The Hawaiian Islands can be an expensive trip, but we’ve found a few creative ways to stick to the vacation budget and save money. If you’re thinking about planning a trip, you may consider one or a few of these helpful tips below:
1. Travel on the Off Season
Traveling to Hawaii on the off season can save you hundreds of dollars. Flights and rooms are less expensive when you travel when it’s not peak season. The cost for flights and Airbnb would have been higher if we traveled during the holidays or summertime. If you’re looking for less expensive flights and a place to stay, after the holidays or early fall might be a more cost-effective option.
2. Bring a Reusable Water Bottle/Purchase a Brita Pitcher or Water Bottle
Several airports require you to dump out your liquids before going through security, but the nice thing is there are many airports that have free water filters after you get through security. Instead of spending $6.00-$8.00 on a water bottle at the airport bring your own reusable water bottle and fill up for the ride. Also, depending on where you’re staying you may consider purchasing a water bottle or pitcher that filters the water for you. This will save you tons of money on purchasing water for your room and/or meals. We found one at a local Costco (on sale) and the pitcher even fit in our carry on, so we could bring it home with us.
3. Go on a Store Run
Make a list of all your food and beverage items and take a trip to the local Costco/Target/Walmart for purchase. If you go with a group, you might be able to split the cost on all food and beverages.
4. Cook Some of Your Own Meals
Each morning we made our own breakfast and packed our lunch for the road (most days) and cooked the majority of our dinners at the condo. The condo also had a BBQ available, so we were able to use that for dinner. There were a few meals that we ate out and the tab added up quickly. For example, two entrees, and one drink the first night cost us about $80. We spent less than that per person for the entire week on our Costco run.
5. Split the Cost of an Airbnb
This may not be an option for all, but if you’re able to split the cost of an Airbnb with family members or friends it can save you a lot of money. Typically, the Airbnb’s are fully furnished with all of your necessary toiletries, utensils, and towels. The condo that we stayed at had a nice pool, recreation area, mini spa, exercise room, and ping pong table etc.
6. Ask for a car rental discount
Ask for a local discount. This saved us $200 off the entire minivan rental for the week. You might also consider sharing the cost of the rental with the friends or family members that you’re traveling with. If you don’t think you’ll need a car that often, you may consider walking most places and/or utilizing Lyft/Uber.
7. Explore Free Activities/Excursions
Hawaii is so beautiful and there are many free things to do, but you have to do your research. Hiking is one free excursion that you can do plenty of and see amazing views. The beaches are absolutely breathtaking and are free. Walmart has cheap cooler bags for purchase to pack your food and drinks for the day, cheap snorkel gear, and also great for reasonable souvenirs.
In conclusion, keep in mind we split the cost of our car rental, Airbnb, and groceries for the entire week among five people. We will share a detailed budget breakdown in our Maui Budget Review. Overall, this trip was not too expensive, we were able to stick to our EveryDollar Maui Budget and even came home with some extra cash. Traveling on a budget and tracking your spending even on vacation provides you with peace of mind and the best part is that you don’t have to worry about how you will pay for the trip when you get home.