Hawaii Trip– Budget Breakdown

One of our favorite things to do as a couple is experience things together.

We even have an entire mini course dedicated to travel as part of the Personal Finance Accelerator Program. I, for one, am always curious how much things cost so today we broke down our Hawaii trip for you. We went to the island of Oahu and we stayed for 4 full days (not including travel days) for reference.

Let me preface this with the idea that you can do this for A LOT cheaper than we did it for.

We had originally planned to do this trip when we still lived in Utah. We had to buy last minute add on flights to fly from NC to Utah. (Plus, a hotel fee the night before in Utah and more airport food etc. ) Also, we have been so busy with everything going on, that we didn’t end up planning our excursions until about a week before leaving! All of this to say, I am sure you could do it for far less money if you planned better. We met some people there from LA who booked their flights, hotel AND rental car for only $400 total!

Like I said, way cheaper. But nonetheless, I will show you our breakdown so you can get an idea and then you can feel much better about your trip when you go to Hawaii for half the cost. **wink wink**

Hawaii Breakdown:

Flights $431: Roundtrip flights from Utah to Hawaii (FREE with credit card points) Roundtrip flights from NC to Utah ($431)

Rental Car $402: We used Turo ($225) (A rental car service similar to Airbnb) the whole trip, gas ($40), and parking ($125) Uber to the hotel from the airport ($12)

Housing $632: We stayed in an Airbnb ($496) but parking was pricey so I might consider a hotel next time! And then we stayed one night in a hotel in Utah on our way there ($136)

Food $443: One of our favorite parts of travel is the FOOD! So we didn’t mind splurging here. Keep in mind though that groceries are pricey (Like $8 for a loaf of bread!) so it is a little trickier to cut down costs here. My sister in law just brought a bunch of protein bars and ate those the majority of her trip– so it is doable! But if you like experiencing the food, here were 10 of our Hawaii favorites.

  1. Duke’s- located in Wakiki and very iconic! Super yummy seafood and live music.
  2. Sunrise Shack- Such yummy Acai bowls. Also very picturesque.
  3. Giovanni’s Shrimp Truck- THE best shrimp ever!
  4. Dole Whip- We got ours at a little truck outside of the Diamondhead hike trailhead.
  5. Ted’s Bakery- Famous for their pie!
  6. Leonard’s Bakery- Malasadas! Hawaiian style donuts that are super famous. Everyone will tell you to go here.
  7. Matsumoto’s Shaved Ice- Also very iconic and make sure you get the cream and ice cream– so yummy!
  8. Foodland Sushi- A local told us to go get this grocery store sushi and we truly did love it!
  9. Poke Bowl- Tastes like sushi in a bowl!
  10. Hawaiian Buffet at Polynesian Culture Center- This buffet is HUGE! We tried all sorts of traditional Hawaiian foods- Taro rolls, Taro Ice cream, Mochi cookies, Poi, Grilled Pineapple, all sorts of meat– I could go on and on!

Excursions $392: Most of our excursions were free except for parking or a few entrance fees (less than $10 most of the time) but our two big ones that are “must do” are:

  1. The Polynesian Culture: $300 Expensive but 100% worth it. This is the main reason we wanted to come to this island. It felt like an amusement park with a museum/cultural experience.
  2. Hanauma Bay: Snorkeling in a nature preserve! There are cheaper places to go snorkeling but there were SO many fish here that I think it was worth it! $25/person entrance fee. $15 for snorkeling gear and flippers per person.

10 other excursions we loved– free or inexpensive!

  1. Pillbox Hike at sunrise!
  2. Manoa Falls Hike
  3. Waikiki Beach (More populated, swimming beach!)
  4. Took a tour of BYU Hawaii/Hawaii Temple Visitors Center
  5. Diamond Head State Park
  6. Pearl Harbor
  7. North shore marketplace, food trucks and surf shops
  8. Launikai Beach (Also known as turtle beach because you can see sea turtles here!)
  9. Sunset Beach (I think this one might have been my favorite but it could have just been the day we went!)
  10. Makapuʻu Point Lighthouse Trail