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.

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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. In my opinion best place to stay is mountain view it's close to the national park it may rain a bit on and off but it's still pretty hot in Hawaii and the cool air is really good at night

  2. awesome video and Things to do! My wife and I were just given an opportunity to move to the Big Island for 5 months and we are flying out tomorrow morning 🙂

  3. I actually live in Big island in Waimea! Big Island is such a nice island because there’s many many places that feels like a dream and not so much buildings like oahu!

  4. 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!

  5. Do yall recommend staying in one city and traveling from there or is it better to road trip around to different places to stay the night?

  6. How can I enjoy HI not a swimmer. However, love looking/walking the beaches, zoo, musuems, history & shopping.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Love the Big Island! Grew up in Hilo and now living on the mainland. Plan on visiting again summer 2022.

  10. 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!

  11. 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…😃🌈🤙

  12. 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.”

  13. awesome! I have also uploaded video about west oahu on my channel😀 inspired from you both😍

  14. 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!

  15. 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😂

  16. 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!

  17. The Panaewa Rainforest Zoo on the Hilo side is a must see. It was free but nice if you can leave a donation. Reopens July 19th.

  18. This was good information. Your filming, editing and presentation for your videos is outstanding. Thank you for all the hard work you do to make your videos top notch and enjoyable. I can’t wait to get to the Big Island in October.

  19. Since COVID changed our plans to Hawaii twice (!!) we are planning a longer trip to Kauai and the Big Island next year. We’ve been to Kauai before but have only been to Big Island for a day so this was super helpful! Thank you! I so enjoy your videos! 💚

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