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Hawaii Travel Guide

America’s tropical paradise, Hawaii is a group of islands, each with something special to offer a visitor. From the surfing on Oahu, to the wonders of Maui, to the beauty of Honolulu, to the hidden wonders on Lanai, Hawaii is the great tropical escape for those looking to stay within America. There are beautiful beaches, amazing jungles, monstrous waterfalls, excellent diving, and world-class waves. Hawaii is a great destination for honeymooners, surfers, and families. While not thought of as a budget destination, there are plenty of budget options for people to choose from once you leave those resorts on Waikiki beach!

Typical Costs

Accommodation – You can find hostel dorms for $30 a night. Hotel rooms fall into the $75-100 per night range. There are many high-end places, with rooms starting at $175+ a night, that offer plenty of amenities. The smaller, less touristy spots have rooms as cheap as $60 per night.

Food – Since so much food has to be imported, the cost of food is much higher than on mainland USA. You can find lots of food option in the $7-12 range. This includes locally run restaurants that feature everything from local plate lunches, Mexican food, sandwiches, and the like. Oahu is starting to see food trucks that range from the $5-10 range. Fast food like McDonald’s will cost you $6 per meal (unless you go after the dollar menu); restaurants like Applebee’s will cost around $10-15 per meal. However, most formal, sit-down restaurants will cost you around $20 or more for an entree. There are a lot of buffets on the islands which around $25. If you cook your own food, expect to pay $80-90 per week for groceries that will include pasta, vegetables, chicken, and other basic foods. You can spend way less if you shop at discount stores such as Cost-U-Less (Big Island and Kauai), Don Quijote (Oahu) and Big Save (Kauai), which offer inexpensive for food and alcohol.

Transportation – There’s only one inter-island ferry, the Expeditions Maui-Lanai Passenger Ferry. It only runs between Maui and Lana’i. It leaves from each port every 2-4 hours and costs $30 ($20 for kids). Flying is the only realistic way to get between the islands. Flights are about $70-200 each way. The best way to get around the islands is to rent a car. For a compact vehicle, it’s about $70 per day. To rent a jeep or convertible will run about $100-130 per day. Taxis start around $3, with $4 for each mile traveled.

Activities – Scuba diving costs for a two tank dive about $100-$125 per person (equipment included). Surfboard and Stand Up Paddle board rentals start at about $25 for a half-day, and sailing and snorkeling excursions usually range from $70-150 for a half day or sunset cruise, gear rental included. Helicopter Tours usually range from about $150-250. Zip lining is also available on the bigger islands, with rates of about $100 and up.

Suggested daily budget – $70-90 (Note: This is a suggested budget assuming you’re staying in a hostel, eating out a little, cooking most of your meals, doing the free nature activities, and using local transportation.)

Money Saving Tips

Top Things to See and Do in Hawaii

Articles About The United States

Booking Resources