⚠️ AUG 27, 2023 – IMPORTANT UPDATE ON THE FIRES IN MAUI!
Much of the island of Maui has been tragically impacted by recent fires, with the region known as West Maui being most affected and Historic Lahaina Town having been all but destroyed.
All fires are contained (or nearly so) at this point, including the most recent wildfire in Ka’anapali on Aug 26. Travel is safe and encouraged, outside of the West Maui region!
The Hawaii Tourism Authority message to tourists is to maintain travel plans to visit the island and to help support the local economy, but to be mindful and respectful of the hardships the locals are enduring, and to avoid the West Maui region.
You can find out more about the Hawaii fires and find the most current updates here: HAWAII TOURISM AUTHORITY.
Before you even begin planning your Hawaii vacation, it is important to consider how much a trip to Hawaii costs.
Of course, this answer will differ from person to person and group to group. A couple of honeymooners looking for luxury will need a very different budget from a solo backpacker prepared for the van life or hostels!
In this guide, you will learn how to properly budget and estimate the price of your Hawaii vacation.
We will also discuss the best way to travel to Hawaii on a budget, including how to find cheap airfare, limit your accommodation costs, and bargain dining options.
Afterward, you may want to read our PLANNING A TRIP TO HAWAII COMPLETE GUIDE to find a step-by-step checklist with everything from flights to itineraries to packing.
*All prices are accurate as of August 2023.
Disclosure: In order to keep providing you with free content, this post likely contains affiliate links. If you make a booking or purchase through one of these links we earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. So a HUGE thank you to you if you click one of these links 🙂
🏝 Hawaii Vacation Cost Overview
When determining the cost of your trip to Hawaii, there are five key items to budget for.
The 5 most important budget items to determine your Hawaii vacation cost, in order of average price, are:
- Flights / Airfare
- Tours & Activities
- Car Rental / Transportation
There are several additional factors to consider that will affect the cost and final price of a trip to Hawaii. The most notable to account for are:
- Duration of stay
- Size of group
- Time of year (peak vs non-peak)
- Trip type (packaged vs self-guided)
- Flexibility of dates
💰 Average Trip to Hawaii Cost
The average cost of a 7-day trip to Hawaii in 2023 is about $4000.
This total average cost breaks down as follows:
- Average Accommodation Costs: $275/ night (~$2000)
- Average Roundtrip Airfare: $1000
- Food and Drink: $80/ day (~$550)
- Tours & Activities: $150/ tour ($300 for 2)
- Car Rental: $35/ day (~$250)
- Total Average Cost = $4100
As will be explained in greater detail, these costs are only averages and some get cheaper as you add more people, especially accommodation. Others, like meals and airfare, are a direct linear correlation with group size.
Additionally, the time of year you travel and how flexible you are with your dates will have a huge impact on how much you need to budget.
The difference in flight and hotel costs in peak vs off-peak season can literally affect your vacation costs by over $1000!
⭐️ Save money with WayAway Plus
There is a great way to get back a decent chunk of your expenses – WayAway Plus.
They offer an annual membership that gives you cashback on all travel purchases you make on the platform, (via either the website or app), including flights, hotels, insurance, excursions, and more.
All the savings from a week in Hawaii will more than cover the cost of the membership fee itself. Use the button below to find out more and get a 10% discount.
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HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST HAWAIIAN ISLAND FOR YOUR FIRST VISIT
🌺 Trip To Hawaii Cost: Item by Item
🏠 1. Accommodation Cost & Tips
The most expensive item to budget for on a trip to Hawaii is your accommodation.
Following the Covid-19 pandemic, the average cost of a night in a hotel or resort went from $200-$300 to the $300-$500 range!
The table below shows the average daily rates of hotels and vacation rentals on each Hawaiian Island in 2022 according to the Hawaii Tourism Authority.
While the daily average rates will be skewed by the high cost of luxury properties, particularly in Maui, it does help give an idea of the accommodation costs on each island.
While the laws in Hawaii are becoming increasingly strict, vacation rentals, such as VRBO, are also prominent on each island and often present more budget-friendly options, particularly for large groups and families.
