Hawai’i on a Budget

by Jack Guy

Oct 9, 2018

Taro Fields of Kaua’i, Hawai’i © Katrina Brown | Dreamstime

Tips / Destination

You might not think visiting a Pacific island would be cheap, but traveling to Hawai’i doesn’t have to be super expensive. Here’s how you can see the sights without spending a fortune.

The first step is to plan your trip during off-peak periods, when room rates and flights will be cheaper. For Hawai’i that means booking in January, February, May, September or October. The bonus is February is the best time for whale watching, and September is when the Aloha Festivals happen.

When it comes to food, look out for early-bird discounts offered to diners seated before 6 p.m., or eat your main meal at lunch time. There are also plenty of food trucks in Hawai’i, so you can grab something quick and cheap without spending a lot of time.

Fortunately, for budget travelers, one of the main attractions in Hawai’i is also free to access. The beaches are simply incredible, and you don’t have to pay anything to lay out a towel. You can also learn about aspects of the local culture at a free, introductory class on lei making, hula dancing or Hawai’ian massage at the Royal Hawaiian Centre, or explore the Koloa Heritage trail on foot or by bike.

Stick to one island to save money on transport and sleep in hostels to keep accommodation costs down. Aside from that, use common sense money saving tips like splitting taxi rides with fellow travelers and staying in places where breakfast is included.

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Start your day with a rib-sticking breakfast at the Cupping Room Cafe. For a few dollars, you can get some baked goods, but full brunch meals start at $12. However, you’ll be tempted to go all out with a menu like this. There’s just about every kind of breakfast food you could want, all with just a slight upgrade. Think stuffed French toast with mascarpone cheese, raspberry jam, granola, nuts and raisins, or an omelette filled with Nova Scotia salmon, scallions and cream cheese.