If you are here, you probably have only a precious 7 days in Hawaii and need an itinerary to help you make the most of it.
The key to the perfect 7 day Hawaii itinerary is choice. Just like mom always told you, you are special! You have your own specific preferences, abilities, and interests. You also likely have a budget for both time and finances to make this all come together.
This Hawaii travel guide will help you craft your ideal one week itinerary. This includes choosing the right island or islands, deciding where to stay, and revealing the best things to do on each Hawaiian island.
Need help planning more than just an itinerary? Read
PLANNING A TRIP TO HAWAII: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE
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Is One Week in Hawaii Enough?
Seven days in Hawaii is definitely enough time to see one island, maybe even two. If you are hoping to visit all of the Hawaiian islands, however, you would want at least 10 days – 14 days.
Generally, we recommend keeping 5-7 day Hawaii itineraries limited to one island. This allows you time to explore some, but also to relax and soak in the aloha. It will also help you get a true feeling for whichever island you choose.
However, some of you may be the restless type and just want to see as much as you can! If you are reading this while doing toe raises from your standing desk and slamming coffee, we will also provide insight on how to arrange an itinerary with multiple islands.
For help finding the cheapest flights & seeing multiple islands, read our
COMPLETE GUIDE TO HAWAII ISLAND HOPPING
Quick Guide to Each Island
If you do not already know exactly which Hawaiian island interests you most, this section will give a very brief insight into what you can expect from each one.
More information and additional resources for each will be provided later in this guide.
Oahu: The Miami of Hawaii
Incredible white sand beaches with the best nightlife and the largest city in Hawaii. Oahu is mostly about resorts and tourist attractions, drawing people who are more about a fun, curated vacation than exploration. It is by far the most visited island in Hawaii.
Maui: The Los Angeles of Hawaii
Beautiful beaches with lots of high-end visitors, but also appealing to people who like to explore by car. Maui is a mix of upscale vacation, self-drive tourism, and chill-on-the-beach enthusiasts. This is the second-most popular island for tourists.
Big Island: The Seattle of Hawaii
Slow pace with the friendliest people and a lot of natural beauty to explore, but more effort is required. The Big Island is best for people who value space, seclusion, and budget over manufactured and lavish experiences.
Kauai: The Denver of Hawaii
Upscale accommodation and romantic restaurants exist, but the island is most known for its incredible natural beauty. Kauai is best for the hikers, adventure seekers, and nature lovers who see Hawaii as a place to explore rather than somewhere to relax.
7 Day Hawaii Itinerary: One Island
With only a week in Hawaii, we recommend most people choose to spend it all on one island. This eliminates precious time lost to airports, re-packing, and the general toll of moving.
After all, that is time that could instead be spent sipping a mai tai, enjoying a Hawaiian sunset, or soaking in some sunshine.
Sticking to one place also allows you to do more of the best things that island has to offer. As you will come to find, each has its own character and plenty of completely unique things to do distinct from the others to occupy a full week.
Finally, spending all 7 days in Hawaii on the same island will cut your planning in half!
How should I decide which island to visit?
If you are only visiting one island on your first trip to Hawaii, there are two ways of deciding which island that should be.
The first way is to browse itineraries for each and see which one inspires you to visit.
The second is to reverse engineer things by cost. Begin by finding your favorite accommodation option, then research which island has the cheapest flights. These will be your two biggest expenses and may determine which is the best option for you.
Below are complete guides on how to spend up to 7 days on each Hawaiian island.
Best for: People who prefer resorts and tourist attractions; those that are more about a fun vacation than exploration, as well as beach enthusiasts.
READ THE COMPLETE OAHU GUIDE:
ULTIMATE 5-7 DAY OAHU ITINERARY
Best for: People who see Hawaii as a place to be explored more than have a holiday. It is about adventure and activity, not just sunbathing and cocktails.
READ THE COMPLETE KAUAI GUIDE:
ULTIMATE 5-7 DAY KAUAI ITINERARY
Best for: People who want a little bit of everything; some lavish, upscale options, nature to explore but mostly by car, famous and secret beaches, something for everyone.
READ THE COMPLETE GUIDE:
ULTIMATE 5-7 DAY MAUI ITINERARY
Big Island Itinerary
Big Island Overview
Best for: People who value space, seclusion, and budget over manufactured and lavish experiences with a sense of adventure.
READ THE COMPLETE BIG ISLAND GUIDE:
ULTIMATE 5-7 DAY BIG ISLAND ITINERARY
7 Day Hawaii Itinerary: Two Islands
For the restless and adventurous travelers, your ideal itinerary may include some island hopping. While seven days isn’t a ton of time to see two places, it is absolutely doable.
The great thing about including multiple islands in your itinerary is that you will be able to experience two vastly different places.
From the moment you step off the plane at each, you will feel a different charge and energy in the air. Seeing both will help you decide which to come back to, as well as hedging your bet in case one doesn’t quite feel right.
The other pros to a two-island itinerary are that the cost of island hopping is substantially cheaper than flying to Hawaii will ever be. For perspective, nearly every inter-island flight begins at $45.
If this section is calling to you, be sure to read our complete guide to island hopping in Hawaii to learn the options available.
How to Arrange a Two-Island Hawaii Itinerary
- Determine which two islands you want to visit.
All 4 islands are amazing, but everyone has a favorite. Spend some time learning about each and decide which two seem most interesting. If you are indifferent, skip to Step 2.
