Author Topic: Semi frugal Hawaii holiday, already half paid for... any suggestions?  (Read 5614 times)

Shelley

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We have been saving for a while to go to Hawaii in December. My eldest will be finishing high school this year and we have been planning this trip for about 5 years. We have $17,000 saved up, I managed to get cheap flights, well cheap for Australia. The hotel we are staying at is the cheapest in Waikiki waterfront, about $5300 for 15 nights.

Now that we have come to our senses and are saving our asses off to pay off the stupid car lease, I don't want to spend too much of the remaining $7200 on the rest of the trip! My plan so far is to do the catamaran sunset cruise, which is so much cheaper than the dinner one and I think more fun for the kids. Hire a car for two days, one day to tour the island, the other to drive ourselves to Pearl Harbor, dole and the Polynesian cultural center, saving on bus transport. We won't stay for the luau there, so we can return the car that evening and save on car parking. Then paradise cove luau with transportation. Shuttle to Hanuama Bay plus entry. The rest will be just relaxing I think, and utilizing the trolley with the weekly passes giving entry to the aquarium and zoo.

Meals we plan to just have a picnic breakfast and lunch most days from the grocery store, then dinners out.

Any other suggestions?

ltt

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Re: Semi frugal Hawaii holiday, already half paid for... any suggestions?
« Reply #1 on: March 04, 2017, 05:43:23 AM »
I love Hawaii!  I'm on the fence regarding your lodging.  At around $353 per night, I don't necessarily think that's a bad rate, depending on where you are staying, how many kids you are taking, and that you are visiting in December.  I'm assuming 2 kids (at least when we visited said max 4 people in a room).  My suggestion, and we've not done this before, is to go to VRBO.com and type in Hawaii Waikiki just to get an idea of prices.  You may be able to get your lodging much cheaper--don't know, as Waikiki is expensive, but so worth it!!  I've not used VRBO before, but may the next time we go.  You might be able to find a rental with a kitchen, so you can do some of your cooking while you are there.  But being that you are travelling in December, most places are probably already booked up.

You could get a membership at Costco and then cancel the membership, but Costco tends to sell stuff in large/bulk quantity, so may not be worth it. 

Don't know where you are staying, but Hilton Hawaiian Village (that's where we stayed) has a Friday night fireworks show (every Friday)----it's free---just ask your hotel where to go to see it.  It's by their lagoon.

There a International House of Pancakes (IHOP) by HHV that serves good breakfasts that are reasonably priced.  They are quite busy, but worth it to go.  And you could walk there (depending on where you are staying on Waikiki).

Some hotels charge a daily resort fee, or a parking fee.  Could you provide more information regarding this?  I'm not sure you can get around these fees.  It's the price you pay for staying in paradise. :)


Trifele

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Re: Semi frugal Hawaii holiday, already half paid for... any suggestions?
« Reply #2 on: March 04, 2017, 06:42:35 AM »
Hey there.  If it's on the table to revisit your lodging decision, I agree you should check out AirBnB and VRBO.  We just got back from two weeks in Hawaii (one week Big Island and one week Maui) and our total lodging expense was $2200.  We weren't beach front at either rental, though.  Big Island rental was in the mountains, and the Maui rental was one block from the beach.  There were four of us on the trip, and both rentals were two-bedroom units.

We love rentals as opposed to resorts.  Having a full kitchen is a game changer. 

Have a great time!   

cl_noll

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Re: Semi frugal Hawaii holiday, already half paid for... any suggestions?
« Reply #3 on: March 04, 2017, 09:24:36 AM »
I would second this.  Hawaii is great and so is Oahu, but as you've found out it's pretty damn pricey due to crowds and demand (and thus, commercialization)! Honestly, I'd suggest doing your pre-planned Oahu activities as quickly as possible, then book it over to the Big Island and stay at a nice AirBnB rental on the East (Hilo) side for less than 200/night. Hilo is cheaper than Kona because it rains there more often...but it's still a lush tropical paradise.  Go see volcanoes, lava fields, archaeological ruins (Heiaus), rain forests, black sand beaches, botanical gardens, and more... all in an equally beautiful and far less crowded & expensive setting. 

