Well it's true - Hawaii can be an expensive place to visit. The hotels don't all offer all inclusive options. There are tour groups around that will charge you for all sorts of things (some worth it, some not). And since much of the food has to be shipped, often refrigerated, via container ships the food is not always cheap and ice cream NEVER is. Then there is the designer shops all along the main street by Waikiki Beach (Coach, Ed Hardy, Guess, Prada, etc). Yep, you can spend a crap load of money in Hawaii...or not.
This is what I did to save money on activities. Granted I didn't do a lot - I did spend time just lazing around, which suited me fine. Though, the few things I did I did not spend too much money.
1. USE THE BUS! Oahu has a good transit system. It may take a bit longer at times to get from one place to the other but you're holidays so what's the rush?! Besides, you'll probably enjoy the air conditioned ride. The cost is $2.50 (exact change) per ride and you're given a transfer that is good for 2 hours. That being said, I did notice that many of my transfers were actually good for up to 4 hours. That saved me some bus fare. You can also purchase at 4 day unlimited visitor pass for $25. Any ABC store sells them. And the bus driver's know where everything is - a great resource.
|USS Arizona Memorial|
|Memorial to the fallen|
|Inside Ali' Iolani Hale Building|
|Free Hula Show|
|view from Diamond Head|
3. CHEAP STUFF - HIKE UP DIAMOND HEAD: Diamond Head State Monument is a hike that will leave you breathless, mainly for the stunning views. The cost is $1 per person (walking in) or $5 per car. The park is open 6am - 6pm with the last allowed trek up to the top at 4:30pm. As it can get very hot during this trek bring a bottle of water and a hat. Be generous with your sunscreen as well. The trail itself is mostly switchbacks that are worn and uneven in some places but not difficult if you're of reasonable health. I did not find it difficult at all. There are some stairs and they were a bit tiring but not to difficult. I just rested when I was tired. Allow yourself 1.5 - 2 hours for the whole hike (to the top, viewing time and coming back). Be advised that if you are taking transit (as I did) you will walk up a hill and through a tunnel to get to the park entrance and then start the hike. The park does have washrooms and some areas to buy some snack foods (shave ice in my case).
|Amazing fresh fruit|
Now this, by any means, is NOT an extensive list. I had a fairly mellow holiday with more lounging than running about. But I still was able to save some money. Use the Internet to find out some great deals, ask the locals and even take advantage of coupon sites like Groupon.I have also heard that car rentals are reasonably priced. You can find ways to make your dollar stretch even when you're vacationing in a more expensive destination.