Whether it’s a romantic honeymoon getaway, a family vacation, or lone travelers looking to immerse themselves in another culture, Hawaii is the ultimate destination. Formed from volcanoes which emerged from the sea, Hawaii’s eight main islands are an unparalleled attraction in the United States.
This is mostly due to its tropical environment and myriad of outdoor activities. It is also the most expensive state to travel to if you blindly begin booking flights, transportation and accommodation. However, if you plan wisely, you don’t need an elaborate budget to enjoy your Hawaiian vacation. Here are some tips for travelers looking to visit the Polynesian Islands on the cheap.
If you are flexible and the idea of outdoor showers doesn’t bother you, then consider camping. If you stay at a State Park in Hawaii as a non-resident, then expect a fee of $18 per night or the max of $30 a night if you have multiple people at one site. With a limited budget, camping is much more attractive compared to paying $200+ per night for a resort.
Plus, there’s no better way to wake up than beside the ocean. You can check the amenities for every state park (and even apply for a permit) online at Hawaii’s State Park website. Remember to pack wisely and check your airline’s rules and regulations for bringing certain camping equipment onboard.
If camping doesn’t appeal to your inner city-dweller, then consider vacation rentals. The people who own vacation homes in Hawaii cannot be there year-round so they are in the business of renting it out to those who need somewhere to stay. Would you rather pay $200 a night for a hotel… or $85 a night for an entire house to yourself? Not to mention, you’ll get the experience of staying within a community as opposed to a tourist trap.
If you’re taking a flexible approach to planning your vacation, you can also check out house-sitting gigs and vacation rentals on websites like Craigslist. Residents of Hawaii need vacations too!
Best Time to Travel
The off-season, which is mid-April to mid-June, has significantly cheaper travel rates than mid-December through March. This almost subtropical state experiences mild-warm temperatures year round. Traveling to Hawaii in April will not mean more or less rain than if you went in December (note: technically Hawaii’s rainy season is November-March, but in recent years it has dried considerably). During the winter, who doesn’t want to go someplace warm? But you’ll get better rates if you hold out until spring.
How much better? Well, if you wanted to visit Hawaii to escape your family’s Christmas dinner, expect to dish out approximately $800 for round trip airfare. But if the thickness of your wallet is a number one priority, then book a trip in May for practically half the cost at $445 (based sample rates from Expedia).