How Much Does a Trip to Hawaii Cost – Full Breakdown

The Hawaiian Islands are known for their beautiful beaches, tropical climate, and natural beauty. However, a trip to Hawaii doesn’t come cheap.

On average, five nights in Hawaii costs between $1,800 and $3,500 per person, based on two people sharing.

I just spent a week in Oahu, Hawaii, so I figured it would be a good idea to break down costs to help you budget for your trip.

Flights to Hawaii

Given the distance between Hawaii and the mainland USA, flights aren’t cheap. The exact cost of your flight will vary depending on:

  • When you’re travelling
  • Where you’re flying from
  • Which Hawaiian island you’re flying to
  • Class of travel

However, economy flights from the US to Hawaii typically cost between $250 and $500 per person.

Hawaii Hotels & Accommodation

The cost of accommodation in Hawaii depends on:

  • Which island you visit
  • When you’re visiting
  • Where you’re staying on the island
  • Type of accommodation (hotel room, condo, villa, etc.)

I’d love to say that the more developed tourism is on an island, the cheaper accommodation is, but that’s not the case. Instead, the price of accommodation on different Hawaiian islands is a matrix.

One thing I will say is that Hawaii is a very popular timeshare destination. As such, you can sometimes find rooms on Airbnb and Vrbo cheaper than on platforms like Booking and Expedia, despite the same room being in the same hotel.

At least, that’s what I found when I booked a one-bedroom condo in Waikiki on Vrbo for $2,040.79 for the week. If I had gone directly to the hotel, I’d have been looking at closer to $3,000 for the same room type in the same week.

Getting Around Hawaii

There are two types of domestic transport you’ll want to consider when budgeting for a trip to Hawaii:

  1. Travelling between islands
  2. Travelling around the island

The amount you spend on transport in Hawaii will depend on whether you plan to stay on one island or explore a few different islands during your trip. The more islands you visit, the more you’ll spend.

Since I was visiting the island of Oahu for the first time and only had a week, I chose to spend the entire time on the island. However, I still needed to budget for travelling around Oahu, so I opted for a rental car.

The cost of hiring a car in Hawaii has increased significantly in recent years. However, I cut costs using Turo, a peer-to-peer rental car service, and hired a car for $80 a day, including insurance. Think of Turo as Airbnb but for cars.

Using Turo also meant I didn’t have to hire a car for my entire week in Oahu. Instead, I could compress driving around the island into just a few days.

When hiring a car in Hawaii, factor in the cost of parking. Luckily, my condo had a free parking pass because other hotels in Waikiki can charge up to $50 a night.

Attractions & Entertainment in Hawaii

How much you spend on attractions and entertainment in Hawaii will depend on the type of trip. If you plan to do a lot of hiking or relax on the beach, you won’t need much.

However, if you want surfing lessons or plan to hire a surfboard, you’ll need $100 to $250 a day. If you want to go on a sunset cruise or see dolphins, you’ll need $80 – $120 per person per experience.

Hawaii is so beautiful that it’s easy to explore at minimal cost. Aside from a couple of one-off experiences, you shouldn’t need much.

Eating in Hawaii

The cost of food in Hawaii is higher than that of the mainland USA, both when eating out and buying food from the grocery store.

I recommend budgeting between $25 and $150 per person daily on food. If you’re happy to eat at your accommodation, you’ll be good at the lower amount. However, if you want fine dining experiences while in Hawaii, you’ll want to budget closer to $150.

Travelling with a 14-month-old, I didn’t dine out much in Oahu. Instead, I had cereal from Walmart for breakfast, lunch from local food trucks, and dinner delivered to DoorDash. This meant that, as a family of three, we spent between $80 and $120 on food daily while in Hawaii.

Oahu Travel Planning Guide

🏥 Should I Buy Travel Insurance for a Trip to Oahu?

Yes, you should definitely buy travel insurance for any vacation to Oahu. Basic travel insurance coverage with Safety Wing averages between $5 – $10 per day and offers peace of mind.

🚘 Do I Need to Rent a Car for a Trip to Oahu?

I would recommend hiring a car for a trip to Oahu. Even if it’s only for a couple of days of your vacation. I personally use Discover Cars to find the best car rental deals.

However, if you are on a tight budget or you don’t plan to explore much of the island then you, then you may want to consider comparing the cost and convenience of Uber and rental cars in Oahu instead.

🏨 Where to Stay in Oahu?

The vast majority of accommodation in Oahu is located in Waikiki. If you enjoy shopping, then you may want to stay further north by the Ala Moana Shopping Mall.

Alternatively, if you’re looking to spend your vacation at the beach, then consider staying as close to Waikiki Beach as possible.

When booking accommodation in Oahu, I use either or However, for large families and groups, VRBO is my number one choice.


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