Hawaii on a Budget? It Can Be Done

Written By Mary Beth Eastman
Last updated January 28, 2021

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Money Saving Tips
February 12, 2018

Simple. Thrifty. Living.

Like many people, you dream of visiting the Aloha State but think the cost puts this trip out of reach. While visiting Hawaii can be expensive, you can cut the cost significantly if you plan carefully. Timing is everything, as is location. You can take the family on a wonderful Hawaiian adventure and not return home a pauper.

If you visit Hawaii during prime tourist season, you’ll pay a lot of money for the privilege. You can travel much more cheaply during the offseason and still enjoy balmy weather and remarkable views. Experts recommend planning your trip during April, May, September or October in order to get the lowest price airfare and accommodations. Traveling around the holidays will cost you big time. You should also try and book your airfare weeks in advance of your trip, somewhere between 21 and 112 days before you plan to take off. Doing so will help you get the cheapest tickets possible. Use online search engines to help find the best deals.

You may be able to find combination deals that include hotel and airfare that fit in your budget. Travelers should also consider staying at a hostel or getting a deal through Airbnb. Be willing to sleep away from the beach area and take a bus or taxi when you want to swim or sun. Any real estate on the beach will take a significant bite out of your budget.

Hawaii offers many beautiful islands, each with their own particular attractions. Unless you have money to burn, though, you need to choose one and not island hop. The transportation costs skyrocket when you visit multiple islands. Pick the one that interests you the most or that offers the best deals and explore it. Use public buses to visit landmarks or to take in the many free island activities. You will save money if you plan a realistic first trip.

Hawaii is a dream location, one that is not out of reach for the average person. If you plan well and tailor your expectations to your bank account, you can enjoy a magical trip to one of the most beautiful places on earth.

About the Author

Mary Beth Eastman

Mary Beth Eastman serves as the content manager for Simple. Thrifty. Living, where she is dedicated to helping readers use money and credit wisely. Mary Beth believes that access to the right financial information paired with a growth mindset are essential tools for getting out of debt and building wealth. Mary Beth has a degree in Journalism from Bowling Green State University and has focused her 20-year journalism career on putting readers front and center, carefully considering their concerns and presenting information that will help them in their everyday lives. She has won numerous statewide journalism awards. Her writing on personal finance as been featured on numerous websites in addition to Simple. Thrifty. Living, including Huffington Post and Lexington Law blog. Mary Beth resides in Pittsburgh, Pa., with her family and two rescue dogs.

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