Because the exotic islands of Hawaii and the Caribbean lure vacationers to their sandy shores with similar Siren songs, travelers often have a tough time deciding which destination to choose. We at Vacations by Marriott are here to help.

While Hawaii and the Caribbean offer gorgeous beaches that extend for miles alongside clear blue ocean waters with excellent opportunities for sunbathing, swimming, snorkeling, surfing, sailing, deep sea fishing and horseback riding along the shore, there are differences between the two vacation hotspots.

Here are a few to keep in mind when planning your escape to paradise:

Travel Time

Because less time in the air means more time on the beach, you may want to consider proximity while planning your trip. Hawaii is most convenient to the West Coast, while the Caribbean is closer to the East Coast. And, if you’re coming from the East Coast, you can find three-hour flights to the Caribbean —but if you’re flying from the West Coast to Hawaii, flights from Los Angeles are approximately six hours. If you’re traveling from a more centrally located state, the two destinations are about equidistant.


If you don’t have a passport and don’t want to go through the trouble of getting one for your trip, Hawaii is the easier choice. You can also travel hassle-free to U.S. territories Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the only Caribbean vacation destinations that do not require a passport.


Are you looking to flock to the beaches with the crowds or to enjoy the calmer off-season? The Caribbean hosts a hoard of students on vacation for spring break in March and April. Hawaii’s peak season is winter, with many travelers flying down for the warmer weather. Note that hurricane season for Hawaii and the Caribbean runs from June to November.

Activities & Attractions

While both locales offer volcano views and sensational surfing, Hawaii is the premier destination for these attractions due to its many impressive volcanic formations and epic tidal waves. The Caribbean offers calmer seas that are more suited for sailing. History buffs will also appreciate the Caribbean as host to colonial towns that predate the New World.


As a general rule, trips to the Caribbean are typically less expensive than vacations to Hawaii. But, find the right vacation deal and that rule is easily broken. Marriott offers Caribbean and Hawaii vacation packages that afford our guests major savings during stays in our all-inclusive luxury resorts and hotels. Rest assured that no matter which vacation destination you choose between the two, you’re in for an unforgettable getaway to an exotic paradise. Enjoy exclusive access to Marriott Rewards points when you book Hawaii vacation packages or Caribbean vacation packages through Vacations by Marriott.