Guided tour vs Self tour in Oahu? – Hawaii Travel Tip 2024

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Did you know that participating in guided tours is often more cost-effective and time-saving, making a better deal overall?

With lots of prices rising and soaring in Hawaii, many people may be seeking to save on their trip to Honolulu and enjoy Hawaii on a budget.

Why Our Guided Tour Is the Best Choice?

Let me introduce our guided tour with one of the popular hiking spots on Oahu; Waimea Waterfall Hike Tour by Nature & You. This tour has a quite good deal for those seeking a good experience within the budget. Let’s compare how much you can save by joining the Waimea hiking tour for one adult.

<When Joining the Waimea Hiking Tour>
Included in the tour:

・Round-trip transportation from Waikiki
    Along the way to the North Shore, the guide will provide various information about Hawaiian history and geography.
・Breakfast (Coffee & Pastry)
・Explore Green World Coffee Farm with sampling Hawaiian Coffee
・Waimea Valley admission 
    Adults $25, Children (4-12 years old) $15, Seniors (62 years and older) $20 (Admission as of May 2, 2024. Could change without notice)
・Hiking through Waimea Valley with the guide, learning about Hawaii’s history, culture, and nature along the way
・Swimming at Waimea Falls
・Healthy lunch included at Waimea Valley

One-day expenditure for the tour:
・Waimea Hiking Tour Package (per adult): $149  → $111.75 Use “Waterfall25” promo code to get 25% off
・Shopping expenses at Dole Pineapple Plantation (estimate): Dole Whip and souvenir snacks $8-$20

Total for 1 adult  joining the Waimea Hiking Tour: $131.75

Guided tour in Waimea

Spend a Day Without Joining the Tour>

While it’s possible to walk or take the bus around Waikiki, a rental car is necessary to get to the North Shore where Waimea Falls is located. Including insurance and gas, renting a car in Hawaii costs roughly $200 per day. Besides the cost, during peak seasons, there can be long queues for renting cars, leading to unexpected delays or even unavailability of rentals. If cars are sold out and you have to resort to Uber or a taxi, it could cost around $100 one way on average.

・Food expenses
One of the major expenses during a Hawaii trip is food. When dining out in Hawaii, tipping is in addition to the meal cost. Tips are generally 15-20% of the pre-tax price. For a simple breakfast at a Waikiki cafe, coffee costs at least $5 and sandwiches are around $10-$15 each (as of May 2024).

For lunch, if ordering drinks as well, it usually starts from $30 per person, and in restaurants, it’s mostly over $40 per person. With tax and tips, it easily ends up around $50.

One-day expenditure:
・Car rental: $210
・Breakfast: Coffee $7 and Sandwich $15: At least $22
・Lunch: At least $35
・Souvenirs and snacks: $8-$20

Total for spending the day with a rental car: $

【Comparison Conclusion】
Guided tour $131.75 <<< Self tour $287.00

There are still many advantages to optional tours!

  • No need to rent a car yourself!
  • No anxiety about driving on unfamiliar roads!
  • No need to research directions or worry about parking availability!
  • Save time lining up to purchase admission tickets!

During the journey to the North Shore, the guide will provide enjoyable commentary along with local recommendations. As Waimea Falls gets crowded around midday for swimming, and traffic congestion in the evening, the tour starts early but returns to Waikiki around 2:30-3 pm. This leaves you time to go to the beach or have dinner after returning. 

Looking at the total price, time, and effort you need to spend, isn’t it a pretty good deal? You are on vacation, so why not join our tour for fun? This way, you can make the most of your vacation time.

Besides the Waimea Tour, And You Creations offers Manoa Waterfall Hiking, Turtle Canyon Snorkeling, Dolphin Watching Tour, Oahu Island Tour, and Waikiki Sunset Cruise, among others!
Another good thing about our tours is if you book two tours at the same time, you can enjoy the second tour at a discounted price, which is even greater savings! Please consider the great value optional tours by And You Creations when you travel to Oahu.

Read another blog about the Waimea Falls Hiking Tour from here

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