๐ŸTrip to Hawaii Cost Review: How Much to Budget in 2024

"Trip to Hawaii Cost Review: A Hawaii Vacation Budget" blog post cover image.  Text overlaying an image of a boat sailing towards the sun.

Before you begin planning your Hawaii vacation, it is important to consider how much a trip to Hawaii costs.

This answer will differ vastly from person to person. While Sophie and I enjoy the freedom and savings that come with campervanning, most of you probably prefer a bit more luxury on your Hawaiian vacation.

Of course, a honeymooning couple seeking romance will have a very different budget from a solo backpacker prepared for the van life or hostels!

In this guide, I will explain how to accurately estimate the price of your Hawaii vacation so that you can establish a realistic trip budget. This is based on extensive research, as well as personal experience, on the average cost of each expense item.

As a budget traveler myself, I will also discuss the best way to reduce your Hawaii trip cost. This includes tips on finding cheap airfare, limiting accommodation costs, and recommendations for bargain dining options.

๐Ÿ”Ž SUGGESTED RELATED GUIDE
PLANNING A TRIP TO HAWAII STEP-BY-STEP

๐Ÿ Hawaii Vacation Cost Overview

Sophie poses in a swimsuit ash she plays on Lanikai Beach under a palm tree on a Hawaii vacation in January.

When determining the cost of your trip to Hawaii, there are five essential items to budget for.

The five most important budget items to determine your Hawaii vacation cost, in order of average price, are:

  1. Accommodation
  2. Flights / Airfare
  3. Tours & Activities
  4. Meals
  5. Car Rental / Transportation

Several additional factors will affect a trip to Hawaii’s cost and final price. 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

๐Ÿ’ฐ Average Trip to Hawaii Cost

Amazing sunset between palm trees at Kikaua Point Park in Kona on the Big Island, the least expensive Hawaiian island to visit.

The average cost of a 7-day trip to Hawaii in 2023 is between $4000 – $4500, breaking down as follows:

BUDGET ITEMAVERAGE COSTTOTAL
Accommodation$275/ night$1925
Roundtrip Airfare$1000
Food and Drink$100/ day$700
Tours & Activities$150/ event$300
Car Rental$35/ day$245
TOTAL AVERAGE COST$4170

Remember, these prices are only averages and are subject to your personal preferences.

Some budget items get cheaper as you add more people, especially accommodation, car rental, and groceries. Others, like airfare and meals out, are strictly per person.

Additionally, the time of year you travel and how flexible you are with your dates will significantly impact how much you need to budget.

The difference in flight and hotel costs in peak vs. off-peak season can affect your vacation costs by $1000 or more!

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๐ŸŒบ Trip To Hawaii Cost: Item by Item

๐Ÿ  1. Accommodation Cost & Tips

An aerial view of one of the most expensive resorts in Hawaii.
Ka’anapali Beach Hotel in Maui is perfect for Maui honeymooners.

Accommodation is the most expensive item you must budget for on a trip to Hawaii.

Following the COVID-19 pandemic, the average nightly rate for accommodation in Hawaii increased from $250 to $400. A total of 17.9% in taxes and sometimes resort fees may also be added to your final cost.

The table below shows the average rates for hotels and vacation rentals on each Hawaiian Island as of December 2022.

HotelsVacation Rentals
Oahu$267.77$221.97
Maui$606.92$351.63
Big Island$400.10$241.90
Kauai$398.08$388.05
Source: Hawaii Tourism Authority

The high cost of luxury properties skews these daily averages. In practice, I had no trouble finding accommodation in prime locations for $250 or less per night on each Hawaiian island.

Staying in a hotel or resort will be your easiest option and will typically provide direct access to one of the island’s best beaches. However, this is usually more expensive than booking a vacation rental.


Tips for Finding Cheap Accommodation in Hawaii

Breakfast with a view over water towards mountains from Castle Hilo Hawaiian Hotel on the Big Island of Hawaii

At no cost to you, we receive a small amount for any bookings made using the links below.

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 an extreme budget traveler, the cheapest way to limit accommodation costs on a trip to Hawaii is to stay in youth hostels.

Another budget-friendly option is to travel via campervan.


โœˆ๏ธ 2. Airfare Cost & Tips

A photo from our airplane window looking out over a beach on Kona during our flight into the Big Island of Hawaii.

For most travelers, airfare will be the second-highest price tag for a trip to Hawaii.

The average roundtrip flight cost to Hawaii is about $1000 per person. This number is extremely variable, however.

Major airports along the West Coast often have roundtrip flights for $400 or less, with some as low as $200.

I live in Portland, Oregon, and have personally never paid more than $400 for airfare to Hawaii, with six trips logged so far!


Tips for Finding Cheap Flights to Hawaii

The easiest way to find inexpensive airfare is to use the SkyScanner website. This site allows you to perform flexible searches to discover the best possible fare.

For example, you can search by entire month or year, and SkyScanner will feature the cheapest days available.

Skyscanner flight search for flights to and from Hawaii

Finally, it is worth checking directly with Hawaiian Airlines. They offer the most flights to Hawaii from the continental US, often with great flight sales that may not appear on comparison sites.

โœˆ๏ธ SUGGESTED RELATED GUIDE:
HOW TO ISLAND HOP IN HAWAII


๐Ÿคฟ 3. Tours / Activities Costs & Tips

The most challenging trip to Hawaii cost to average out is the amount you should expect to spend on tours and activities.

These range from big-ticket items, such as a scenic helicopter tour, to moderate events like luaus, sunset sails, and snorkeling trips.

For perspective, most tours begin in the $100-$150 per person range. There will always be high-end options as well, especially if you want to book a private tour.

That said, I suspect most of you reading this guide to budgeting for a Hawaii vacation are like me and not looking to drop big bucks on private tours!

