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Here’s the best time of the year to visit Hawaii

To help you decide when to visit Hawaii, we compiled a list of the best times to visit based on weather and surfing conditions, hotel and ticket prices, avoiding crowds and whale-watching.

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The sun rises over the Pacific from the research vessel Petrel nearly 200 miles off Midway Atoll in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands on Friday, Oct. 18, 2019. The crew of the Petrel found the sunken remains of the Japanese aircraft carrier Kaga, which sank in the historic Battle of Midway, and are searching the vast area for other sunken warships in the coming days. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones)


Ah, the age-old question. When should you fly to Hawaii?

According to Hawaii’s visitor statistics, the islands receive millions of visitors each year. There is no all-around perfect time to visit Hawaii, it all depends on what you’re looking to get from your visit.

To help you decide when you might want to visit, here are the best times to visit based on weather and surfing conditions, hotel and ticket prices, avoiding crowds and whale-watching.

Best time for good weather and surfing conditions

Hawaii’s islands have warm weather year round, with average highs of about 79-82 degrees in the winter and 84-89 in the summer. With this, the biggest variables to take into consideration with regard to good weather are rain and surf conditions, according to the National Centers for Environmental Information.

The best and most consistent weather typically occurs in April, May, September and October, with winter months tending to be more rainy.

Something else to take into consideration is hurricane season. According to Accuweather, hurricane season in the Central Pacific lasts from June to November, with a peak in August.

The best time for surfing in Hawaii ultimately depends on the skill level of the surfer, meaning beginner’s might want to avoid the islands’ north shores during winter months — from November through March — when the waves are biggest.

Families might rather enjoy visiting Hawaii in the summer months — May through September — when the waves are particularly tame.

Best time to visit for your wallet

The most expensive time to visit Hawaii is, without a doubt, mid-December through mid-April due to holidays and surfing conditions.

According to travel blogger Santorini Dave, booking one to four months in advance offers the best ticket prices, with six weeks out being the best time to find deals. When planning a trip around Thanksgiving or mid- to late-December, it’s best to book as soon as tickets are available, up to 11 months out.

According to farecasting app Hopper, with some planning, flights in January or February can be up to $175 cheaper than during the typical high season. Flights scheduled to depart mid-week are also typically cheaper than those scheduled for weekends.

Meanwhile, hotel prices are likely to be cheapest during the fall months — from September through the middle of December — according to Business Insider.

Hotels advise booking at least three months in advance unless you’re planning on visiting in either July or August or around Christmas and New Year’s, in which case, it’s best to book four to six months in advance.

Best time to avoid crowds

The Hawaiian Tourism Authority reported that the majority of tourists visit Hawaii during the month of July, with December being the second-busiest month.

Typically, the best time to visit Hawaii without having to worry about large amounts of other tourists is in the months of April, May, September and October, according to Hawaii Tourism Authority. April can also be a calmer month, with the exception of Easter and “Golden Week,” which is when many visitors arrive from Japan, according to Business Insider.

Best time for whale-watching

Every year, whales travel from Alaska to Hawaii for the winter, according to The Washington Post, making it the perfect place to visit your not-so-furry, not-so-little friends.

Many consider February the perfect time for whale-watching as it is when the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration conducts its annual whale survey.

While whales can be sighted off the coasts of every island, they tend to be concentrated between the Western shores of Maui and the neighboring islands of Molokai and Lanai.