Visiting Hawaii on a Budget

a tent with a beach and a couple of people in it

Hawaii is a tropical paradise and a popular vacation destination for couples and families alike. There’s something for everyone, and exciting activities at different price points — depending on the season. There are lesser-known, even free island activities. On a scale of free to luxury, here are some suggestions for your next vacation.

Free adventures

One of Hawaii’s best assets is also free — that is the scenery. From the beautiful beaches to the impressive volcanoes and waterfall hikes, you can enjoy some of the most beautiful views and scenery you can imagine.   

Additionally, the Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort has free fireworks. You can also find free concerts and self-guided tours. Or if you prefer a guide, the Chinese Chamber of Commerce Walking Tour of Chinatown is free.

There’s also Honolulu Polo Club and the Hawaii State Art Museum, both of which are free. And although the shopping isn’t free, The International Marketplace in Waikiki has unique to itself window shopping. There is also food. After climbing the Aloha Tower and visiting Pearl Harbor, which is also free, you get hungry.

Another idea is to plan a visit around festivals and parades. There are over 100 festivals and events every year. These events are great opportunities to immerse yourself in the Hawaiian culture, snap some special pictures, and collect unique souvenirs. 

Finding a deal

Finding a great deal can be tricky in Hawaii. One good trick for finding deals is to go there during the low season, in the spring and fall months. With fewer people there you’ll be able to find more affordable deals, as well as avoid the crowds and extra tourists. 

Affordable activities include ukulele and hula lessons at the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center. You can also get a massage and learn how to make leis. The Iolani Palace, the only royal palace on American soil, is not to be missed and offers classes.

A Maui whale watch should also be on your list. there’s no dinner but you get to see a whale save the Krabby Patty secret formula, for at least a day. 

That’s not bad

Of course, you need to check out the best Maui luaus. You can also experience shows, ocean, land, and air activities at your fingertips for discounted rates. Some popular choices include: 

  • Calypso Maui — Molokini and Turtle Town Snorkel
  • Aloha Hawaii Tours — Deluxe Road to Hana Tour
  • Royal Lahaina Luau
  • Air Maui Helicopters — Hana and Haleakala
  • Calypso Maui — Maalaea Sunset Dinner Cruise
  • Maui Off-Road Adventures
  • Quicksilver — Sunset Dinner Cruise
  • Quicksilver — Lanai Snorkeling Tour and Dolphin Encounters
  • West Maui Parasail

Treating yourself in Hawaii

If you’re looking to splurge on a trip to Hawaii, you don’t have to look far. Five-star accommodations will run you at least $800 a night, and there are several fine dining experiences to indulge in. One such option is Alan Wong’s owned by Chef Alan Wong. The restaurant is a favorite of former president Barack Obama, and menu prices start at $35 for an entree. 

If you’re looking for a high-end adventure experience, consider renting a helicopter to experience the incredible island views, or charter a boat to go deep-sea fishing. Both will likely cost you more than $7,000. 

If you’re more of a fan of water sports, there are plenty of options including surfing lessons and paddleboarding. Hawaii is known for its many beaches with world class surfing. Others looking for a leisurely afternoon might spend their time golfing. 

In addition to high-end activities, there is luxury shopping access at the Royal Hawaiian Shopping Center.

And those are just a few ways to do Hawaii in style, but whatever your style is, there’s a Hawaiian experience for you.