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Hawaii Vacations on a Budget

Colorful fast food stand in Hawaii

Traveling cost to Hawaii may be higher than traveling to other places in the US or to a number of other international locations. However, visitors to the Aloha State can take their travel dollar a little further by considering some cost cutting strategies. It is no fun returning from a relaxing vacation and be saddled with the stress of paying a big credit card balance. Here are some things you can do to have a perfectly affordable Hawaiian vacation and still have a lot of fun.

Travel During the Off-Season: If you are not traveling for a special event or can be flexible with your travel plans, then consider traveling to Hawaii in the off-peak seasons. Typically, these are the periods after the New Year’s holiday and before spring break and after Labor Day and before Thanksgiving.  Not only will this reduce the cost of what you have to pay for airfare and accommodations, but you will generally have less crowded conditions to contend with.

Take Advantage of the Free or Low-cost Activities: Hawaii is replete with free or low-cost activities ranging from picturesque beaches and hiking trails, to national parks, monuments, and memorials. Whether you are interested in nature, history, art or social attractions, there are many options to select from. Plus, if you already have a National Park Service annual pass, your admission to these areas is already covered.  Some of these include:  Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, Haleakala National Park, World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument (which includes the Arizona memorial) and Pu`uhonua O Hōnaunau National Historical Park.

Look for Coupon Discounts: Taking advantage of free activities is great, but there will surely be things that you or your travel companions will want to do which have at least some cost. To help defray such expenses, you can keep a lookout for brochures which often have coupons or package discounts for a variety of activities. Such brochures can be found most anywhere, at your hotel, rental car companies or at many places where tourists congregate.  You can even purchase Hawaii discount coupon books which offer discounted prices to many activities and attractions.

Consider Condominiums or Vacation Rentals: By staying at a condominium or by renting a vacation property, you can save money by cooking your own meals. You can even save more by preparing take out lunches or dinners in your condominium or vacation property, sparing you the expense of eating out when you’re touring the islands.  Plus, you can probably comfortably accommodate your entire family by staying at a condo or vacation property which could save you the expense of staying at a larger hotel room or by having to rent another hotel room.  Many of these places also have places where you can do your own laundry at fairly reasonable rates, sparing you the effort of carrying more luggage and the costs of additional airline baggage fees.

Purchase Ahead of Time, Take Advantage of Package Discounts:  Generally speaking, the further out you book, the more likely you will be able to save on airfare, hotels and rental cars.  Booking in advance give you the opportunity to monitor how fares, rooms and cars are being priced.  And by doing so, you can better make the determination on when you want to book your vacation packages.  Often, travel suppliers, such as hoteliers and rental car companies give online travel agencies discounts when such inventories are sold in packages.  Such savings, in turn, are passed on to customers such as yourself.  So take advantage of this by comparing the overall cost of Hawaii vacation packages to how comparable components would be priced individually.

Pack Light: Not only will this make traveling easier and more convenient, by taking only one carry-on bag person can save you a lot of money.  Many airlines charge at least $25 per checked in bag and more if you have more than one bag per person and that is for only one leg of your trip and for each person.  This can add up to some big bucks if you’re traveling in a large family group.


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