7 Ways to Find Cheap Flights to Hawaii

You’re dreaming of a tropical paradise, but need to know one thing: how to find cheap flights to Hawaii!  

The allure of Hawaii is obvious.  I find myself often wishing to dig my toes into the warm sand, feel the sun on my face, and swim with sea turtles.

Finding cheap flights to Hawaii is doable, you just have to know when, where, and how to find them. 

Fly to Hawaii in the Off-Season

It’s no secret.  The most expensive time to travel is when everyone else is traveling.  For Hawaii, the most expensive times will be Thanksgiving week, the week before and the week after Christmas, spring break (varies from school to school, but most take theirs in March or around Easter–which changes every year), and during the summer (June, July, and August).

The cheapest flights can consistently be found in January and February, followed by a week or two in April, the first half of May, September, October, and the first half of November.

Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute to Book a Flight

There is a sweet spot for purchasing tickets.  If you purchase tickets too far in advance, you may miss a sale.  If you wait until a month before you want to travel, ticket prices usually skyrocket.

A ticket tracking app or website can help you keep tabs on these price fluctuations.  I use Google Flights more than any other app or website.

TIP: I’ve noticed over the past few years that flights to Hawaii typically go on sale in the middle of December through Christmas. If you’re trying to find cheap tickets to Hawaii, look for them in December!

Use Google Flights to Find Cheap Airplane Tickets to Hawaii

Even with all the apps and traveling planning sites out there, Google Flights is still my favorite for researching ticket prices.

You can choose your departure and arrival airports and the dates you think you may want to visit.  I always select the filter option that shows flights that allow free carry-on bags.

When the calendar pops up, you can quickly figure out what days are likely to be the cheapest day of the week, month, or year to fly.  You can also turn on “Track this Flight” and Google will notify you via email if there is a change in the flight cost, either up or down.

Additionally, another great thing about Google Flights is that it tells you if the ticket price you’ve selected is “typical, low, or high” for the dates you’ve chosen.  So, even if you’ve never researched a flight, you’ll have a general idea if it’s a good price or not.

Don’t Forget Southwest Airlines for Cheap Flights to Hawaii

Often, Southwest Airlines flights don’t show up on Google Flights.  You’ll have to go directly to Southwest’s website and search for flights.  

It’s also worth noting that Southwest offers two (2) free, checked bags per guest, which can provide significant savings if packing light isn’t your style.

Choose to Fly on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday (and Sometimes Monday)

You’re taking a week off work, so you may be tempted to request to take off a Monday through Friday.  However, premium airplane ticket prices fall on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.  

Instead, if at all possible, take off work from a Tuesday through a Tuesday (or a Wednesday through a Tuesday) and save significantly on airplane tickets!

Pack Light and Save Money on Your Airplane Ticket

Not only is packing light a money saver, but it’s also a time saver.  Our family recently took a 9-day trip to Florida.  We each took one carry-on and one personal item (backpack).  We didn’t have to check bags, pick up bags, or worry about lost luggage.

Some airlines charge a fee for carry-on bags, while others allow one free carry-on bag per person.  Most airlines charge for checked bags, except for Southwest Airlines.

Take Advantage of a Credit Card Promo to Score (Almost) Free Flights

While credit cards can be money traps, if you use them properly, they can save you money when flying.  Basically, in order for a credit card to be “worth it”, you MUST pay off any balance you owe at the end of each month.  If you go longer than a month, you’ll pay interest, which defeats the purpose of trying to save money.

Hawaiian Airlines, Alaskan Airlines, and Southwest, three of the biggest names when it comes to Hawaiian flights, all routinely have credit card offers.  Often, by paying the annual fee and spending a certain amount of money, you can score enough miles for 1-2 free tickets (depending on your departure airport).  Before your annual payment is due, cancel the card.  

Airline credit card holders often receive additional in-flight perks, as well.

Depart from, or Travel Through, San Jose International Airport

We live just south of San Jose, halfway between the Bay Area and Los Angles.  While San Francisco Airport and LAX are much larger airports and are often cheaper airport, tickets to Hawaii are almost ALWAYS cheaper from San Jose.

If you are flying from another state and doing mind having a short layover, you may even want to consider getting tickets to San Jose (SJC), then purchasing separate tickets from SJC to Hawaii.


Every little bit helps, and by incorporating these tips, you’re sure to save hundreds of dollars on your next plane ticket to Hawaii, making an ALOHA! vacation within reach!  How do you find cheap tickets to Hawaii?  What’s your favorite tip for fellow travelers?

If you’re looking for other ways to save money on your next trip, start with your trip budget.  Use these 9 tips to create a foolproof trip budget…every time!