Planning for a family vacation to Hawaii means balancing school vacations, work schedules, budgets, and everyone’s preferences on what they want to see. Our first piece of advice is to buy your airplane tickets well in advance, since this is likely to be the most expensive part of your trip. But once you’re at this beautiful, tropical destination, we’ve got a budget guide for a Hawaii family vacation that will help you save some cash while you’re here!
1. Travel off season
A few good things about avoiding the peak summer vacation season: less crowds and cheaper rates on just about everything! Take some time and look for cheaper flights and discounted hotel rooms in January (last two weeks), February, end of May, September and October. The good thing is that the weather is great year round, so whenever you come, there’s plenty of beautiful sunshine.
2. Don’t stay at a hotel
Try searching out other lodging options like condo rentals, Airbnb.com, hostels, or a housing swap with another family. Hotel prices can ruin most of your vacation budget and they’ll sometimes charge extra depending on the age of your kids, so be careful. Another advantage to staying at a condo or house rental is that you have access to a kitchen so you can cut back on the cost of eating out.
3. Stick to one island
While there’s plenty of beauty and culture to take in on every island, it’s best to stick with one island to cut travel costs. Island hopping doesn’t just eat up your budget, it takes away from the time you could be spending on other activities.
4. Use the bus
Renting a car can be quite costly with the hidden fees, extra taxes, and insurance costs that are added on top. Try using the bus in Honolulu, which runs all over the city and offers 4 day passes and child friendly fares that can save your family some cash.
5. Have a heavy lunch
If you are staying at a hotel and don’t have access to a kitchen, try and stay at a hotel that offers a complimentary breakfast. Then make your next meal a hearty lunch instead of just a sandwich. That way you can take advantage of lunch prices at restaurants or early-bird specials. Try buffets or ask your hotel for restaurants that offer “kids eat free” nights.
6. Sign up for promo emails
Is there an activity that you and your family really want to do? Well sign up on that vendor’s email list and keep an eye out for promotions and specials. Or sign up for promotion sites like Groupon or LivingSocial and stay up to date on deals that are happening in Hawaii. This is a great way to make sure that those deals don’t pass you by!
7. Look for package deals
The advantage of traveling as a family is that you are a small group. Ask hotels for discount rates or package deals to see what they have to offer. Thinking about a zipline excursion? Ask the vendor if they offer any packages with other excursions that you might be interested in doing.
Now that you have some handy tips for saving cash on your next vacation, get started by looking for those low airfares. We’ll be waiting for you!