Blue skies, white sands, warm water and some of the friendliest people in the world. When it comes to travel, Hawaii has a lot to offer. Its charms have made the 50th U.S. state one of the most popular vacation and honeymoon destinations in the world. With that popularity comes high prices. You could easily spend a small fortune enjoying just a fraction of what the islands have to offer — but you don’t have to. These money-saving tips from savvy travelers show you just how possible it is to do Hawaii on a budget.
Save on Travel to Hawaii
The priciest part of a Hawaiian vacation is often just getting there. Before you start booking your flight to the islands, take these steps.
– Book early or book last minute. Early reservations and bookings often net you good prices on airline seats, but doing it that way can lock you in to specific dates and prices. Last minute reservations can be really cheap, since airlines want to fill empty seats — but it ca nbe risky. Either way, you’re likely to save some money on your airline tickets.
– Use your airline miles or companion tickets for big savings.
– Look for package deals. Travel agents have contacts that aren’t available to those outside the industry. You may be able to get excellent prices when you let an agent put together a full deal for you.
– Shop the travel sites. Don’t confine yourself to the best-known sites. Expedia and Travelocity are good resources, but the heavy hitters in the online travel industry these days are sites that search multiple engines so that you can compare options and offers.
– Go direct to the airline site. After you find the best deals on travel search sites, go directly to the airline website instead of clicking through. You’ll often find travel deals that are only available if you book directly through the airline.
Save on Lodging in Hawaii
– Look into vacation rentals and home swap networks. Renting a condo or beach cottage for a week is nearly always cheaper than booking a week in a hotel room, and it opens the door to other ways of saving, like buying your own groceries and preparing meals in your own kitchen.
– Take advantage of loyalty and reward programs. If you travel frequently and always stay with the same chains, you’ll often qualify for discounted room rates, free nights and other perks.
– Book lodgings off the beaten path. A cottage on the beach might be delightful, but you’ll nearly always get cheaper prices if you look for rooms that are a little further afield.
Save on Entertainment and Meals
– Check with your hotel for any discounts they offer on local tours, restaurants and nearby enterainment and recreation. Many hotels have discount coupons and deals that can get you lower prices for admission, free admissions with paid admission, or free drinks and desserts with your meal. You’ll often find packets of discount offers in your room or at the front desk.
– Book a room with a kitchen suite to save money on meals. Shop for groceries where the locals do and prepare your own meals.
Save On Everything
All-inclusive resorts often look more expensive on the surface, but they can be huge money savers when you start totaling everything up. Your one-price-for-all will include your lodgings, most of your meals and access to beaches and activities.
Grab any discount you can. Many organizations and associations offer special discounts to members. Check with AAA, AARP or any professional organizations to see if you can save money on your trip to Hawaii by booking through them.
For more tips on how to do Hawaii on a budget, look for our savings tips for families, Hawaiian honeymoons and general travel tips.