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Hawaii vs. the Caribbean: Which is right for you?

When thinking of a tropical vacation, two destinations come to mind — Hawaii and the Caribbean. Let’s compare the two and see which is better suited for you!

Hawaii vs. the Caribbean - Which is for you?

Everyone deserves a tropical vacation at least once in his or her lifetime (emphasis on the words “at least”). If you haven’t been on one yet or are simply dying to take another, let us help you decide where to go. While both Hawaii and the Caribbean islands have much to offer, one may be a better fit for you and your family. Here, we’re comparing everything there is to know about Hawaii and the Caribbean so you can make a well-informed decision.


Let’s be real — cost is the main concern when traveling. While flights and hotels are about the same at both destinations, the Caribbean is more affordable once you’re there. Food, entertainment and sightseeing can cost a bundle in Hawaii, whereas the Caribbean is much less likely to cost an arm and a leg.

Winner: Caribbean!

What to do

Next, you need to determine what type of vacation you’re looking for. Though both are similar, there are some major differences that need to be noted. Are you looking mainly to relax on a beach? If so, the Caribbean is known for beautiful, white sandy beaches with crystal-clear water. If you’re looking to surf and go on adventurous hikes, Hawaii is a better fit. While both locations offer plenty of family-friendly activities — including snorkeling and swimming with dolphins — passports are needed for the Caribbean. So if you’re traveling with a large family, Hawaii may be best.

Winner: Tie!

When can you go?

Hawaii’s weather is actually pretty consistent year-round, making it a top destination for those who may not be able to travel during the summer. In fact, Hawaii boasts the most tourists during April and May, so you may want to visit the island during the fall and winter months. The Caribbean’s hurricane season starts in June and lasts until November. Though this can make it cheaper and less crowded, you’re risking spending all your time indoors due to rain. Because of this, most travelers choose to visit the Caribbean Islands during winter and spring.

Winner: Hawaii!

Are you traveling solo, with your family or looking for a romantic getaway?

Since Hawaii is part of the U.S., it feels safer — making it the top choice for solo travelers. Those looking to spend some quality time with their families typically prefer the Caribbean since it offers some of the best family-friendly resorts in the world. If romance is what you’re after, Hawaii is known for its one-of-a-kind gorgeous sunsets and overall beauty that the islands offer. Hawaii is also a top spot for honeymooners, so hotels are very well equipped to cater all their needs.

Winner: Tie!

Experienced travelers say that comparing Hawaii and the Caribbean is like comparing apples to oranges. While they both offer luxurious hotels, miles and miles of perfect beaches and enough activities to fill up a month’s worth of time, they’re vastly different and have entirely different feels to them. In a perfect world, you could visit both on a yearly basis and decide for yourself. Maybe one day, right?!


Have you visited Hawaii and/or the Caribbean? What are your thoughts? Share in the comments below!

More on tropical vacations

Maui on a budget
What to take on your tropical vacation
Top 10 beach getaways for the single gal

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