So you want to go to Lana’i? I’m excited for you! It’s different from any other Hawaiian island, and the experience is different from any other Hawaiian experience you’ve had. It’s interesting, it’s unique, and in some ways, it’s other-worldly. But I’ll be honest, finding accurate information and trying to plan this trip was a challenge. So if you’re starting to plan your trip to Hawaii’s Pineapple Isle, this is your starting resource!
This is primarily for those wanting to spend a few days on the island, but if you’re just wanting a taste of Lana’i, take the ferry from Mau’i and follow one of my THREE day trip itineraries here!
Know What Your Budget Needs to Be
Lana’i is one of the more challenging islands to get to because you can only arrive by inter-island flight or ferry. There are no non-stop flights from the continental U.S., and no flights at all from international destinations. So, there’s automatically a bit of extra cost, and a bit of extra time that needs to be built in.
Add to that the fact that you really should rent a car, and you will probably want to pay a little extra for a Jeep, plus gas is over $6 per gallon, and those things really start to add up! So, here’s the cost breakdown of what we spent on our 5-night trip to Lana’i. Your cost will certainly vary, especially if you choose to stay at one of the Four Seasons properties, but this should give you an idea.
Costs for Two People for Five Days
- Hotel Lanai: $1966.72
- Rental car: $625 (two-door Jeep with ABB Executive Rental for 5 days)
- Gas: $70 (3/4 tank used in 5 days)
- Mokulele Flight: $434.06 (for two people; $217.03 each)
- Rabaca’s Shuttle to Airport: $20 cash (for two people; $10 each person, each way)
More here: What to Know Before You Visit Lana’i
Book Your Hotel First
Whether you’re staying at the Four Seasons properties, Hotel Lana’i, or one of the few Air BnBs available, they could book up quickly! For instance, Hotel Lana’i only has 11 rooms and one cottage, so if you’re hoping to stay at this accommodation, you might have to be flexible with your dates. It’s important to book your accommodation first, because you definitely don’t want to book flights only to find out there are no rooms available on the entire island–something that almost happened to us once!
Read all about it: Everything You Need to Know about Staying at Hotel Lana’i
Book Your Flights Second
There will be flights available! Once you have your dates for your accommodation, start looking at the flight options. If flights are too prohibitively expensive, consider flying a day or two earlier, or staying a day or two later, around your Lana’i dates. It could actually save you money, or not be much more expensive. If you have to stay one or two nights on your point of entry island (most likely O’ahu or Mau’i), that could be a lot of fun!
More here: What to Expect Flying on a Tiny Plane
Book Your Rental Car Third
When you know your flight and hotel details, it’s time to research your rental car. You won’t find any on third party sites like Expedia or Orbitz, and you won’t find a Hertz, Avis, or Budget car rental location on the island. There was once a Dollar Car Rental, but it has since gone out of business.
Your options will all be local–what fun! We found that the best deal for a Jeep (essential to get the most out of your time) with ABB Executive Rental, but other options include Lana’i Car Rental, Lana’i Cheap Jeeps (cash only), or 808 Day Trips Lana’i.
I lay out all the details here: Everything You Need to Know about Renting a Car on Lana’i
Plan Your Activities as Needed
Most things to do on Lana’i are very flexible. Many are outdoors and can be done any time. The Lana’i Cat Sanctuary is open every day, but only from 10:00am-3:00pm. But the Lana’i Culture and History Center is only open by appointment at this time. (E-mail Shelly at firstname.lastname@example.org to make your FREE appointment!)
You’ll need a reservation if you want to eat at Chengdu Taste at Hotel Lana’i (even if you’re staying there), and if you’re staying at the Four Seasons properties, you’ll need a reservation to eat at their restaurants as well. Take a look at the available activities, and make your timing-sensitive plans accordingly.
More here: Everything to Do in Lana’i City
Last but Not Least: Pack Well
Now for the fun part, right?! Will you be hiking a lot? Spending most of your time at the pool or beach? Want to dress up for dinner every night? Once you know what you’ll be doing, pack for it! If you want to travel like us, here’s How to Pack the Perfect Carry-on. And my most popular packing post could also easily apply here: The Ladies’ Guide to Packing for a Week on Mau’i.
More here: 5 Things You Forgot to Pack for Hawaii
Need more Lana’i info? You’ll find everything you need to know and more on my dedicated Hawaiian Islands Page!
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