Updated May 2020.
You’re vacationing in Hawaii! Such fun! So beautiful! How entirely exciting! And you booked the latest flight out to enjoy your trip to the fullest—great idea! We always do that, too. But then you realize you have to check out of your accommodation by 11:00am. Then what? You don’t want to be sweaty and gross on that long, red-eye flight home, so what are you going to do all afternoon and evening? Here are our best suggestions from experience!
Use an Available Shower
Think there won’t be a place to shower? Think again! And give your accommodation a call to find out what your options are!
Use Your Hotel’s Courtesy Suite
Check with your hotel about a possible courtesy suite with a shower and a place to freshen up after you check out and before your flight. We have used this benefit at the Kauai Marriott Resort in Lihue as well as the Royal Hawaiian in Waikiki. In both bases there was a shower room, towels, restroom, lounging area, and toiletries, of course.
Ask for a Late Check Out
No courtesy suite? No problem! Go down to the front desk your last morning and ask if you can have a late check out. This is definitely dependent upon availability, and it may come with a fee, but if you can stay even an hour or two (or four or five!) more, that can make quite a difference.
Take a Hike
Once you’ve secured a place to tidy up before your flight, you can really enjoy the island to the fullest! On our trip to Kauai in 2016, we spent our last day hiking Waimea Canyon, exploring Wai’ale’ale (the wettest spot on earth!), and strolling along the glass sand beach!
Need inspiration? Find all my Hawaii Hiking Posts here!
On our recent trip to O’ahu, we got to spend extra time on Waikiki Beach! Take a book and relax on the sand, soak up some sun, do a little floating on the ocean, or even fit in that surf lesson you’ve been wanting to take! Beach time is one of the reasons you chose to visit Hawaii, isn’t it?
Need ideas? Here are 10 Things to Do on Waikiki!
No Shower? No Problem!
If you’re staying in a vacation rental from Air BnB, HomeAway, VRBO, etc., you likely won’t be able to have a late check out, and you are even less likely to incur a courtesy suite, so checking out at check out time is the only option! Here’s what do to if you won’t have access to a shower or a place to freshen up!
Make it a Museum Day!
While open-air museums have gained popularity in recent years, the vast majority museums are still inside and air conditioned! You’ll find no shortage of museums on O’ahu (I’olani Palace, the Bishop Museum, and Hawaiian Mission Houses Historic Site, to name a few), and on our last day on Maui we made sure to stop into Maui museums like the Alexander and Baldwin Sugar Museum and the Bailey House Museum. Click here for museums on Kaua’i, museums on the Big Island, the museum on Molokai, and museums on Lana’i!
Go for a Drive
One of our favorite things to do on any island we visit is to drive around the whole island! There are so many scenic overlooks, road-side stands, and hidden gems around every island, you can certainly fill up a day just driving around!
Stayin on Maui? The ultimate road trip is the Road to Hana!
Head to the Upcountry
All the islands have a high point in the middle, which is always cooler than the beaches! Maui’s Upcountry boasts Haleakala National Park, Ali’i Kula Lavender Farm, and Grandma’s Coffee House (for when you get hungry!). Queen Emma’s Summer Palace is a great option on O’ahu because it stays naturally cool (chosen on purpose to keep her cool in the summer!). Vacationing on the Big Island? Head up to the observatory on Mauna Kea, and you might even find snow! You’ll be guaranteed to fill up your day and keep cool, too.
If you’re like a “normal” women, you love to shop. If you’re like me, you hate to shop. If you’re like a traveler, you love to shop for friends’ and family’s Christmas and birthday gifts on your travels! Hawaii has some very distinctive gifts, souvenirs, and keepsakes, and I always make sure to create some extra room in my luggage for these things on our trips. Check out my Guide to Hawaiian Souvenirs, and plan to get your shopping face on for your last day in the islands!
Need more? Check out Your Ultimate Guide to Hawaiian Souvenirs!
Schedule a Scenic Flight
You’re going to the airport anyway, why not go a little early and squeeze in a sunset flight! We took a scenic flight over Kauai and I was blown away by the Na’Pali Coast! Not to mention there are loads of waterfalls and other scenic spots on the island that can only be seen by air. On Maui, we took a very special sunset helicopter tour over the West Maui mountains and the tallest sea cliffs in the world on nearby Molokai!
What’s it like?
Our Experience on the Maui and Molokai Helicopter Tour
Make Reservations for a Nice Meal
Late night flights often do not include a meal, so you should plan to eat well before you go! There is no shortage of restaurants with beautiful views on the islands, but you will want to make reservations a month or two in advance! Duke’s on O’ahu will give you a beautiful sunset over Waikiki, and Mama’s Fish House on Maui is known for going the extra mile for those celebrating special occasions. Just make sure you save room for dessert!
Get the whole menu: Dining at Mama’s Fish House
Want more? Check out all my Hawaii posts on my Pacific Islands Page!
How would you spend your last day in Hawaii? Tell me in the comments section!
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