Hey there.  If it's on the table to revisit your lodging decision, I agree you should check out AirBnB and VRBO.  We just got back from two weeks in Hawaii (one week Big Island and one week Maui) and our total lodging expense was $2200.  We weren't beach front at either rental, though.  Big Island rental was in the mountains, and the Maui rental was one block from the beach.  There were four of us on the trip, and both rentals were two-bedroom units.

We love rentals as opposed to resorts.  Having a full kitchen is a game changer. 

Have a great time!

BikeFanatic

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Re: Semi frugal Hawaii holiday, already half paid for... any suggestions?
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2017, 09:58:09 AM »
Shelly ,
I suggest that you and your spouse look into the  Barclay arrival plus credit cards. Wait until you are close to leaving. When you use them to pay for the hotel you can each get a 500$ credit towards travel. The minimum spending is 3000 each card, but you can cover that with the hotel and food and anything else you spend on the vacation plus groceries and maybe bills such as homeowners insurance. 
Have fun!

Livewell

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Re: Semi frugal Hawaii holiday, already half paid for... any suggestions?
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2017, 12:48:54 PM »
For west coast folks reading this, we've gotten some great teaser rates on time shares.  Latest is six days in Princeville with car for $800 (Weston villas).   Couple with Alaska companion fares (and/or sign up bonus on cc) and you have an inexpensive package.

You do need to spend ninety minutes doing the high pressure sales thing, I find the math laughable.  We took our young kids during nap time, which made for an early exit.

Shelley

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Re: Semi frugal Hawaii holiday, already half paid for... any suggestions?
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2017, 12:49:51 PM »
Thanks for everyone's suggestions. We are going to be staying at the Aston Waikiki Circle, deposit already paid for and we figure if we are paying so much to get there we want to be on the beach as it is going to be a long time before we get to go back. Parking is $25 a night, resort fees are non negotiable everywhere in Waikiki.

I will look into that Barclays card, thanks.

Goldielocks

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Re: Semi frugal Hawaii holiday, already half paid for... any suggestions?
« Reply #7 on: March 04, 2017, 02:51:19 PM »
I would look at changing to only 1 week at your hotel, or less and using vbro. Airbnb. Or for the best rates.     Tug2.net.   The last one is by the timeshare owners directly.

I found that the biggest cost to be food, if you don't have a kitchen.

Near Waikiki take the bus ( transit ) to honoluna bay.   Go snorkel.

Rent boogie boards and snorkel gear by the week and bypass organized tours. I loved the open deck catamaran ( no food).

Lots to do in Hawaii without paying for tours, but the cultural centre is very very good, instead of a luau.


chasesfish

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Re: Semi frugal Hawaii holiday, already half paid for... any suggestions?
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2017, 08:15:38 AM »
Hawaii is my favorite place in the world, but I can't stand Waikiki.  Can you get a refund on your hotel room if you change locations?

I like renting a condo or an Ohana in a quiet area and do my best to enjoy vacationing like I live there.  Buy food at the grocery store, grill out, go hang out on a public beach.  You should be able to do all of this for a 1/3 to 1/2 of what you're paying and enjoy yourself.  Maui, the Big Island, Kauai, or the North/East Shore of Oahu are all more my pace.

Indio

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Re: Semi frugal Hawaii holiday, already half paid for... any suggestions?
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2017, 11:17:35 AM »
The Waikiki beaches are nice for about the first day but after that the crowds can be aggravating. Suggest walking down to all moana if you want a less crowded beach. Highly recommend Waimanaloe as my favorite beach for body surfing. North shore and pipeline waves are going to be too rough in December with winter storms. There's a food court at the ala moana mall that isn't ridiculously expensive for quick meals. Best thing to do to save on food is to eat local grown - mango, pineapple, banana, papaya. There are farmers markets almost every day but they aren't all within walking distance of Waikiki. Definitely go check out the farmers market at Kapiolani park. It's huge and lots of food options. Costco and Walmart are good options if you need to buy so,egging, but Costco is not close to Waikiki.
If you want to do activities there are lots of businesses that use groupon. You can get good deals on water activities, restaurants etc. prices are close to what a local would pay. As for car rental, book the most fuel efficient model because gas is expensive. Not sure how it compares to AU prices but its highest in US because it's all imported.
Definitely agree with other posters that you should visit another island since you are going to be there for 15 days. Inter-island flights are about $125 per person.

