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April 2, 2019

6 tips to visit Hawaii on a tight budget

Do you think heaven on earth is inacce$$ible, out of your price range? Rest assured, it is possible to travel to Hawaii even on a tight budget.

1. Travel during the off-season

Globetrotters on the lookout for deals will travel to Hawaii in October and November when prices are said to be the lowest of the year.

However, waves are reported to be stronger and more intense during this time of year. You could have a rough ocean swim. Pick your beach accordingly and watch out for beach warning flags.

It’s also possible to find a good deal between May and September.

Keep in mind that it’s a good idea to avoid travelling to Hawaii from December to April as Americans flock there en masse to escape winter and prices spike during this period.

2. Sleep on the cheap

There is no better option than staying at a youth hostel if you want to keep accommodation costs to a minimum.

Choose from a dorm-like room you share with others or an individual room and rest easy knowing you haven’t blown a hole in your budget.

Renting a condo or apartment on an online platform is a cost-effective option if you plan to stay longer or are travelling with other people.

3. Prepare your own meals

Your food bill will quickly eat away at your budget if you choose to eat out.

Shop at a local grocery store and make homemade meals. You can save money by buying in bulk.

Don’t fall off your chair when you see that prices are considerably higher than what you are used to as most products have to be imported to Hawaii.

Pack your cart full of fruits, veggies, fresh fish and coffee products that are locally grown in abundance.

You could also pay a visit to a farmers’ market, such as KCC Farmers’ Market in Honolulu.  

Head to the Koloa Fish Market on Kauai to grab some ocean bounty and poke bowls.

Ask around to find out where locals shop. They know the best places to go to avoid the tourist traps. Take the time to ask for their tips and advice.

Street food lovers flock to the Eat the Street event in Honolulu on the last Friday of each month. You can choose from over 40 local food trucks and pay a pittance to eat like a king.

4. Pick one island and stick to it

Every Hawaiian island boasts its own treasures and unique features… it might be tempting to explore them all, but this comes with a hefty price tag!

If you’re looking for savings, you’re better off focusing on one island.

Pick an island according to your preferences and the tourist attractions you want to visit.

If your nomadic side wins, travel by ferry rather than plane and take in the views along the way.

5. All aboard public transit

Taking public transit instead of renting a car is an excellent move to ease the strain on your wallet.  

On the island of Oahu, service is provided by TheBus and for only $5.50 a day, you can go anywhere you want on the island.

With its 13 routes, the Maui public bus transit system can get you everywhere without breaking the bank. A day pass costs $4.

You can access all the tourist attractions on the Hele-On bus service that criss-crosses the Big Island, including the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

6. Find free activities

Take advantage of the best that Mother Nature has to offer without shelling out a dime.

Hawaii has magnificent landscapes to explore, from the sandy beaches of Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve to the lush nature of Koke'e National Park. Another must-do around Honolulu is taking a hike in the tropical forest to Manoa Falls

If you make a detour to the North Shore of Oahu, go to Banzai Pipeline, a renowned surfing spot. Known around the world for its perfect barrelling waves, it has played host to many premier surfing competitions. Limitless thrills are guaranteed!

Have you always dreamed of dancing the Hawaiian hula, wearing a lei (garland or necklace of flowers) and raffia hula skirt? You’ll be amazed by the free Kuhio Beach Hula Show that takes place every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, 6:30 pm-7:30 pm (6:00 pm to 7:00 pm in Nov-Dec-Jan).

If you want to explore your artistic side, visit the Royal Hawaiian Center. Free courses are offered in hula dancing, ukulele, lei-making and lauhala weaving of traditional Hawaiian bracelets.