Big Money Savers for Hawaii

Traveling around the Hawaiian Islands can be really expensive. When most people from the US mainland visit the fiftyest state, they experience a shock on their first grocery store visit. It is estimated that – in general – things cost about 30% more on Hawaii than they do on the mainland. Shipping the food over the ocean in boats (or planes) is one reason, but another is that the grocers have to maintain huge stocks of food in warehouses to keep food on the shelves all the time, especially in the case of some emergency.

So here are some tips how you can explore the islands for a few weeks without crashing you budget:

On all islands

  • Eat out at Costco (once in a while) – A Hotdog and Softdrink with refill for $1,50 – no one can beat that price ( Caesar Salad with Chicken $3,99; Pizza $1,99 etc. )
  • Get a softdrink at McDonalds when you´re really thursty – Any size with refill for 1$
  • Why not stay longer and get to know the culture/locals with a  workaway ?


  • Go to the beaches and hiking – the best and totally free activities you can do on this island
  • Always ask the bus driver for your transfer ticket (You can do up to 2 transfers in 2,5hours for total $2,50 – they don´t have change! Always carry change with you)
  • Watch a big wave surfing contest at one of the surf events on the north shore

Big Island

  • Buy the annual Pass for the National Park for 25$ (If you plan to visit Maui as well)
  • Hitchhike around the island (forget about the bus there, it only runs 3-4 times a day and doesn´t go to many parts of the island)
  • Swim with Dolphins at Two Step or Ho´Okena Beach
  • Dive with the Huge Manta Rays at night
  • Hike to the Lava


  • Buy the annual Pass for the National Park for 25$ (If you plan to visit the Big Island as well)
  • Visit the Free Hula Show in Lahaina Cannery Mall (Every Saturday and Sunday at 1pm)
  • Rent a car and sleep on the beach (but watch your stuff)
  • Visit Little Beach on a Sunday Evening
  • Drive around the West and Eastcoast

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