Compared to other tropical destinations we have traveled to and the mainland, Hawaii in general is more expensive, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. Here are a couple tips to save money and what to do with the money you saved.
- Hawaii offers hotels, hostels, B&Bs, self-catering apartments and even camping grounds. We chose to stay in a hotel in Waikiki so we spent a little more. Next time, I would rent an apartment/house on the North Shore and self-cater. Mr. GoodLife stayed in 4-star hotel for most of his stay for work and tried an apartment for the last week. It was only 2 blocks further from the beach than our hotel, but half the price. Unfortunately, by the time we realized the savings, we had already missed the deadline to cancel the hotel for a full refund.
- Don’t get sucked in into eating in the hotel restaurant. We stayed in a large hotel that had a huge aquarium in the dining room, but they charged around $50 per person for the buffet. We were not in Hawaii to binge eat, so we walked a couple blocks away from the main street and found delectable food for 1/5 the price. For more options, look for hidden food courts on the main drag, where you can find cheaper food.
- Due to the high immigration of farm laborers to the islands decades ago from Europe and Asia, Hawaiian cuisine is simple and carb-loaded, usually consisting of 2 scoops of white rice, a scoop of mac/potato salad and choice of meat. If you are looking for exotic flavors, try the spam sushi, that is right, I said Spam!
- Food trucks and garlic shrimp are common in Hawaii and food network stars frequently eat at their favorites when visiting. Stop by the side of the road if you see the locals lining up and you can find some of the best food around.
So with all the money you saved on accommodations and food, you can afford to do fun stuff, like visit a different island and dive with Mantas.
Next, we will cover the Big Island.