What You Need to Know to Plan an Amazing Kauai Vacation

Kauai Will Captivate You Any Time of Year

kauai travel guide - plan to see this sunset in person on your kauai vacation 
When to Visit
What to Expect
Must Bring
Getting There
What to Know about Vacation Rentals in Kauai

Kauai is a beach vacation dream destination, an outdoor enthusiast's wonderland, a golfer's paradise and a perfect spot for a honeymoon, Hawaiian holiday or family beach trip. It's always paradise in Kauai, but planning ahead will prepare you with the info you need to choose the best place to stay, best time to visit and best things to do all around the island of Kauai.

When to Visit

The high travel season in Kauai is during the winter months, typically December through March, as visitors are escaping the colder weather in various parts of the U.S. mainland. The Christmas season is especially popular for planning a trip to Kauai.

Kauai is a choice spot for summer-break travelers, as well, making July and August high vacation periods. If you’re looking for a less busy time to visit Kauai, the off seasons – April through June and September through early December – may be a better choice for you.

In terms of weather, you can’t go wrong with Kauai at any time of the year. The climate is consistently pleasant and Kauai is drier than the other Hawaiian Islands, making even the “rainy season” in the Pacific a perfect time for visiting Kauai.

What to Expect

Kauai is warm all year, with average daytime temperatures ranging from 70 to 85 degrees. In Kauai, there are basically two seasons: dry and rainy. Though Kauai, known as the “garden island,” is generally drier than the other Hawaiian Islands, it does still experience the rainy season, but with less precipitation, especially in the western and southern regions. 

Seeing the island is best accomplished by renting a car. While there are other means of getting around, including taxis, charters, and a reasonably good public bus system, rental cars afford visitors the most freedom. Additionally, getting around on Kauai is fairly simple, with just a few major highways traversing the island.

If you’re traveling in winter, you should expect some larger crowds, particularly around the Christmas holiday. Visiting Kauai in summer, especially July and August, will mean you encounter lots of families traveling with their school-age children during summer break.

If you are in Kauai anytime around a national holiday, you should also expect larger crowds. Inter-island travel also increases during these periods, as permanent residents take advantage of the chance to visit family or friends or to simply get away for a long, holiday weekend.
Rest assured, even with Kauai’s being such a popular vacation destination, the island is robust, offering many activities, adventures and sightseeing opportunities. The diversity of the island’s attractions ensures that not everyone who vacations in Kauai will be in the same place at the same time. After all, there is so very much to see, explore, and experience.

Must Bring

Kauai is fairly warm throughout the year, so you’ll do fine with shorts, t-shirts and swimwear for the most part. If you plan to travel into the mountains, remember the weather will be much cooler, and you’ll need more insulated clothing. The evenings and nights in some locations can be a bit on the cooler side, too, so a sweater, jacket, and a pair of jeans are also advisable.

Visitors should bring sandals or water shoes, as well as a good pair of sneakers, if planning to participate in any walking tours or other long, pedestrian trips. Hiking boots and good socks are essential for trekking into the jungle, climbing hills or any other outdoorsy adventures on the agenda.

For going birding or whale watching, packing binoculars is a must. Don’t forget a good camera, of course, and be sure to bring sunscreen, sunglasses and maybe a hat or visor. It’s also not a bad idea to pack at least a nice outfit or two. While the atmosphere in Kauai is very relaxed, visitors may want to spend a night on the town in a more upscale dining venue or night club, and the right clothes can make a difference.

Getting There catch a plane to paradise - plan a trip to kauai

While there are numerous airlines which have layovers in Honolulu before heading to Kauai, the flight to Hawaii is rather lengthy from anywhere in the continental United States. To ensure a more pleasant trip, it’s advisable to fly direct to Kauai and avoid the layover in Honolulu entirely.

If you do decide to book a flight to Honolulu, instead, expect a two-hour layover, after which you’ll catch a connecting flight to Kauai’s Lihue Airport. The inter-island flight will take approximately half an hour. After arriving at the airport, you’ll either need to rent a car or hale a taxi, as there are no public buses or shuttles available.

What to Know about Vacation Rentals in Kauai

Having a home base for a Kauai vacation getaway is a smart move, even if planning on seeing much of the island during one’s stay. A Kauai vacation rental home, beach condo, or exotic villa will allow its renter the added space to kick back and relax after a day of adventure.

Vacation rentals in Kauai offer many advantages, including complete privacy, a comfortable living room and bedrooms, a full kitchen for preparing meals and saving money, and lots of other conveniences. Amenities available from Kauai vacation rentals may include laundry facilities; Internet and dish or cable television; and, in the case of beachfront rentals, quick access to sun, surf and sand.


Here's a few Kauai beach condos to whet your appetite:

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