Well Respected Man

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Re: Semi frugal Hawaii holiday, already half paid for... any suggestions?
« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2017, 07:53:19 PM »
My favorite island was Kauai, which is the least built up. We stayed in a cabin/bungalow with a lanai on an organic farm in the north of Kauai for $150/night (four people, in 2010). We also used some Fairmont rewards to stay at the Fairmont Orchid on the big island, even though I earned the points at the lowest of all Fairmonts, in downtown San Jose, CA. That was some nice arbitrage. We borrowed an excellent guide book, which showed us tons of off the beaten path free or inexpensive activities. Sorry I can't remember the name of the book, but look in the library for books on the islands that you will visit, and find those incredible and inexpensive side trips. There is so much natural beauty to be had, even without the expensive excursions. Hiking and beach trips abound.

Axecleaver

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Re: Semi frugal Hawaii holiday, already half paid for... any suggestions?
« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2017, 03:20:19 PM »
Spent a year in Honolulu. Waikiki is referred to as the "tourist ghetto" because it tries to keep all the tourists in one place. You will enjoy your time there, but please get out and see the rest of this beautiful island. Take a trip to North Shore (Haleiwa), stop at the Shrimp Trucks on the way, hike Diamond Head, visit Kualoa ranch (we had the best time there riding the ATV's around the ranch). The Dole plantation is beautiful. And go to the beaches other than the ones in Waikiki, they are all beautiful but those are the only ones that are crowded.

You can also do a day trip to Turtle Bay, it's a hotel on the Northeast tip with the ocean tides meet - we saw 50' waves there in December, which (IIRC) is high season for the best waves. Free parking, walk along the shore or have a drink at the poolside bar.

The bus system in Honolulu is world class - there is an app you  can download which shows where all the buses are in real time (never miss your bus or your stop again).

In terms of dining, there's awesome food in Waikiki, but it's expensive. Some reasonably priced, must-see places to eat while you're there: Lucky Belly (Chinatown in Honolulu), Side Street Inn (Kapiolani), and one of the best beer bars in the world, REAL a Gastropub in Kaka'ako. Kaka'ako has many affordable and interesting places to eat (parking can sometimes be challenging, but you'll be OK during the week). That's where I lived when I was there.

Rightflyer

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Re: Semi frugal Hawaii holiday, already half paid for... any suggestions?
« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2017, 04:02:22 PM »
As I write this I am overlooking Ilikai Marina (west end of Waikiki). (I'm here every month for 7-10 days)

Agree with many here.
You don't need to stay in Waikiki on the beach to experience the beach.

Suggestions:

1) Rent a condo with kitchen.
2) Rent the car for the entire stay.
3) Lot's of day trip possibilities as mentioned by others above.
4) Make an overnight trip(s) to another island(s). They all have something different to offer and inter-island flights are cheap. (keep the condo to leave you stuff at home base)

Best beach I have found is the one beside Dillingham Airfield on the North of the island. Quiet.

+1 to the food trucks at Haleiwa. (Po-boys FTW)



geekette

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Re: Semi frugal Hawaii holiday, already half paid for... any suggestions?
« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2017, 04:40:19 PM »
I love Hawaii, but please don't spend all two weeks in Waikiki.  The state has so much more to see! 

