The Cheapest Hawaiian Island to Visit | Plus 4 Tips to Save Money on Your Hawaii Vacation



To determine which Hawaiian island is the cheapest to visit we looked at three costs: airfare, lodging (hotels and vacation rentals), and rental car hire. We were surprised by what we found.

Using these averages, we calculated the cost for a trip for two to each island for a week. We found the cheapest island for each cost category and discovered some great ways to save money on your trip to Hawaii.

Looking for more ways to save on a trip to Hawaii? Get local tips, ways to save, a step-by-step pre-travel testing program video, and 7 full days.

Articles Referenced:
The Cheapest Hawaiian Island to Visit:
How to Get a Cheap Ticket to Hawaii:
A Local’s 10 Free Things to Do on Oahu’s North Shore:
Free 5 Day #Oahu Itinerary:

Recommend Hawaii Discount Websites:
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Check out more of our Oahu and Hawaii itineraries at the link below. All are FREE and full of fun.

The Cheapest Hawaiian Island to Vacation Chapters:
00:00 Intro
01:05 The cheapest Hawaiian island to visit is…
01:35 Cost of hotels by Hawaiian island
02:25 Cost of vacation rentals by Hawaiian island
02:51 Cost of rental car hire by island
03:00 Overall cost to Hawaii for a couple
03:22 The most expensive Hawaiian island to visit is…

Ways to Save Money When Visiting Hawaii
03:45 Tip 1: Book a vacation rental
04:29 Tip 2: Save on your car rental with Discount Hawaii Car Rental
05:07 Tip 3: Shop around for activities
05:46 Tip 4: Look for flash sales on flights

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Hawaii Tourism Authority

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29 comments

  1. Interesting. For our trip in September 2021, it was cheaper to fly to Kona or Hilo($299 one way) THRU Honolulu than it was to just to fly to Honolulu. If you wanted to fly bare bones, it was under $250 one way, on Hawaiian.

    We got an AirBnB for $50/night just south of Hilo. Car for 4 days is almost the same price as for 2 days in Oahu. We almost decided to just spend our entire time on the big island, but we decided to pay the costs of Oahu($175 for our single night in Honolulu).

    But, of course, the flood of travel during the pandemic has made things crazy and unusual…

  2. Flying out to Oahu tomorrow for one week and then Maui the following week. I'm pretty worried about going broke lol

  3. I'm heading to Maui in mid December, and will go camping for 10 days. Have been to Big Island and Oahu before, so I wanted to try a new island. Camping is not terribly expensive compared to campgrounds in Grand Teton or Yellowstone, plus no grizzlies. Rental cars are incredibly pricey in Hawaii ($1200+ weekly) these days, but Maui has decent bus coverage along its coastline, and a scooter rental is considerably more affordable than a car for that drive to Hana.

  4. Just checked rates for November 2021. Flight + hotel: $897. Hotel part, $544.00 = $77 a night. Hotel is the Castle Waikiki Grand overlooking the zoo in Waikiki, about a block from the beach.

  5. June 2021….Car rentals are sky high. Book your car rental before you book your flight. Seriously. It’s 40% less cars right now. During Covid the cars were sent to the mainland and there’s a shortage of new cars because of the chip shortage. People have paid 600. a day. No kidding!

  6. My husband and I always do the house rentals in Hawaii with Vrbo and we can get a cute 2 bedroom house with ocean view for less than 150.00 a night on the Big Island or at least under 200 bucks on the other islands, which is such a money saver! More room to spread out, private and not feeling like you’re stuck in a tiny, overpriced hotel room box with a jillion people at a hotel. Ahh, can’t beat it! 🥰
    Totally understand though, that some people like resort activities, etc. All travelers are different. 😎

  7. 15 years ago Maui was our favorite. It's the big island for us now. Maui is so crowded and unfriendly compared to the big island

  8. If you REALLY want to go on the cheap and see some beauty you can camp at Malakehana Campground right on the ocean tent camping or rent a Hale! Super affordable & you can spend the extra money on doing stuff! Food trucks on site too!!

  9. rental cars are not cheaper on oahu..i have found the rental cars on Oahu to be 25% more than the other islands

  10. I thought it was illegal to stay in a short term vacation rental in Oahu? Do you guys have any tips/updates on those laws?

  11. I work for Southwest Airlines and I’m hoping to eventually get a transfer to work at Honolulu’s airport and your videos have been wonderful!

    I think the financial aspect of moving to Hawaii seems to be the scariest part! Sending love from Illinois

  12. One thing people forget to budget is parking in Waikiki. If you are staying at a resort in Waikiki then expect to pay upwards of $20 a day for self parking or $35 a day for valet. For many resorts valet is the only option.

    If you are planning on staying in Waikiki for most of the trip just rent a car on the day or days you will be touring the island or making Costco runs. It will save you a ton on parking fees.

    I haven't had to pay parking fees on BI, or Kauai.

  13. It’s ALASKA Airlines, NOT Alaskan Airlines! Please correct… On a brighter note – I really enjoy your videos.

  14. We use airbnb and save tons of money cooking many meals using a full kitchen and enjoying POKE at foodland!

  15. Maui is the most expensive but its still my favorite 🙂 – But I agree, if on a budget and would really like to have a taste of Hawaii, Oahu is the way to go.

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