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Budget Travel Tips For Your Waikiki Dream Vacation


Having your dream vacation in Waikiki doesn’t have to be expensive—contrary to what many believe. Historically, Waikiki is a playground for Ancient Hawaiian Royalty. Regardless of its luxurious past, cheap travel is still doable. Travelers in Waikiki can make the most out of their stay in this tropical paradise without going over budget.

Waikiki relies heavily on tourism. Its tourism statistics dipped significantly as a result of the global financial crisis. In response, the HVCB launched a budget travel program. The program themed, “Discover more of Hawaii for less than you imagined.”

With some careful planning and a well-researched strategy, one can enjoy Waikiki to the fullest without blowing your cash. Here are some ways you can have a vacation in a lifetime without spending too much:

Before Arriving in Waikiki

When to travel to Waikiki?

Rates are highest in summer and before New Year’s Eve. Scheduling your vacation to Waikiki during the colder months will be cheaper drastically. Especially after the new year, the months of January and February, as well as September and October.

Find inexpensive flights

Waikiki is very accessible because it is located in the Hawaiian state capital, Honolulu, the gateway to Hawaii. The main airport of Hawaii is located just 9 miles or a 30-minute drive away from Waikiki. The least expensive way to go from the airport to Waikiki is The Bus, which costs $2 per person. If you have larger luggage, it is more convenient to take a shuttle from the airport to your hotel.

Flight costs to Hawaii can change drastically depending on when you purchase and demands on ticket. If you use ‘Google Flight’, you will surely  a low cost fare. From here, you could type the flight you like and select a track flight. This will also notify you via text or email when the ticket prices drop.

Pack to your advantage

Packing your own gear instead of renting is much cheaper. Pack a snorkel, mask and fins (borrow if you have to) if you plan to go for snorkeling. Also bring your own sun block, swimsuit, and other beach essentials. Prices in Waikiki shops can be quite more expensive than your local stores.

Have an itinerary

Having a prepared itinerary before you travel can help you spend less. List down all the activities you want to do and places you want  visit. Research for its possible costs. Search for entrance fees, and other fees needed for each place or activity. Following an itinerary will stop you from having impulsive side trips, which can totally add on to your expense.

Print out directions, maps, and tour guides

Spend wisely on fares, download some maps and guides from the websites. You can also find a brochure stand at the airport and collect some free maps and brochures of the island.

Book affordable but nice accommodations

Remember that you are going to Waikiki to go sightseeing. You will definitely stay here to enjoy some water sports or simply laze around on beautiful sandy beaches. These activities do not really require a pricey hotel room. Many less known hotels offer a fairly good place to stay with amenities. And, they also render other services readily available for 24 hours.

Don’t limit your options to hotel rooms. There are vacation houses and condominiums for rent in Waikiki. If you have a family trip in Waikiki, the best option for you is to rent a vacation home. There are also rental cottages or condo units usually have fully furnished kitchens, so you can cook your own meals.

During your stay in Waikiki

Keep a money journal

Keep a pen and paper readily available in your bag so you can list all your expenses. At the end of the day, evaluate your expense list.  And try not to spend on things you can live without during your stay.

Familiarize yourself

Explore by foot so you can know which places are near to each other. In that way, you can save by skipping a ride. Go for a walk at Kalakua Avenue. It is the main strip along the beach, to get to know your surroundings.

Check out the Visitor Information Center

This is a must. The Visitor Information Center is located in a gazebo at the Diamond Head end of the Waikiki strip. It is on the corner of Kapahulu and Kalakaua. You can ask the staff for maps and other guides for tourists.  These contain information on how to go to and from a specific tourist attraction and timetables for the bus. The information center also have a list of affordable or free activities. Tours such as the Aloha Trikke electric 3 wheel sunset tour is a great option when on a budget!

Bring water

It gets hot in Hawaii, and walking around all day will leave you dehydrated if you don’t drink enough fluids. Bringing your own water bottles not only reduces waste. It also can save you a ton of money on having to purchase water every day.

If you’re looking for a fun affordable tour of the Waikiki area, consider our Aloha Trikke tour. Its a 3 wheel electric tour around Diamond Head or other areas of Waikiki.