kiwigirls

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Re: Semi frugal Hawaii holiday, already half paid for... any suggestions?
« Reply #14 on: March 12, 2017, 07:48:13 PM »
Wow - $17k would be a lot of cash to drop on a holiday. I am from NZ and we are heading to Hawaii for 10 days later this year and we will be spending half of that. We used airpoints to pay for the kids flights and our family of 5 is staying Air Bnb.  You get more space for your money, apartment comes with a kitchen making meals easy and as a bonus the apartment comes with beach toys and boogies boards for the kids so no need to hire or buy. if you are serious about reining in the cost of the holiday why don't you hire an apartment using AirBnB either on another island or somewhere else in Waikiki.  If you can't get your deposit back why not use it to pay for say 4/5 nights at the hotel and then go elsewhere for the remainder.  As others have said if you stay in a hotel its hard to do your own food as you don't have cutlery or plates and you end up eating on your bed which is always wierd.  Its ok for a day or two but I wouldn't like to do it for two weeks.  Other tips to save money are to eat out for lunch and have dinner in your apartment.  We find its easier as you tend to be out and about during the day and lunches tend to be cheaper.  Another option is that instead of eating dinner out every night we will be going to cheap happy hour cocktails in the waterfront hotel bars and soaking up the high end atmosphere for the cost of a couple of drinks and then back to our apartment for dinner.  Its our first time visiting and I can't wait!

MsPeacock

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Re: Semi frugal Hawaii holiday, already half paid for... any suggestions?
« Reply #15 on: March 12, 2017, 08:06:06 PM »
Its been many years since I lived in Hawaii - but I spent 4 years on Oahu. The most beautiful beaches on island, IMHO, were in Kailua (near Kailua Beach Park). If you can rent a house there you will really feel like you are in a tropical paradise! It may be enough cheaper to allow for a rental car and time to really explore the island - or island hop! There used to be rental places for kayaks and such near the Kailua beach.


Waikiki is very built up and like a concrete jungle of huge hotels. The beach isn't the best one on the island and it can be extremely crowded (I mean, it is still Hawaii - so it is gorgeous, of course!). A rental house will also allow you to save on dining out by having meals at "home." I understand Walmart and Costco are now on island. Another grocery store is Safeway and you can get a "frequent customer card" at customer service which will give you a sale price on some items.

Does the hotel you are staying at have a kitchenette in the room, or fridge?

Be sure to use lots of sunscreen! It was a daily occurrence to see people burned lobster red from the sun. Nothing will wreck a vacation faster than sun poisoning! Also - no one ever said "I wish I'd worn LESS sunscreen." The sun is so strong there due to being close to the equator.


crossfit_mike

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Re: Semi frugal Hawaii holiday, already half paid for... any suggestions?
« Reply #16 on: March 14, 2017, 12:25:14 AM »
Take The Bus to Kailua and you can use our kitchen to make lunch. Six grocery stores within two blocks of our condo. Way better restaurants here than in Waikiki. Take our boogie boards to the beach if you want. Just a short 20-minute walk. Then look for us to visit Australia in a few years.

NorthernBlitz

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Re: Semi frugal Hawaii holiday, already half paid for... any suggestions?
« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2017, 03:06:07 PM »
We're in a similar situation.

Flying to the big island for work in August and bringing the family.

I will be reimbursed for my work flight (half price from Toronto vs. airports in upstate NY), but we used points for my wife and girls.

Then, we used credit card sign up bonuses to get most of the hotel stay outside of the conference with points. We'll be there 12 nights so I think food will get expensive if we buy on resort (even if we just get breakfast / dinner).

Our big issue will be food. I don't think there will be a kitchen in our hotel room. We'd be fine bringing plates / utensils (like camping), but were wondering if anyone had ideas about cooking implements we could use with just an outlet.
- We'd though about getting a small crock pot.
- We have a 6 qt instant pot and an 8 qt crock pot, but I don't think we'll put them in the suitcases. Might just buy something there.

Any advice from Mustachians out there who've done something similar would be appreciated.

chasesfish

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Re: Semi frugal Hawaii holiday, already half paid for... any suggestions?
« Reply #18 on: April 02, 2017, 05:51:42 AM »
We're in a similar situation.

Flying to the big island for work in August and bringing the family.

I will be reimbursed for my work flight (half price from Toronto vs. airports in upstate NY), but we used points for my wife and girls.

Then, we used credit card sign up bonuses to get most of the hotel stay outside of the conference with points. We'll be there 12 nights so I think food will get expensive if we buy on resort (even if we just get breakfast / dinner).

