While traveling to Hawaii can seem like an expensive endeavor, there are many ways to bring the cost of a vacation significantly down. Traveling as a family has its perks; there are often package deals available for boat tours, meals, and lessons, which also may offer both senior citizen and student discounts. Here is just a sample of our favorite family-friendly activities to help you plan an affordable Hawaiian vacation.
Discuss your budget with the family: Before you head to Hawaii, sit down together and discuss any budgetary limitations for the trip with your family, whatever they may be. For example, maybe each person will get to choose one activity that they want to do, which the parents will pay for. Maybe money is tight and just getting to Hawaii is a serious feat. Good news if this is you as there are many free things to do on Oahu. Perhaps this is the big trip you have been saving for, but you still do not want to bleed your savings by eating out at every meal. Explain all your expectations to everyone going on the trip before you depart. Knowing about the plans ahead of will save some awkward public conversations and will help everyone focus on what they can do instead of what they cannot.
Choose the best accommodations for families: Hotels and resorts often provide beautiful suites for families to share, many of which come with a kitchen. Whether you plan to stay at a resort, a beach bungalow or a mountain-side condo, one of the wisest things you can do is choose a place with a basic refrigerator, oven, stove and sink. This will give you some options when it comes to meal planning, and may even afford you extra space for storage. Condos and bungalows usually also have couch-beds, pull-out mattresses or bunkbeds that allow more people to sleep comfortably without having to rent any extra rooms. Generally speaking, the larger the group, the better deal those rental homes and condos become.
Plan a daily itinerary: If there are open spaces in your schedule, consider writing a list of exciting can-do options, such as: hiking in forested areas, swimming in coves full of reef fish, visiting famous beaches, packing a picnic for a sunset beach dinner or exploring lava rock formations or historical sites. These outdoor choices can be fun activities to tick off your to-do list whenever creativity is waning. There are also plenty of free things to do in Hawaii, such as self-guided tours, entertainment, live music, shows, festivals and events in public places.
Save on the cost of food: If you are worried about eating out, there are other options for visitors in Hawaii. Be aware that while groceries in Hawaii can be much more expensive that those sold on the mainland, it is still generally less expensive than buying food at restaurants. One option is to go to the farmer’s market with your family. Here, there is an abundance of tropical fruits and home-made products to sample and groceries to stock up on. If your accommodations feature a kitchen, you will be able to get all your food ahead of time, plan out meals and cook at home most of your trip. You can make cooking an event and have everyone split up into teams that cook together on different nights during your vacation. To give it a genuine Hawaiian flare, have them incorporate some native product, plant or ingredient into the meal by looking up recipes online. If you want to eat out and try some of the best authentic Hawaiian foods, you should talk to locals to find out where they recommend eating in your area.
Limit days for spending and find inexpensive things to do during rest of the time: The Hawaiian Islands are an ideal place to be if the goal is to spend a limited amount of money, simply because the Aloha State offers ample opportunities for free or low-cost entertainment, activities and relaxation. But if you are to going to spend some money, limit the days you splurge on activities like going to a luau, a sunset cruise or taking surfing lessons. Then for the rest of the time, make your meals at your condo, go on hikes, play on the beach, do family games or find other inexpensive ways to enjoy your time together. Activities that are available for families vacationing in Hawaii include: historical learning centers, surf spots for beginners, walking tours, art galleries, state parks, museums, aquariums, and colorful beaches. Additionally, many of Hawaii’s resorts organize daily events, crafts classes and playtime for children.
For more tips on how to save money on your trip to Hawaii, our agents at Panda Travel ® are here to help you plan the holiday of a lifetime.