Trip to Hawaii Cost Review: A Hawaii Vacation Budget for 2022

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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.

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Hawaii Vacation Cost Overview

A female swimmer 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 key items to budget for.

The 5 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

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 (all-inclusive vs self-guided)
  • Flexibility of dates

Average Trip to Hawaii Cost

The average cost of a 7-day trip to Hawaii is about $4000.

This total average cost breaks down as follows:

  1. Average Accommodation Costs: $275/ night (~$2000)
  2. Average Roundtrip Airfare: $1000
  3. Food and Drink: $80/ day (~$550)
  4. Tours & Activities: $150/ tour ($300 for 2)
  5. Car Rental: $35/ day (~$250)
  • Total Average Cost = $4100
Amazing sunset between palm trees at Kikaua Point Park in Kona on the Big Island, the least expensive Hawaiian island to visit.

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.


Trip To Hawaii Cost: Item by Item

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 but is a more expensive hotel option.

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!

Staying in a hotel or resort will be your easiest option, and will typically have the most direct access to one of the Hawaii’s best beaches. Accordingly, this also tends to be the most expensive option.

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 camper van. Most islands also feature at least one youth hostel, presenting another budget-friendly option.


2. Airfare Cost & Tips

A photo from an airplane window looking out over a beach on Kona flying into the Big Island to begin a Hawaii vacation.

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 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 cheapest on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The easiest way to find inexpensive airfare, however, is to use the SkyScanner website.

Skyscanner flight search for flights to and from Hawaii

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!

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:


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 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.

Of course, if you get a vacation rental or hotel room with a kitchenette, this will vastly improve your opportunity to save a bit on eating out.


5. Rental Car / Transportation Costs & Tips

A 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 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

Two girls in a hammock on a beach enjoy a cheap, no cost trip to Hawaii.

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:
Group Size

People on a boat tour of the Na Pali Coast in Kauai wave to the camera with the Na Pali cliffs in the background.

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

A swimmer doing a handstand on the secret shore of Kaaawa Beach in Oahu.

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.

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.


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 for to spend one week in Hawaii is about $10,000. This includes $3500 for accommodation, $2000 for flights, $1200 for meals, $300 for arental 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 in Hawaii is the most expensive cost 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

Need some help planning your upcoming trip of a lifetime?

Browse the titles below for help planning the most important elements of a Hawaii vacation.

This includes what to pack, how to find cheap flights, where to stay, the best itineraries, and everything else you need to consider.

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