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How Much Does The Average Trip To Hawaii Cost?

Last update: 2023-12-12

Taking a trip to Hawaii can be a dream vacation for many people. With its beautiful beaches, stunning landscapes, and relaxed island vibe, it's no wonder Hawaii is such a popular destination. However, a trip to Hawaii doesn't come cheap. Flights, hotels, food, activities and other expenses can quickly add up. So how much does the average trip to Hawaii really cost? Here's a breakdown of the typical costs associated with a Hawaiian vacation.

Flight Costs

Toy aircraft, dollar bills and rising chart representing airfare rise.
Airfare is often the biggest expense for a Hawaii trip. The average cost of roundtrip flights from the U.S. mainland to Hawaii is $400-$800 per person. This can vary depending on your departure city, airline, time of year and advance purchase. Flights departing from the West Coast tend to be cheaper than flights from the East Coast. High season when fares are most expensive runs from mid-December through mid-April. You'll find the best deals on flights during shoulder seasons in the fall and spring.

Buying tickets 1-3 months in advance yields good rates. Last-minute flights can be very pricey. Consider traveling mid-week instead of weekends to save on airfare. Red-eye and early morning flights are also usually cheaper options. Once you arrive in Hawaii, interisland flights average $80-$250 roundtrip if you plan to island-hop.

Accommodation Costs

Accommodations are the other big Hawaii expense. Hotel rates can vary dramatically based on the island, area, amenities and room type. Overall, expect to pay $250-$650 per night for a standard double occupancy hotel room. Luxury resorts on Maui and Kauai can easily run over $1,000 per night. Alternatively, condo rentals often offer more space and amenities for the money. The average cost of a Hawaii vacation rental is around $300 per night.

Hostels and shared accommodations provide budget lodging in Hawaii for $25-$100 per night. While more affordable, you may sacrifice privacy, amenities and a premium location. Carefully weigh the pros and cons when choosing your lodging. The cost per night also depends heavily on the length of your stay and season. Staying longer usually reduces the nightly rate.

Food Costs

Vacation breakfast at luxury hotel room ocean view. Romantic honeymoon travel holiday in Maldives or Tahiti. Presentation of two plates, fruits, coffee, juice.
Everything from groceries to dining out is pricier in Hawaii due to high import costs. Plan on spending $40-$75 per day per person on food. Opting to prepare some of your own meals can help reduce costs. Groceries average around 30% more than on the mainland. A meal at an inexpensive restaurant will run you $12-$25, while dinner at a nicer restaurant costs $30-$60 per entrée.

Saving money on dining includes choosing lunch over dinner, eating at food trucks, buying snacks and beverages at ABC stores rather than resorts, and taking advantage of happy hours. All-inclusive resorts with meal packages can potentially cut down on food costs as well. But the convenience of dining out may outweigh the expense for some travelers.

Activity Costs

The fun stuff like luaus, snorkel cruises, zip lining tours and more add to your overall spend. Prices vary by activity, but expect to pay around $50-$150 per person for popular Hawaiian excursions. Parasailing, submarine rides and helicopter tours run $100-$300 per person. Luau admission averages $100-$200 depending on the quality of the show and food.

You can rent gear like snorkels, beach chairs and surfboards for $5-$30 per day. Or renting a car costs around $50-$80 per day. While activities add up quickly, they also create amazing Hawaii memories. Prioritize a few must-do events, search for discounts and don't overpack your schedule to control these costs.

Other Expenses

Kalakaua Avenue, Waikiki
Other common Hawaii trip expenses include rental cars, souvenirs, ground transportation, tips, entertainment, shopping and more. Gas prices are higher in Hawaii, so factor in the cost of fuel for your rental car. Taxis, shuttles and rideshares help transport you around the islands. Allow $20-$40 per day for misc. personal spending and gratuities.

Overall, most travelers spend around $125-$300 per day beyond airfare and lodging while vacationing in Hawaii. Your total trip cost scales up or down significantly depending on the length of your stay. The average Hawaii vacation length is 8-10 days.

The Average Hawaii Trip Cost

Based on average costs across accommodation types, flights, activities, food, transportation and other expenses, here is a breakdown of estimated trip costs per person:

  • 5-7 day trip: $1,500 - $3,500
  • 8-10 day trip: $2,000 - $4,500
  • 2 week trip: $2,500 - $6,000
  • 3 week trip: $3,500 - $8,000
  • 1 month+ trip: $5,000+

As you can see, an average week-long vacation to Hawaii for two people costs around $3,000-$7,000 total. Solo travelers face higher costs without splitting expenses. Families and groups can distribute costs across more people to reduce per person spending. The table below summarizes typical price ranges for key trip components.

ExpenseAverage Cost
--
Roundtrip Flights$400-$800
Hotel per Night$250-$650
Vacation Rental per Night$200-$400
Food per Day$40-$75
Car Rental per Day$50-$80
Activities per Day$50-$150

Tips for Saving Money on a Hawaii Vacation

While rack rates in Hawaii aren't cheap, you can absolutely cut costs with smart planning:

Woman wearing business suit while checking in for her flight in the airport

  • Fly in low season and avoid holidays/events
  • Book flights and hotels well in advance
  • Consider less expensive islands like Kauai or Big Island over Maui
  • Stay in condos or vacation rentals instead of hotels
  • Choose cheaper lodging locations away from resort areas
  • Rent a car for discounts and flexibility
  • Eat at condo/make simple meals to save on dining
  • Limit pricier sit-down meals and luau events
  • Take free hotel shuttles versus taxis/rideshares
  • Buy groceries/gifts at ABC stores, not hotel gift shops
  • Book free activities like hiking, snorkeling and beaches
  • Search for coupon books, group deals and package discounts

Being flexible on travel dates, islands and lodging can realize major Hawaii trip savings. Avoiding peak seasons and all-inclusive packages reduces costs. Renting a condo and cooking lets you save on accommodations, car and dining. With strategic planning, an affordable Hawaiian dream vacation is within reach!

Conclusion:

While Hawaii may have a reputation for being an expensive destination, there are ways to enjoy the islands without breaking the bank. By taking advantage of low season travel, booking accommodations in advance, and considering less touristy islands, visitors can save on expenses such as airfare, lodging, and activities. Choosing cheaper lodging options and cooking meals in a condo or vacation rental can also reduce food and transportation costs. With these cost-cutting measures in mind, an affordable Hawaiian vacation is well within reach.


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