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How Much Does A Trip To Hawaii Cost? (And Smart Ways To Save!)

Planning a Hawaii vacation? Learn the cost of a Hawaii trip & smart ways to save. Ideal for families & solo travelers aiming for budget-friendly travels.

Tobi Miles
September 17, 2022
How Much Does A Trip To Hawaii Cost? (And Smart Ways To Save!)

Are you planning a trip to Hawaii? Do you want to visit Hawaii's most beautiful locations next vacation? If yes, you'll want to know what a full Hawaii trip would cost beforehand. Don't worry; we have all the information you'll need here. But before going on, let's see the cost of a typical Hawaii trip.

A typical Hawaii trip will cost between $270 - $300 per person for one day. However, the costs will vary based on the number of days you'd want to visit, transportation mode, food, flight schedule, etc. The price per person may go down if you're traveling as a family of three to four people or as a group. 

Are Hawaii trips really expensive? What can you do to reduce the cost of your Hawaiian trip? We'll learn about all these and more in different sections of this article.

How Much Does An Average Hawaii Trip Cost?

When it comes to beach vacations, Hawaii ranks high as one of the best places to visit. Idyllic white beaches, stunning scenery, friendly locals, great food, etc. All these point to Hawaii being an excellent vacation destination. But they also mean that Hawaii trips are typically expensive. 

However, bear in mind that the cost of a Hawaii trip depends on where you're coming from, your Hawaii island choice, and what time of the year you intend to visit. It also depends on whether Hawaii trips are in-demand at the said time or not.

That said, the average cost of a 7-day trip to Hawaii is about $2,050 for solo travelers. Couples can expect to spend up to $2,980 and $4,371 for a family of four. While this is a rough estimate of how much a Hawaii trip can cost, it's still possible to take the cost down and travel on a budget (more on that later). 

Hotels in Hawaii will typically charge between $95 to $430 per night, with an average of $172. Other expenses include flights, intra-city transportation, local food, and sightseeing.

How Expensive Is Hawaii?

As we've said before, Hawaii is one of the most expensive vacation locations. But how expensive is Hawaii? The truth is that the answer to the question depends on you. It depends on where you want to go and what you want to do during your stay. 

However, this article contains a detailed breakdown of all the costs of a budget-friendly vacation to Hawaii. Remember that costs and expenses generally differ depending on the island you choose to stay in. The good news is that you can visit as many beautiful islands as you want on a budget if you follow the tips we'll provide later in this guide. 

Also, remember that this article's costs are broad estimates. So, you may experience slightly cheaper or slightly more expensive costs than them when you visit. However, we've reviewed the travel history of many Hawaii travelers, so the cost can never be farfetched from what we've listed.

Related Read: 25 Top Treehouse Rentals in Hawaii

Trip To Hawaii Cost Breakdown: Item By Item

Now that we're clear about the average cost of visiting Hawaii, you're probably wondering how we arrived at these costs and what each represents. Here's a detailed review of the different items that make up the cost and how each can easily pull the overall travel costs up or down. 

1. Flight Tickets 

Contrary to popular belief, flight tickets to Hawaii are not the most expensive item on the travel cost. In fact, most airlines offer promotions and cheaper flights once in a while. So, if you carefully look out for promotions and discount packages, you can get flight tickets at very attractive prices. 

Notwithstanding, flight tickets and airport expenses may vary depending on factors like your choice of airline, packing fees, and what snack you choose to eat during your flight. 

The average prices for flight tickets to Hawaii include 

  • $905 if you're flying from the East Coast
  • $480 if you're flying from the West Coast 
  • $780 if you're flying from the Midwest 
  • $1,060 for international flights. 

Note that ticket prices may still change based on several factors. However, it wouldn't be too different from the above list. 

Tickets are the first things you should purchase when planning your Hawaii trip. Most people will buy their tickets early enough to get significant discounts on their flight tickets.

2. Accommodation And Hotel Cost

Accommodation is the next most important thing after flight tickets. Once you get to Hawaii, the next stop is to find somewhere to stay. We usually advise tourists and travelers to sort their accommodations before traveling. 