If you are a true budget traveler, the cheapest way to limit accommodation costs on a trip to Hawaii is to travel via campervan. Most islands also feature at least one youth hostel, presenting another budget-friendly option.
✈️ 2. Airfare Cost & Tips
Unless you happen to have friends or family taking care of accommodation, the item with the second-highest price tag for your trip to Hawaii will be the flights.
The average roundtrip flight cost to Hawaii is about $1000 per person, but this number is extremely variable. The major west coast airports, for example, have flights from as low as $79-$199 direct!
Airfare is almost always the cheapest on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The easiest way to find inexpensive airfare, however, is to use the SkyScanner website.
SkyScanner allows you to perform flexible searches and looks for the best possible airfare. For example, you can simply do a search for the cheapest day on any given month, or even by the cheapest day in the calendar year!
We have also recently started using WayAway to compare flight prices. Often they have even cheaper flights than Skyscanner and offer cashback on flights via their Plus membership program. We, therefore, recommend checking both to see which comes up the cheapest for you!
Finally, it is worth checking with Hawaiian Airlines direct. They offer the most flights to Hawaii from the USA and often have great flight sales that may not show up on comparison sites.
To learn more about which Hawaiian island or islands to fly in and out from and how to navigate upon arrival, you may want to read our COMPLETE GUIDE TO HAWAII ISLAND HOPPING.
🤿 3. Tours / Activities Costs & Tips
The hardest trip to Hawaii cost to average out is the amount you should expect to spend on tours and activities.
These can range from big ticket items like scenic helicopter tours to more moderate adventures like luaus, sunset sails, and snorkeling trips.
For perspective, most of the tours begin in the $100-$150 per person range. There will always be high-end options, especially if you want to go private.
That said, we suspect most people reading a guide to budgeting for a Hawaii vacation are not looking at dropping big bucks on private tours.
Below are the prices on a sample of the most popular activities to help gain perspective:
- Oahu Jurassic Park Tour – starting from $52
- Hawaii Sunset Sail – starting from $75
- Hawaii Luau – starting from $100
- Big Island Snorkel With Manta Rays – starting from $140
- Maui Road to Hana Tour – starting from $200
- Kauai Helicopter Flight over the Na Pali Coast – starting from $400
📸 RELATED GUIDE
THE BEST THINGS TO DO ON EACH HAWAIIAN ISLAND
🍱 4. Meal Costs & Tips
The easiest way to save money on a Hawaii vacation is the same way you would at home; by cutting back on restaurants and dining out.
Every island of Hawaii has a Costco and Wal-Mart, meaning bargain-priced groceries will always be an option. They also have your standard fast food chains and budget eating options.
However, you don’t go to Hawaii and not sample the local fare! Hawaiian food is delicious and an important part of discovering the culture.
Generally speaking, $80-$100 per person per day is a good starting point. Groceries and food are a bit pricier in Hawaii than on the mainland, but not exorbitantly so.
🚗 5. Rental Car / Transportation Costs & Tips
Unless you don’t plan on leaving your beachside resort, you will absolutely want a rental car to get around Hawaii.
Public transportation exists, but it is not very timely. Rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft are also available, but get expensive quickly.
Surprisingly, rental cars on Hawaii are one of the cheapest budget items. If you are not traveling in peak season, prices can be as low as $30-$35/day.
What can be a bigger expense, however, is parking, specifically if you are staying in a hotel or resort. Be sure to account for daily parking fees if these are not included in your rate as they can mount quickly.
Most beaches and attractions do not charge for parking, and those that do are typically reasonable.
🌅 Hawaii Vacation Cost Considerations:
Duration of Stay
It goes without saying that the more time you plan on spending, the higher the expected cost of your Hawaii vacation.
Your airfare prices will remain the same, as might your tours & activities, but all other associated costs will increase. As accommodation is the major budget swing item, this will drastically affect your final price unless you are staying with friends and family.
The average Hawaii vacation trip length is 7 days, which is the recommended amount of time to see one island well, or two islands quickly.
