When you’re traveling to the most isolated island in the world, costs can get expensive. According to AAA, a couple spends on average $793/day between food, lodging and activities. We’ve put together some helpful tips to help keep your budget in-line, while having the Hawaii vacation of a lifetime!
1. Plan Ahead
Planning your vacation far ahead of peak season will save you time and money. The cheapest airfares are the first to sell out, so the longer you wait, the more you will be spending. You can also pre-arrange car and hotel reservations way in advance, so you can cancel just in case something unexpected comes up. Giving yourself a lead time of several months will surely guarantee you enough time to research and reserve the best deals for your perfect Hawaiian vacation.
2. Avoid the Breakfast Buffet
If you are staying at a hotel or resort, and the breakfast buffet is not part of your package deal, avoid it. The breakfast buffet can cost up to $45 per person, and you can end up saving more money by ordering a la carte from the menu for around $15 per person. Another great way to save is to take advantage of Hawaii’s version of happy hour called “pau hana,” and get half-priced appetizers from Hawaii’s best restaurants.
3. Rent a Car
Renting a car for your Hawaiian vacation can save you more money than going with tour companies which can cost around $100 per person per day. Having an itinerary is extremely important in making sure you can hit most or all of your travel destinations with your rental car. In addition, make sure to look for dings and check that the gas of your rental is not empty before you leave the rental lot. Lastly, Hawaii rental car prices can be all over the map, so make sure to research the car rental service you can get the most value from.
4. Get a Kitchen and Pack Lunches
Hawaiian resorts and hotels sometimes have small kitchen areas – almost all house and condo rentals have them. Eating out for every meal can quickly become one of your biggest expenses during your vacation. Hawaii has amazing restaurants and we love eating out, however, consider not eating out for every meal. Perhaps eating out for lunch and staying in for dinner since dinner is usually more expensive. Try stocking your fridge with food from Hawaii’s grocery stores.
5. Enjoy Free Hawaiian Activities and Sceneries
Paying daily for tours during your vacation adds up quickly and can make you feel extremely hurried and exhausted. Slow the pace of your Hawaiian vacation and save some money by enjoying a day or two hanging out at the beach. Each one of Hawaii’s beaches are free and open to the public.
Renting snorkeling equipment, surfboards, or rafts can be cheaper to rent than a boat tour. There are also free hula lessons, shows, and lei making activities across Hawaii’s malls.
6. Choosing the Right Hawaiian Island
Hawaii has six major islands, visiting all of them can be very costly rather than visiting just one. Researching what each Hawaiian island has to offer and figuring out what you want most from your Hawaiian vacation will save you a lot of time and money. If you still cannot decide which island to visit and have never been to Hawaii, just choose Maui. Maui tends to be on top of lists of most travel magazines’ for the best island to travel to.
7. Look for Vacation Package Deals
Buying package deals like hotel and flight costs bundled together can be a way to save $200 to $300 per person. Warehouse clubs like Costco also offer Hawaii hotel deals that include a rental car and free daily breakfasts.
Package deals are a great way to save money. Hawaiian Airlines’ vacation packages are very popular one-stop places to look for complete Hawaii vacation packages.
8. Travel to Hawaii During Off-season
Peak holidays like Christmas, Spring Break, Thanksgiving, and Summer are the most expensive times to visit Hawaii. Coming in the shoulder of seasons, like the second half of August can result in cheaper travel costs and crowding across the board. Flying on weekdays (Monday to Thursday) also saves you money wherever your destination.