Hawaii on a Budget Travel Tips

Are you looking to visit Hawaii on a budget? Check out these tips and recommendations to visit Oahu, Hawaii! #hawaii #traveltips #budgettravel #oahu #waikikiMany people think of Hawaii as a dream vacation, but you can go there without going broke. Visit Hawaii on a budget with these simple tips and suggestions.

I have only been to Oahu, so that is what this post will be about. I have been once with my husband and again with my husband and kids.


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Hawaii on a Budget — Flights

The biggest expense (depending on where you live) is going to be the flights.

You will have to do your homework and check out a lot of flights in order to get the best deals.

I suggest looking at different airports you can fly from. The closest one to your house might not have the cheapest flights.

Consider all the different airlines.

Read our post about planning your vacation on a budget for more tips on finding good flights and other budget-friendly tips.


Hawaii on a Budget — Housing

Once you have figured out the best time of year for you to go and the best flight prices, then you can start looking at where to stay.

We went once in February and once in March. The first time I went, I stayed in Waikiki at a hotel right on the ocean.

The second time most hotels (in my price range) could not accommodate more than four people (we had 5), so we stayed in a house on Ewa Beach.

There is good and bad in both types of housing.

The hotel was at a popular beach. They had torch lightings, hula lessons, surfing lessons, movies on the beach, and lots and lots of shops. The hotel itself was okay but nothing special.

When we stayed in a house, it was an upper story of a duplex that was ocean front on Ewa Beach (which is on the west side of Oahu). The house was nice with three bedrooms, a living room, and a kitchen. It was nicer and a lot more room than the hotel. The bad part was that there wasn’t much close to where we were. We had to drive to get anywhere. Ewa Beach is only a 20 minute drive to Honolulu/Waikiki in theory. Because of the traffic, it actually takes 1.5-2 hours to get there.

I would probably never choose to stay in that area again. As for costs, the house wasn’t much more than the hotel.

My advice would be to check out both houses and hotels to see what’s available. If you need more space for your family, you might have to rent a house. Remember that there is a lot of traffic on the highway when you are considering the driving time to the places you want to visit.


Hawaii on a Budget — Things to Do

There are lots of things to do on the island of Oahu that are free or don’t cost a lot of money. Here are some of those fun places you can visit:


#1 Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve

Hanauma Bay

This is a great place for snorkeling and for swimming.

There is a park entrance fee of $7.50 per person over 12 years old. Parking is $1.00.

As a family, only my husband and one child snorkeled. There is an added cost to rent snorkeling equipment if you don’t have your own.

I just stayed in the water, which has a huge coral reef in it, and looked at all the fish in it with my other children. We saw a lot of different kinds of fish and the water is shallow for quite some distance.


#2 Lyon Arboretum

The Lyon Arboretum is a botanical garden nestled in a tropical rain forest. There are 7 miles of hiking trails that lead back to a waterfall.

It starts at 450 feet and climbs to 1850 feet above sea level. There are over 5000 tropical and sub-tropical plants to be seen.

This was one of my favorite places in Hawaii.

It is free to the public with a suggested donation of $5.00.

>>see how to get FREE admission and discounts at botanical gardens


#3 USS Arizona Memorial at Pearl Harbor

Pearl Harbor

This memorial is free to visit.

You will want to get there early to get tickets since they only give out so many tickets a day.

At the present time, they are doing repairs of the actual memorial until March 2019. Until it is repaired, anyone visiting will be given a 30-minute narrated tour of Battleship Row and the area around the the USS memorial. Tickets are still required.


#4 North Shore Beaches

North Shore Hawaii

If you are visiting Oahu during winter months, be sure to visit the beaches at the North Shore.

You will see huge waves at this time of year and maybe even catch a surfing competition.

There are also shops and lots of shaved ice in the laid back area around the beaches.


#5 Aloha Stadium Swap Meet & Market Place

Open three days a week, this is one of the best places to buy souvenirs. It has very affordable clothing, jewelry, hand-crafted items, plus much more!

Check out our posts about cheap souvenirs to see some fun, affordable mementos you can bring back from your vacation:

>>Five Cheap Souvenirs to Collect

>>7 More Souvenir Ideas When You’re On a Budget


#6 Waikiki Torch Lighting and Hula Show

Every Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday if the weather is nice there is a free hula show and torch lighting ceremony.

I never got to see the hula show, but I did witness the torch lighting multiple times. It is really cool!


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I’m sure there are many other things to do that I have missed because there is so much to do in Hawaii.

We did use our zoo pass while there and got into the zoo for free.

We spent a lot of time just driving around the island to look at things we had never seen. It was so unusual to see mountains directly across from the ocean. The scenery is so beautiful.

Even though Hawaii may be more expensive than a normal vacation, it can be done on a budget. You just might have to spend some time to find cheaper lodging and airfare. You’ll be glad you went.


What are your favorite things to do in Hawaii on a budget?

Comment down below your experiences visiting Hawaii.


Related posts:

Packing Tips for Vacation

Visit Washington D.C. on a Budget

Visit Battleship North Carolina in Wilmington, North Carolina

Are you looking to visit Hawaii on a budget? Check out these tips and recommendations to visit Oahu, Hawaii! #hawaii #traveltips #budgettravel #oahu #waikiki
Are you looking to visit Hawaii on a budget? Check out these tips and recommendations to visit Oahu, Hawaii! #hawaii #traveltips #budgettravel #oahu #waikiki
Are you looking to visit Hawaii on a budget? Check out these tips and recommendations to visit Oahu, Hawaii! #hawaii #traveltips #budgettravel #oahu #waikiki
Are you looking to visit Hawaii on a budget? Check out these tips and recommendations to visit Oahu, Hawaii! #hawaii #traveltips #budgettravel #oahu #waikiki

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