Wondering how much is a trip to Hawaii and whether or not you can afford to go there for your next family vacation? Keep scrolling to find out the trip cost to Hawaii from a financial expert!
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As a Hawaii travel blogger, one of the top questions I get asked is “how much does a trip to Hawaii cost?”
There are SO many factors that affect the Hawaii trip cost that I never really know where to start. And some of it depends on whether or not it’s your first trip to Hawaii.
And our family tends to travel with extended family or visit my mom on Kauai, so our trip costs are different than the average Hawaii tourist.
So, I figured I’d invite a financial expert (and travel lover) to break down the costs the average American should plan for the vacation cost to Hawaii.
Make sure to read my step-by-step Hawaii planning guide first!
Guest post by SJ Morgensen
Many people dream of exploring the exotic Hawaiian Islands. And, why not? It’s paradise!
But because of its physical distance to the American mainland, many people don’t know a lot about Hawaii including how much to budget for a vacation there.
In this article, we’ll talk specifics about how much you should plan to budget for your family vacation to Hawaii.
Hawaii Family Vacation FAQs
Before we get into the cost, let’s review some basic information about Hawaii. The Hawaiian islands are actually made up of 8 islands, but two islands, Niihau and Kahoolawe, are closed to visitors. The other 6 islands that most people are familiar with are: Hawaii (The Big Island), Maui, Oahu, Kauai, Molokai, and Lanai.
All the islands are worth visiting and all have their own unique appeal. When planning a vacation in Hawaii, most first-time visitors like to focus on the most familiar of Hawaiian Islands, which are Maui and Oahu. Maui is known for its beautiful black sand beaches while Oahu is known for iconic Waikiki as well as Pearl Harbor.
There definitely can be a cost difference in Hawaii based on the time of year you go. The off season in Hawaii is between September and the first two weeks of December. If you go during this time frame, you’ll save money on everything compared to going in high season, which is basically mid-December through April. For the purposes of this article, we will look at going to Hawaii during the month of June since it’s neither high season nor low season.
How Much Does It Cost To Go To Hawaii?
The biggest variables into the cost of a Hawaiian vacation are airfare, lodging and food. These three items are essential for your visit.
Once you have these decisions nailed down in your budget, you can pick and choose what activities and extras you want to include in your budget for your family vacation to Hawaii.
Airfare To Hawaii Costs
When looking at airfare for your Hawaiian vacation, there’s good news and bad news.
The good news is that you have a wide variety of airlines to choose from. The bad news is that the flights to Hawaii aren’t cheap!
People going to Maui and Oahu usually fly to Maui first then fly into Honolulu International Airport to explore Oahu on the way back to the mainland.
The cost to travel to Hawaii really depends on how home state and whether or not there are direct flights.
Let’s look at the cost of flying to Maui from Chicago, since it’s in the center of the country.
If you’re flying from, or making your connection in Chicago, you’ll have your choice of flying non-stop to Maui or making a stop on the West Coast.
A non-stop ticket from Chicago to Maui will set you back approximately $960. A flight from Chicago with one stop in LA will cost a couple hundred less, at approximately $770.
A non-stop flight will save you a couple hours in flight time, the non-stop flight is about 9 hours of flight time vs. 11.5 hours for the flight with a stop in L.A.
Once you’re in Maui and want to island hop to Oahu (or hop over to any other Hawaiian island), the quick plane trip will cost you around $140.
**Airfare can double during Christmas and New Year’s!
Total Airfare Costs: Approximately $1100 per person for the Non-stop flight + the Island Hopper.
Total Cost for 4 people: $4400
Lodging Costs In Hawaii
Another big dent to the budget for your trip to Hawaii is lodging costs.
There are so many types of accommodations to choose from as well as many different areas to stay in Hawaii so you’ll have a wide variety of lodging choices in Hawaii!
Find out the pros and cons of hotels vs. condos in Hawaii.
For this article, we’re looking at budget and mid-range choices in both Maui and Honolulu, all with room for 4 people.
Check out the best hotels in Hawaii for families.
Budget Choice In Maui
For the best bang for your buck, you may want to opt for a condo in Maui.
The Kaanapali area offers beachfront, 2 bed condos that sleep 4, with a full kitchen and a pool starting at only $1300 for 6 nights.
Total For 6 Nights: $1300
Find out my top cheap places to stay in Maui
Mid-Range Choice In Maui
If you want to increase your vacation budget and stay at a hotel in the South area of Maui, The Residence Inn By Marriott is a good bet.
Located in popular Wailea, it will run a bit more, at $415 per night for 2 bed double, but you’ll have all the amenities that Marriott is known for and a great South Maui location. Check out the latest prices and more details.
Total For 6 Nights: $2800
Budget Choice In Oahu
In Honolulu, the Aston Waikiki Beach Hotel offers nice amenities and very close proximity to the beach for only $240 per night for a room with 2 double beds. Check out the latest prices and more details.
Total For 6 Nights: $1440
Find out my top cheap places to stay in Oahu
Mid-Range Choice In Oahu
The Moana Sufrrider, A Westin Resort & Spa is absolutely stunning for ocean front luxury on Waikiki Beach. At only $350 per night for 2 doubles, this looks like a steal! Check out the latest prices and more details.
Total For 6 Nights: $2100
Average Cost For 6 Nights Lodging: $1837
Cost of Food In Hawaii
There’s no double that food prices in Hawaii are much higher than on the Mainland. That’s true for restaurants as well as grocery stores.
Obviously, you’ll save money on food if you choose to stay somewhere that has a kitchen.
Even if your place only offers a small cooktop and mini-fridge, that’s enough to make breakfast or brunch every day and can slash the cost of a trip to Hawaii.
Get my top tips for cooking in Hawaii
For a middle of the road figure, I estimate you can expect to pay around $75/per day per adult for food and less for kids.
If you stay at a hotel with no cooking facilities, you’ll pay more.
Total For 6 Nights with 2 kids = $200 per day total x 6 days = $1200
Total Budget For Family Vacation To Hawaii For 2 adults and 2 kids:
TOTAL: $7437+ 10% for Good Measure: $8180
Hawaii Travel Extras:
While I didn’t list this as an absolute essential, you will really want to rent a car for your trip to Maui and Oahu.
Plan on spending around $400 for a standard size auto and factor it into the cost for a trip to Hawaii.
One of the best places to rent a car in Hawaii is through Discount Hawaii Car Rental. They get the best rates on national brands like Enterprise, Dollar, Budget, Thrifty, Avis, Alamo, and Payless. Check out the latest prices and more details.
Total For 6 Days: $400
Hawaii Excursions and Experiences:
You can spend a lot or you can save money by doing a lot of free things on your trip. Again, the choice is yours.
With Car: $400
With 1 Excursion Per Person: $400
TOTAL With Extras: $8180 + $800 = $8980
Note: If you’re wondering how much money to bring to Hawaii, you’ll also want to add in cash for tips. It’s customary to tip hotel staff, tour guides, photographers, and servers.
Now you know the average cost to vacation in Hawaii with kids.
Whether you’re on a tight budget or you want to have the ultimate luxurious trip, Hawaii is a place you’ll fall in love with!
I hope this helps when you plan a vacation to Hawaii.
There’s so much to see and do, you’ll want to return for another family vacation!
About SJ Morgensen
SJ Morgensen is a financial expert who thrives on showing people how to get the most out of their money. With over 20 years in the financial services industry, SJ writes about budgeting, credit cards and saving money on all things. Passionate about travel, she specializes in trip planning and helping people save money on travel.