Hawaii Vacation Costs for Couples, Families, and Groups
2023 Hawaii Budget Calculator & Cheapest Times to visit
The first step toward planning a great vacation is to budget for it. That way, you can ensure that you have enough to spend to make the vacation worthwhile and possibly save some money in the process. There are many things to budget for any vacation, and Hawaii is no different.
You will have to budget everything from airfare to food costs for a Hawaii vacation. There are also some essential things that you will need to budget for, such as attractions and where you will stay.
The following article is a detailed description of everything you need to know when budgeting for a trip to Hawaii. It covers everything from when you leave for the airport the morning of the trip to returning home once it is over.
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Hawaii Trip Costs Summary
This article has the general expenses for planning a trip to the Hawaiian islands. It also has a calculator to help you with an estimated total cost amount.
Click any topic link below to drop to that section on this page.
How Much Airport Expenses Cost
Airport expenses can vary depending on multiple factors, such as what airline you choose and if you purchase any snacks or meals. There are also parking fees and baggage fees to consider.
Airport expenses are one of the most expensive things to budget for on a trip to Hawaii, aside from the hotel or vacation home you decide to stay at. Since there are multiple airlines to choose from, it’s difficult to pinpoint precisely how much airport expenses will cost.
The main things to consider when budgeting for the airport are:
- The plane tickets
- The baggage fees
- Any snacks or meals
- Parking fees
There are also ways to save money on each of these expenses.
The average forecasted prices for flights to Hawaii in 2023 are:
- $925 for the East Coast
- $490 for the West Coast
- $810 for the Midwest
- $1,120 for international flights
However, ticket prices can still vary depending on multiple factors.
When planning a trip to Hawaii, the first thing you should purchase is airplane tickets. Purchasing them two or three months in advance will save you a significant amount of money and ensure you have a flight when you plan to go.
If you are traveling from anywhere on the East Coast of the United States, tickets usually cost about $925 per person for a round-trip flight. If you are traveling from the West Coast or the Midwest, they are slightly less expensive. Flying from the West Coast costs about $490 per person round trip, while Midwest flights cost about $810 per person round trip.
Landing an Inexpensive Flight
The highest flight prices are for those traveling internationally to Hawaii. If you are traveling to Hawaii from somewhere outside of the United States, then the average cost of round-trip airfare is about $1,120 per person. However, ticket prices can fluctuate depending on two main things, the airline you purchase from and when you purchase the tickets.
The majority of inexpensive flights to Hawaii land in Honolulu or Maui. As for which cities have the most affordable flights heading toward Hawaii, California, and other West Coast states, they are the ones to go for. If you want to save money, you could drive to California and fly to Honolulu or Maui. It’s also recommended to search multiple airline websites for ticket prices to find those that fit your budget.
The other main factor that can help you save money on plane tickets is the time you buy them. It is recommended to buy them at least two months before you plan to leave, but there are also certain times of the year that are better for a Hawaii vacation than others. The worst and most expensive times to go to Hawaii are during its peak seasons during the summer months and major United States holidays.
Everything is much more expensive during the peak seasons, not just airfare tickets. To save money and time, the best times to fly to Hawaii include the following:
- Late summer
- After the winter holidays
- Before Thanksgiving
Not only will you have a higher chance of booking a flight for a reasonable price, but you will also be able to save money and time on other vacation expenses.
The average cost of airport baggage fees is around $50 per bag. These fees must be paid if you have bags that exceed a specific weight limit or have more than two bags. Fortunately, there are ways to avoid paying this fee or save money on the cost if you need extra bags.
If you have a bag over a specific weight limit or more than two bags, you will need to pay an airport baggage fee. The average cost of airport baggage fees is about $50, but it can vary depending on how heavy your bag is or how many you have.
The best way to avoid paying this fee is to pack light. Having a personal item with you at your seat and a small carry-on bag that can fit in the overhead compartment is the best way to ensure you don’t have to pay for baggage fees. You can also include more items in your bag to avoid having to check a bag if it’s over a certain weight.
If you need to check a bag, there are a few ways to make it less expensive. One way is to check the bag at the airport gate rather than check in for your flight. The airline might offer a free bag check to ensure everyone’s luggage gets on if your flight is full. This method isn’t guaranteed, but it’s worth a shot as long as your bag fits the weight requirements instituted by the airline.
Another way to avoid paying the full baggage fee is to get a discount. Whether a military discount or a discount through elite flight status, any deal can make a considerable cost difference in the long run.
Meals and Drinks
The price of snacks and meals at the airport varies depending on how much you purchase. The average price of snacks and meals is around ten dollars, which can add up fast if you buy a significant amount.
