You’ve probably heard the rumors that Hawaii is the most expensive state in the country. That is somewhat true, as almost everything Hawaiians need must be imported from out of state. This adds extra costs for shipping. But what does that mean to you, the tourist on vacation? A trip to the islands doesn’t necessarily mean breaking the bank. Here are some tips for saving money on your Hawaiian vacation.
Cook your own food: A suite or apartment with kitchenette may seem more expensive, but you will save a lot of money if you eat in. Restaurant meals are more expensive as well as laden with butter, oils, and sweet desserts. Choose one or two evening to go out for a special dinner, and head to the supermarket for the rest of your groceries. For produce, check out the local farmer’s markets. You will get the freshest produce around, for less than supermarket prices.
If you’re staying for over a week, you may also want to check out the big box stores. Walmart and Sam’s Club may seem too much like home, but they will save you money. Make sure you have looked through your kitchen’s cookware and equipment before heading out. Scrambled eggs will be difficult if you don’t have a frying pan.
Collect brochures: You will see brochure displays everywhere – at the airports when island-hopping, at the hotels and car rental dealerships. Take the time to go through these displays carefully. Many contain coupons for attractions you were going to visit anyway, and you may also find inexpensive sites you hadn’t heard of.
Be souvenir savvy: If you’re bringing home lots of trinkets, shop for bargains. Walmart may have great deals on some items, but local chains like Hilo Hattie and ABC Stores are usually less costly. If you’re on Oahu check out the Aloha Stadium Swap Meet. It’s a great place to find local artists and crafters. Near Waikiki, investigate the local jewelers and artists who have their own shops.
Investigate nationwide savings programs: If spa treatments are an essential part of your Hawaiian vacation, Spa Finder can save you money by letting you prepurchase services at a discount. Similarly, if you participate in points programs from car rentals, hotel chains, or airlines, build this into your shopping strategy. A point spent on a hotel in Hawaii is worth more than a point spent in almost any other US city.