Hotels and vacation rentals are the two most popular choices when it comes to Hawaii accommodations. But you also have to choose which suits your budget. Making the trip to Hawaii is half the battle. 

There are so many things to consider when choosing accommodation. Some of them include:

  • Hotels
  • Vacation rentals
  • Food costs
  • Car rental expenses. 

Hawaii hotel costs: Compared to most other average cities, the cost of staying in a Hawaii hotel is relatively high. However, hotels are generally less expensive than vacation rentals. So it makes sense to choose an average hotel if you're traveling on a budget.

The average hotel room price in Hawaii is $170. However, two people can decide to share a double-occupancy hotel room for an average of $341.

Vacation rentals: Luxury vacation rentals are another option to try when in Hawaii. It's a thriving business in the city, and many visitors prefer to use it. 

However, it's essential to note that luxury vacation rentals are typically more expensive in Hawaii than other options because of the very high property costs. 

On average, Hawaii luxury vacation rentals cost between $220 to $1,000 per night, depending on different factors. 

Food costs: Most hotels and vacation rentals will include daily food costs in their price. Be sure to ask about what's Included in the package before making your payment.

Related Read: Are there Snakes in Hawaii?

3. Local Transportation

Next to flight tickets and accommodation, in order of importance is transportation. You don't want to miss the beautiful tourist attractions in Hawaii, so you'll often need to move from place to place.

There are two common options available for local transportation:

  • Public transportation 
  • Car rental services.

Public transportation: An obvious choice for Hawaii tourists and visitors. The city's public bus system is called The Bus and has routes throughout Oahu with available options for the city's most popular destinations and beaches. 

The bus system charges $2.75 per person. But you can also pay a monthly pass of $70. The city also has a public transport service called TheHandi-Van that charges $2 per one-way passenger trip. 

Car rental: Another accessible option is car rental. While this option is typically more expensive, it allows for more comfort and convenience. So, it's not surprising that people still opt for it, despite the cost involved. 

Car rental costs vary depending on the car rental company you choose, the car model, and the time of the year. However, you can rent a car for as low as $36/day in Hawaii.

4. Food Expenses

Food is an essential part of your trip to Hawaii. You can't wholly experience the city's culture without tasting its food. Therefore, while planning your trip, you must also budget for food. 

Thankfully, Hawaii's food is not too expensive, so you'll get something that suits your budget. Meal prices in Hawaii typically vary from restaurant to restaurant and are dependent on the type of food you choose to eat. But the average cost of food in Hawaii is $61 per day. 

Based on the spending habits of previous travelers, an average meal would cost around $24 per person. Breakfast prices are usually lower than lunch and dinner. If you're traveling on a budget, it makes sense to inquire about restaurant prices before finally choosing one to dine with. 

If you don't know where you ask, you can always look up restaurant menus on their websites.

Related Read: The 20 Best Adult-Only Resorts in Hawaii

5. Entertainment Expenses

Entertainment expenses are a must if you're traveling to Hawaii for the first time. How will you experience the beautiful sceneries and enjoy all the island offers if you don't go out? Hawaii has a buzzing nightlife, so you better be ready to spend more on entertainment.

While the city's entertainment industry is relatively big, enjoying yourself doesn't have to cost too much. In fact, the average cost for entertainment in Hawaii is around $31 per person per day. This fee includes admission tickets to museums and other attractions, fees paid for daily tours, entry into parties and local clubs, etc.

Your entertainment expenses can quickly go up if you're an outdoor person that wants to see many places before the end of your trip.

Costs Of Hawaii Vacation Activities

Hawaii offers everybody the chance to visit a tropical island paradise in the south Pacific without having to leave the United States. However, there's a cost to visiting this island that has become a popular discussion topic among tourists. 

Hawaii is one of the most expensive states to visit, live, or work in, and there are good reasons for it. The abundance of things to do means that there's so much to spend on. Before visiting Hawaii for the first time, please take a look at brief reviews of the most popular activities in the state and their costs. 

1. Visit Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

A visit to the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park ranks high among Hawaii activities. The park, which is home to the active Kilauea volcano, offers a close-up view of lava fields, prehistoric petroglyphs, craters, and, possibly, active lava. 