Snacks, meals, and drinks from the airport usually cost about ten dollars. Some airlines offer free snacks on flights, but you still have to pay for meals, drinks, and snack packs. The cost of meals and snacks can rack up fast. Fortunately, there are ways to save money at the airport.
The primary way to avoid buying meals and drinks at the airport is to bring your food. Most small snacks can get past security, such as fruits and vegetables, and having small snacks available will make you less tempted to purchase snacks from the airport and save you money.
Another great way to stay full and save money on snacks is to eat lots of protein-filled snacks, such as protein bars. Protein will help you feel full for an extended time, lessening your chances of getting hungry and buying food at the airport. If you need to stop at a layover, it’s recommended to pack snacks that can keep over time. The most popular snacks include nutrition bars and trail mix since they are filling and can last for days in a backpack.
Parking at an airport isn’t ideal if you’re on a budget, but it’s doable with a few money-saving tips. The average cost for parking at an airport is anywhere from $42 to $273 for one week, and the prices vary depending on the airport and how long you want to park your car there.
It’s recommended that someone drive you to the airport or take a taxi to avoid airport parking fees altogether. But if you do need to park your car at the airport, you can expect to pay around $42 to $273 for one week of parking. The prices might be a little more or less expensive depending on the airport and how long you park there, but there are ways to save money on parking for any circumstance.
The best ways to save money on airport parking are to book parking in advance and look for coupons. Reserving a long-term parking spot a month or so before your flight can save you significant money. You should contact the airport you plan to fly from to check advanced scheduling versus drive-up rates.
Another way to save money on airport parking is to look online for coupons. Even a Google search with the name of the airline you plan to park at and the word “coupons” after it can turn up some unexpected finds.
How Much Accommodation Expenses Cost
When you get to Hawaii after your flight, the next step is to find somewhere to stay. Hotels and vacation rentals are popular, but you also have to determine which one works best for your budget when including parking and food costs.
Getting to Hawaii is half the battle, but booking accommodations for when you get there is also essential for budgeting your stay. The primary things that need to be budgeted for accommodations include the following:
- Hotels or Resorts and/or Vacation rentals
- Parking and rental car expenses
- Food costs
There are multiple ways to configure accommodations that can work for your budget.
Hotels and Resorts
Hotel and resort prices vary depending on how many stars they are rated. The average cost of a three-star hotel is about $350 a night, while a four-star resort is about $455 a night. Lastly, most bed-and-breakfast inns are about $190 a night.
Hawaii is famous for having beautiful hotels and resorts that are steps away from beaches and other island attractions. However, their price varies depending on their star ratings and how much they offer their guests. For example, the average cost of a room at a four-star resort is about $455 a night, but you will also likely be right next to a beach and other attractions.
A three-star hotel in Hawaii may also be near a beach and is less expensive at $350 a night. However, you might not have access to other attractions or amenities. If you decide to stay at a standard bed and breakfast inn, this is the least expensive option at $190 a night. But a traditional inn likely won’t be near a beach, and you’ll only have access to a room and one meal.
For budgeting purposes - the average statewide cost of a hotel room in Hawaii is roughly $375/night as of this writing. Each island has a price modifier to help further estimate costs by island. The price modifiers are as follows:
- Oahu - Price is approximately 68.55% of the statewide average
- Maui - Price is approximately 163.22% of the statewide average
- Kauai - Price is approximately 98.63% of the statewide average
- Big Island - Price is approximately 105.90% of the statewide average
These modifiers are based on average hotel rates in Hawaii, so they might differ if you park and stay at a rental home.
Vacation Rental Homes
Renting a vacation home has become trendy over the last few years. The average rent per night for a Hawaii vacation home is $170, and there is also an average tax rate of 18% on rental houses.
Renting a vacation home can be a great way to save money on accommodations. But the prices fluctuate depending on where the rental home is located and which type of home you select. If you choose an average rental home, the average rate is about $170 a night, much less expensive than a hotel or resort room. But if you rent a luxury home, the price can increase to over $1,000 per night.
It’s also important to note that the average tax rate is about 18% on rental homes in Hawaii, so it’s recommended to factor that in when choosing which one to stay at.
If you’re still undecided on where to stay during your vacation, you can expect a statewide average of about $335 in shelter costs. The island modifiers we discussed above are also applicable to vacation rentals.
Parking and Rental Car Fees
You will likely have to rent a car to get around the island, and parking and gas fees come with that additional accommodation cost. The average is about $30 per night for rental car parking.
