Budgeting for Your Trip to Hawaii

By Hawaii.com Team

Although the following figures are average estimates on what you might spend on necessities and fun in Hawaii, they may help you when planning your vacation budget:

  • Breakfast and lunch: $8 to $16 per person
  • Dinner: $14 to $25 per person
  • Gourmet meal: $25 to $55 per person
  • Beer, mixed drinks or specialty drinks: $4 to $9 (each drink)
  • Gasoline: $4.25 to $4.85 per gallon – and likely more on certain Islands
  • Taxi: average $3 base charge, plus 45 cents per 1/8 mile
  • Lu’au: $65 to $110 (adult); children can generally attend for $40 or less
  • Movie admission: $9 adults; $6 seniors and children; $5.50 matinees
  • Tee times, snorkeling, horseback riding, helicopter tours and more: See our Activities Guide for current pricing
  • Concerts, theater, shows: See our Events & Entertainment Guide
  • Souvenirs: Expect to spend between $5 and $35 per person you’re buying for (a good-quality t-shirt can cost up to $35).
  • Interisland airfare: round-trip, $90 to $165 depending on current promotions. book an interisland flight
  • Interisland ferry:

Stretching Your Vacation Dollar

If you’re working with a limited vacation budget, consider the following:

  • Get discounts on activities, attractions, shopping and more in Hawaii.com’s Specials/Coupons section
  • Try to limit restaurant dining to once a day. Chances are you’ll be on the go most of the time, so carry snacks and sandwiches when you’re out and about.
  • To further stretch your budget, dine on what locals call “plate lunch”: a serving of meat or fish with a scoop of rice and a helping of tossed green or macaroni salad. Most plate lunches cost less than $8. Filling and economical!
  • Avoid making phone calls from your hotel room or condominium suite. Many establishments charge up to $1.50 per call just to connect to a phone line.
  • Stay in a condominium or hotel suite with a kitchenette. Preparing some of your own meals is a primary way to save money.
  • If you’re staying on an island with decent public transportation or shuttles to nearby attractions, consider not renting a car. Car rental will run between $250 and $400/week.
  • Shop for souvenirs at swap meets and other bargain markets, where you can get cut-rate deals. Always negotiate with the vendor; they’ll sometimes accept a lower price.
  • If you plan to experience a bit of Polynesian culture, shop for the best lu’au. Choose a venue and entertainment/food package that fits your budget.
  • If you can, bring your own sports equipment. Check with your airline on how to transport large items such as golf clubs.
  • Hawaii is truly a Mecca of land, water and sea activity, but be sure to shop carefully for the best deals on outdoor adventures.
  • Hawaii’s drinking water is tasty and safe, so there’s no need to purchase bottled water during your stay.
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