Entrance into the pack cost: 

  • $30 per private vehicle (capacity - a maximum of 15) for seven days 
  • $25 per motorcycle valid for seven days
  • $15 per pedestrian, valid for seven days. 

2. Swim On The Beautiful Black-Sand Beach

You've not experienced Hawaii if you've never visited the Black Sand beach. Otherwise known as Punalu'u, this beach is the most famous Hawaii jet-hued strand. 

It features a massive stretch of black sand where you can swim, play, or just watch the beautiful sceneries created by endangered green and hawksbill turtles sunning themselves.

There are no fees for visiting or parking in the area. However, we recommend having some money because you may need to buy refreshments or pay for some services at the beach. 

3. Dive With Manta Rays 

If you're a nightlife lover, you'll love the idea of a snorkel or scuba diving with the Manta rays at night. The big island located north of Kailua-Kona is a bay where manta rays come to eat every night. 

The overall experience costs about $179 per person. This price usually includes snorkel gear, juice, snacks, soda and bottled water 

4. Sail The Nã Pali Coast 

While Hawaii is blessed with many beautiful islands, the small Kauai features many gorgeous locations worth seeing. 

The Nã Pali Coast park is a beautiful location and one of the places tourists typically want to see. The park, often called the Garden Isle because of its breathtaking beauty, houses many historic places that tell exciting stories. 

The price for sailing on this beautiful coast may vary from one sailing company to another. However, it costs an average of $224 to enjoy the coast. 

5. Whale Watching

One of the best things to do in Hawaii is whale watching. The activity, known for its magical experience, allows visitors to see incredible North Pacific Humpback whales in action.

Booking a whale watching session costs between $75 to $189, depending on what you want and how you want it. 

How To Reduce The Cost Of Your Hawaii Vacation

While Hawaii is reputed for its expensive lifestyle, you can still save money and travel on a budget. You just need to know what to do and where to get things cheaper. Here are tips to help you reduce costs on your next Hawaii vacation while still making the most out of your vacation experience. 

1. Book Flights In Advance And Avoid The Busiest Days

Like every other flight, the price you'll pay for a flight to Hawaii will vary depending on different factors. While booking, you'll notice that flight fares are more expensive on some days. 

Weekend flights are typically more expensive because more people are traveling on these days. You can cut down a few bucks from your flight expenses if you travel on midweek days. 

Also, booking ahead allows you to search for good rates and discounts. The little money you save from these discounts may be what helps you enjoy a wonderful vacation. 

2. Choose Cheaper Accommodations

Nobody earns an award for staying in the most expensive hotels and resorts. Yes, we understand the cost-push hike in accommodation prices. But, if you settle down to sift through the madness, you'll still find some good ones at cheaper rates. 

Thankfully, you don't need to move from hotel to hotel to find cheaper alternatives. You can just look up their prices and offerings on their websites. Compare the prices and choose one that best suits your budget. 

3. Eat Smart And Avoid Breakfast Buffets

While a breakfast buffet may sound enticing, you don't have to try it if you don't want to. Unless the breakfast buffet is part of your hotel package, you can always choose cheaper alternatives.

 Breakfast buffets can cost up to $45. Unless you have such an amount of money to spare, we recommend going down the street to find cheaper alternatives in non-tourist restaurants. 

4. Be Smart About Car Rentals

Let's face the fact - mobility is key on this busy island. Therefore, many people naturally believe rental cars to be the best solution to moving around on the island. 

Car rentals provide you with the comfort, convenience, and accessibility you desire. But it also comes at a cost. It's okay if you can afford it. But if you can't, you can always use the cheaper public transport services. 

Public transportation in Hawaii also prioritizes comfort, so you won't miss too much.

5. Drive The Extra Mile To Purchase Groceries

Tourist areas have higher costs of living than other places. Therefore, groceries are more expensive in such areas. If your hotel or rental apartment is in a tourist area, make time to drive a few miles away to buy groceries. 

Driving the extra mile in search of groceries allows you to find better prices and selections. It also allows you to access farmers' markets and warehouse clubs where groceries are cheaper.

Tobi Miles
Article updated:
March 28, 2024
A nomadic wordsmith savoring the world's flavors and penning stories that turn every journey into an epic.
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