There are a lot of good reasons to go to Hawaii: beaches, cuisine, year-round mild weather, festivals, wildlife, and much more. Vacations to Hawaii, however, can get expensive if you don’t plan ahead. Airfare, tours, daytrips, food, and lodging costs add up fast.
So how does one enjoy a tropical vacation without paying too much?
Go in the off-season and plan ahead.
Hawaii is most popular during the holidays. There are two off-seasons when Hawaii is the least populated by tourists: from the end of April until early June, and then again from September to mid-December.
When you plan your off-season trip, consider a resort or rental that comes with a kitchen. This will allow you to prepare food instead of eating out for every meal. Many rentals include units with multiple rooms, which can make a Hawaiian vacation a great trip to take with friends (and another great way to cut down costs).
It is possible to fill every moment with pre-planned daytrips, but that can be expensive and exhausting when you don’t take a break. Thankfully, there are numerous free activities to enjoy on most islands: snorkeling, whale watching, hiking, museums, and more. Even catching a sunset or sunrise can be a relaxing moment. Exploring the islands open up new opportunities in every town, so save some time to “get lost” and discover new things.
When you do go out to eat, seek out restaurants with specials. These are more prevalent in the off-season since there are fewer tourists available to establishments. Happy hours, daily specials, and lunch deals are just a few of the ways you can enjoy eating out without breaking the bank.
Lastly, if you want to take home a souvenir, try to combine this urge with your activity schedule. Tourist “traps” and mass-produced trinkets are easy to find, but daytrips can be made that will give you something to do and something to take home. Seek out swap meets, craft fairs, and trade events to help fully enjoy the Hawaiian culture while you’re there and when you’re home.