Hawaii (Big Island) Travel Guide 2021 | 11 Tips for THE BEST Hawaii Vacation

From where to stay, to where to eat, to our favorite Big Island Hawaii beaches, here is our ultimate guide to Hawaii. Let us show you around the Big Island!

Jumping over from our home on Maui, we love to explore the Big Island (Jordan imagines retiring here). We compiled our 11 tips for how to visit and have the time of your life while on the Island of Hawaii.

Need more details? Check out our 6-day Island of Hawaii (Big Island) itinerary that includes a video guide for the itinerary. See what you are going to experience before you go to Hawaii.

Stay till the end as we share our top three can’t miss things to do on the Big Island.

1:54 video for best snorkel spots

Our Favorite Big Island Tour Operators (some are partnerships, some are not, all of them we love):

Kayak and Snorkel Kealakekua Bay with Adventures in Paradise:

Waipio Valley and Waterfall Tour by Wasabi:

Island Hop to Pearl Harbor with a Guided Tour:

Manta Ray Night Snorkeling:

Favorite Big Island Resorts and Hotels (we love these hotels and also get a small commission when you click the link, mahalo for your support!)

Mid-Range: Westin Hapuna Beach
Family-Friendly: Sheraton Kona
Romantic: Mauna Kea Beach Hotel
Luxury: Mauna Lani
Unique: Volcano House

Our bi-weekly email newsletter for traveling to Hawaii in 2021:

How to Visit the Big Island, Hawaii with 11 Tips Chapters
00:00 Intro
01:19 #1 Get in the Water
02:23 #2 Stay on the Sunny Side of Hawaii
03:04 #3 Eat the Best Food
04:19 #4 Learn Hawaiian History
05:29 #5 See the Stars
05:40 #6 Hike into a Volcano
06:31 #7 Say Hello to Hilo
07:04 #8 Go on a Guided Tour
07:50 #9 Don’t Rush the East Side
09:16 #10 Explore Kona Coffee Country
09:48 #11 Book Early

Mahalo for watching our Hawaii family travel vlog.

Click Subscribe for more of our adventures and tips on traveling to Hawaii (plus subscribing helps us out!).

#hawaii #bigisland #islandofhawaii
Music is from the fabulous Epidemic Sound. Sign up here for licensed music for YouTube, Instagram, or any content creation your heart creates:

Follow us on Instagram for behind the scenes content: @thehawaiivacationguide
Sign up for our Hawaii Opens Update email here –
OUR CAMERA GEAR (keep it simple for your vacation!):
Underwater camera: GoPro HERO 8
Use your smartphone for video but keep it smooth with a gimbal: OSMO DJI
Don’t lose your GoPro, invest in a floaty
Floaty stick:
Floaty cover:
Vlogging camera (but use your phone for a family holiday):
The Best Hawaiian Island for First-Timers video –

Which Hawaiian Island Should You Visit –

The Best Time to Visit Hawaii –


  1. Hi and thanks for all the info! This will be mine and husbands first ever trip like this. It’s a once in a lifetime for us, we’ve booked for end of august and will have 4 FULL DAYS..we are staying at Royal Kona Resort, we want to snorkel, see and relax on beaches with drinks, see waterfalls and volcanos…that’s slot of info I’m sorry. I’m excited and lost! Is our hotel a good one? I want to zip,one maybe too👀, should we rent a car? Uber? Please help. I plan on getting your itinerary as well!

  2. I’ve booked a vacation for the beginning of December, where do I go to book tours ? I’ll be staying in Waikiki. I want to start booking early to make sure I get some good ones. Also, are there any tours/excursions that shuttle you from your hotel or do you have to have a car to get everywhere? I’ll be staying at the Hilton garden village.

  3. Any tips on booking a car rental? Tried Hawaiian Discount Car Rental but for October, rates are $115 a day! Have the AirBNB and flight booked but the car rentals seem to be quite expensive! Thanks.

  4. I did a lot of those things you suggested!!! My favorite snorkeling adventure ever was the captain cook experience! The water was so crystal clear the day I went that you could see all the plankton floating around! 😀 I want to go back and do the manta ray night snorkel!

  5. Great overall videos you two do! Check out the very affordable ohana room rentals on the windward side of the big island if you want to spend a night or two close to the volcanoes national park…Mountainview village is about a 20 minute drive to both Hilo and the volcanoes park…😃🌈🤙

  6. It appears that the long term goal of the Hawaiian government is to reduce the number of tourists going to the islands in future years.
    They seem to want to encourage more affluent long term visitors, and reduce the number of lower budget tourists.
    “Lt. Gov. Josh Green says fees will likely be implemented for visitors at places like harbors, bays and hiking trails, but other changes may not come until later.
    “This year, we will have to rely on tourism,” Green said. “In subsequent years, the goal is going to have overall fewer people that come to stay longer. They probably have a larger spend overall, but a much smaller footprint. And that’s the goal.”

  7. We just returned from 8 days on Maui and found your Maui Wayfinder Itinerary to be worth every penny. I got my hubby and teenage sons to watch several of your videos before the trip and it made everyone feel more relaxed and excited. Thank you for putting so much passion and FUN into your work creating these itineraries and videos. This one makes the Big Island seems WAY more appealing than I would have expected!

  8. You guys are so awesome we leave for Maui two weeks from today! Could you guys help me understand what some of the rules and regulations are for flying drones in Hawaii? Want to make sure I don’t do illegal things with it😂

  9. Thanks for the great information. ☺️I had no idea Hilo is the wet side of the island. Do you believe Mauna Kea summit is a worthwhile tour? We are spending most of our time on the island of Oahu however, since inter island travel is available after June 15th I would love to see Volcano National Park. Is a short visit worthwhile? Thanks!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.