It’s time to visit Hawaii again. May Day, Lei Day!

by Elpidio Estioko

The last time we visited Hawaii was in October last year.

We really enjoyed our vacation because Hawaii has a lot to offer even if you have been there so many times. That’s the reason why people keep on going back to the islands to spend their vacation, despite the high cost of living which entails an expensive vacation get-away. It’s so worth it!

We love going back to Hawaii and in one of our conversations with local folks, they mentioned that vacationing in Hawaii in May is a better time, one of the best times, actually, of the year!

This was corroborated by an article by Sheila Beal for

“May is one of the best times to go to Hawaii. The weather is generally good, occupancy is down and costs are relatively inexpensive. May’s weather is usually quite nice. Daytime high temperature average in the low to mid 80s F. Nighttime temperatures only dip into the lower 70s F.”

She pointed out that the average ocean temperature starts to warm up in May and is certainly pleasant enough for swimming. Average rainfall levels are dramatically lower as compared to the rainier winter months.

She further wrote that as a whole, “May is one of the least crowded months to visit Hawaii. Though May is generally very uncrowded, there are a couple of minor exceptions worth mentioning.

She said that while Waikiki Beach is a popular destination among Japanese people for Golden Week (which is a series of holidays starting April 29 and lasting through May 5/6), we visited the islands during this time, and we didn’t find them to be overly crowded.

Moreover, “May is an inexpensive month for accommodations cost” explained Beal. Of course, Memorial Day weekend is an exception.

We are looking forward to going back to the island this May. My children would love to attend the Lei Day celebration which is being held on the first day of May.

My children belong to a halau (hula group) in Santa Clara, here in the Bay Area, and they were taught how to make lei by their kumu (hula instructor) who was trained in Hawaii.

A celebration of Hawaii lei and culture, there are various Lei Day celebrations throughout the Hawaiian islands.

While many prefer the month of May to visit the islands, it would still depend on your preferences. There are factors to consider such as weather cost, ocean conditions, crowds and seasonal activities when visiting.

Hawaii has one of the most pleasant climates in the world.

A great example is Honolulu’s lovely climate which attracts visitors from all over the world. The city averages 72 degrees in February and 78 degrees in August. The temperature rarely reaches 90 and the ocean varies between 74 degrees in winter to 82 in the summer.

It still rains in Hawaii but depending on the area, the heaviness of the rainfall will vary especially in the winter. Therefore, it’s important to pick a location with less rainfall when visiting. Popular choices are Waikiki, South and West Maui, the Big Island’s Kohala coast, and Poipu on Kauai.

Prices for accommodations are 20% more in the summer compared to the low season. It’s a good idea to book a year in advance to avoid the rate increases. Car rentals can also get expensive, especially on last-minute bookings.

For the beaches and oceans, wintertime is best for those looking to surf awesome Hawaiian waves, especially on the islands’ north-facing coasts. Oahu’s North Shore doesn’t get as many tourists as Waikiki, but surf contests are held there in winter. In Maui, the west coast shores are popular among tourists because it’s drier and less prone to winter’s big waves.

But if you’re a swimmer, summer is the best time to visit Hawaii where waves are suitable enough for everyone to swim and snorkel but still fun enough for recreational surfers.

There are few activities seasonal in Hawaii. Whale watching starts November and lasts until April. Kauai’s Napali coast boat tours and hiking activities are best done in summer. Springtime offers waves perfect for boogie boarding and beginner surfing. While summertime is perfect for snorkeling.

The most expensive months to visit Hawaii are the peak season (December 22 to January 3), high season (January, February and March) and summer season (June, July and August).

Will you join us visiting Hawaii in May?

ELPIDIO R. ESTIOKO was a veteran journalist in the Philippines and a multi-awarded journalist here in the US. For feedbacks, comments… please email the author at

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