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There are few places that can compete with Hawaii when it comes to the ultimate island holiday. In 2016 alone, 8.9 million people visited Hawaii, setting a record high for the American state. However, with this type of popularity, Hawaii can sometimes seem out of reach for budget travellers.
Fortunately, we’re here to resurrect that Hawaiian dream by giving you our top tips to enjoy Hawaii without blowing the budget.
The real question should perhaps be ‘why shouldn’t you?’. The fiftieth U.S. state, the archipelago of Hawaii is made up of eight main islands and over 100 tiny islets. In addition to the postcard perfect beaches you’ve likely got in mind, Hawaii is incredibly geographically diverse. The volcanic nature of the islands has produced lush vegetation and rainforests, as well as dizzying mountain peaks – one of which has even been known to get a dusting of snow!
Modern Hawaii is a portrait of cultural diversity and the balance between local tradition and its identity as part of America. However, whether you’re strutting the streets of cosmopolitan Honolulu or exploring the island of Lanai – which boasts not a single traffic light – you’re always bound to find the quintessential Aloha spirit which makes Hawaii so unique.
If you want to save on your trip to Hawaii, the first step is to time your trip right. In general, you can look to find some of the better package deals on hotels and resorts from mid-April to mid-June (spring) and September to mid-December (autumn), when tourist numbers tend to be lower.
Or for something completely different, how about jetting over to Hawaii in winter? Average daytime winter temperatures hover around 25 degrees Celsius, and while there is higher rainfall, the rain tends to be quite localised – you’ll usually be able to find a sunny spot around the corner!
If you’re looking for cheap flights, sometimes flexibility is your best friend. If you’re open to shifting your travel dates, you can often score big when it comes to budget flight prices. It’s generally a good idea to avoid the U.S. spring break (March 21-April 14) or the summer high season (early June to mid-August).
Honolulu on the island of Oahu has a number of budget accommodation options and some great hostels if you’re looking to keep costs down. In addition, a number of the bigger hotels often have bundle deals that can comprise anything from flights and meals to various activities around the resort. If you’re planning on travelling off-peak in the cooler seasons, you’re likely to have more options available to you, but if you’re set on a Hawaiian summer, be sure to book well in advance, or aim for later in the season for last minute deals.
A lot of Hawaii’s great culinary delights can be sampled without needing to break the bank. Shave ice is a refreshing, icy treat that is heaven on a hot Hawaiian day. Just a few dollars will buy you a local icon to enjoy at the beach, or while you’re exploring the streets of Honolulu.
Chase your shave ice down with a Chinese style pork bun, also known as manapua, or try a taste of poke, a raw fish dish mixed in with a fresh salad. Usually made with yellow fin tuna, or ahi, you can enjoy poke with a splash of soy or add a little chilli for an extra kick.
If you’re ready to book your dream Hawaiian holiday, make sure you budget for travel insurance.