Travel Budget Guide To Oahu
Generally speaking, Hawaii is expensive!! After visiting Oahu 30+ times, I wanted to share my 4 day Travel Budget Guide To Oahu. It is affordable! Now that Southwest Airlines flys there, the competition for lower fares is abundant.
How To Travel to Oahu For Cheap
All in all, this particular trip cost me $172 including airfare, hotel, and a car rental. Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card and hotels.com awards played a major role in lowering the cost.
Booking With Chase’s Travel Partners
One of Chase’s partners is Air France. When I searched award travel on AirFrance.com, I saw round trip tickets for 30,000 points + $11.20 for taxes per person. The flight is actually operated by Delta since they are SkyTeam partners. Retail value of this ticket: $649.00. Total savings (for 2 people: $1,275.60)
Booking Flight Tickets Without Rewards Points
Although many travel search engines exist, in my opinion Google Flights is the best way to find the cheapest fares. I scored a ticket for $188 for my latest trip to Hawaii on United.
First of all, I suggest renting a car to explore the island as the public transportation is limited. Priceline.com is a great tool. Second, always book free cancellation rates. I’ll let you in on a secret. Lastly, input you car reservation details on autoslash.com. This website automatically sends an alert when the price of the existing reservation has dropped.
Hotel – Where To Stay
In this particular trip, I stayed at the Aston Waikiki Circle Hotel using my hotels.com rewards night. Total spent for 4 nights – $170.77
My latest trip (November 2019) I stayed at the Hyatt Place Waikiki Place. 12,000 Hyatt points per night and no additional fees.
Parking In Waikiki
Just around the corner from my hotel is the Waikiki Banyan Parking. With a rate of $20/day, this is the best deal for parking. For more information for parking, click here.
Not interested in paying for parking? Parking is free at the Ala Wai Canal St however limited spaces are available. Fore more information on FREE parking click here.
DIY Travel Budget Itinerary
After a 5 hour plane ride from Los Angeles to Honolulu, we picked up our rental car. It was too early to check in so off to to my favorite place for the best açaí bowl
Da Cove Health Bar & Cafe – Get the Mana Bowl $9.25 – CASH ONLY
3045 Monsarrat Ave STE 5, Honolulu, HI 96815
Safeway Supermarket – Kapahulu Shopping Center
888 Kapahulu Ave, Honolulu, HI 96816
After trying various poke shops, I found Safeway to have the best poke and the cheapest prices. Overall, Safeway provides a large selection therefore I’m sure you won’t leave empty handed. Load up on snacks, drinks and any other essentials.
After checking in to the hotel, walk down to the Moana Surfrider and enjoy drinks at the circle bar beachside facing the ocean. This is one of many perfect locations to watch the sunset with ambiance of live music.
3308 Kanaina Ave, Honolulu, HI. 96815
Lastly, head to the Rainbow Drive In for a traditional Hawaiian plate of Loco Moco – $8.50
Day 2 – Day Trip to the North Shore
Granted that we were jet lagged, we had an early morning start.
Pearl Harbor Visitor Center
1 Arizona Memorial Pl, Honolulu, HI 96701
The visitor center is open from 7am – 5pm. It’s FREE! Never the less, it’s disappointing to see guided tours to Pearl Harbor for $70+ when you can just go there on your own. Bags, purses, fanny packs, camera bags, luggages, diaper bags and shopping bags are not permitted, therefore leave the items in the car. In addition lockers are available for rent. Upon entering, pick up your free tickets and head down to the theatre where you will watch a 25 minute documentary. Afterwards, you’ll take a roundtrip boat ride to the USS Arizona Memorial.
64-1550 Kamehameha Hwy, Wahiawa, HI 96786
Next stop is the Dole Plantation. In order to eat the yummiest Dole Whip ($6.25) and get the full experience, you must come here! Parking and entry is free. In the event you would like to learn more about the Dole Plantation, guided tours are available for an additional cost.
Waimea Bay Beach Park
61-031 Kamehameha Hwy, Haleiwa, HI 96712
After this snack, it’s time to hit the beach. During November/December the waves are quite strong and very dangerous due to waves breaking very close to shore. There’s also a rock from which you can jump off. Parking is free. On the other hand, it can be hard to find parking during peak hours.
