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.)