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Saving Cash on Your Hawaiian Vacation


Hitting the Big Island – or anywhere else on Hawaii for that matter – doesn’t have to empty out your wallet. There are ways you can save money where it counts, leaving you plenty left to splurge here and there. Here’s a handy guide on how to save $$$ coming to Hawaii.

Ditch the Hawaiian Rental Car

A rental car may be a must for you if you’re here with a group or want to do a lot of island touring, but for the most part, you can get away with no car and use public transportation instead. With rental cars easily setting you back $400 or more each week, check out Oahu’s city bus system instead that services Waikiki as well as the whole island. In Kona, there’s the free Hele-On bus system. Or, you can rely on Hoku Hawaii Tours to come pick you up for a tour of Oahu. It’s called the Circle Island Tours and we’ll escort you around the whole day for one low price.

Discount Stores

Head to Wal-Mart for basics such as toiletries, toothpaste, sunscreen and sunglasses. Avoid the boutiques and hotel stores to save money. Pick up snacks and bottled water from ABC Stores, which is like a 711.


Check out AirBNB to book cheap lodging and connect with hosts who are looking to rent out extra rooms and entire homes. Not only can you feel at home, you can save money on lodging as well.

Get an Upgrade

If you prefer the luxury of a hotel, book a basic room before leaving home, and ask for an upgrade at check-in. Touristy areas, such as Waikiki, want to fill up rooms at all costs and will likely accommodate your request for a discounted rate or room upgrade. Go from garden view to an ocean view or ask for a larger room with a king size bed and refrigerator at no extra cost. You may even be able to score free breakfast if you ask.


Those coupon books you see at the airports and hotels are valuable, so grab one. Look through each and clip coupons for anything from tours and luaus to restaurants and museums. You could score a free kids’ meal at a downtown restaurant, get a percentage off your car rental, or even a free souvenir at a boutique.

Hawaiian Beaches

Just like everywhere else, hitting the beach is free. Get there early to avoid parking hassles at the more popular beaches. Bring your own gear from home if you plan to snorkel, as rental fees can range between $15 and $20. This is a big cost for a large family, so plan ahead.

Hawaiian Entertainment

You can entertain your family on the cheap in Hawaii; you just have to know where to look. Ask your hotel concierge where you can take in a free show, luau, or cultural performance. Many museums offer free admission so take the kids and learn all you can about Hawaii’s culture and history. Go for a hike on Diamond Head crater or take the Road to Hana for a glimpse of nature in action.

Hawaii can be affordable if you do your research. Call Hoku Hawaii Tours today for advice on what to do in Oahu to save cash.