Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer
Back to Blog

Hawaii on a Budget: It can be Done

hawaii on a budget

If you thought a Hawaiian vacation was out of your reach, think again. There are plenty of ways you can do Hawaii on a budget, but you have to be smart and you have to do your research. It’s absolutely possible to get lodging for $100 or less a night and eat for cheap, provided you know where to look. You can find places on Airbnb or

Ask for Upgrades

If you don’t ask, you won’t get. That said, when you check into your hotel, ask if there’s a possibility you can be upgraded. Perhaps you can get a bigger room, or a room with a better view – all for the same money you booked with. The key is not being afraid to ask. The worst they can say is no. Most of the time, they can accommodate your request.

Grab Coupons and Brochures

Every time you hit an airport or shop, grab brochures. These have surprising money-saving gems in them. You can get money off your car rental, get free stuff at souvenir shops, and get discounts off your meals. To save money, you have to look for the specials!

Bring Your Own Gear

If possible, bring your own gear, such as snorkeling equipment. While the daily rental rate for these items is only about $15 to $20, if you go snorkeling for three days, you’re spending up to $60 just on rentals! In addition, bring formal wear to go out to a fancy restaurant rather than have to buy something over there.

Go During the Off Season


Off-season in Hawaii is considered late spring and fall. If you choose to go during these months, you’ll spend less money overall on lodging and airfare. You’ll find more discount packages and deals during this time, so be sure to book your reservations early. Instead of expensive hotels, go with lesser-known options, such as renting a single room in a plantation home, a beachfront suite or studio, cottage or bed and breakfast.

Find Free Entertainment

You can experience a lot of things for free if you just look around. Find out if your hotel offers free shows or events, such as cultural performances, musical shows, luaus and more. Many hotels offer these shows for free to their guests, so take advantage where you can. All the beaches are free, so spend some time exploring the world’s most beautiful beaches. Many museums are free as well, such as the USS Arizona Memorial and the Pearl Harbor Museum, which offers free tours. One of our tours stops by Pearl Harbor Memorial.

Get a breathtaking view from the top of Diamond Head crater, which is also free. There are many natural beauties you can visit that don’t require one red cent. You just have to be creative in planning these side trips. Avoid eating three meals to cut down on price. I have a friend how will grab a quick snack at ABC Stores (it’s like a 7/11 on the mainland). Fill up in the morning on breakfast, eat a snack at lunch and have a nice dinner. The airfare to Hawaii may be the biggest expense you have, but once you’re there, you can definitely see what the beautiful state has to offer on a budget.