- Find your accommodation options and flights.
These will be your biggest expenses by far. If you are just excited to see Hawaii, begin by creating a list of places to stay on each, then factoring in flight prices to and from those islands.
- Find your inter-island flight.
Hawaiian Airlines is the best option for island hopping. Prices begin at only $45 between any two islands except for between Big Island and Kauai. To turn your commute into a special adventure, consider the small, prop-plane option of Mokulele Airlines as well.
Hawaii Itinerary 7 Days FAQs
First time visitors will have a lot to consider for planning their once-in-a-lifetime Hawaiian vacation. Below are answers to the most frequently asked questions for a 7 day Hawaii itinerary.
Which is the best Hawaiian island to visit for the first time?
The general consensus is that Oahu is the best Hawaiian island for first-time visitors to The Rainbow State. As it is the most popular for visiting and is home to the biggest city, Oahu is the island that caters the most to tourists.
That said, the Big Island is an often overlooked option. Kona has some incredible beaches and has the benefits of smaller crowds and cheaper everything, while still boasting phenomenal landscapes and experiences.
Is 7 days enough time to see two Hawaiian islands?
It is easily possible to see two Hawaiian islands within a week. Inter-island flights are only 45 minutes each and begin as low as $45 for the base fare. Whether you prefer to explore one island thoroughly versus seeing two quickly is a personal choice, but the itinerary is easily arranged.
How much money should I budget for 7 days in Hawaii?
The average person should budget $3500 – $7,000 per person for 7 days in Hawaii. Accommodation is by far the biggest expense, especially post-covid. This breaks down per person as follows:
- Roundtrip Hawaii Flights: $500-$1000
- Food & Drinks: $500-$1000 (approx. $80-$150/ day)
- Accommodation (1-2 people): $2000-$4000 ($250-$600/ day)
- Rental Car: $250-$350 (approx. $35-$50/ day)
- Tours / Activities / Misc: $250-$500
What is the best way to see two Hawaiian islands in 7 days?
It is easier than you might think to visit two islands during a 7 day visit to Hawaii. Flights between the islands are only $45 through Hawaiian Airlines and take only 45 minutes.
To create a one-week Hawaii itinerary that includes island hopping, the best thing to do is to book the cheapest non-stop flight onto the island, then find the best return option from any other island. Once you have your starting and ending flights, you can choose which day you want to hop over.
Other Hawaii Travel Guides
In addition to the many Hawaii itineraries you have found throughout this guide, we offer a variety of resources to help you further plan your visit.
Browse the popular titles below and see which other Hawaii travel guides may be of interest:
General Hawaii Guides
- Hawaii Packing List: Printable essentials list + 25 clever ideas.
- Hawaii Island Hopping Guide: All about inter-island travel in Hawaii.
- Planning a Trip to Hawaii: Step by step guide to your first visit.
- Best Beaches of Hawaii: Top 5 beaches on each island.
- 10 Day Hawaii Itinerary: How to see all 4 major islands in 10 epic days.
- 14 Day Hawaii Itinerary: How to visit all 7 inhabited Hawaiian islands.
- Hawaii Itineraries Guide: A hub to find itineraries for all islands and trip durations.
Kauai Travel Guides
- Where to Stay on Kauai: Best areas, hotels, and need to know info.
- Best Things to Do in Kauai: The ultimate Garden Isle bucket list.
- Kauai 5-7 Day Itinerary: Everything you need to know for 7 days in Kauai.
- Planning a Trip to Kauai: Everything you need to know for your visiting Kauai.
- Sunsets in Kauai: Where to go to see the best sunsets.
- Kauai Waterfalls Guide: Every accessible waterfall on the island.
- Instagrammable Kauai: Where to go for the best photos.
- Kalepa Ridge Trail Guide: Find the best hike on Kauai.
Big Island Travel Guides
- 5-7 Day Big Island of Hawaii Itinerary: Everything you need to know.
- Planning a Trip to Big Island: Flights, itineraries, and everything else you need to know.
- Best Big Island Beaches: Top 25 famous and hidden beaches on Big Island.
- Kona Beach Guide: Top 25 beaches in the Kona region.
- Big Island Photography Guide: Where to go for the best photos.
Maui Travel Guides
- HAWAII PACKING LIST: A printable essential packing list + 25 useful items to consider
- 5-7 DAY MAUI ITINERARY: How to see the entire island in one week or less
- WHERE TO STAY ON MAUI: The best places and areas to stay on the island
- PLANNING A TRIP TO MAUI: Step by step guide for planning your first visit to Maui
- ROAD TO HANA STOPS: The Top 25 places to visit on the Road to Hana
- ROAD TO HANA ITINERARY: How to plan for a 1-2 day self drive.
- BEST MAUI PHOTO SPOTS: 15 best places for photographing Maui
- SECRET BEACHES OF MAUI: The 10 most incredible hidden beaches on the island
- MAUI SUNSETS: The Top 10 places & activities for watching sunset in Maui
- KIHEI BEACHES GUIDE: Photos, locations, and descriptions for all 15 beaches in Kihei
Oahu Travel Guides
- 5-7 Day Oahu Itinerary: The perfect way to spend a week in Oahu.
- Planning a Trip to Oahu: Everything you need to know step for step
- Instagrammable Oahu: All the best photo spots.