Ultimate guide to traveling Hawaii on a budget
When I think of Hawaii I imagine crystal blue ocean, palm trees, and delicious Poke tuna. Don't you? 😍There’s not much that meets the eye in Hawaii that’s bad, however when I think about my wallet at the end of the trip depending on how smart I was with my money, that could be another story. Here's my list of tips to follow that will make your budget in paradise possible
first things first..
Decide exactly what your budget is
Look at how much money you have, and spread that out throughout your vacation time. Get specific about your budget per day, 40$ a day is a reasonable price to start at while still being able to enjoy your time in Hawaii. If somedays you go over your budget try to bring it back on the other days by doing free activities here is a list of my favs.
rule out your big expenses first
Where are you going to stay?
- The most inexpensive accommodation is couch-surfing. I have not personally done it but, I have met people who have and they say great things. Living with a host is an opportunity to get to know a place from a locals perspective, most hosts are also very sociable and enjoy having guests around. If this interests you, register online on the website Couchsurfing.com
- Hostels or Camping. If you're traveling solo and wanna make some new friends maybe the hostel route is a good option for you or you might consider camping and really becoming one with nature!
- AirBnB, or condo rentals. This is my preferred choice for accommodation options. Not only do you have the luxury of having your own space, you can also find one with a fully equipped kitchen. This is a major money saving tool. Cut your budget costs significantly if you have the ability to cook your own meals.
How to Get Around
- Public transit. Again, depending on your budget, public transport is the cheapest way to get around. I did this once on my way home from Australia in 2014 and avoided the costs of renting a car. One transit pass provides unlimited rides for up to 2 hours. It is important to know that using transit can be more time consuming if you want to venture far. It took me nearly 3 hours to get to North Shore from Waikiki by bus.
- Renting a Car. I used this option on one of my trips. Renting a car for a week between two people was around $200 each. It was truly the most efficient way to get around especially if there is a lot of site seeing that you want to experience. We booked online beforehand with Discounthawaiicarrentals.com it was efficient and cheap. Airport shuttle picked us and took us directly to our rental location free of charge.
How to stay within your daily budget
Tips to save them $$$
Here I have listed some hacks on where to shop for your best value.
- Try to buy snacks and beverages at the local K-mart or Walgreen’s. Avoid ABC Store it’s a Rip- off!
- Times Super market is the cheapest grocery store I found which had the most variety produce and ingredients.
- If you are going to eat out food trucks in Hawaii are so damn delicious. The North Shore has heaps of them!
- Also checking for happy hours in areas before you go is a good idea too! I know Waikiki area has a lot listed from 3-6pm.
- Eat Poke Tuna, I literally ate poke everyday. Grocery stores carry it as well which tends to be cheaper. The best Poke tuna I had in Honolulu was actually from the Whole Foods Store in Lanikai.
- Buy your own snorkel or bring one especially if you plan on snorkeling a few times during your stay!
- Plan a K-mart haul, it's the cheapest place for alcohol and tasty snacks, and you will want to bring munchies to the beach. Besides Lanikai Beach, most do not have a lot of options for drinks and food.
- Having GPS or a data plan is useful for finding your way around. You can also download an offline map to your phone as an alternative. I found the roads to be a little difficult to navigate on.
- P.S remember to buy Maui Babe at any Drug mart so you can return home sun kissed Hawaiian Style.
Refer to my 8 Paces to see in Oahu for free, for more information on affordable locations you don't want to miss.