A Hawaiian vacation is on the bucket list of many people, but the thought of actually affording to get there is a whole other story. There is no doubt – Hawaii is expensive. Luckily, traveling to Hawaii on a budget can be a reality this year.
If you are picturing the beautiful resorts on the breathtaking beaches, luaus or a romantic dinner under the stars on the sand, or surf lessons at 7am by your personal coach – then it is going to cost you. But, a trip to Hawaii doesn’t have to break your piggy bank or be nothing more than a far-fetched dream of yours.
Believe it or not, traveling to Hawaii on a budget is possible, and you can still have an unforgettable experience. All you have to do is set your budget and follow these tips!
Consider alternate transportation
Of course, you cannot drive to Hawaii, but you can hop on a cruise ship or an airplane. Flying commercial airlines, however, are the most common method for arriving on one of the Hawaiian Islands. When you go to book your airfare, you will notice that you may be paying a hefty price. This is especially true when traveling during their peak season. So, you are going to have to get crafty with your transportation when traveling to Hawaii on a budget.
Why not charter a plane? You are likely shaking your head or laughing at that thought (since you are working on a budget). But, it is possible to save money by chartering a plane to Hawaii. Here is how: Some private planes offer you to rent their services if they need to go where you need to go.
If you are taking a group of friends or have your family with you, this method could save you an enormous amount of money in airfare. Or, look to see if a private plane has been charted, but still has openings available. Whatever you do, do not disregard this option. It may be the only way you will be able to afford to make it to Hawaii.
Avoid the big resorts
The big resorts that are located along the ocean are not there for your enjoyment. They are there to cost you money. Remind yourself that you are traveling on a budget and seek alternate arrangements. For instance, VRBO or Airbnb are great ways to stay and play in Hawaii. And, with all there is to see and do, you won’t miss the resort amenities or the glamorous feel they may give you.
Hostels are also big in Hawaii and are worth checking into. Just be sure to do your research and read reviews before you book.
Act like a local
While traveling, the best way to learn and understand the culture is to immerse yourself in it. If you are avoiding the resort areas, you will likely find yourself surrounded by locals. Spend any amount of time talking to them and you will learn the best of the best of the island – and won’t get sucked into the pricey tourist traps.
Locals love their island and they look to enjoy it without having to pay a bunch of fees. Visiting the beach, the parks, going for a hike, etc. are things that locals may find themselves doing. Befriend a local and perhaps you will find yourself learning to surf from someone who just does it as a hobby, rather than as an employee of a resort.
Watch where you eat
Hawaii offers many options for dining. But, if there is one rumor that has always circulated about dining here is that the food is priced out of this world. It is expensive. Therefore, when traveling to Hawaii on a budget, it’s important to know where you can eat that won’t break the bank. Since you must eat to stay alive, you are going to want to make some decisions about where you dine. Here are some ideas:
- Avoid eating at the resorts. Even if you do end up staying at one, your stay will be much more than you intended by the time of your checkout – especially if you charge your food purchases to your room!
- Food trucks are the way to go. They are found all over the island and offer a wide variety of foods to choose from.
- Visit local grocery stores and load up. This works wonderfully if you are staying at a home, such as that on Airbnb. Buy your food and cook for yourself. Rumor has it that Costco is the cheapest.
- If you want to experience food on the island, splurge for one or two good meals, rather than every meal.
- Load your bag with snacks to munch along the way if you get hungry, rather than opting to dine where you are when the hunger kicks in.
- Eat where the locals eat. They are not going to enjoy high-priced meals at every turn so there must be more affordable options. Ask around and discover hidden local secrets.
Travel to the island you want to see – and stay there
Did you know there are eight main islands in Hawaii? If you did, you likely have your favorite one already picked out. Or perhaps you would like to visit more than one when you finally make it to Hawaii.
News flash: if you are traveling to Hawaii on a budget, you will want to visit the island you land at – and stay there.
Traveling between islands can cost you a great deal of money.
Go in the offseason
While Hawaii is lovely to visit any time of year, it is best to go in the offseason if you are looking to save a dollar or two. Not only will travel be cheaper, but finding accommodations will be cheaper, as well. In addition, you may encounter local deals on activities and such from those whose business has slowed due to the drop in tourists.
To take advantage of the offseason during the last two weeks in January, February, May, September, and October.
Traveling to Hawaii on a budget is very possible. You can now mark a trip to Hawaii off your bucket list. Hop on a chartered flight to your favorite island, make friends with some locals, and enjoy a beautiful getaway.