Dreaming of an End of Summer Vacation? 3 Tips for Planning a Hawaiian Vacation on the Cheap

snorkeling in Hawaii

We are headed into the last month of summer, but before you start gearing up for back to school season, or planning on what you will be doing after your weeks’ worth of vacation time is up, don’t forget that you have at least three more weeks of glorious summer sun to soak up! If you have wanted to plan a vacation before summer comes to an end, but have been hesitant due to time constraints or the finances you imagine come with a destination vacation, let me put an idea into your head: Hawaii, on a budget.

While you can’t barter to lower the price of admission to tourist attractions and historic sites, there are three ways in which you can save a great deal of money on your Hawaiian vacation: how you get there, where you stay, and what you eat.

  1. How You Get There

    Flight prices rise and fall depending on the popularity of the travel season. Summer is a popular travel season, but flight prices to Hawaii do not exactly skyrocket when compared to other times of the year when Hawaii gets a lot more tourist traffic. Airline tickets are easily going to be the most expensive area of your Hawaiian vacation, but deals are available, and it’s important to shop around for the best deals to cut the cost of your flight. Consider booking your flight during less convenient times of the day and week. Flying on a weekday may be less expensive than flying on a weekend, and you can also purchase “red eye” flights that travel during the night. If traveling during the day is important to you, book a flight with stops and layovers, which will make your trip longer, but you’re guaranteed to pay less money because of that extra time you will be traveling.

    Another great way to save money on flights is to find another way to fund them. Instead of charging it to your credit or debit card, look into programs you may be enrolled in with your credit card provider, such as frequent flier miles or point reward programs.

    There are numerous deals on flights floating around the internet, you just have to know where to look. There are a handful of very prominent travel websites that make it easy to search for and compare travel arrangements and amenities, but certain airlines are not included on those websites. To get a better look at how much money you can save on flights, search on specific airline websites.

  2. Where You Stay

    If you are an adventure-seeking surfer, Waikiki, often considered to be Maui’s little sister, has an indigenous surfing community. People come from all over the world to surf the waves on Waikiki, and many people live on the island purely for the sole purpose of surfing. One of the greatest benefits of vacationing in Waikiki is that, unlike other Hawaiian hot spots, Waikiki beaches are more secluded and private than other beaches on the island.

    Most of the hotels in Waikiki are located beach-side, and finding a suitable hotel for a fair price is not a challenge considering the wide selection of hotels that sit along the coast. In fact, it is even possible to stay in this particular area of Hawaii for 5 nights without spending more than about $350. However, it is possible to find a place to stay for even the tightest budget. For instance, there are a few hostels located in downtown Waikiki that usually cost just $25 a night. Of course, there is a tradeoff. While a hotel gives you and your travel partner privacy for the duration of your trip and a comfortable place to wind down after spending the entire day outside traveling around the island, a hostel is wide open, furnished with bunk beds, and may have more than one family staying in each room. If you decide to stay in a hostel, you will give up any privacy you were hoping for, but you will end up saving a considerable amount of money that you can put towards other vacation activities, like shopping and eating. And speaking of eating…

  3. What You Eat

    Food can be expensive when vacationing in Hawaii, and there are many restaurants located in tourist locations that make it easy to drastically drain your finances in no time. While it may be nice to splurge on a romantic dinner for two at one of the many luxury restaurants in Hawaii on one of the nights of your vacation, if you’re looking to save money, seek out small vendors and basic restaurants. If you are staying in or around Waikiki, travel down the strip and you will also find a few common fast food restaurants that you can grab a quick meal at before heading to one of the many beaches for fun, swimming, surfing, and soaking in the sun.

When traveling in Hawaii, it’s important to remember that the cost of living is much higher than what we are accustomed to here in the United States. Because of this, your jaw just may drop when you hear what you owe for a large smoothie, the admission into a tourist attraction, or a hamburger at a fast food joint. However, the money-saving tips above are sure to save you valuable dollars, and when you look back on your Hawaiian vacation, the only thing you’ll be thinking about are the great memories you made while on the island, and how it was made possible because of the practical financial tips you took with you along the way.

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Aqua Hotels and Resorts. Incentive was provided to me, and opinions are my own.

Photo by *michael sweet*/Flickr

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