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10 Tips For Exploring Hawaii on a Shoestring Budget

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Hello! It's that time of the year where it's getting colder and plenty of people are itching to head somewhere warmer. "Somewhere with sunshine... and great food... and adventure... Somewhere like... like... like Hawaii!" Who all has had that exact thought at some point during the winter months? 🙆 I know I have. Thanks to today's guest post by Sebastian Tan, you can get to plannin' that vacation with his tips for an affordable trip to Hawaii!

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10 Tips For Exploring Hawaii on a Shoestring Budget

With so many Hawaii Mansions in the state, it’s no wonder why Hawaii is constantly on the lists of most expensive states to live in. In fact, it’s not uncommon to see it top the list! If you’re a traveler who is visiting the Aloha State on a limited budget, this bit of knowledge might frighten you. Fret not, for here are ten tips for exploring Hawaii on a shoestring budget. 

Look for free events

No matter where you traipse, there will always be something happening. The number one turn-off in attending these events would be the hefty entrance fee or expensive tickets. Fortunately, there are numerous free events for you to check out. All you have to do is purchase the paper or surf the Internet to look for any nearby occasions, which can be anything from historical to cultural to showcases. If you see something you like with a tiny charge of less than five bucks, go for it because it just might be worth it. 


Are you a bit athletic or just up for a new adventure? Then try hiking! The only thing you’ll need is a good pair of shoes, a walking stick, a bottle of water, some snacks, a towel for your sweat, and a cap. Plenty of hiking spots in Hawaii are free, so you’ll get a two for one deal here: exercise and a view to kill for at the top. 

Avoid expensive restaurants

They say one way you can explore a new place is by their food and same goes for Hawaii. Avoid any formal, sit in restaurants where one dish can cost you $20 upwards. Instead, spend less than ten bucks by going for the food trucks or asking the locals where the best cheap eats are. 

Stick to one island

There are eight main islands in Hawaii, all of them habitable. These are namely big island Hawaii, Oahu, Kauai, Maui, Kahoolawe, Niihau, Molokai, and Lanai. Traveling from one island to another will require some airfare and that isn't exactly something you have extra cash for when you are exploring Hawaii on limited money. Commit to one island only and the next time you visit Hawaii, explore the other islands; however, if you are staying in Maui, there is a chance for you to check out Moloka'i and Lana'i since a ferry is available for you to take. Don't you agree that that's a better option than forking over hundreds of dollars for airfare just to go island hopping?

Off season is the best season

If you want big discounts, go to Hawaii during the offseason. There are two offseasons: the first one is during late Spring, which is late April until early June. The second offseason is Fall, which is from September until mid of December. There will be fewer people and the airline fares are lower than ever. Accommodations are also at a discount; in fact, you just might be able to afford that hotel you’re eyeing if you go offseason. 

Travel local

No matter where you go, there are different ways to get from one place to another. For Hawaii, you have buses. Renting a car can set you back up to $70 a day. The main islands have their own bus lines, so instead of hailing a cab or taking an Uber, just ride the bus instead as it is much cheaper. If you have to rent a car, better utilize it and visit all the places inaccessible by public transportation. Or if it's possible, just walk; after all, walking is good for the heart.

Look into package deals

Some might think package deals are not worth it, but they are-- if you find the correct one for you and your companions. There are numerous packages out there for you and your friends or family. In fact, some of them are flexible, wherein you can substitute one activity for another. These may range from accommodations with travel fare included tours with accommodations to activity packages comprised of your favorite activities. The reason is some of these hotels have a contract or are tied in with tourism-related companies, therefore giving them the ability to offer these combos at the best price. 

Get your tickets in advance

If you really want to save big bucks, then you might need a lot of patience as this tip requires you to wait for a few months until your big holiday. Buying your tickets a couple of months before the trip would be ideal; make sure your departure and arrivals are anywhere from Monday to Thursday as tickets are at a better price for those days. 

Book accommodation in advance

Nothing can be worse than arriving at the hotel you want to stay only to find out there are no rooms available. After purchasing your tickets, it's time to find a place to stay. Try using travel booking websites like Agoda as these can help you find the best deal. Plus, some of these sites have point systems. When you've accumulated a certain number of points over time, you can even upgrade your room or get a free night. If this is not to your interest, then why not opt for a hostel? It's a great choice for those with minimal baggage and just want a good, clean place to stay. In addition, you just might garner a few friends when in a hostel. 

Coupons are your best friend

In the old days, to get coupons you really have to search every single page of every magazine you can get your hands on. Thankfully, these days you don't have to do this as with a few taps on your keyboard, you'll gain access to a multitude of coupons you can use during your Hawaiian holiday.

You need not blow your monthly budget with your Hawaiian getaway. With these tips, you're sure to save more than enough to go on your next adventure.

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Thanks to Sebastian for sharing his travel knowledge! I hope to see you all in Hawaii one day soon 😉

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