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If you’re planning on travelling to Hawaii, you’re probably wondering how much you need to budget for your trip. While your travel costs will depend on your travel style, generally speaking Hawaii is best for travellers with some spending money.
Accommodation costs are generally on the high side and food and drinks are relatively expensive. Many of Hawaii’s best attractions are rather expensive to visit and, while some activities could set you back a fair amount, there’s plenty to do at lower price points too.
A reasonable budget for two for a week in Hawaii is around $3,273.
The above cost is based on staying in good, mid-range accommodation and having a few meals out per week, while preparing some yourself. It makes allowances for a couple of sightseeing activities, but doesn’t take into account expensive activities like adventure sports or private tours.
Generally speaking, the longer you travel, the cheaper it costs per day, while fly-in, fly-out trips can be more expensive.
You can expect to spend between $200-$300 a night, per couple, on accommodation in Hawaii. This will get you a private room with your own bathroom in a 3-4-star hotel or apartment rental.See latest hotel deals in Hawaii
Hostels are, of course, cheaper, but a private room with a shared bathroom will still cost around $85 per night. A bed in a dorm room also averages around $35 per night, per person, although there are definitely cheaper options out there.See the highest rated hostels in Hawaii
Accommodation costs in Hawaii do vary depending which island you are visiting. Maui tends to be the most expensive island to visit in Hawaii, although it's also home to many luxury resorts, followed closely by Kauai. Staying on the Big Island or Oahu, on the other hand, is much cheaper.
Budget to spend around $725 for two for a week in Hawaii. This assumes you’re cooking some of the time and drinking some alcohol.
If you enjoy eating out, you can expect to pay around $84 for a nice dinner for two, including an alcoholic drink. A meal at a pub is likely to be around $58 for two, with cheaper meals available (especially for lunch) for around $17 each.
Assuming that you’ll be eating out some of the time, budget at least $80 a week for groceries. If you enjoy a few drinks, you’ll need to increase this amount – beer costs around $3.65 for a 500ml bottle and good bottle of wine is around $15, from a shop, although there are cheaper options available. Milk typically costs around $1.65 for a two-litre bottle and you can expect to pay around $5 for a cappuccino from a local café.
If you're on a budget, consider heading to the grocery store rather than eating out. Going out for breakfast tends to be cheaper than lunch or dinner, and mall food courts or food trucks can be a good options for cheaper meals.
Getting around Hawaii is easiest with a bus. Transport costs fluctuate depending how much you travel, but budgeting around $140 for two per week is a good starting point. This should allow you to take a couple of longer bus trips. If you’re planning on doing any tours or using hop-on hop-off buses, you’ll need to up your budget a bit.
If you want more flexibility, you can, of course, hire a car. Driving on Hawaii is relatively straightforward and rideshare apps such as Uber are a more affordable alternative.
If you want to travel between islands, the best way is to fly. Flights are usually reasonably affordable, however, we haven't included internal flights in this budget. You can also take a ferry between Maui and Lana’i for about US$30 per person.
A lot of the best things to do in Hawaii are free. However, there definitely are some attractions that cost money – entry fees to a museum or an art gallery are usually around $40 - $180 per person. If you want to do organised day trips or join smaller tour groups to learn more about some of the sites, budget around $175 per activity per person.
Water sports and adventure activities can easily drive up the costs of your trip. Here are some prices for popular activities and day trips in Hawaii:
Hawaii is a beautiful destination to visit and although it’s not cheap, it’s definitely possible to travel there for less. Cooking your own meals, carefully selecting accommodation or limiting meals out will definitely help you to reduce your travel costs. Slow travel is another great way to help your budget to stretch further, while exploring a place in more depth.
Travelling through Hawaii is definitely possible on a budget – just pick your priorities and compromise on the rest or consider travelling in the off-season and avoiding school holidays to cut down on costs. And, if you’re on the luxury end of the scale or wanting to treat yourself, the sky’s the limit.
Last Updated 30 August 2022