Below are prices for some of the most popular activities to provide some context:

โญ๏ธ Pro Tip: The all-inclusive Go City Pass is an excellent option for Oahu. It can save you up to 50% on top attractions.

๐Ÿ“ธ RELATED GUIDE
THE BEST THINGS TO DO ON EACH HAWAIIAN ISLAND


๐Ÿฑ 4. Meal Costs & Tips

Close up food photography of the Hawaiian dish of poke.

The easiest way to save money on a Hawaii vacation is like you would at home: by cutting back on restaurants and eating 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 dining options.

However, it would be a shame to travel all the way to Hawaii and not sample the local fare! Taste is an important part of experiencing local culture, and Hawaiian food is delicious.

Generally speaking, a daily budget of $100 per person is a good starting point. Groceries and food are a bit pricier in Hawaii than on the mainland, but not by much.

โญ๏ธ Pro Tip: You can also save a lot of money on meals by booking a vacation rental or hotel room that provides a kitchenette.


๐Ÿš— 5. Rental Car / Transportation Costs & Tips

Our camper van is parked in front of the Hanalei Bay overlook looking out onto the tropical rainforest of Kauai in Hawaii.

Unless you don’t plan on leaving your beachside resort, you will want a rental car to get around Hawaii.

Public transportation exists on each island, but it is not time-efficient and limits where you can go.

Rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft are also available but get expensive quickly.

Surprisingly, rental cars in Hawaii are one of the cheapest budget items. If you are not traveling during peak season, prices can be as low as $25 to $35 per day.

What can be a bigger expense, however, is parking, specifically if you are staying in a hotel or resort. You must factor daily parking fees into your budget if your hotel does not include free parking.

Most beaches and attractions do not charge for parking, and those that do are reasonably priced.

๐ŸŒ… Hawaii Vacation Cost Considerations:
Duration of Stay

Sophie and a blonde friend hanging out in a hammock on a Hawaii vacation.

It goes without saying that the more time you plan on spending in Hawaii, the higher you should expect your vacation to cost.

Your airfare, as might your tours and activities, will remain fixed. All other associated costs will increase as you add more days.

As accommodation is the primary budget item, any additional nights you pay for a room will notably affect your final price for a trip to Hawaii.

๐Ÿ NEED HELP PLANNING YOUR ITINERARY? READ OUR GUIDE:
HAWAII ITINERARIES – ALL ISLANDS, ANY TRIP LENGTH

โ˜€๏ธ Hawaii Vacation Cost Considerations:
Group Size

Drone photo of our group on a boat tour of the Na Pali Coast in Kauai waving.

Certain budget items will remain fixed per person, but some become cheaper in groups.

Most notably, the per-person accommodation cost can become exponentially cheaper as you add more party members. Vacation homes provide a significant cost-saving opportunity for large groups willing to share a house rather than stay in separate hotel rooms.

Food can also become increasingly discounted if split between groups and prepared at home.

Depending on your group size, you may even be able to find discounts on tours. You can do this by negotiating a group rate with your tour operator, arranging a private tour, or taking advantage of a Groupon.

๐ŸŒด Hawaii Vacation Cost Considerations:
Peak Season & Date Flexibility

Travel blogger Sophie Marland does a handstand in front of an idyllic tropical scene on the secret shore of Kaaawa Beach in Oahu.

Hawaii has two peak travel seasons that coincide with winter and summer holidays.

The winter peak season begins mid-December and lasts through March (also whale migration season!). However, the year’s busiest season starts in mid-June and spans through the end of August.

From a cost and budget standpoint, the best times to travel to Hawaii are during the spring and fall shoulder seasons; April, May, September, October, & November tend to be the cheapest months.

Avoiding peak-season travel will shave hundreds to thousands of dollars in costs from your Hawaii vacation budget, depending on the length and purpose of your stay.

During the slow seasons, you will find price reductions in the two most expensive items (airfare and accommodation) right off the top.

More importantly, you will find far more availability for every budget item listed, including food. Getting reservations and booking tours can be challenging during peak season, but not during slow seasons.

๐Ÿ SUGGESTED RELATED GUIDE:
OAHU vs. BIG ISLAND: COMPARING HAWAII’S CHEAPEST ISLANDS

๐Ÿน All-Inclusive Hawaii Options

Four Seasons Resort in Wailea, Maui as seen from the beach

While many other tropical destinations, such as the Caribbean and Mexico, offer all-inclusive options, there are currently no all-inclusive resorts in Hawaii.

With that said, some companies offer package deals that include flights, accommodation, and car rental.

Some hotels also offer packages that include resort credit. This is the closest thing you’ll get to an all-inclusive experience.

๐Ÿ 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 – $4500 for a one-week trip.

This includes $1000 for flights, $2000 for accommodation, $700 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 – $4500. Accommodation is the most significant expense at an average of $275/ night. Flights range from $500-$1000 roundtrip, and the average food and drink cost is $100/ day.

How much should you save for a trip to Hawaii?

The average cost for a 7-day trip to Hawaii is $4000+ per person, although there is a wide variance based on travel type.

For example, budget travelers can eliminate more than half of this cost by being flexible with travel dates and minimizing accommodation costs. Honeymooners and luxury travelers, meanwhile, can easily spend an additional $2000+ on hotels and fine dining alone.

What is the cheapest time of year to fly to Hawaii?

The cheapest months to fly to Hawaii are April, September, October, and November. Monday – Thursday are typically the cheapest days of the week for flights year-round.

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Written by
Adam Marland is a professional travel blogger and landscape photographer from Oregon. After over a decade of experience as a freelance travel photographer, Adam found national acclaim when he became the National Park Foundation's โ€œChief Exploration Officerโ€ in 2021.

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