire vacation.

Here are examples of good peak Summer (mid-June through mid-August) airfare deals that are widely available at this time:

  • Los Angeles to Honolulu or Maui or Honolulu $575-$600. Neighbor islands just over $700.
  • San Diego to Honolulu $500, Maui $600 and other neighbor islands $625. (These are unusually good prices from usually more expensive San Diego).
  • San Francisco to Honolulu $520, with neighbor islands starting at $650.
  • Seattle to Honolulu $550, Maui $500, and other neighbor islands $640.

2. Safety. We recently wrote about safety issues in Hawaii and Mexico.  This is obviously an issue of concern to many, as there were numerous comments here on the website and on our Facebook fan page.

3. Airline strikes in Europe. There are ongoing labor negotiations at American, Continental, United, and US Airways. I don’t believe it is likely, however, that a dispute will impact your Hawaii vacation. One possible exception is American Airlines flight attendants.

3. Great accommodation deals.  Hotels (or condos) are typically the largest trip expense and can make or break your vacation budget.  In Europe, the price of hotels jumped surprisingly last month, and likely will be going up even higher this summer. Hawaii is blessed with low accommodation rates that should continue for the foreseeable future.


  • Be careful about car rentals.  Prices are going up.  Availability and cost can bite you, so plan for your car well in advance.
  • Look for alternate departure cities; especially in the San Francisco Bay Area and Southern California. It can make a difference of hundreds of dollars one way or the other.


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9 thoughts on “What Makes Hawaii A Standout Summer Value”

  1. Hello Jeff,

    We are going on a trip to Honolulu from Seattle, WA in early August. Currently on Alaska, the roundtrip airfares are running around $630.00 (including taxes and fees). I’ve never been to Hawaii before and have been checking airline prices since February. They continue to rise (they were around $550 earlier this year). I guess I assumed they would start to drop around 12 weeks before the travel dates, but it doesn’t seem to be dropping.

    My question since you seem to have more knowledge is, is it best to just buy it now before it goes higher or is there a chance of a price drop (price wars in the summertime??)

    Thanks for your help!

    1. Hi Andrea,

      I’m seeing $540 all-inclusive on Hawaiian, most days in early August. If you decide to wait it would not surprise me to see even better pricing because the Seattle market is extremely competitive. At the same time, it is hard to call.

      Aloha, Jeff

  2. Hi Pua,

    Thanks for recommending us to your blog visitors.

    The airfares we quoted are all inclusive so no hidden fees like you implied.

    Regarding health insurance, while the Regence Blueshield plan may offer travel coverage to you in Washington State, the great majority of plans do not provide any or adequate coverage abroad.

    The US Department of State has cautioned travelers to be aware of this issue. If there is coverage, it normally does not include evacuation back to the United States and all treatments must usually be paid in advance.

    We therefore continue to advise the purchase of trip insurance for international travel.

    Best Wishes,

    Rob and Jeff
    Beat of Hawaii

  3. Jeff, I agree these are some good summer flight prices to Hawaii in a long time but as I suppose the rated quotes are not including taxes + all those ‘little’ add-ons by airlines which make potential Hawaii visitors cringe when they push the last button making their online flight reservation. That’s the moment of truth – Go on Hawaii vacation this summer or not!

    Best part for this Hawaii summer + spring travel is that Hawaii vacation rental owners are willing to offer the lowest rates ever in years. So don’t jump on your first ‘good-sounding’ offer. Check with other private owners. A cleaning fee of $100 or more can easily take up your daily expenses for accommodation.

    Jeff, thanks for keeping up your good work an Hawaii air fares, accommodations and car rentals. I frequently share your travel recommendations with our Hawaii blog visitors.

    Aloha, Pua
    Best Hawaii Vacation Blog
    Sorry Jeff to have to tell you that quite a number of American Health Ins. companies cover travelers abroad like Regence Blueshield. Mostly, it’s a limited coverage and it’s a hassle because the traveler has to pay the costs first out of pocket and get later reimbursed. Good luck.

  4. While I wince at the price of airfare, I still am not convinced that these prices are out of line. No U.S. based airline turns a profit – other than Southwest. And guess which airline DOESN’T serve the islands?

    Would I love to see cheaper airfares? Absolutely. But I don’t see much evidence that airfare is excessive either.

  5. Duly noted.

    However, $700 r/t in the summer…that’s still a tough sell to most people, I think. Every single Californian I have talked to bristles at that $700 number. Seriously.

    And we are not even talking about baggage fees…and other fees that airlines seem to pull out of thin air. That could be a pretty penny for a family of four. My brother and his family paid way too much in baggage fees for a Hawaii trip last year. (Thank goodness I am both an elite frequent flyer and a military member…or I would be on that same baggage fee hook as well.)

    IMO, $500 r/t (give or take) is a much better number from the West Coast. I have always said that there is no reason why it should cost more than $500 to fly roundtrip between the West Coast and Hawaii.

    Clearly what is needed is more competition to drive airfares down. Hopefully, Allegiant Air will be the white knight to do that.

    Also what is needed is for all airlines going to Hawaii to allow one free checked item. What tourist/family will not load up on souvenirs to take home? Bring and empty suitcase and fill it. Why should people be charged for that??

    I completely agree that there is no place in the world like Hawaii (in spite of the blatant “eff you” rudeness of some of its workers in the hospitality/tourist industry). And summer airfares may indeed be historically high.

    But everything must change. There will come a time when $700 will make people double take more so than now. Things can and should change if those in the industries that make the decisions have the will to make change.

    The bottom line is that people vote with their feet…and their wallets. And we all know that travelers’ wallets are not infinite…people are looking for and demanding bargains in everything.

    1. Thanks for the comments!

      I don’t make the airfares (or I’d bring them down). First I looked at the high costs (both air and hotel) of Europe this summer. Then I thought about the Mexico safety issues that have seriously hurt their much-needed tourism. Contrasting those you have the ease and safety of a non-foreign travel, summer airfares at the same or less than the norm from the past two decades coupled with far lower than normal hotel rates. To me, these define Hawaii as a “standout value.”

      Aloha, Jeff

      PS: I forgot to mention the fact that almost no US health insurance works in most foreign countries, which necessitates travel insurance abroad.

  6. Hi, I agree about the cost of flights to Hawaii. This will be my third summer in a row. Last year we got great deals on Kaanapali in Maui and this year I’m renting a condo in Waikiki (Island Colony) for $100 a night. I keep saying I’ll do a westcoast road trip (down to Cali etc), but when you factor in hotels etc, it is way better deal to do Hawaii. Westjet also has some great seat sales right now.


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