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5 Tips to NOT break the bank in Hawaii!

A and I love to travel. LOVE.
I’ve been to a grand many countries, states and what have you… and believe it or not, one of my favorite trips of all time was 2 weeks spent in Hawaii last summer.

Pure. Paradise. The hype is real, it is worth it- go now.

On our trip, we spent the first week on O’ahu and the second on Maui, and it’s all I ever want to do now. Seriously, if I write that best-selling novel, I’m buying a house on Oahu with a bathtub that faces the ocean. Weird, I know. Those shaving commercials just get to me.

Anyway, A is a park ranger and I am a teacher, so we are clearly not rich- but Hawaii did not break the bank. Here’s how:

1. Food

Our lifestyle tends to the financially conservative because we live in a place where there is VERY little to spend money on. So, it would be easy for us to go buck-wild on vacation! We don’t, though. Instead, we plan smart when it comes to food.

For the 14 days we were in Hawaii, we bought dinner out 10 times. 2 nights on each island we cooked dinner in our apartment, and for breakfast and lunch we bought groceries and made oatmeal, cereal, sandwiches, etc.

A lot of people will tell you that groceries are super expensive in Hawaii, but I did not find that to be the case! I just a did a little research before we left. I found a grocery store that would be near us (safeway), signed up for coupons and ads, and voila. Eating out 10 times in 2 weeks is a crazy amount for us, but it was vacation- and if we had to conserve more we could have just cooked in a few more times. You might think it sounds lame to cook on vacation, but honestly after an entire day of playing in the ocean and sand, it was really nice to stay in. (And instead of buying a glass of wine at a restaurant, save some cash and buy a bottle or 2 to keep for the week, or however long your stay is before you fly again!)

2. Activities

Just like when we travel nearer to home than Hawaii is, the majority of our activities were free. There are plenty of state parks with beautiful hikes, public beaches, and more. You do not have to spend a ton once you’re there to enjoy the beauty.

This is from the top of Haleakala at 10,023 feet!

Naturally, there were a few things we did that cost something… and for that, we used Groupon! You can get great deals on kayak rentals, boat trips and more!

We also played it smart with activities because of the choices we made for lodging…

3. Place to stay

We stayed in 1 rental from Airbnb and 1 from VRBO. Both came with full kitchens (hence the cooking in), and extras like:

-beach chairs and towels
-umbrellas
-snorkeling gear
-body boards

This saved us a ton on rentals! Also, the prices on our apartments were incredible- like $150/night and less. Locations were perfect- not too busy but close to necessities! Everything is within driving distance anyway, so pick the prettiest spot and enjoy.

4. Water

While you may think I mean ocean sports, I really mean the drinking kind. When I travel, staying hydrated is super important to me for a million reasons. When travelling somewhere hot where I spend the majority of  time outside, HELLO H2O! Bring your own water bottle. If you do not already do this wherever you go, I seriously fear for your hydration and environmental footprint. Stop buying those plastic bottles RIGHT NOW. Get yourself a reusable bottle- heck if you don’t have one, come to my park, also known as where-all-the-lost-water-bottles-come, and I’ll give you one from the Lost & Found.

You save money on buying your hydration, and it may just influence you to make some healthier beverage choices along the way.

5. Flights

I will be getting more into flight searches later, but for now- have you ever used skyscanner.com ? It’s a website that searches lots of airlines (I will definitely not say all! It’s missing Southwest, among others) and shows you more possibilities than you may have previously imagined. Chances are if you just search for a few major airlines (Delta, American, United, etc.) you are missing out on some random gems. This could explain how once upon a time I got from Tennessee to London for less than $500… *evil grin*

Or how in June I’m going to New York for less than $100 *cackles*

Happy travels!