Whether you’re planning a romantic couples getaway or a fun-filled family holiday, budgeting for your trip can take the fun out of travel planning. Let us help, so that you can focus on the sand, sun, and surf of tropical island life. Here are our top tips to get the best bang for your buck on your Hawaiian holiday.
Travel in the low season
The best time to visit Hawaii is in the low season: April through mid-June, September through mid-December. This is not only because of the discounted flight prices; you also beat the extreme summer heat and skip the tourist queues. If you’re coming in the fall, we recommend you come between September and October since the wind and rain begin to pick up in November.
Go with a group
Why not invite your family and friends? Traveling with a group means that you will always have someone to share your holiday memories with. It also means that you can apply for discounts at some of the best accommodation and attractions in Hawaii. Popular tourist attractions like Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park and the Dole Plantation give half-price admission for large groups.
Try Alternative Accommodation
Although the convenience of an all-inclusive resort can be very tempting, they come with a rather inconvenient price tag. Skip the resort, and view the islands from a local’s perspective. There are a ton of cool condos, and unusual AirBnBs available for short-stay rentals. You can have the privacy of a peaceful rainforest treehouse, the luxury of this Bali house, or the unique experience of stargazing from this lava rock lookout.
Sleep Under The Stars
Nature lovers can enjoy some of the best sights of Hawaii by getting out of town and pitching your tent in one of the beautiful camping areas scattered throughout the islands. Kalalau Campground is a fitting reward to the intense trek through the Napali Coast State Wilderness Park. Or, for something slightly fancier, try this Hammock Glamping spot near Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. You can have all the fun of camping with modern comforts. If you really want to see it all, consider renting a Campervan on Maui, Oahu, or the Big Island. You can cruise around the island and carry your home on your back, just like a Hawaiin green sea turtle!
Rather than spend all of your money on expensive dinners at resort restaurants, check out the fresh local produce. On the big island, Hilo Farmer’s Market offers a great selection to make your mouth drool. Or you can try KCC Farmer’s Market Sunday mornings and Tuesday nights for the best and freshest produce in Oahu. These are the best places to stock up on snacks and provisions to pack a picnic lunch for your hiking trip or lazy beach day.
Eat Like A Local
If you want to save your money for exciting experiences like surf lessons or scuba diving, try to eat like a local. In Honolulu, you’ll often hear the local people talking about getting a “plate lunch”. Usually, this consists of rice, macaroni salad, and some kind of meat. You can try this cheap and delicious local favorite at Rainbow drive-in for less than $10. If you would rather try the fresh seafood, hit up a food truck like Jawz Tacos on Maui for some tasty fish tacos. Want something fresh? The Japanese-inspired poke bowl is super popular in Hawaii; especially at Da Poke Shack in Kailua-Kona, The Big Island. For Dessert, stay on the lookout for Ululani’s Shave Ice – a chain that is found all over Hawaii selling the traditional ‘shave ice’ treat.
Choose The Right Island
Although it might be difficult to resist the temptation, trying to see it all will wear away at your wallet. Island hopping flights add up quickly, so if you’re conscious of your budget (and environmental impact) it’s best to choose the island suited to your style and stick to it. The four most popular islands – Oahu, Maui, Kauai, and the Big Island – are actually less expensive than the smaller, secluded Lanai and Molokai. Each island has its own charm, so it’s best to research each island to find the one that works for you
Look Out For Deals
There are lots of great ways to save money on experiences and activities across all of the Hawaiian islands. If you happen to stay in Oahu, make sure to sign up for a GoOahu Pass card to save on attractions, tours, and activities all over the island. For deals on accommodation, surf lessons, and boat tours try browsing through Groupon.
Take Advantage Of Free Fun
Surf lessons and scuba diving can be pricey, why not fill some of your time with the great free activities that are available. Get a taste of history at Pearl Harbour, soak up the sun as you watch a surf competition, or take a hike through the lush trails for a scenic view. In the evening, don’t miss the free fireworks show at the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com
Sunday 18th of July 2021
To be fair, low season pretty much follows the school schedule (in reverse). Low season starts the second week of January when rates crater and the weather is still the best. It runs through the third week of May, except for the 2-3 weeks of spring break when rates skyrocket again. You can get great rates again starting the last week of August through the second week of December (watch out for the thanksgiving bump). The worse rates are spring break, summer and winter vacations. The only one I avoid is summer vacation as the rates, crowds and weather are all brutal.