Why now is the time to book that dream trip to Hawaii

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Now the best time to buy airfare to Hawaii.
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If you’re looking for a tropical island vacation and have always dreamed of visiting America’s 50th state, there’s no better time than now to buy a plane ticket to Hawaii, according to money expert Clark Howard.

“We’re going to see deals to Hawaii month after month after month because everybody’s jockeying for position,” Clark said in a recent Facebook Live. “Hawaiian and Alaskan Airlines both dominate flights to Hawaii and they’re facing down the barrel of Southwest Airlines announcing their service probably in the next few weeks.”

ON CLARK DEALS: Cheap flights to Hawaii from $247 round trip

Southwest caused much excitement among fliers when it announced in an investor report earlier this year that “Hawaii remains our expansion focus, and our goal is to begin selling tickets later this year.”

Clark says you should comparison shop and jump on the best deal out there. “Delta, American and United, they can’t quite figure out what to do about the whole Southwest thing to Hawaii,” Clark says, “but we’re going to see deal after deal there over the next several months. Probably the story of 2019 travel bargains is going to be Hawaii.”

Planning a trip to Hawaii? Make sure you’ll be able to get around

The airline fare war has made reaching the islands much more affordable than normal, but that can be a double-edged sword, according to Clark.

RELATED: The best day of the week to book a flight is…

“The demand for Hawaii has gone up so much because of all the cheap flights, so you have to really think about the accommodations.”

That’s because the cheap fares to Hawaii have caused a bull market for ground transportation. “So the very first thing you should do before you book any of these fares” is to make sure you can find a rental car that fits your budget,” Clark says.

“The biggest road block people are having right now with all the new fare sales to Hawaii is there’s no cars at the car lot. So you want to make sure you have some wheels because when you land at Maui, the Big Island or on Kauai, you really have to have a car. On Honolulu, or Waikiki, not as much, but for some of the others you’ve got to make sure you can get a car.”

RELATED: How to get a cheap rental car — Clark Howard style!

Cheap flights to Hawaii: Should you buy trip insurance?

With hurricanes and volcano eruptions dominating the news about Hawaii lately, some travelers may be wondering if it makes sense to buy trip insurance. Travel or trip insurance is basically designed to protect consumers by giving them refunds in the event of illness to the traveler or their companions, or to provide a refund in the case of company, tour operator or airline defaults.

Clark has this valuable advice about trip insurance relating to Hawaii:

“The time you should buy trip insurance is anytime that there are features of the trip that are nonrefundable. So, if you’re going on a cruise, when you’re buying a tour or nonrefundable resort space, that’s when you should buy.” Clark says whether to buy trip insurance in this case would depend on the small print. “You could buy trip insurance and it not cover something like a hurricane,” he says. “You can’t plan against every eventuality.”

See Clark’s Trip Insurance Travel Guide for more information.

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Craig Johnson is a conscious money-saver who still reads paperback books and listens to vinyl. He likes to write about how technology is making things easier and more affordable — but also sometimes more dangerous — for the modern consumer.  You can reach Craig at [email protected]
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