🏝 NEED HELP PLANNING YOUR ITINERARY? READ OUR GUIDE:
HAWAII ITINERARIES – ALL ISLANDS, ANY TRIP LENGTH
☀️ Hawaii Vacation Cost Considerations:
No one needs to be told that the price of a Hawaii vacation increases with each person in your group attending, but it is worth considering that not all costs are directly correlated.
Most notably, the per-person cost for accommodation will almost always become exponentially cheaper as you add more contributing party members.
For example, a quick, random search for Maui in September yielded multiple 4 bedroom homes for $600-$700. Split between 8 people (4 couples), the per person price is only about $75-$90!
Food can also become increasingly discounted if split between groups and prepared at home.
Finally, depending on the size of your group, you may even be able to negotiate discount tour rates or at least arrange private tours if your party is large enough.
🌴 Hawaii Vacation Cost Considerations:
Peak Season & Date Flexibility
There are two peak travel seasons in Hawaii, coinciding with the winter and summer months.
The first is from mid-December through the end of March (which is also whale migration season). The busiest months of all, however, are through the summer season from mid-June until the end of August.
The best times to travel to Hawaii from a cost and budget standpoint are during the spring and fall shoulder seasons; April, May, September, October, & November tend to be the cheapest months.
Being able to avoid peak season travel will shave anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars in costs from your Hawaii vacation budget, depending on the length and purpose of stay.
You will find price reductions in the two most expensive items (airfare and accommodation) right off the top by avoiding peak season.
More importantly, you will have far more availability for every single budget item listed, including food. Getting reservations and booking tours can be challenging during peak season.
💲 RELATED GUIDE
OAHU vs BIG ISLAND: COMPARING HAWAII’S CHEAPEST ISLANDS
🍹 All-Inclusive Hawaii Options
While many other tropical destinations, such as the Caribbean and Mexico, offer all-inclusive options, there are currently no all-inclusive resorts in Hawaii.
Some hotels also offer packages that include resort credit. This is the closest thing you’ll get to an all-inclusive experience.
Another option for help planning your Hawaii vacation is a company called WayAway. Their membership program offers a 24/7 concierge service so you don’t have to plan your Hawaii vacation all by yourself.
The annual membership also gives you cashback on all travel purchases you make on the platform, including flights, hotels, insurance, excursions, and more.
All the savings from a week in Hawaii will more than cover the cost of the membership fee itself.
🍍 Trip to Hawaii Cost FAQS
Use the dropdown boxes below to learn answers to the most frequently asked questions on Hawaii vacation costs and budgeting.
What is the average cost for a trip to Hawaii?
The average per-person cost for a Hawaii vacation is about $4000 for a one-week trip. This includes $1000 for flights, $2000 for accommodation, $550 for meals, $250 for a rental car, and $300 for tours and activities.
What is the average cost for a family trip to Hawaii?
The average cost for a family of four to spend one week in Hawaii is about $10,000. This includes $3500 for accommodation, $2000 for flights, $1200 for meals, $300 for a rental car, and $2000 for tours, events, and family activities.
How much does a trip to Hawaii cost?
The average cost of a one week trip to Hawaii is $4000. Accommodation is the largest expense at an average of $275/night. Flights range from $500-$1000 roundtrip, and the average food and drink cost is almost $100/ day.
How much should you save for a trip to Hawaii?
The average cost for a trip to Hawaii is $4000 per person for 7 day visits. Budget travelers can eliminate more than half of this cost by being flexible with dates and minimizing accommodation costs, while honeymooners will want to save between $5000-$10000, with hotels being the most expensive item.
What is the cheapest time of year to fly to Hawaii?
The day is more important than the time of year when searching for cheap Hawaii flights. Tue, Wed, and Thu are the cheapest days. September is the cheapest month to fly to Hawaii.
🌈 Helpful Hawaii Travel Guides
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Need some help planning your upcoming trip of a lifetime?
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- Printable Hawaii Packing List
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- Hawaii Bucket List: The Best Things to Do in Hawaii
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