How much does a trip to Hawaii cost? That’s what most people ask before they even start thinking about that dream Hawaiin trip.
Hawaii vacations are absolutely amazing, but as you’ve probably heard they can be expensive. Perfect weather, amazing hikes, and glistening coral reefs don’t usually come cheap!
Or do they?
In this article, we’ll break down how much a trip to Hawaii costs. We’ll also discuss five ways to save money so you can have the Hawaii vacation you’ve always dreamed about!
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How Much Does a Trip to Hawaii Cost? The Breakdown
The cost of a trip to Hawaii depends on where you live, which Hawaiian islands you are visiting, and what time of year you go. It also depends on whether or not Hawaii tourism happens to be in demand during the time you’re going.
Finally, pricing varies based on whether you prefer budget, mid-range, or luxury hotels, whether you prefer fine dining or eating cheap, and what activities you’d like to do while you’re there.
Let’s break it all down.
Hawaii Travel Costs ($460 to $875)
The average cost of flights to Hawaii range from $460 to $875. Flights from West Coast cities like Los Angeles or San Francisco are much more affordable than flights from East Coast cities like New York City for obvious reasons (fuel and cargo costs).
Here’s the estimated cost to fly to Hawaii round trip, depending on where you’re coming from:
- East Coast to Hawaii – $875 per person
- Mid-West – $725 per person
- West Coast – $460 per person
Keep in mind that these are just estimates! To help you save money on your flight, check out the section below on money saving tips.
But airfare to Hawaii isn’t the only way to take the trip—you can also take a cruise to Hawaii! It’s much more expensive, however. The average cruise line, including food and drinks, starts at $1,400.
Related Reading – How to Save Money at Airports
Accommodation ($50 to $500 Per Night)
According to the Hawaii Tourism Authority, the average cost of hotels in Hawaii was $264 per night in 2018. But depending on whether you prefer budget or luxury accommodations, you can expect to pay anywhere from $150 to $580 per night for a Hawaii hotel.
Hotel prices in Hawaii have definitely gone up since the pandemic, with Maui seeing the greatest overall increase. Big Island is second in terms of hotel prices. Waikiki might also have higher than average prices. If you are trying to keep costs down you might want to consider staying on a different island.
Alternatively, you can rent an Airbnb in most of the Hawaiian islands. The price varies from $65 to $500 per night depending on where you stay, and there are some really cool rental properties available! Of course, if you travel with a group and rent an entire apartment your costs are going to be lower than staying in fancy hotels. And lower is good!
Your third option is to get a camper van or RV rental in Hawaii. Most of them cost around $150 per night, but this also varies. If you get a camper van, you can save on rental car fees and stay in some really cool locations (like overlooking the ocean from a cliffside).
Pro Tip: The best Hawaiian islands to RV on are the Big Island, Maui, or the island of Oahu.
Rental Cars & Parking Fees ($70 to $100 Per Day)
You can get around much of the island on mopeds, golf carts, bicycles, or even by foot. But if you aren’t keen on being slowed down or not having a set of wheels, you’ll need a rental car in Hawaii.
Expect to pay around $50 per day for rental cars. But don’t forget to budget for parking fees as well! Almost every Hawaiian island has parking fees and the price varies from $20-$45 per day.
So for a 7-day trip, you’re looking at an extra $224 to $525. Oh, and don’t forget about gas!
Food and Drink ($50 to $200 Per Day Per Person)
You’ll be hard-pressed to visit Hawaii and not spend a good chunk of your money on food!
There are loads of amazing places to eat. Expect to pay between $50 and $100 per person depending on the restaurant and how many drinks you order.
But it is possible to eat fairly inexpensively if you get microwaveable food for the hotel or if you cook in your RV or Airbnb.
Recommended food and drink budget: $50-$200 per day per person.
