How to Plan a Hawaiian Vacation on a Budget

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Crystal clear waters, clean white sand, hula skirts, and gentle ocean breezes are all images the word “Hawaii” conjures up. You probably also immediately think of the strain a tropical vacation would put on your budget. But everyone should get to experience paradise at least once. And with a few helpful tips, you might find it’s much cheaper than you think.

Plan your activities in advance

You might think it’s better to look for things to do once you get there. After all, spontaneity can be a lot of fun. But if you start booking your activities as far in advance as possible, you might find you can save a little money. For example, if you would like to take surf lessons in Waikiki, it’s a good idea to call and book ahead and check for any group or seasonal discounts they might offer.

Skip the resorts

You can stay in plenty of resort hotels and luxurious accommodations in Hawaii, but these can cost you a small fortune if you’re not careful. Why not book a stay on Airbnb instead? You can usually find a much cheaper place to stay. And what a great way to explore the real culture of the island. You might even be surprised to find some of the same luxurious accommodations you’d find in a hotel. If you’d still rather stay in a hotel than someone’s home, however, check out the prices of rooms further inland. The ones on the beach tend to be the most expensive.

Shop online

Nothing says tropical attire like a wispy white dress and classic leather sandals. But if you save your shopping until the last minute, you’re likely to spend your food budget on your threads. Keep an eye out for wardrobe items you’ll need as far in advance as you can. Check for sales at your local and online boutiques at least once a week. You’re sure to find everything at a discount if you’re willing to wait.

Travel with friends

Traveling with your friends will not only make your trip more fun; it could also help you save some serious cash. You can all split the bill for an Airbnb, making your stay much more cost-effective. You can all chip in for food for a few meals, making dining in cheaper and more entertaining. And you may even be able to score some pretty great group discounts on some things you all want to do. It’s also a good way to take some of the stress out of planning because you can divide up some of the travel tasks.

Check out the freebies

Believe it or not, there actually are quite a few cheap or free things to do in Hawaii. For example, you can enjoy free music events in O’ahu almost every weekend. Or you can visit the US Army Museum of Hawaii and take in a hula show in Waikiki. Hoomaluhia Botanical Garden in O’ahu is a great place to visit, with its spectacular garden, fishing program, and small art gallery. Take a picnic lunch and make a day of it. And don’t forget to take advantage of the beautiful scenery on any of the islands, including the beaches, gardens and waterfalls that are usually free to view. Also, make use of the public transportation that’s available on several of the islands for a very reasonable price.

Traveling is a great way to bond with family and friends, not to mention it does wonders for your mental health. Don’t put off that big trip because of budget concerns. Figure out a way to make it happen without breaking the bank and enjoy a trip to paradise soon!

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