Planning a trip to Hawaii on a budget? While these islands are notoriously expensive, your vacation doesn’t have to be! In this video, we’ll show you an example of how to spend just $150 a day, including everything from your accommodations to a rental car, all while having some incredible adventures on the Big Island. We’ll cover tips on finding affordable breakfast options like bagels and bananas from Target, showcase the best snorkeling spot at Kia lakakua Bay, and highlight budget-friendly lunch options at Loco Wraps. We’ll also discuss comfortable and reasonably priced Airbnb accommodations, visiting a Kona coffee farm, enjoying happy hour drinks at Huggoes on the Rocks, and the importance of flexibility and backup plans. So whether you’re a beginner hiker or an experienced traveler, join us as we prove that a budget-friendly trip to Hawaii is possible!

Hello from the big island of Hawaii! Hawaii is one of the most notoriously expensive places to travel on the planet, but fear not! In this video, we’ll show you how to travel to Hawaii on a budget of just $150 per day per person. From breakfast to accommodations, rental cars to entertainment, we’ve got you covered. We’ll take you on a thrilling adventure showcasing the best snorkeling at Kia lakakua Bay, introduce you to budget-friendly dining options like Loco Wraps, and give you the inside scoop on affordable and comfortable Airbnb accommodations. Join us as we prove that with some planning and flexibility, a budget-friendly trip to Hawaii is not only doable but also incredibly rewarding!

How to Do Hawaii on a Budget (+ the BEST Snorkeling on the Big Island!!!)

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Affordable options for accommodations

When traveling to Hawaii on a budget, finding affordable accommodations is crucial. Luckily, there are several options available that won’t break the bank. One great option is Airbnb. On the Big Island, there are many comfortable and reasonably priced Airbnb rentals that will make you feel right at home. These accommodations often come with amenities such as a kitchen, allowing you to save money by preparing some of your own meals. Additionally, staying at an Airbnb gives you the opportunity to meet locals and get insider tips on the best places to visit and eat on the island.

Airbnb accommodations on the Big Island

Airbnb has become a popular choice for budget-conscious travelers, and the Big Island of Hawaii is no exception. With a wide range of options available, you can find an Airbnb that fits your needs and budget. Whether you’re looking for a cozy studio apartment or a spacious beachfront house, there are plenty of choices to choose from. Plus, many of the Airbnb rentals on the Big Island offer beautiful views of the ocean or the lush Hawaiian landscape. So, not only will you be saving money, but you’ll also be able to enjoy the natural beauty of the island right from your accommodation.


Renting a car

Renting a car is highly recommended when exploring the Big Island of Hawaii. While public transportation is limited on the island, having a car gives you the freedom to go wherever you want, whenever you want. It allows you to visit all the hidden gems and off-the-beaten-path attractions that may not be easily accessible by other means of transportation. Additionally, having a car gives you the flexibility to plan your own itinerary and explore at your own pace.

Comparing rates on third-party sites

When it comes to renting a car, it’s always a good idea to compare rates on third-party websites. Websites like Expedia, Hotwire, and Priceline allow you to compare prices from different car rental companies, ensuring that you get the best deal possible. Take the time to research and read reviews before making a final decision. Keep in mind that rates may vary depending on the season, so it’s worth checking for any special promotions or discounts before booking your rental car.


Budget-friendly breakfast options

To start your day off right without breaking the bank, there are several budget-friendly breakfast options available on the Big Island. One option is to visit a local grocery store, such as Target, and pick up some affordable items like bagels, bananas, and peanut butter. You can easily make a delicious and filling peanut butter banana bagel sandwich in the comfort of your Airbnb. Another option is to explore local farmers’ markets, where you can find fresh fruits, pastries, and other breakfast items at a fraction of the cost of eating out.

Affordable lunch spots

When it comes to grabbing a quick and affordable lunch, there are several spots on the Big Island that won’t disappoint. Loco Wraps is a fusion restaurant that combines Mexican and Hawaiian cuisine. With options like burritos, tacos, and rice bowls, you can enjoy a delicious and filling meal without breaking the bank. Another budget-friendly option is to pack a picnic lunch and enjoy it at one of the island’s many beautiful beaches or parks. Pick up some fresh ingredients from a local grocery store and create your own customized lunch that suits your taste and budget.


The best snorkeling spots on the Big Island

The Big Island of Hawaii is known for its incredible snorkeling opportunities. With crystal-clear waters and vibrant coral reefs, there are several spots worth exploring. One of the best snorkeling spots on the island is Kia lakakua Bay. Located near the Captain Cook Monument, this bay offers some of the most picturesque underwater landscapes in all of Hawaii. From colorful fish to graceful sea turtles, you’ll have the chance to get up close and personal with a variety of marine life. Make sure to pack your snorkeling gear and prepare to be amazed by the beauty beneath the surface.