Our big issue will be food. I don't think there will be a kitchen in our hotel room. We'd be fine bringing plates / utensils (like camping), but were wondering if anyone had ideas about cooking implements we could use with just an outlet.
- We'd though about getting a small crock pot.
- We have a 6 qt instant pot and an 8 qt crock pot, but I don't think we'll put them in the suitcases. Might just buy something there.

Any advice from Mustachians out there who've done something similar would be appreciated.

What area of the Big Island?  I've done that twice, food isn't as bad as you'd think.

I did plan a few trips out around hitting Costco's food court for Pizza.

charis

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Re: Semi frugal Hawaii holiday, already half paid for... any suggestions?
« Reply #19 on: April 02, 2017, 07:43:20 AM »
Thirding the recommendation for Kailua - it's truly a beach paradise and not a ridiculous tourist trap.  Do NOT spend your entire vacation in Waikiki - it's ok for a day, a couple of nights out, but that is it.  Is there anyway to get your deposit back or shorten your stay there?

debbie does duncan

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Re: Semi frugal Hawaii holiday, already half paid for... any suggestions?
« Reply #20 on: April 02, 2017, 07:51:33 AM »
Quote
Our big issue will be food. I don't think there will be a kitchen in our hotel room. We'd be fine bringing plates / utensils (like camping), but were wondering if anyone had ideas about cooking implements we could use with just an outlet.
Hi NorthernBlitz......my grandparents always took a non stick electric grill to their H.vacations.
 It was thin and light w/o a lid. Breakfasts were a breeze, they ate lunch out and dinner was a simple stirfry.
Aloha

Philbert

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Re: Semi frugal Hawaii holiday, already half paid for... any suggestions?
« Reply #21 on: April 02, 2017, 05:53:42 PM »
If you're planning to rent a car while there, I'd check out Discount Hawaii Car Rentals. https://www.discounthawaiicarrental.com/

Their rates were better than the major car rental companies, and they were very easy to work with. You don't have to pay in advance, so you can reserve a car and cancel it the day before without penalty. (We did that when we went to Kauai.)

JoJo

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Re: Semi frugal Hawaii holiday, already half paid for... any suggestions?
« Reply #22 on: April 03, 2017, 06:41:51 PM »
Every time someone says they're going to Hawaii, I try to convince them to go to the Philippines instead.  Although Philippines is a bit farther, and does have it's share of poverty, it has it's advantages:
* Often the airfare there is cheaper
* There are some amazing beaches
* A sample day trip:  boat taking you around to snorkel all day, big lunch of fish & pork, free time at an incredible beach in the afternoon.  Cost: $17
* Sample dinner: Pasta with seafood, served on the beach $5.
* Beers on the beach $1
* Accommodation: $20 and up.  for $100 you could probably have your own villa.

Check out El Nido, Coron, and Tao Philippines blogs:
https://thehotflashpacker.com/philippines/

lthenderson

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Re: Semi frugal Hawaii holiday, already half paid for... any suggestions?
« Reply #23 on: April 04, 2017, 08:19:43 AM »
We spent a week on Kauai a few months ago. Rental car was very cheap and much more convenient than waiting for the bus. We mostly avoided eating out at restaurants. The entire time we mostly ate out at food trucks or small mom and pop shops along the way where ever we happened to be. Both times we ate at restaurants, the food was decent but nothing above what can be found on the mainland and the cost was two or three times higher. The food trucks/mom and pop shops definitely wowed us several times on the quality of the food and the price was cheap. In fact, we ate some poke out of a food truck that wowed us so much we went back two more times during the week.

We also avoided all the touristy cruises, zip lines, four wheeler rides, guided anything. Instead we bought a guidebook and did a lot of hiking and driving to places off the beaten path. Not only were they free but we enjoyed being away from all the masses of people and doing our own thing.

