How Much Does A Trip To Hawaii Cost?

Among all the 50 United States, no territory quite captures the ideal picture of vacation than Hawaii. Being the most diverse state in the country, it is home to 953,000 people as of 2010. There are a number of reasons why Hawaii is still a popular holiday destination among Americans.

First of all, Hawaii is separated by 3,976 kilometers of Pacific Ocean waters from the mainland (California). This tropical archipelago is a monumental goalpost celebrating the extensive reach of American heritage. Inaccessible by land, it is the farthest place any American would call ‘home.’

Secondly, Hawaii is a multicultural society. In fact, as of 2010, Hawaii is considered the most diverse state in the country – with 60% of its population represented by Asians (e.g. Filipinos and Japanese). Diversity in Hawaii is a fact, not a sensitive political discussion.

hawaii beauty near beach

Lastly, Hawaii is an exotic landscape. The familiarity of a multicultural population and the official English language are complemented by the relative strangeness of its topography. Either side of North American coastlines pales in comparison to the beauty of Hawaii’s beaches. The islands also have an abundance of volcanoes and teeming rainforests nearly reminiscent of the tropical Amazon or rural Southeast Asia.   

Flight Costs & Guidelines

So, how much does it cost to go to Hawaii? When it comes to paying an excellent bargain for a plane ticket, the key is to know the when and the where. As far as cost is concerned, the best time to visit Hawaii is around September to December. Meanwhile, the cities on the West Coast often have the best flight deals bound for Honolulu.

Considering the previously mentioned facts, one can schedule a favorable two-way Hawaii trip cost between the dates of September 15 to 22, 2017. Here are the following direct flights one can book as early as possible:

San Francisco – Honolulu

United Airlines (outbound & return)

Cost per passenger: $420

Oakland – Honolulu

Hawaiian Airlines (outbound & return)

Cost per passenger: $420

San Diego – Honolulu

Alaska Airlines (outbound & return)

Cost per passenger: $517

Los Angeles – Honolulu

United Airlines (outbound & return)

Cost per passenger: $516

Portland – Honolulu

Alaska Airlines (outbound & return)

Cost per passenger: $463

Seattle – Honolulu

Delta Airlines (outbound & return)

Cost per passenger: $570

The Cut-rate Strategy

Considering the question, how much does it cost to go to Hawaii? Knowing how to reduce the cost of plane tickets is just half of the story. The other major concern one has to contend with is the amount of money required to fund one’s temporary lifestyle in Hawaii.

A conservative mid-range budget for seven days is anywhere around roughly $1,883 per person. But there are certain ways to diminish overall individual spending down to as little as $696. Here are some of the simple but useful strategies highlighted by Cheapflights and Nomadic Matt:

  • Eating options: food trucks ($5 to $10 per meal) and discount grocery stores
  • Free activities: cultural tours (Royal Hawaiian Center), biking and hiking (Koala Heritage Trail)
  • Sleeping options: hostels ($16 to $150 per night) and couch surfing (free)
  • Discounts: redeem hotel points and use magazine coupons (This Week)
  • One last tip: Stick to one island! Every county in Hawaii has the best to offer for all visitors. 

The Best Accommodations

As hinted in the earlier part of the article, there are certain ways to reduce cost when it comes to finding a good place to crash. Finding cheap but excellent accommodations is another important piece of the puzzling question asking, how much does it cost to go to Hawaii? As of contemporary date (second week of August), these are the best available accommodations one can reserve for mid-September via VRBO and for a limited window:


VRBO condo/house listings: 4 units from $65 to $70 per night.

Lower than $100 per night budget hotels/hostels:

  • Honolulu University Hostel: $56 per night
  • Polynesian Hostel Beach Club: $68 per night
  • Waikiki Beachside Hostel: $68 per night
  • Kuhio Banyan Hotel: $76 per night


VRBO condo/house listings: 5 units from $59 to $90 per night.

Around $100 per night budget hotels/hostels:

  • Hakuna Matata: $98 per night
  • The Tiki Beach Hostel: $100 per night
  • The Northshore Hostel: $103 per night

Big Island

VRBO condo/house listings: 16 units from $50 to $60 per night.

Lower than $100 per night budget hotels/hostels:

  • Hilo Vacation Rental: $59 per night
  • Quirky Shak Beachside Hostel: $68 per night
  • Shaka Shak Garden Inn: $69 per night
  • Hilo Bay Hostel: $69 per night
  • Wild Ginger Inn: $70 per night
  • Hilo Reeds Bay Hotel: $76 per night
  • Arnott’s Lodge & Hiking Adventures: $78 per night
  • Hilltop Legacy Vacation Rental: $79 per night


VRBO condo/house listings: 6 units from $70 to $80 per night.

Lower than $150 per night budget hotels/hostels:

  • Kauai Shores Hotel: $125 per night
  • Hilton Garden Inn: $134 per night
  • Castle Kauai Kailani: $135 per night
  • The Kauai Inn: $135 per night

Consumer Luxury Bargains

When it comes to economical Hawaii trip cost, one can only guess the extent of lifestyle adjustments needed for this strategy to work. However, it is important to understand that there are certain comforts most travelers from developed countries cannot possibly relinquish.

Not all individuals are able to bear the unavailability of personal vehicles and the lack of fine dining options overseas. However, living in relative extravagance is still possible via a budget-friendly Hawaii trip cost. Based on the contemporary listings of available car rentals and restaurants by Turo and OpenTable, one can spend no more than $60 per day for a private vehicle and at around $30 or less per luxury dinner:


Available cars: 168

Top 5 of the 12 budget restaurants:

  • Karai Crab – Honolulu
  • La Hiki Kitchen – Kapolei
  • RuscelloNordstrom Ala Moana – Honolulu
  • Cattle Company Steakhouse – Pearl City
  • Tiki’s Grill & Bar – Waikiki


Available cars: 34

Top 5 of the 12 budget restaurants:

  • Monkeypod Kitchen – Wailea
  • Frida’s – Lahaina
  • Maui Thai Bistro Kihei
  • Duke’s Beach House – Kaanapali
  • Taverna – Kapalua

Big Island

Available cars: 10

Top 4 budget restaurants:

  • The Koa Table – Waikoloa
  • Café Pesto – Kawaihae
  • Fish Hopper – Kailua-Kona
  • Rays on the Bay – Keauhou


Available cars: 19

Top 3 budget restaurants:

  • JO2 – Kapaa
  • Keoki’s Paradise – Poipu
  • Gaylord’s at Kilohana – Lihue

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