Related Reading – How to Save Money While Traveling
Cost of Hawaiian Vacation Activities
The activities in Hawaii are nearly endless. You’ve got hiking, sightseeing (hello, volcano!), fire dancers, swimming and surfing, biking, sunbathing, chilling in a hammock, clubs, kayaking, fishing, scuba diving, and so much more! You can also check out some of these awesome black sand beaches!
That said, it’s easy to blow your budget very quickly if you’re not careful.
Here are some average costs of various Hawaii activities:
- Oahu: Majestic Full-Day Circle Island Tour– $104
- Hawaiian Lomi Lomi Massage – $99.47
- Wet ‘n’ Wild Hawaiian Fun Water Park Day Pass – $52.36
- Maui Sunset Dinner Cruise – $103.67
- Maui: Eco-Friendly Molokini and Turtle Town Tour with Lunch – $138
Total Estimated Trip to Hawaii Costs
Here are some estimated costs per person to give you a rough idea:
- Day Trip: $271
- One Week: $1,899
- Two Weeks: $3,798
- One Month: $8,138
Again, though, these prices vary. Budget travel to Hawaii is possible. Let’s dive into some travel tips to save you money.
5 Tips to Save Money On Your Hawaiian Vacation
Ready to visit Hawaii but want to save money? Here are some travel tips to stretch your wallet:
Go During The Best Time of Year
The best time of year to go to Hawaii is… pretty much any time. The weather is always beautiful since they’re so close to the equator.
However, there are a few times to avoid going to Hawaii if you want to save money and avoid the crowds. Specifically, the worst times to go to Hawaii are:
- Feb. 24–April 8 (Spring Break, Easter)
- July 1–July 31 (Summer Vacation)
- Nov. 16–Nov. 26 (Thanksgiving)
- Dec. 19–Jan. 6 (Christmas and New Year’s)
That said, May and September are optimal times for the best rates and weather. The end of April and the whole month of October are also excellent times to go!
Compare Flight Costs
You can get a flight to Hawaii through Hawaiian Airlines, Delta, and many more. To find the best price, we highly recommend checking out Cheap Air and Airfare Watchdog.
Do Free Activities & Create Your Own DIY Tours
There are a lot of tours and sightseeing trips on the Hawaiian Islands. And frankly, you can simply tour the islands yourself!
For example, lots of people take tours to see the USS Arizona and Punchbowl. But you can visit both of these locations for free!
Go Visit Hawaii has several guides to free things to do on each island:
Some ideas include bringing your own snorkeling equipment or renting it on the island instead of taking a snorkeling tour, visiting the national and state parks, and having a sunset picnic on the beach!
This one sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many people make a last-minute decision to travel to Hawaii.
If you plan ahead, you can take the time to compare flight and hotel costs, book your rooms and activities in advance, and come up with free things to do so you’re not spending tons of money on activities.
Check Discount Sites
Discount sites like Travelzoo, LivingSocial, and Groupon can bag you some amazing deals. Try to find any bundle specials that include restaurant and tour deals to stretch your money a little further.
While you’re at it, be sure to book your activities online. Many of Hawaii’s businesses charge more at the door than they do for online bookings because they know people will pay more for last-minute activities while they’re in Hawaii, but online shoppers are looking for the best deals.
Parting Advice On Cost Effective Hawaii Vacations
There are other things you can do to save money, if you are up for it. Tent camping can always be an interesting adventure for those inclined to camp. Splitting an AirBnB apartment with a kitchen is also another great way to save funds. Cooking your own meals will save you a ton of money while traveling.
But the numbers we gave in this guide should answer the general question “How much does a trip to Hawaii cost?” Now you know, roughly, the costs you can expect.
That said, you can spend as much or as little as you’re willing to! You can sacrifice a lot and penny-pinch, or you can go for a full-blown luxury vacation. It’s all up to you. Whatever you decide to do, make sure to bring your dreams of a Hawaiian trip to reality. It’s SO worth it.
As always, happy travels everyone! We’ll see you on the road!
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