Plan a Hawaii Vacation on a Budget

Hawaii is a phenomenal place to visit. It offers gorgeous scenery, a wide range of outdoor activities, and a rich culture. Unfortunately, the steep costs of a Hawaiian vacation tend to make the islands seem inaccessible to travelers on a budget.

Along with airfare, accommodations are a major cost. Even outside of luxury resorts, it’s common to see hotel rooms offered at hundreds of dollars a night. Fortunately, the islands also have a variety of lodgings that are more affordable. The following are five examples.

Arnott’s Lodge

Arnott’s Lodge is located in Hilo, a city on the eastern coast of Hawaii’s Big Island. It provides a variety of accommodations, including the following:

  • Suites that come with kitchenettes and are priced at $110 a night.
  • Dormitory rooms that range from $35 to $65 a night.
  • Campgrounds at $16 a night for people who bring their own tent. Guests who are camping have access to outdoor showers and the lodge’s lounge areas, laundry facilities, and free Wi-Fi.

At an additional cost, the lodge offers professional tours to volcanoes, lava fields, and other wondrous sites on the island. There’s also much to enjoy in and around Hilo on your own. The highlights include:

  • Akaka Falls State Park, which has a waterfall exceeding 400 feet in height.
  • Carlsmith Beach Park, where you can swim in calm waters sheltered by a reef and spot sea turtles while snorkeling.
  • The Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden, which contains a rainforest, and Liliuokalani Park and Gardens, which is Japanese in style.
  • A variety of affordable dining options, including Hilo’s food trucks and the Hilo Farmers’ Market.

Garden Island Inn

The Garden Island Inn is a small, charming hotel in Lihue, a town on the southeast shore of Kauai. The 21 rooms and suites come with kitchenettes, and some of them have private balconies. The inn also offers various amenities for free, including parking, Wi-Fi, Kona coffee, snacks, and the use of beach towels and gear.

Most of the rooms fall within the range of $160 to $190 per night. Depending on the season and the availability of special deals, you can wind up with lower rates.

The hotel’s location is advantageous as well.

  • It’s close to Kalapaki Beach.
  • It’s a short drive from a number of popular Kauai attractions, such as Wailua Falls and Poipu Beach Park.
  • There are numerous local shopping and dining options, including the weekly Kauai Community Market and the historic Kilohana Estate, a former plantation that’s currently home to the Koloa Rum Company and a famous luau.

Ilima Hotel

It’s difficult to find affordable lodgings in Waikiki, the top neighborhood for tourists staying in Honolulu. With accommodations ranging from studios to a three-bedroom penthouse, Ilima Hotel offers some budget-friendly choices.

Depending on the season, its lowest rates can range from $110 to $140 a night for a spacious studio. Some of its other accommodations generally cost less than $200 a night.

The accommodations come with a full kitchen and private balcony, and guests receive free parking. The hotel also has an exercise room and a heated pool.

The following are some of the main attractions in the area:

  • Kuhio Beach Park, Kapiolani Regional Park, and Diamond Head, an inactive volcano that gives hikers amazing views.
  • The Honolulu Zoo and the Waikiki Aquarium.
  • Several shopping centers, including the Waikiki Beach Walk, the International Market Place, and the Royal Hawaiian Center.

My Hawaii Hostel

This highly rated hostel is located in Kailua-Kona, which is on the western coast of the Big Island. It offers nightly rates of $40 for a shared dormitory and $80 for a private room.

My Hawaii Hostel has a spacious and well-equipped communal kitchen. One of the stops for the Kona Trolley is right outside the hostel, giving you an affordable way to travel in the area if you don’t want to walk or bike.

Some of the most beautiful and lively places on the Big Island are nearby, including:

  • Kahalu’u Beach Park, which is recommended for swimming and snorkeling.
  • Magic Sands Beach Park, Honl’s Beach, and other exhilarating and challenging surf spots.
  • Kaloko-Honokōhau National Historical Park, which has a beach with lava rock, remnants of an ancient settlement, and opportunities for spotting sea turtles, seals, and other wildlife.
  • Coconut Grove Marketplace, Ali’i Gardens Marketplace, and the weekly Ho’oulu Community Farmers Market and Artisan Fair. Among the many local shops, Kona Bay Books and the Kailua Candy Company are favorites.

Northshore Hostel Maui

Located in Wailuku, a town in the northwest part of Maui, Northshore Hostel Maui has received high ratings for its amenities and affordability. You can enjoy private rooms for $80 to $90 a night or a shared dormitory for $34 a night.

Amenities include a free airport shuttle and additional free transportation to Kanaha Beach and Iao Valley. The hostel also offers on-site laundry facilities and free parking.

  • Wailuku and nearby Kahului are home to lovely art galleries and a variety of affordable restaurants.
  • The Maui Ocean Center, Mendes Ranch, and the West Maui Forest Reserve are all located within several miles of the hostel.
  • Haleakalā National Park is roughly an hour away by car.
  • If you aren’t relying on a car, know that public buses are available from Wailuku to Lahaina, a gorgeous town with historic sites. From Lahaina, you can catch a bus to the world-famous Kaanapali Beach.

Search for Bargains

Hawaiian hotels and resorts regularly offer special deals and discount packages. You’re more likely to find these at slower times of the year, such as October and November. Through sites like Expedia, you may also be able to book an ordinarily expensive hotel room at a reduced price. Sticking to a budget on a Hawaiian vacation may be challenging, but it’s definitely possible.

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