NorthernBlitz

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Re: Semi frugal Hawaii holiday, already half paid for... any suggestions?
« Reply #24 on: April 05, 2017, 01:31:02 PM »
Quote
Our big issue will be food. I don't think there will be a kitchen in our hotel room. We'd be fine bringing plates / utensils (like camping), but were wondering if anyone had ideas about cooking implements we could use with just an outlet.
Hi NorthernBlitz......my grandparents always took a non stick electric grill to their H.vacations.
 It was thin and light w/o a lid. Breakfasts were a breeze, they ate lunch out and dinner was a simple stirfry.
Aloha

Thanks Debbie. We're looking to do something similar. We found a small induction element that will work with one of our small cast iron griddles. We might move to something SS because the CI is pretty heavy...but eggs are easier in the CI, so we'll have to see. We generally avoid cooking on non-stick coatings (which may be overly cautious).

seattlecyclone

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Re: Semi frugal Hawaii holiday, already half paid for... any suggestions?
« Reply #25 on: April 05, 2017, 02:42:35 PM »
Agree 100% with the suggestion to find a vacation rental rather than a hotel. The resort hotels in Hawaii are super expensive. I'm currently sitting in a studio apartment on an oceanfront bluff just a short walk from the Kauai Mariott and we're paying $160/night. That comes with a kitchen so we aren't forced to use restaurants for every dinner, instead we can have a nice slow-paced meal overlooking the ocean at our rental.

freeat57

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Re: Semi frugal Hawaii holiday, already half paid for... any suggestions?
« Reply #26 on: April 26, 2017, 08:23:18 AM »
O K, without telling you to throw out your entire plan and start from scratch as some others have suggested, here are some practical suggestions.   

1.  Do not buy groceries in Waikiki (i.e. The Food Pantry).  Walk or take the bus to the Safeway on Kapahulu or , at the other end of Waikiki Don Quijote.  Get a Safeway card for the sales before you go if you can.  I actually got one there in the store.  I just used the hotel address as my "home address".  They did not care.  Don Quijote, kind of  behind Ala Moana shopping center, is an experience in itself.  Many of the tourist goodies are cheaper there too.

2.  Switch your meal schedule.  Plan to "picnic" for breakfast and dinner.  Eat a big restaurant lunch.  Many restaurants offer good lunch specials, but dinner is pricey. 

3.  As others have said, use the buses.  If you have a car early in your trip, scout out the thrift stores (Goodwill, etc.)  You may be able to buy a cheap hot pot or George Foreman grill andkitchenware for cooking in your room.  This can also be a good place to find Hawaii shirts.

4. Bus to China Town for an interesting, if not a little grimy sights and cheap food.  Flowers and leis are cheaper there.

5. I'll second the farmers' market suggestion!!  Check out the one at Kapi'olani community college (behind Diamond Head).  Tuesday and Saturday, I think.


EconDiva

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Re: Semi frugal Hawaii holiday, already half paid for... any suggestions?
« Reply #28 on: April 27, 2017, 07:15:23 AM »
I went to Hawaii (Oahu) twice last year and the during the last visit I stayed in an AirBnB for less than $90/night less than 2 blocks from the ocean in Waikiki.

*Tip*:  I always book AirBnb's last minute and ask for a discount on the rate which usually works out ;)

This is coming from someone who 'likes nice things'...my place wouldn't have been for everyone because it wasn't luxurious.  It was just a regular studio condo.  But Hawaii is so beautiful anyways and I was just so happy to be on vacation that I enjoyed my cozy place just fine.

FLBiker

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Re: Semi frugal Hawaii holiday, already half paid for... any suggestions?
« Reply #29 on: April 27, 2017, 09:37:56 AM »
I lived on Oahu for 2.5 years.  I agree with what folks have said about Waikiki (I spent very little time there).

My favorite beach (it's a ways out from Waikiki) is Makaha.  We used to camp out there, and it gets properly dark -- the stars are amazing!  Kaena Point is out that way, too, is a cool place to hike and see seals, albatross, etc.  There are no roads, though -- we used to hike or mountain bike.

And speaking of hiking, if you like that, you've got to hike some of the central mountain ridge.  I don't really know the names of stuff (we used to go up trails that started in Manoa valley or Palolo) but it is really, really cool.  There are trails all along the narrow ridges on top of the island, and you can see everything.  To be honest, after the first month or two, I spent way more time in the mountains than at the beach.