Kia lakakua Bay

Kia lakakua Bay, located near the Captain Cook Monument on the Big Island, is a snorkeler’s paradise. With its clear waters and vibrant coral, this bay offers an unforgettable underwater experience. The bay is home to a wide variety of marine life, including colorful fish, sea turtles, and even dolphins if you’re lucky. The best way to explore Kia lakakua Bay is by snorkeling along the reef, taking in the breathtaking views and discovering the diverse ecosystem beneath the surface. Don’t forget to bring your snorkeling gear and sunscreen for a day of fun in the sun.


Visiting a Kona coffee farm

No trip to the Big Island of Hawaii is complete without a visit to a Kona coffee farm. Kona coffee is famous for its rich and flavorful taste, and visiting a coffee farm allows you to learn about the cultivation and production process firsthand. Many farms offer guided tours where you can walk through the lush coffee fields, see how the beans are harvested and processed, and, of course, sample some delicious coffee. It’s a great way to experience the unique flavors of Hawaii and support local farmers at the same time.

Exploring the island’s natural beauty

The Big Island is known for its stunning natural beauty, with an abundance of waterfalls, beaches, and volcanic landscapes. Take the time to explore the island’s natural wonders, such as the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, where you can witness the power of an active volcano up close. Visit Akaka Falls State Park to see the impressive 442-foot waterfall surrounded by lush rainforest. And don’t forget to spend some time relaxing on the island’s beautiful beaches, soaking up the sun and enjoying the warm turquoise waters. Whether you’re hiking, swimming, or simply taking in the breathtaking scenery, the Big Island has something for everyone.


Happy hour drinks at Huggoes on the Rocks

After a day of exploring and adventure, it’s time to relax and enjoy some entertainment. Head to Huggoes on the Rocks, a popular beachside bar and restaurant in Kona. While the regular menu can be a bit pricey, happy hour is the perfect time to indulge without breaking the bank. During happy hour, you can enjoy discounted drinks, including tasty margaritas, while taking in the stunning ocean views. It’s a great way to unwind, socialize, and soak up the vibrant atmosphere of Hawaii.

Budget-friendly activity options

If you’re looking for budget-friendly activities on the Big Island, there are plenty of options to choose from. Take advantage of the island’s natural beauty by going for a hike in one of the many stunning trails, such as the Waipio Valley or the Pololu Valley. Visit local farmers’ markets to sample fresh fruits, vegetables, and homemade products while supporting local artisans. Take a scenic drive along the coast, stopping at breathtaking viewpoints along the way. And don’t forget to explore the island’s cultural heritage by visiting museums, art galleries, and historical sites. With a little creativity and a sense of adventure, you can have a memorable and budget-friendly experience on the Big Island.


Importance of flexibility in planning

When planning a trip to Hawaii on a budget, it’s important to embrace flexibility. Things don’t always go according to plan, so it’s essential to be open to alternative options and adapt to changes when they occur. By remaining flexible, you can take advantage of last-minute deals, change your itinerary to accommodate unexpected opportunities, and make the most of your time on the island. Flexibility allows for spontaneity, which often leads to the most memorable and rewarding experiences.

Having backup plans

In addition to being flexible, it’s also a good idea to have backup plans in place. Weather conditions, closures, or other unforeseen circumstances can sometimes disrupt your original plans. By having alternative options or activities in mind, you can easily adjust your itinerary and make the most of your time on the island. For example, if a hiking trail is closed due to weather, have a backup beach or museum visit planned. Being prepared and having backup plans ensures that you can still have an enjoyable and fulfilling experience, regardless of any unexpected obstacles that may arise.

Cost Breakdown

Total cost for the day

When traveling to Hawaii on a budget, it’s important to keep track of your expenses. On average, a day on the Big Island can cost around $150 per person, including accommodations, transportation, meals, and entertainment. However, this cost can vary depending on individual preferences and the activities you choose to participate in. By planning ahead and budgeting wisely, you can have a fantastic time on the Big Island without overspending.

Breakdown of expenses

Here is a breakdown of the estimated expenses for a day on the Big Island:

  • Accommodations (Airbnb): $50 per person
  • Rental car: $50 per person
  • Breakfast: $1 per person (bagels and bananas from Target)
  • Lunch: $11 per person (at Loco Wraps)
  • Snorkeling: Free (at Kia lakakua Bay)
  • Dinner: Varies (depending on budget and restaurant choice)
  • Entertainment (Happy hour drinks at Huggoes on the Rocks): $5 per person (during happy hour)
  • Miscellaneous expenses (coffee, snacks, souvenirs): Varies

It’s important to note that these are estimated costs and can vary depending on individual preferences, the time of year, and any specials or discounts available. By budgeting, planning ahead, and making conscious choices, you can have an amazing experience on the Big Island without overspending.


Traveling to Hawaii on a budget is definitely possible, even on the famously expensive Big Island. By utilizing affordable accommodations like Airbnb, renting a car to explore the island, enjoying budget-friendly meals, and taking advantage of free or low-cost activities like snorkeling and hiking, you can have an incredible time without breaking the bank. Remember to embrace flexibility, make backup plans, and keep track of your expenses to ensure a successful and enjoyable trip. With a little planning and creativity, you can experience all the wonders of the Big Island while staying within your budget. So start planning your budget-friendly trip to Hawaii today and get ready for an unforgettable adventure!