Budget for a Sunny Getaway in Hawaii

If you’re planning a vacation, Hawaii is the perfect spot. Close to home, almost always warm, and gorgeous any time of year. If the pristine white sand and rhythmic waves of Oahu sound like a great getaway, here’s everything you’ll need to save for to get there.
Person walking along white sand beach in Hawaii

Airfare

If you want to save some money on airfare, consider traveling to Hawaii during the low season, which is from September to mid-December. If you’re traveling during the summer months or during the holidays, expect there to be a spike in the cost of plane tickets. The official rainy season for the Rainbow State is from November to March, so if you plan on traveling then, expect some drizzle during your vacation. If you can afford it, you can island-hop by taking an inter-island flight to the Big Island, Maui, or Kauai.

Two flights to Oahu
$1800

Accommodations

Unlike the smaller islands of Kauai and Lanai, where your choices for accommodations may be more limited and thus more pricey, Oahu boasts a variety of options on where to stay, from high-rise luxury hotels, to cozy mom-and-pop bed and breakfast establishments, to room shares. If you plan on going on outdoorsy adventures, you might want to find a room rental on the North Shore. If checking out the shopping and food is more your speed, you’ll probably want to consider staying closer to the main drag in Waikiki.

Six nights for two
$1200

Swimming with turtles

If you’ve long dreamed of making friends with some sea turtles, Laniakea Beach, or “Turtle Beach” on the North Shore is a sanctuary for green sea turtles. You might even catch a glimpse of them coming to the shore and dig out a nest. As they’re an endangered species, you won’t be allowed to touch them—not that you’d want to disturb them, anyway—but you’ll definitely be able to get close enough to be in the presence of these awesome creatures while experiencing the natural underwater beauty of Hawaii. If you’d rather not rent a car, link up with a local tour group to book a trip to swim near these little guys. A tour is either a half-day or full day excursion, and includes transportation to and from your hotel, plus the essential snorkeling gear.

Swimming with turtles for two
$180

Surfing lessons

There’s nothing like learning a new skill, and Hawaii is the perfect place to catch a few waves. With plenty of options to choose from, you’ll have no trouble getting a surf lesson during your vacation. Whether you’re a complete newbie or have some experience riding the waves underneath your belt, you’ll be able to get instruction from surfers who breathe, eat, and live surfing. Out of all the Hawaiian Islands, Oahu has the most spots for surfing, which include Laniakea on the North Shore, the Banzai Pipeline, Canoes (which is a beginner surf break), and the less-crowded Castles Beach. You can book a private, one-on-one session with an instructor, a semi-private session with just a few students, or a group session.

Surfing lessons
$200

Helicopter tour of the island

If you’re not afraid of heights and yearn to check out breathtaking views of the entire island, you’ll definitely want to take a tour by way of helicopter. You’ll get to see waterfalls, rainforests, valleys, coral reef formations, and historic landmarks such as Diamond Head from high above. If you want to up the romance factor, you can book a sunset tour. Tours usually last for about 45 minutes and you’ll definitely need to book in advance.

Helicopter tour
$500

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