Closer to Waikiki, Hanauma Bay is cool and Makapu'u is also cool -- there's a lighthouse out there, and it's a great place to see whales at the right time of year.  There are also blowholes there.  I also really liked Sandy Beach, but be careful body surfing / boogie boarding there.  The waves are no joke and folks break their necks.

Have fun!

Can't Wait

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Re: Semi frugal Hawaii holiday, already half paid for... any suggestions?
« Reply #30 on: April 28, 2017, 01:11:54 PM »
I used the Chase Sapphire Reserve sign up bonus to get two round-trip tickets from DC to Honolulu. Plus the $300 travel credit in 2016 and the $300 travel credit for 2017 went towards the hotel.

I spent $140 total for two tickets on two guided tours to Diamond Head and Pearl Harbor. I realize that these are easy places to get to on your own in a rental car or by taking the bus, but I felt like paying for the tour was worth it. They came and picked us up and dropped us off right at our hotel and the tour guides were very entertaining and informative. I did rent a car for a couple of days and drove up to the Dole plantation and North Shore - it was around $50 a day for the car. Everyone kept saying "don't go do the touristy things" but I actually wanted to go see Diamond Head, the Banzai Pipeline, Dole Plantation, Waikiki beach etc.. Hawaii is absolutely beautiful whether you are at the touristy spots or not.

Getting there!

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Another option for part of your Hawaii trip is to take a interisland cruise on Pride of America with Norwegian Cruise Line http://vacationstogo.com/fastdeal.cfm?deal=24435 The itinerary includes two nights each on Maui and Kauai.  I had been to Oahu about a dozen times, and taking this cruise was a wonderful way to see Maui, Kauai, and two locations (Hilo & Kona) on the big island of Hawaii.  At each location we walked or took a city bus, and on Kauai one of the days we took a bus tour to the Waimea Canyon.  There’s no need to get a cabin with a balcony, as every day the ship is at a different location, so no days at sea.  Viewing the Napoli coastline was a real highlight.  There is an offer currently where the third and fourth person can be in a cabin with two adults and only pay the taxes.

Otherwise on Oahu The Bus system is incredible and we’ve taken the bus that does a circle island trip and it starts from the bus centre at Ala Moana shopping centre.  The Bus goes to the major attractions  throughout the island http://www.thebus.org/pop/Visitor_WaikikiGuide.pdf

We’ve been to each of three Costco by taking the city bus, and one location doesn’t require a transfer https://www.costco.com/warehouse-locations/warehouse-120.html?langId=-1&storeId=10301&catalogId=10701&warehouseNumber=120

We also purchased a Sam’s Club membership one year and then went to the location behind Ala Moana shopping centre in the same building as Wal-mart  700 Keeaumoku St Honolulu, HI 96814.

Buying a few groceries to at least have breakfast, lunch and snacks in our room worked out very well. We’ve stayed several times in Ohana hotels and if we were to return we’d look at Ohana East or Malia http://www.ohanahotelsoahu.com/ 

I stayed a couple of times at a hotel right by Hilton Hawaiian Village, Aqua Palms, and it is an excellent location and near a couple of economical restaurants just outside of the heart of Waikiki.  It’s a short walk to Ala Moana Shopping Centre, and just across from the Hilton Hawaiian Village beach http://www.aquapalms.com/?utm_source=yext&utm_medium=local&utm_campaign=yext

Have a wonderful time trip!

tnevy4

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I should be moved in and settled near Pearl Harbor if you need anything let me know. I can probably help with lower priced groceries.

jeromedawg

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I hate Waikiki - the last two times I was in Honolulu we stayed in Waikiki and never again. The traffic congestion and amount of people makes it awful. If you're okay with crowds though, you'll probably be fine. If you want to get away from it though, Waikiki isn't the best place to be staying at.

Blackeagle

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I was lucky enough to travel to Hawaii twice growing up.  By far my favorite islands were Molokai and the Big Island.  In addition to being a bit slower paced, those might offer some savings compared to Waikiki.

Dicey

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It sounds like you may not be able to get out of your hotel reservations. Since you're staying at a chain, you might be able to negotiate a switch to another of their properties for part of the trip. There is so much more to Oahu than Waikiki.

Be sure to plan at least one trip to the Aloha Swap.