Previous posts I have always listed as something like “Las Vegas on the Cheap.” Unfortunately, there is nothing cheap on the islands of Hawaii. So the biggest thing is reducing the costs. This article covers some of our favorite cheap Hawaii vacation tips.
1. Flights for your Cheap Hawaii Vacation
When Joni, Cheyenne and I flew out to Hawaii, we did this on miles. Luckily for us, we found an excellent redemption deal on United Miles for 45,000 miles each round trip for a non-stop flight from Chicago. This still took a long time to save up for, but this also gave us time to plan out our trip.
Southwest Airlines is currently looking at having flights for Hawaii. Rumors are that they will be available within the next year and that will most likely cause more significant competition meaning more affordable flight costs. These new flight option will be great for anyone trying to plan a cheap Hawaii vacation.
2. Plan for Parking Concerns
Something we learned while we were out there is that the cost of driving in Hawaii is unreal. We did get a rental car deal going through Enterprise with our work account which was better than anything else I could find. The rental cost isn’t the issue; the cost killer is the parking.
With the island being so tight for space, parking costs are at a premium. Most hotels charge for parking which will add another $40 a day to most hotel stays. Vacations are also meant to be relaxing. The bumper to bumper traffic that is so bad, that even the interstates have speed limits of 45 MPH makes it a pain to get from point A to point B.
We ended up returning our car several days early because of this and the upcoming hurricane. We did not want to deal with any weather damage claims and saved ourselves the extra parking fees as an added bonus. The best benefit of the car was those off the path restaurants (Like
3. Best deals for Hotels in Hawaii
With Hawaii being so famous, you have many choices when it comes to booking your hotel stays. Options ranging through Marriott, Hyatt, and Hilton are plentiful. Almost every major hotel chain has a hotel and many let you use points you have accumulated.
We ended up staying at a boutique hotel that is part of the Marriott group right of Waikiki Beach. Not only is this a great tourist destination it puts a lot of things within walking distance.
4. Best Tourist Destinations
Luckily Joni did the research on the site seeing and the best deals. If you don’t plan ahead and just show up at the events day by day, you will find the costs to be huge, or not even able to get access as entrances at certain items are limited.
The “Go Ohau Card” is part of the “Go City Cards.” These cards allow you to visit several tourist stops throughout several days depending on the options you purchase. Usually, these are a good deal if you plan to visit a number of the locations the cards offer anyway.
Our Go Oahu card gave us a choice of using a premium feature such as swimming with dolphins. We were able to then purchase these cards through a shopping portal through Groupon to get even more travel points instead of getting them through their website alone. The tours are highly recommended, especially the circle tour at the beginning of the trip.
The tours gave us a chance to see some of the tourist places around the island and even if we didn’t stop during the tour we were able to take our car and visit the next day. The things we did were:
- Pearl Harbor
- Oahu Hidden Gems and Snorkeling with Turtles
- Makani Catamaran Sail
- All of Oahu in one day Tour
- Iolani Palace
- Bishop Museum
5. Be Patient
This trip took almost two years for me to plan out and ten years of Joni asking for us to go to Hawaii. The biggest and probably most important tip is to be patient with your planning. Maximize your points and take advantage of points deals to get bonuses and extra savings. If you are looking for a cheap Hawaii Vacation, you will probably need to plan it for several months.