How to Make the Most of Your Last Day in Hawai’i

Updated July 2, 2021.

You’re vacationing in Hawai’i! 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!

What to Do When There’s 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.

Sink and Toiletries at the Royal Hawaiian’s Courtesy Suite
More here: What It’s Like Staying at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel

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!

The Rewarding View Hiking Waimea Canyon, Kauai
Need inspiration? Find all my Hawaii Hiking Posts here!

Be Beachy

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?

My flamingo friend liked it, too!
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 Island of Hawai’i, the museum on Molokai, and museums on Lana’i!

Pro tip! When on Maui, get the Passport to the Past to save big on four Maui museums! You can get it at any of the four museums it includes.
More here: Hawaii for History Lovers

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!

Driving around Kauai? Stop into Kauai Coffee Company in Kalaheo for a quick tour and a caffeinated treat!
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 Island of Hawai’i? 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.

Keeping Cool at the Lavender Farm in Maui’s Upcountry!
There’s an island for everyone! How to Choose the Right Hawaiian Island for You


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!

SO CUTE! And the shirt is nice, too!
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!

Cathedral Beach on the Na’Pali Coast, Kauai
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!

The Black Pearl Dessert from Mama’s Fish House
Don’t forget to turn it around! Talk about attention to detail!
Get the whole menu: Dining at Mama’s Fish House

Want more? Check out all my Hawaii posts on my Hawaiian Islands Page!

How would you spend your last day in Hawaii? Tell me in the comments section!

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4 responses to “How to Make the Most of Your Last Day in Hawai’i”

  1. Jared Hassell Avatar

    I’ve checked my baggage with the front desk. I’ve not been to Hawaii, but that tip has really been helpful.

    1. quickwhittravel Avatar

      They are always willing to hold things!

  2. […] Helpful info: What to Do on Your Last Day in Hawaii […]

  3. […] Tip: Got a late flight back to the mainland? Make your last day a shopping day! And check out What to Do On Your Last Day in Hawaii for more […]

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