7 Day Hawaii Itinerary: How & Where to Spend One Week in Hawaii

7 day Hawaii itinerary blog cover image.  Text overlaying an image of a turtle on a white sand beach with blurred palm trees and turquoise ocean behind.

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.

I have created this Hawaii travel guide to help you craft your ideal one week itinerary. This includes information on how to choose which island (or islands) to visit, where to stay, how to get around, and the best activities to do on each Hawaiian island, complete with recommendations on tours and providers.

Sophie and I visit Hawaii at least 1-2 times each year and still discover something new and exciting to see each time. This guide is the culmination of over a dozen trips to The Rainbow State, and we are excited to share the lessons we’ve learned to help you plan your own unforgettable vacation.


🌺 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 days14 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

🏝 Quick Guide to Each Hawaiian 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.

An epic view from the scenic Makapu'u Point on Oahu during 7 days in Hawaii
Oahu is the most iconic Hawaiian island.

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.

A kitesurfer enjoys a day in paradise at VOR Beach on the Maui North Shore.
Maui is best for diverse interests.

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.

A young female in a swimsuit walks the stunning shoreline of Waipio Black Sand Beach on Big Island north shore, also known as Poiolu Valley Beach.
Big Island is best for slow travel.

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.

The Na Pali Coast in Kauai as seen from a boat tour during 7 days in Hawaii
Kauai is best for outdoor adventure.

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 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 Only

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.

Or, you can consult our complete guide on Which Hawaiian Island is Best for a First Visit.

Oahu Itinerary

At no cost to you, we receive a small amount for any bookings made using the links below.

Oahu Overview

  • Nickname: The Gathering Place
  • Where to Stay: Waikiki or Honolulu
  • Number of Days: 2-3
  • Airports
    • Honolulu (HNL) – Main Airport
    • Kalaeloa (JRF)

Best for: People who prefer resorts and tourist attractions; those that are more about a fun vacation than exploration, as well as beach enthusiasts.


Kauai Itinerary

Kauai Overview

  • Nickname: The Garden Isle
  • Where to Stay: Princeville or Poipu
  • Number of Days: 2
  • Airports
    • Lihue (LIH) – Main Airport
    • Princeville (CBD)

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.


Maui Itinerary

Maui Overview

  • Nickname: The Valley Isle
  • Where to Stay: Kihei or Wailea
  • Number of Days: 2-3
  • Airports
    • Kahului (OGG) – Main Airport
    • Hana (HNM)
    • Kapalua (JHM)

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.


Big Island Itinerary

Big Island Overview

  • Nickname: The Big Island
  • Where to Stay: Kona or Waikoloa
  • Airports
    • Kona (KOA) – Main Airport
    • Hilo (ITO)

Best for: People who value space, seclusion, and budget over manufactured and lavish experiences with a sense of adventure.



🍍 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 on each island, you will feel a different charge and energy in the air. Seeing multiple islands will help you decide which to return to and hedge 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

  1. 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.
  1. 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 factor in flight prices to and from those islands.
  1. 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.

☀️ 7 Day Hawaii Itinerary FAQs

First-time visitors will have much 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.

📖 More Hawaii Travel Planning 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

Kauai Travel Guides

Big Island Travel Guides

Maui Travel Guides

Oahu Travel Guides

🍹Final Thoughts on Our 7 Day Hawaii Itinerary

The two of us work very hard to create these free travel guides to help you plan your dream vacation. If you think we’ve done a good job and would like to say thanks, please consider clicking the donate button below 🙂

We truly hope you have found this guide to be useful and inspiring as you plan your dream vacation to Hawaii.

If there is anything we missed or anything you think may be inaccurate, please let us know in the comments section below so we may better help future readers!

Mahalo for reading!

Enjoyed this 7 Day Hawaii Itinerary? Pin it! 🙂

Photo of author
Written by
Adam Marland is a professional travel blogger and landscape photographer from Oregon. After over a decade of experience as a freelance travel photographer, Adam found national acclaim when he became the National Park Foundation's “Chief Exploration Officer” in 2021.

2 thoughts on “7 Day Hawaii Itinerary: How & Where to Spend One Week in Hawaii”

  1. For the first time traveller to Hawaii, can you provide me best itinerary for Best two island for best beaches and volcano activities and falls

    • Hi Sadhana,

      If you’re interested in beaches, volcanoes, and waterfalls then I would recommend combining your time between the Big Island and Maui. In particular, including Volcanoes National Park, Haleakala National Park, the beaches in Kihei, and the Road to Hana. This guide to Which Hawaiian Island to Choose may also help you decide which are the best Hawaiian islands for your vacation.

      Have an amazing vacation.



Leave a Comment