The best way to get around the island is to purchase a rental car. In addition to how much you pay for the rental car, there are also parking and gas fees to worry about. The first step is to determine what kind of rental car you want. The average rental car prices in Hawaii include the following:
- $70 per day for a regular car
- $110 per day for an SUV
- $125 per day for a convertible
- $150 per day for a luxury car
Once you know which car you want, you must figure out parking and gas fees. The average cost of gas in Hawaii is about $4.95 - $5.15 per gallon, so you can expect to spend about $75-$100 on gas alone. Your rental vehicle's fuel efficiency and the total miles driven during your visit will determine the total amount.
Even if you're staying somewhere with restaurants close by or accessible continental breakfasts, you will likely have to purchase and cook most of your food. The average cost for breakfast is $15 per person, lunch is $25 per person, and dinner is $45 per person.
Food in Hawaii is expensive, even if you don’t go to a restaurant for each meal. The average cost of food per person per day is about $61, but it can fluctuate depending on where you eat and how many people you go with. Fortunately, there are also some ways to save money on food costs during your vacation.
Planning your meals ahead of time and how much they will cost can give you a good idea of what to buy and cook and which restaurants you want to visit. It can help you plan out which ingredients to use in multiple meals and is the most cost-effective way to try everything the island offers. You can also bring any spices or pantry staples you already have to avoid buying them there.
For anything you need to buy fresh there, such as fruit or vegetables, it’s recommended to shop at local stands. They are usually much less expensive than supermarkets or chain stores, and you also get to experience Hawaiian culture while at it.
How Much Vacation Activities Cost
The last piece of budgeting for your Hawaii vacation is figuring out fun activities while you’re there. There are so many different activities for you, ranging from island tours to exploring local souvenir shops.
While the beach is part of an excellent Hawaiian vacation, you can do plenty of other activities while you’re there. Each island has beautiful tours and excursion experiences, not to mention all of the local shops and attractions you can explore. The average price for attraction fees is about $45 per person, but it fluctuates depending on what attractions you do.
Guided Tours and Excursions
The average cost for guided tours and excursions is about $50 to $100 per person, and the price fluctuates depending on what is included in the tour or excursion. If you want to explore state or national parks on your own, you can expect to pay about $35 per person.
Hawaii offers a wide variety of tours and excursions for you to choose from. Tours usually include a guided tour of the island's most beautiful and historical parts. You can ride on a bus or other mode of transportation and listen as a guide tells you about the stories behind different island sites.
On the other hand, you can do excursions while exploring the island. They usually include scuba diving, hiking, and other activities that explore the island, along with a guide. The islands also have state and national parks that you can explore independently. Each of these activities is optional, but it’s highly recommended to budget for a few so you can experience everything Hawaii offers.
Shopping and Souvenirs
Shopping and souvenirs are also optional, but it’s highly recommended to budget for them just in case. The price of shopping and souvenirs depends on how much you’re willing to spend, so deciding on a number that’s comfortable for you is the best practice.
There are multiple places to shop for souvenirs and other keepsakes on any Hawaiian island. Since their price highly depends on the shop and how much you’re willing to spend, it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly how much shopping and souvenirs will cost.
The best practice is to come up with a number you’re comfortable with plus a little extra. This will give you some breathing room when deciding how much to spend.
Attraction Parking Fees
The majority of Hawaiian attractions also have parking fees. They vary depending on the attraction, but the average cost of attraction parking is about $3. Fortunately, there are usually a few free parking areas near the attraction, but you’ll have to walk a bit and get there early.
Parking lots close to any attraction usually have a fee of about $3, allowing you to park there for a full day. However, a quick google search about any free parking lots near the attraction can save you from paying any fee. The only downside is that you’ll likely have to walk a bit from the parking lot to the attraction. On the plus side, you might get to see more of the island by walking than if you did while driving.
It’s recommended to look up any parking fees the attraction has before you book it to be sure that you’re prepared. Some excursion attractions even have an option where a shuttle or bus will pick you up from your hotel or rental home and then drive you back at the end of the day. This option can be beneficial if you’re trying to avoid car and parking costs altogether.
There is a lot to budget for when planning a Hawaiian vacation. But planning out everything you can in advance can make the entire experience much less stressful and help you make the most of an incredible trip.
2023 Hawaii Budget Calculator
Estimate the Cost of your Hawaii Vacation
Aloha, guest readers can calculate five (5) trip cost estimates for Hawaii each day. Rates included within this calculator are based on projected Spring/Summer 2023 rates aggregated from current OTA pricing. Rates will be updated regularly.
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