Traveling to Hawaii in December: What to Know?

hawaii in december

Here is a general overview of what to expect if you are thinking about taking a vacation to Hawaii in December.

Many people who are looking for a tropical haven to celebrate this holiday season now make Hawaii their go-to annual vacation destination. The final two weeks of December, right around Christmas, are the ideal time to book your vacation if you’re going to Hawaii. The cost of traveling to Hawaii at this time is, however, among the highest.

These and other facts will be examined in this article to assist you in determining whether December is the ideal month for you to travel to Hawaii.

Hawaii Weather in December

In Hawaii, you can pretty much always count on pleasant warm weather. Evening lows in the mid to upper 60s (Fahrenheit) are typical, with daytime highs typically reaching the low 80s. In the evening, a thin sweater or jacket is advised.

We advise bringing a rain jacket and an umbrella with you because it rains quite a bit during this time in most parts of Hawaii.

Average Temperatures

Little varies in the temperature throughout the year. The temperature at the beach during the day may stay around 78 degrees and drop by about 10 degrees at night. Where you are on the island, though, really determines how hot it is on any given day.

Water Temperatures

hawaii in december

Because the water is usually warm and inviting in December, Hawaii draws a lot of water sports enthusiasts. With water temperatures typically around 77°F, while you’re visiting Oahu, swimming can be especially enjoyable.

Ocean Conditions

One of the most popular activities for visitors to this paradise island is swimming in the ocean. In December, you can go surfing, fishing, sailing, paddleboarding, snorkeling, scuba diving, and a lot of other activities, depending on which island you’re staying on. Although Honolulu’s shore is warmer than Hilo’s, swimming is still possible without discomfort.

The average ocean temperature in December around the Hawaiian Islands is still 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Depending on which side of the island you are on, you will undoubtedly notice minor variations.

Hawaii Costs in December

Hotel rates begin to decline after Thanksgiving, but as the holidays get closer, they dramatically rise. The most expensive time of year to travel to Hawaii is during Christmas-to-New Year’s Week.


In December, round-trip economy airfare to Hawaii from the Midwest or East Coast can range from $500 to $900 or even more. Business class or first class tickets can cost upwards of $2,000 for a round-trip flight.

Booking as early as you can is advised; we suggest doing so two to three months in advance. Booking at least 30 days in advance will save you a lot of money compared to waiting until the last minute to purchase your ticket.

Be flexible with your travel dates as this is a good way to find cheaper tickets. For example, a lot of people prefer not to fly before 7-8:00 am or on “red-eye” (overnight) flights. You can save a good deal of money by flying during these less-traveled times of the day. You Might Also Like: How To Avoid Jet Lag Flying To Hawaii?

hawaii in december


Hotel rates start to decline after Thanksgiving, but they do increase again as the holidays draw near. Booking a hotel in Hawaii can be most expensive during the Christmas week before New Year’s Day. In December, hotel rates can range from $250 to $350 or more on average. On average, even the most reasonably priced hotels can run you $130 to $160 per night.

If money is tight, think about renting an apartment or a hostel through or Airbnb. Many visitors discover that renting a home through VRBO or Airbnb is frequently less expensive than staying in a hotel.

Remember that Oahu is the least expensive island in Hawaii and that even during the busiest times you can find a hostel or an Airbnb rental for between $50 and $70 per night.

Car Rental

It is best to rent a car if you are traveling with children because you won’t be limited to activity shuttles or public transportation. In spite of this, Hawaii has some of the most expensive car rental rates in the country.

Car rental rates in the low season range from $70-$125 per day. The more affordable vehicles will cost you about $80-145 per day in December. The higher end will include bigger cars and SUVs.

Hawaii Activities in December

There are typically more events on all the islands during the Christmas season. It’s also a lovely time of year because cities, malls, hotels, and homes are all decked out for the holidays.


Hawaii is known as a surfer’s paradise, but when can skilled surfers ride the large waves these islands have to offer? It is absolutely the best time of year to bring your board to North Shore beaches in December because of the large waves that hit Oahu’s North Shore.

hawaii in december

For an unforgettable experience, you can only have in Hawaii, December is the best time to travel. Waimea Bay on the North Shore can produce 30-foot waves in the winter. However, beginners should be aware that December is not the best month to try to catch your first wave if you are a beginner surfer.


The same weather patterns that make December’s North Shore a popular surfing location also make swimming conditions unfavorable. A calmer beach suitable for swimming can be found on Maui’s west coast. They are shielded from the strong swells sought after by surfers on the nearby islands off the western coast of Maui. You Might Also Like:


Hawaii offers a wealth of opportunities in December if an underwater adventure is what you’re after. The best times of year for snorkeling vary depending on the winds and waves that affect the shores of the Hawaiian islands.

Before the Christmas crowds arrive, pack up your snorkel and goggles in December and head to Maui’s sandy, sun-kissed shores.


In Kailua-Kona in December, deep-sea fishing is unbeatable. On the Big Island’s western coast, Kailua-Kona provides a wide range of entertainment opportunities both on and off the water. This destination is full of history, natural wonders, and opportunities to dive into the waters of Hawaii, with an ocean temperature of 78 degrees on average in December.

Wildlife Watching

hawaii in december

When considering coastal regions in the United States, many people think of the Northwest or Northeast. But these magnificent animals also spend the winter in Hawaii, flying in from the Gulf Coast in December.

Beginning in early December, tens of thousands of humpback whales move to the warm coastal waters of all the Hawaiian Islands. It is right before the busy peak season that starts in mid-December, making this the ideal time to travel to Hawaii to go whale watching.

But unlike whales, sea turtles aren’t as fond of December in Hawaii. Although they are still visible to tourists, turtles much prefer the calmer waters of Hawaii in the summer. On Hawaii’s uninhabited islands, turtles will lay their eggs in December.

On the contrary, if they are not in breeding season at the time, you can see them hanging out near rocky shorelines where they delight in eating algae. In Hawaii, green sea turtles, also known as honu, are considered lucky symbols.


Bring a light jacket if you’re thinking about going on a hike at sunset or attending any other evening event in case the wind picks up after the sun sets. You’ll probably be looking at higher elevations and a cooler hike if you look for hiking spots off the beaten path. You Might Also Like: Halona Blowhole: One of Hawaii’s Natural Wonders


At Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, park rangers offer free daily walking tours all year long. Four of Hawaii’s five active volcanoes are on the Big Island, and the fifth is on Maui. You Might Also Like: Halona Blowhole: One of Hawaii’s Natural Wonders

Conclusion: is December the Best Time to Visit Hawaii?

Your trip to Hawaii in December will be packed with special experiences you won’t find there at any other time of year. December offers a singular experience in paradise, from breathtaking light shows and holiday decorations to nearly perfect weather.

Hawaii is the perfect vacation spot for adventure seekers and solitary travelers alike. Young families, retirees, globetrotters, honeymooners, thrill seekers, surfers, and spring breakers all have the islands on their bucket lists.


What Hawaii Island is Best to Visit in December?

Holiday travelers should head to Oahu. Most Christmas activities are available on Oahu, which is also the least crowded and most affordable Hawaiian island to visit. The island of Hawai’i is a close second best as the days are warmer and there are fewer rainy days in December.

Should I Go to Hawaii for Christmas?

Christmas in Hawaii is enjoyable because of the regional parades, hula shows, mele (music), and events that take place all over the Hawaiian Islands. Around City Hall and the malls in Honolulu are many well-attended events. Visit our Things to Do in Hawaii During Christmas page for a comprehensive list of the yearly events.

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