How Much Does a Trip to Hawaii Cost?

When and how you travel will play a big part in determining the cost of a trip to Hawaii.
Jennifer Coates
By Jennifer Coates
Edited by Meg Lee

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Hawaii is often on the short list of dream destinations for a relaxing beach holiday. But a potential trip to paradise doesn’t happen without first asking the critical question: How much is a trip to Hawaii?

The answer varies depending on where you stay and when you travel. We’ve crunched the numbers to give you an idea of how much you can expect to spend so you’re better prepared to budget for a vacation in Hawaii.

Estimated Hawaii trip cost

Beachfront view of the Hilton Hawaiian Village in Waikiki. (Photo courtesy of Hilton)

We looked at the estimated costs of a 10-night trip for a family of four (two adults and two children) during the peak summer travel season, as well as a seven-night trip for that same family during the shoulder season.

Here are the hypotheticals:

  • Travel to Honolulu on the island of Oahu, the most popular island for visitors to Hawaii.

  • Round-trip flights for four from Los Angeles.

  • A peak-season trip assumes a June 25, 2024, departure, while a shoulder-season trip assumes a May 8, 2024, departure.

  • We used three property types to assess price estimates:

    • A beachfront four-star resort: Hilton Hawaiian Village. 

    • A three-star hotel: Holiday Inn Express Waikiki. 

    • A condo: Various Waikiki units on

  • Totals include resort fees:

    • $50 per night at the four-star resort.

    • $29.49 per night at the three-star hotel.

    • All management and cleaning fees at the condo units.

  • Totals include parking costs of:

    • $68.06 per day at the four-star resort.

    • $45 per day at the three-star hotel.

    • Parking isn't included in condo totals (varies by building/unit).

  • Meals include nightly dinners of about $225, including drinks, taxes and tips. 

    • At a four-star resort, meal estimates include breakfasts and lunches totaling about $100 per day. 

    • Costs at a three-star hotel, which includes free breakfast, include only lunches totaling about $50 per day. 

    • Tightly budgeted meals assume cutting food costs by 60% with cheap eats and/or preparing meals. 

  • Activities for the 10-night trip include a snorkeling excursion, surfing lessons, a Pearl Harbor visit and a day at a water park. For the seven-night trip: snorkeling, the Pearl Harbor visit and a day at a water park (no surfing lessons).

  • Economy rental car reserved through or Turo.

Based on the information outlined above, here are our estimated budgets.

10-night trip, peak summer travel season

  • $15,090: Four-star beachfront resort, with a 10-day rental car.

  • $10,447: Three-star hotel, with a 10-minute walk to the beach and a five-day rental car.

  • $7,781 Low-cost condo within walking distance to the beach, tightly budgeted meals and a five-day rental car. 

Seven-night trip, shoulder season

  • $9,574: Four-star beachfront resort, with a seven-day rental car.

  • $6,488: Three-star hotel, with a 10-minute walk to the beach and a rental car for two days.

  • $4,936: Low-cost condo within walking distance to the beach, tightly budgeted meals and a two-day rental car. 

Can you beat these numbers? Definitely. Here are tips on how to save on your vacation to Hawaii.

How to cut your Hawaii vacation costs

Stay on the beach or rent a car every day, but don’t do both

Does your idea of a great vacation involve hitting the open road to explore every corner of the island? Then, don’t pay premium prices for a hotel on the beach.

On the other hand, if your dream trip involves tons of time lounging on the sand and splashing in the pool, don’t pay $55 a day for a rental car plus $68 a day to park it when it’s just going to sit there.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Many Waikiki hotels are within walking distance of a car rental agency, so it’s easy to get a car for just part of your trip. Select “Waikiki” instead of “Honolulu airport” as your pick-up and drop-off location for your rental car. If you pick the car up in the morning, then drop it off at the end of the day, you can save a night’s worth of parking costs, cutting down your trip cost.

The downside to this strategy is you may have to wait in a long line to get your car. So send one adult to pick up the vehicle in the morning while the rest of the crew gets ready for the day. And don’t forget to include airport transfers in your budget. Budget about $37 each way, including tip, for a taxi or rideshare between Waikiki and Honolulu airport.

Eat cheaper

If your family of four has a nice dinner at the world-famous Duke’s Waikiki, including cocktails for the adults, an appetizer and a Hula Pie dessert to share, you’ll spend about $225, including taxes and tip. Of course, the beachfront views, tiki torches and aloha spirit might be worth it. But you don’t have to spend that much every night.

Step away from the beach and meals get much cheaper. For example, the outstanding burgers at Cheeseburger in Paradise are about $20, as opposed to the $36 baked fish at Duke’s.

In addition, pizza joints, super-affordable ramen houses, authentic Hawaiian diners such as Rainbow Drive-In, chains such as Denny’s and IHOP and fast-food restaurants including McDonald’s, Burger King and Subway can bring your meal costs down.

Or swing into one of the many ABC Stores to pick up packaged salads, sandwiches, yogurt, snacks, drinks or some spam musubi (a slice of grilled Spam sandwiched between or on top of a block of rice, wrapped in nori) to fill up on the cheap.

More affordable yet, you can buy cereal, coffee, milk, sandwich meats and bread to prepare breakfasts and lunches at your hotel or condo.

Consider a condo

You can often find a vacation rental just a few minutes from the beach for much cheaper than you’d pay for a hotel.

For example, we found the condo shown below on Vrbo for 10 nights for $1,942 plus tax, for a total of $2,260. And that’s during peak summer travel.

For a seven-day rental during the shoulder season, you can cut your total accommodations expenditure by around $500 by choosing a condo over a hotel.

Many condos have kitchens, too, so you could save money by making eggs or pancakes for breakfast, spaghetti for dinner and packing sandwiches for lunches while you’re out and about.

Pay with points and miles

The question “How much is a vacation to Hawaii?” has a much more appealing answer if you pay using airline miles, hotel points or credit card points — which can erase hundreds or even thousands of dollars from your trip cost.

For more information on how to maximize your points, be sure to check out these articles:

If you want to go to Hawaii

So how much does it cost to go to Hawaii? It can be expensive. Hidden costs like resort fees and exorbitant parking prices can easily break a budget. But there are ways to save on the cost of a vacation to Hawaii.

Traveling before or after the peak summer season can save a considerable amount. In addition, don’t pay a premium to stay on the beach if you won’t take full advantage of that location, and don’t pay up to $68 a night to park a car as you’re splashing around the pool for several days.

To save big, consider a condo where you can cook many of your meals to save on dining. With these simple strategies, your answer to the question “How much is a vacation to Hawaii?” is one that fits your budget.

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