Hawaii on a budget | January : Journey

Our trip to Hawaii was mostly lovely, but one thing that certainly wasn't: prices. While there may be cheaper places in paradise, our hotel was located in Waikiki which certainly wasn't budget friendly. Here are my tips for visiting Oahu on a budget.

How to get there

While the Pacific Northwest is a beautiful place to live, it can be pretty rough here weather-wise from about November to February thanks to the gray, misty weather. I had been fantasizing about a Hawaii trip to break up the gloomy gray, and I jumped when I received an alert from Scott's Cheap Flights for discounted winter flights. We ended up getting direct flights for two for about $900, which seemed to be a savings of at least $200-$400. We flew in and out on Wednesdays, which also netted some savings.

What to eat

We experienced major sticker shock on our first morning in Hawaii when we went out to eat for breakfast. We spent nearly $40 on breakfast at Waffle House even though we split an entree! After that, we visited Target to pick up groceries so that we could eat meals in our room. I don't know about you, but I would rather have hummus for lunch so that I can have a nice dinner instead of having to eat cheaply all day long. We only had a refrigerator in our room, but you could certainly save even more if you stay at a place with a kitchenette.

How to get around town

Oahu has a really great public bus system creatively named The Bus that we used to get around town during a good portion of our trip. An unlimited daily pass will only set you back $5.50, and it will take you to the zoo, Diamond Head, Iolani Palace, and just about anywhere else that you might want to go. Drivers were friendly, the buses were clean, and they seemed to be fairly timely so overall it's a very tourist-friendly way to get from A to B. We rented a discounted car at the end of our trip to see Pearl Harbor, Manoa Falls, and the Byodo-In Temple. While it was well worth the rental, if I had it to do over again I would flip the car portion of our trip to the beginning. We were a little worn out by the end of our trip, and I think we would have gotten more out of the car portion if we were still fresh.