Packing for Hawaii

This is it, drum roll please! What is this trip costing us?

I have summarized the trip below by airfare, accommodation & car.

3 people – 25 day trip:


Airfare: Mainland to Oahu

  • 2 – airfares from Portland, ME – Oahu, HI  $620.00* 2 = $1,240.00
  • 1 – airfare from Vancouver, BC Canada – Oahu, HI  $630.00

Airfare: 2 people – Oahu – Maui $232.00

  • Ohau – Maui was booked as a package with airfare, accommodation & economy rental car for $823.00. I pulled apart the package to cost out the individual parts.

Airfare: 3 people – Oahu – Kahului-Kona $ 440.00

Total Cost Airfare: 3 economy  tickets – Mainland to Hawaii & Island Hopping to 2 Islands:  $2,542.00

Total Cost Accommodation: all 3+ star, ocean front, ocean view, studios or 1 bedrooms with Lanai (furnished patio) & full kitchen.

I’ll average it out:  $110.00/day@23 days = $2,530.00

Total cost rental vehicle: $1,150.00

  • 13 days economy rental
  • 12 days 4 wheel drive vehicle



  • 1 Inter-Island airfare ~ $122.90 (Colleen isn’t doing the Maui leg)
  • Valet parking fees Waikiki beach
  • Activity fees
  • Food, gas, dining

Booking a package through a discount dealer like Priceline, Travelocity, Expedia, etc.

  • Most East Coast – Oahu packages; 3 star hotels on the ocean, ocean view, economy car start at $2,500.00 per person.

TOTAL COST OF PACKAGE TRIP for 3 people: $7,500.00

SO…. we have a savings of $1,278.00!!!!!!!!!!! (not including the conference reimbursement $$).


  • We customized the trip & are traveling to 3 Islands instead of 1 Island  with the package trip.
  • We have a full kitchen with all of our accommodation so we will save major$$ on food.
  • We have  1 bedroom condos for part of the trip when Colleen is with us, studios on Waikiki Beach.
  • Planning the trip yourself lets you get the lay of the land so you are ready to jump into the vacation right from the start.
  • Half of our vehicle rentals are 4 wheel drive instead of all economy so we can see more of the”off the beaten trail” sights.


  • If this was a 2 person trip the savings would not have been as high. 2 people could have booked a decent trip for about $5,000.00 but without many of the above benefits such as ocean view, full kitchen or 4 wheel drive vehicle or Island Hopping.
  • The DIY trip takes time to plan, which is in short supply for most of us.

9 Tips for planning your budget Hawaiian Trip :

  1. We know where all of the Walmart’s & Costco’s are so we can buy a cooler, less expensive groceries, alcohol & any other misc goods.
  2. The GPS is up to date with hotel addresses, directions to our first night accommodation are printed & maps are handy.
  3. We have printed a detailed Itinerary with all information on flights, accommodation & car rental along with addresses, telephone numbers & confirmation numbers. 4 copies; 1 for each of us & a backup for the suitcase.
  4. We have a standard vacation packing check list on the computer so nothing is forgotten.
  5. We have packed our snorkeling gear & wetsuits so we can snorkel our way around the Islands without worrying about rentals.
  6. We bought the Entertainment Hawaii book with discounts on restaurants & activities. There are many great deals on recommended restaurants. (Thanks to Nancy S. for this great tip) The cost was $29.00 incl shipping.
  7. Hawaiian airlines offers great Inter-Island discount packages.
  8. The best hotel deals were  3+ star when booking with an online discounter like Priceline .
  9. Booking a private deep sea fishing charter for 3 was only slightly more expensive than a shared charter. We have the liberty to take a detour to whale watch or to take a break & snorkel.


  • Get input from everyone  about where you want to go, what activities you want to do & how much down-time you want before you start planning your vacation.
  • Talk about your budget & figure out where you can afford to go & what you can afford to do.
  • Proper planning can save money & take the stress out of travel.
  • Planning also increases the anticipation of the trip! Yeah! Just 3 more sleeps!

Don’t forget to:

  1. Notify banks & credit card companies of your vacation.
  2. Put your Post Office mail  on hold.
  3. Copy passports & keep the copies  separate from the original.

1 Comment on Travelling to Hawaii with Champagne Taste on a Beer Budget – Part 3

  1. Laura says:

    maybe you should be a free lance travel consultant?

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