How many islands should I visit during my trip to Hawaii? How many days do I need if I want to visit two or three of the Hawaiian islands? How many days do I need to see Maui?
How many islands you can visit depends on how many days you have for your trip to Hawaii. My recommendation, if you have seven days or less for your total trip, is to go only to Maui. If you have at least 10 days total, you can go to two islands, for which I would suggest 7 days on Maui and 3 days on either Oahu or the Big Island. If you have at least two weeks for your trip, I would spend 7 days on Maui, and 3 days on Oahu and 4 days on either the Big Island or Kauai.
Main sights on each of the four main islands:
Maui – Haleakala crater, Road to Hana, Lahaina town, Upcountry, Iao Valley, whale watching (winter), lavender farm.
Oahu – Waikiki beach, Pearl Harbor, Polynesian Cultural Center, nightlife.
Big Island of Hawaii – active volcano.
Kauai – fern grotto, Waimea canyon.
Why not see more islands even if your trip is shorter? Two reasons:
1. It wastes a whole day of your vacation to move from one island to another. This includes packing up your suitcases in the hotel on the first island, checking out of the hotel, driving to the airport, turning in your rental car, checking your luggage at the airport, waiting in line and getting through security, waiting for the plane, flying, waiting for your luggage in the second airport, getting the shuttle to the rental cars, picking up your rental car, driving to the hotel on the second island, checking in, and unpacking your suitcases.
2. There is way more than a week’s worth of things to see and do on Maui. So if your trip is a week or less, there is no need to spend the time and money to move to another island. This link has some of the many things to do on Maui.