Traveling to Hawaii during May
Weather, Crowds, & Prices for May
You can plan a trip to Hawaii for any time of the year. However, if you are looking for one of the better times to travel to the islands, May is right up there as the perfect month. With excellent weather, limited crowds, and plenty to do, May offers the chance to explore paradise in the picture-perfect springtime.
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Hawaii Weather in May
Spring is often avoided for travel as people associate it with the time of year many destinations see an increase in rain. That’s not so in Hawaii. Hawaii in spring is ideal because you miss the rainy season, which takes place in the winter. You will also start to see a rise in temperature. In May, the average rises to a very comfortable 80 to 85 F range. Better yet, where April sees evening temperatures dipping into the 60s, May brings warm evenings in the low 70s. With this ideal beach weather, you can be sure to add basking in the sun and taking dips in the ocean to your list of things to do.
May has the odd showers, but that’s mostly at night. As with all tropical areas, you can see sporadic bursts of rain showers, but they won’t last long enough to disrupt your fun. Traveling in May makes choosing a place to stay easier. In the rainy weather, a visit to the leeward side of the islands is advised. However, because rain is less of a concern in May, you’ll have your pick of destinations.
If you plan on touring in the mountains or visiting the summit of volcanoes, you can still see some dips on the thermometer. You might need a light jacket and full-length pants. All in all, you can’t choose a better time to visit Hawaii than May when it comes to weather.
Hawaii Crowds in May
May sits in second place as the least crowded time of the year to visit Hawaii. That said, two times of the month tend to get more crowded, although not unbearably so.
The first week of May sees an upswing in vacationers visiting from Japan. This month is a favorite travel time as Japan is celebrating a holiday season called Golden Week. Waikiki tends to see most of the crowds during this period.
Memorial Day weekend is another holiday that can see many Hawaiian destinations get a little busier. Either way, you will not find it difficult to visit the many attractions and events in Hawaii even in the peak weeks of May.
Hawaii Costs in May
Hawaiian hotel rates are ideal in May as they are sitting lower than the yearly average of $340/night. Instead, you might see prices dipping to as low as $310. This rate tends to rise over the Memorial Day weekend but not by much. Airfares fluctuate quite a bit throughout the year which makes it harder to calculate what you can expect to pay. As with hotel rates, you can expect to pay more if you’re traveling for the Memorial Day weekend. Other than that, you can search online to find the best prices.
Hawaii Events & Highlights in May
May 1st is Lei Day in Hawaii. Celebrations and events take place throughout the communities and offer you a chance to experience the Hawaiian culture first hand. Each area will have its celebrations from lei-making competitions to hula dancing and luaus to royal court processions. Other events that commonly take place in May throughout the islands include:
Celebrate the joys of SPAM in Waikiki and discover the secret recipes and dishes made with this favorite food.
Enjoy the unique music of Hawaii at the month-long celebration, Mele Mei.
Celebrate the many Memorial Day events in Oahu, including the Lantern Floating Festival.
Whether you choose to participate or attend as a spectator, the Kauai World Challenge Canoe Race is a 36-mile coastal relay race held every year
Maui Onion Festival
May offers an ideal time to visit the beautiful islands of Hawaii. With near-perfect weather conditions, fewer crowds, and affordable hotel rates, you will discover the magic of this Pacific paradise in the spring.
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Updated 2023 Hawaii Visitor Guides
If you're visiting Hawaii soon, be sure to download a copy of one of our updated 2023 Hawaii Visitor Guides. We've updated the packets with a lot of new great information for potential visitors (and for those who've been a time or two as well).