FAQ: Airbnb in Hawaii
Where should I stay in Hawaii on Airbnb?
Each island has its own identity, which means you’ll eventually want to experience all the islands for a true sense of the state.
Oahu is often a first-timer’s choice, as it’s home to Honolulu and Waikiki and cute surf towns. It’s also the most populous island, which means there’s no shortage of attractions, eateries, and places to stay. Here you’ll find a fusion of traditional art and luaus alongside city skyscrapers and contemporary five-star restaurants.
Maui is known for its laidback beach vibes, though you can also explore lava rocks, watch the sunrise atop a volcano summit, and hike through the rainforest in between surf sessions. It’s the best island for watching migrating humpback whales in the winter, while summers are ideal for seasonal farm-to-table dining.
The “big island” of Hawaii is hands-down a coffee lover’s paradise. This is where you’ll find famous Kona coffee beans grown on lush hillsides en route to those famous volcanoes. This island is sizeable, so you’ll want to day trip to its various seaside towns to experience all the flavors, like Macadamia nuts on the east side, coffee on the south end, and chef-driven dining in upcountry.
For outdoors enthusiasts, the island of Kauai is a magical place to visit for its diverse terrain of stunning green valleys and towering cliffsides. Rainforests and cascading waterfalls are a big draw for hikers, too, so pack reliable footwear. Beaches on the South Shore are great for family swims and there are plenty of great snorkeling spots here, too.
Lanai is only nine miles from Maui and easily accessible by a pedestrian ferry for day trips. The island is known for 4-wheeling and snorkeling spots, and there’s really only one town to explore in the center of it all. In tiny but chill Lanai City, guests savor local coffee at mom-and-pop cafes in between adventurous exploration of rugged island terrain.
Finally, Molokai is only 38 miles long and while it’s perhaps the least visited island, it offers a different experience with its quiet atmosphere. The highest sea cliffs in the world are found here and lead to Kalaupapa National Historic Park. Though the island is remote, Central Molokai is home to an 80-year-old bakery and a handful of local eateries and shops. Keep in mind there is no direct air service to Molokai Airport, so you’ll need to connect from Honolulu. Once on the island, there is no public transportation, so your options will be to walk, cycle, or rent a car.
What is the best time of year to visit Hawaii?
Hawaii’s climate is consistently warm, so there’s no bad time to visit when considering the weather. Even during the winter months, the daytime average is a balmy 78° while summer at sea level is in the mid-80s. No matter when you visit, it’s possible to experience some light trade winds or rainfall, but even in the wettest months, which are November through March, the rain passes as quickly as it arrived, so your fun won’t be interrupted for long.
Near-shore water is consistently welcoming, so any time of year offers a refreshing dip at the beach. Just keep an eye on wave conditions to ensure you won’t face strong currents. When in doubt, swim at a beach with a lifeguard. And be sure to layer on sunscreen as even cloudy days can take your skin by surprise.
How much does it cost to go to Hawaii?
In shoulder season and for more modest accommodations, Airbnb vacation rentals are easy to find for under $100. But expect to pay a few hundred dollars during popular vacation periods or for homes with plenty of guest space, unique features, and updated design.
Of course, you’ll also want to plan for a decent food and drink budget, which can also be expensive. You can save money on dining by picking up beverages and a few essentials at a local market like Foodland Farms or ABC Stores.
If you can be flexible with travel dates, there is sometimes a dip in midweek pricing for Airbnbs but know that Hawaii is a year-round popular destination. Shoulder seasons may offer a bit of a price break, so keep an eye on spring and fall prices which may be less than the peak of summer vacation and winter breakers.
Are there travel restrictions to Hawaii?
If you are traveling during the pandemic, be sure to review Hawaii’s latest travel protocols and know that entrance requirements change often in response to new health data.
At present, all incoming mainland travelers — regardless of vaccination status — are subject to pre-travel testing to bypass a 10-day quarantine. Travelers must present a negative COVID-19 test to enter, which must be an approved test from specific trusted testing partners, no more than 72 hours before departure to Hawaii.
If you are unable to present an accepted test, you will be subject to a 10-day quarantine upon arrival. A new vaccination quarantine and test bypass program is in development, but not likely to begin until later this summer.
All travelers must also register with the State of Hawaii Safe Travels program and be sure to stay up to date on the latest traveler guidelines.
Is Airbnb safe?
While there’s no such thing as a safety guarantee, getting fully vaccinated greatly decreases your chance of falling ill near home and while away.
If you’re wondering if staying at an Airbnb right now is safe, experts largely agree that private vacation rentals are likely safer than hotels due to the ease of social distancing and lack of interactions with other guests or staff.
Airbnb has also implemented reassuring new policies, including the Enhanced Cleaning Initiative, which includes new safety guidelines for hosts, as well as optional booking buffers.