56-505 Kamehameha Hwy, Kahuku, HI 96731
Time for another snack after soaking up some sun. Head down to Kahuku Superette for the best Shoyu Poke. Price is around $10 and it comes with rice.
Romy’s Kahuku Prawns & Shrimp (CASH Only)
56-781 Kamehameha Hwy, Kahuku, HI 96731
Still hungry? 2 miles from Kahuku Superette is the famous Romy’s. Everyone comes here for the famous garlic shrimp. Plates range from about $15 – $20. Travel Budget Guide To Oahu
Wailola Shave Ice (CASH ONLY)
3113 Mokihana St, Honolulu, HI 96816
Certainly, let’s not forget about dessert! On the way back to the hotel, stop by the famous Waiola Shave Ice. There are a couple locations so find the one nearest to you. Enjoy this delicious dessert for a whopping $2.50. It is so worth it.
Day 3 – Lanikai Beach/Snorkeling in Hanauma Bay
Boots & Kimo’s Homestyle Kitchen (CASH ONLY) Closed on Tuesdays
151 Hekili St, Kailua, HI 96734
Wake up early because you’re going to want to get breakfast at Boots & Kimo for their famous pancakes drowned with Macadamia Nut sauce. Because of its popularity, expect a line when you come. However it’s all worth the wait. The shrimp Alfredo omelette was heavenly.
Kailua, HI, 96734
Now it’s time to get your tan on at Lanikai Beach. After all, this is my favorite beach on the island of Oahu. Soft white sand, beautiful views of Mokulua Islands just off the shore will leave your inner soul in awe. Street parking is free on Kai’Olena Dr. Walk down the little alley and you will reach paradise.
Lanikai Pillbox Hike
265 Kaelepulu Dr, Kailua, HI 96734
Due to its steep incline, this hike is a level ranked intermediate. You can easily reach the first military pillbox bunker in approximately 20 – 30 minutes.
Botanical Garden (9am – 4pm) Free Entry
45-680 Luluku Rd, Kaneohe, HI 96744
Alicia’s Market (Closes at 4pm)
267 Mokauea St, Honolulu, HI 96819
Known for their fantastic Masago Wasabi Poke and the Pig Roast, head down to Alicia’s Market before 4pm. This budget friendly market will set you back $11 – $13 per plate.
Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve – CLOSED ON TUESDAYS
100 Hanauma Bay Rd, Honolulu, HI 96825
Make your way down to Hanauma Bay for the best snorkeling on the island! Here’s a tip. Go to any ABC Store and buy your snorkel gear there. I got two sets (goggles with mouth piece) for a total of $20. If you wait till you get to Hanauma Bay to rent, it’s $20 for goggles, mouth piece, and fins. You don’t really need fins. On top of that, renting used snorkel gear is nasty. $1.00 (cash) for parking, $7.50 for admission fee (credit cards accepted) Once you enter you’ll watch a 9 minute video and then you’re free to explore around. No alcohol or food is sold down at the beach.
Day 4 – Last Day
Marukame Udon Travel Budget Guide To Oahu
2310 Kuhio Ave, Honolulu, HI 96815
With our flight departing at 8:45 pm we had a bit of time to kill. The first stop in the morning was Marukame Udon. Why? Because every time I walked past this place there was a line out the door. And with over 6,000 reviews on Yelp I’m sure you will find this to be one of the best udon restaurants ever. Beat the line and come early. Nikutama Bowl: $6.25
Head down to the beach in front of Duke’s Restaurant and you’ll find a catamaran boat with a blue/white sail. $25 for a 1 hour booze cruise. The crew offers Mai Tai’s and a small selection of beers for $2 – $3. What a great deal considering prices of drinks are usually $10+.
Duke’s Waikiki (Inside Outrigger Hotel)
2335 Kalakaua Ave, Ste 116, Honolulu, HI 96815
Then finally if you want to splurge a little head on to Duke’s restaurant for some drinks and appetizers. I recommend the coconut mojito $11 – this drink has ruined me because I will never find a drink this good anywhere else.
I hope you’ve found my Travel Budget Guide to Oahu useful. Ready to add Maui to your destination? Check out my travel guide to Maui and the best attraction – Road To Hana in Reverse.
Great tips! I really wish I would have went to the dole plantation while I was there!