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- Posted:Wednesday, February 20, 2013
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Hawaii on a budget
Alexandra Baackes is a New York native who is slowly and thoroughly exploring the world and showcasing it on her blog - Alex in Wanderland. She recently spent forty days exploring Hawaii - Oahu, Maui, The Big Island, Lanai and Kauai. She went skydiving one day, slept in her rental car the next, and packed a full month’s worth of banana oatmeal packets. In this guest blog Alexandra shares her budget tips for travelling around Hawaii with us…
Hawaii is certainly not known as a budget destination, and for good reason. But alternative accommodation options abound, public transport can be user-friendly, and a surprising number of activities can be had for free - or not more than the cost of a rainbow shave ice.
1. Take a hike
Most people may associate Hawaii with watersports, yet it’s also a hiker’s paradise. While some famous spots may charge small National Park Fees – for example, Diamond Head Crater in Oahu charges $5 for cars or $1 for walk in visitors – the vast majority of Hawaii hikes have free parking and no admission fees. Particularly scenic routes include the Lanikai Pillbox Trail in Oahu, the secret ‘Ioa Valley trail in Maui and the epic Kalalau Trail in Kaua’i.
2. Consider alternate accommodation
Hawaii might conjure images of luxurious all inclusive resorts, but those are far from the only accommodation on offer. Couchsurfing, camping, and hostels are all viable and rewarding options for exploring the Aloha State. Some hostels, like the Banana Bungalow in Maui, throw in freebies like free daily tours of the island – making them an excellent all around value.
3. Explore the Shore
Rather than pay for expensive snorkeling trips, DIY your own. Pick up a cheap mask and snorkel for around $30 at a sporting goods shop before leaving home - it will quickly pay for itself as snorkel gear rentals can be up to $10 a day in Hawaii. Once that’s paid for, you can snorkel for free in fantastic spots like the Puna Tide Pools on the Big Island or Kaanapali in Maui - where turtle sightings are as common as sunburn!
4. Use public transportation
Renting a car is necessary on many of the islands, but on Oahu it’s painless to get around using TheBus, the island’s public transportation system. Download the free Google Maps app on your smartphone to calculate the best routes, then buy a four day pass for $25 or a one time ticket anywhere on the island for a cool $2.50. Other islands have bus systems as well, though they will take more patience to navigate.
5. Pack some snacks
Food in Hawaii is staggeringly pricey, even at grocery stores. If you’ve got room in your suitcase, stock up on your favorite filling snacks from home. A few oatmeal packets stuffed in the pocket of a backpack can go a long way and save you from daily overpriced breakfast buffets.
You can keep up to date with more of Alexandra’s adventures over on her blog and you can follow her on Twitter too.