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Top 10 Vacation Destinations for Hawaii Residents

Ever wonder where Hawaii residents go on vacation? Considered moving to Hawaii but feel it’s too far away? Looking for some options of where to travel while living in Hawaii? Hawaii residents have many more options than you may think. Air travel is brand new relative to the history of the world. It was just over 100 years ago when the first commercial plane took flight. Today, it’s never been easier to get on a plane, curl up with a book and travel pillow, and arrive in a new and exotic location a few hours later. This accessibility is a major contributor to Hawaii's robust tourism industry throughout the year. Yes, Hawaii is the most isolated chain of islands in the world and you can’t just get in your car and drive across the country to arrive here. But fear not! Hawaii residents know that they can easily visit these 10 great vacation destinations, which are all just a short flight (under a day) from Hawaii. Many of them are more affordable to get to and require shorter travel times from Hawaii, than if you were departing from the U.S. Mainland.

Here are 10 great vacation destinations for Hawaii residents:

#10 Australia

With round-trip flights direct from Honolulu for under $600 to either Sydney or Melbourne, this a great vacation choice for Hawaii residents. You could stay in Sydney to see a performance at the architecturally stunning Opera House after catching a tan on Bondi Beach. Spend days getting lost in the café-lined alleys of Melbourne and see why it’s rated the world’s most livable city. Once you’ve flown into these major cities, catch a flight to SCUBA dive the Great Barrier Reef or venture into the Australian Outback. While an 11-hour flight isn’t the shortest, Australia is worth the time.

#9 New Zealand

After a 9-hour direct flight from Hawaii to Auckland, you may at first be underwhelmed by the city. It’s once you start exploring the country that you’ll soon realize why New Zealand is known as one of the most beautiful countries in the world. You can choose to rent an RV and soak in the multitude of natural hot springs along your journey or give your best Bilbo Baggins impersonation in Hobbiton. Want a break from Hawaii’s summer? Visit New Zealand’s winter (May-September) in Queenstown for skiing or drinking hot chocolate by the fire.

#8 Thailand

The “land of a thousand smiles” gives vacation-goers a thousand reasons to smile. Fly into Bangkok or Phuket then go from there. Go see the temples at Chang Mai, island hop to Koh Phi Phi, Ko Samui or Koh Tao. Whether you’re seeking night-life, an outdoor adventure or just want to lounge in a private villa for the same price as you would a hotel room in the States, Thailand has something for everyone. While the flight isn’t as cheap as some other destinations on this list, you can easily make up the expense with massages, excursions, and meals for a fraction of what you’re accustomed to.

#7 Japan

9-hour direct flight for under $800 roundtrip to a land of castles, shrines, flashing lights and Kimonos. Experience the Japanese culture through seeing the country’s ancient architecture, eating unique foods, walking through the cherry blossom trees or playing with monkeys. With so much Japanese influence here in Hawaii, even with the foreign spoken language, you’ll surely find some things about Japan that remind you of home.

#6 Fiji

Love SCUBA diving and the island life but want to get away? In under 10 hours and for as low as $800 roundtrip you can start your Fijian holiday. With less than 1 million residents spread across 110 inhabited islands, you can easily find a quiet slice of paradise all to yourself. Spend your days taking underwater pictures of soft coral and marine life before watching a sunset and sampling the local “grog” for relaxation.

#5 Southern California

Daily flights direct from Maui or Honolulu to LA or San Diego make Southern California an easy and affordable getaway to the big city. Enjoy all the best of what mainland USA has to offer. World class restaurants and shopping, major sporting events, concerts, zoos, and museums. If you’re craving that big city feel and want more than what Waikiki has to offer, look no further than a 5 hour flight to the west coast.

#4 Alaska

Whenever Hawaii residents want a change from warm, tropical weather, Alaska is just a 6-hour flight away. Fly direct to Anchorage and enjoy some delicious smoked salmon with cream cheese and capers, then drive to Denali to see bears in the wild. Cruises are also a wonderful way to see several areas of Alaska while having the comfort of sleeping in the same bed. Fly to Seattle for as low as $400 roundtrip from HNL, get on the cruise ship and take out your camera. Breathtaking glaciers, mountains, snow, and wildlife are sure to make Alaska a place you’ll want to visit again.

#3 Vancouver

For flights as low as $400 roundtrip direct from Hawaii, in just 6 hours you can see why Vancouver is Canada’s most populous city in the country. Spend a few days sampling international cuisines, watching live theater or bike riding the seawall at Stanley Park. Want to play in snow? Drive north 2 hours to Whistler for skiing, snowboarding and snow tubing at the location of the 2010 Winter Olympics.

#2 Las Vegas

Known to many as the 9th Hawaiian Island, Las Vegas is the number one travel destination for Hawaii residents. If you’re one who likes to try your hand at a game of blackjack or feed a slot machine, then this is the place as gambling is illegal in the country’s 50th state. Las Vegas is the opposite of Hawaii in that each natural attraction in Hawaii is matched by a man-made attraction in Las Vegas. In Hawaii people enjoy swimming in the ocean, hiking to waterfalls, and watching the evening sunset. In Vegas people bet in casinos, trek through world-class shopping malls, and watch circus acts at night. The feeling you’ve entered a different world, paired with the many low fare non-stop flights from Hawaii make it no surprise that Las Vegas is the number one vacation spot for Hawaii residents.

#1 Hawaii

As a Hawaii resident, it’s important to remember that you already live where so many people travel thousands of miles to visit. Take advantage of it! While you can’t drive across a bridge to a neighbor island, in less than an hour on an airplane you can have a Hawaiian vacation. With the diversity of each of the major Hawaiian Islands, you can explore whole new worlds in the time it takes some people in California to visit the beach. If you live in the bustling city of Honolulu, fly over to Princeville on Kauai for some R & R. Live near the beach on Maui? Head over to the Big Island and hike to a waterfall or through an active volcano. With short flights and hotels across the state offering local resident (Kama’aina) rates, a neighbor island getaway is by far the most convenient and affordable vacation destination for Hawaii residents. While seeing new and exotic locations around the world is a wonderful experience, it’s always a joy returning to this special place we call home. Aloha!

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