Hawaii is a place that inhabits the imagination of many people, including mine, and it was one of the places I dreamed of visiting, especially during my adolescence, until I actually went there in 2015 and I loved it. Yes, that’s all you think and more.
And despite being my favorite place in the world (seriously, I could move there now), the truth is that Hawaii is not a cheap destination.
For those who do not know, Hawaii is made up of three main islands: Oahu, Maui and Big Island. In today’s post, I will bring the general costs to visit only the first, which is the most touristic and where is the famous city of Honolulu and the mythical beach of Pipeline, where there are surfing championships.
I visited Oahu in April 2015, which is not considered high season there, and the prices presented here are updated to 2017, but based on the month of April.
Let’s start from the beginning, same in the post-brother this one that I did about Japan.
First, you will need …
Hawaii is a territory of the United States and therefore requires an American visa for visitors who wish to enter the country.
If your visa is not up to date, it is good to prepare the pocket: currently, to get the tourist visa, you will have to pay $ 160 or about $ 505 at today’s rate.
The process for getting the American visa is one that everyone already knows: filling out the form, paying the fee, joining all the documents, scheduling an interview and waiting to receive your passport if your visa is approved.
The bad news is that according to a document signed by Trump, anyone who wants to renew the visa will not be freed from an interview and will need to do the whole process as a first-time applicant. This should greatly delay the process, so if you are thinking of going to Hawaii or any other American state, do it well in advance.
The prices of airfares to Hawaii can cost a real fortune.
I researched several times to go from Brazil to Hawaii on vacation and I gave up on all of them because the price was astronomical.
Today, for example, I found a relatively inexpensive passage for the period from April 10 to 17, which is when I was there. As there are no direct flights, the round trip ticket via Canada, with 2 stops, would leave for R $ 3900, with rates already.
If you add another segment, such as São Paulo – Tokyo – Honolulu – São Paulo, it will all cost about R $ 5500, with fees.
Adding a snippet, in this case, can be interesting, especially if you have the patience to search for all possible date combinations.
Of course, prices have risen a lot, but in my case, the complete passage, back and forth, with all the excerpts I said above, came out for 4000 reais. Thinking about the absolute value, it is expensive, but thinking about the route as a whole is almost a bargain.
And I remember well that when I was planning this trip, the original destination was Japan, but I wanted to include more. I tried Australia, China, South Korea, Singapore, and it all seemed like an expensive nonsense. The only place that matched my budget was, beautifully, Hawaii.
And maybe that explains the Japanese obsession with the land of surfing. Oahu is covered by Japanese tourists and we have Japanese friends who travel there at least once a year, because it is a relatively close destination (it’s seven hours of travel) and cheap for them.
Indispensable for your safety and demanded by the American government, a good travel insurance for a one-week trip to Hawaii will range between $ 180 and $ 220 for a person up to age 70 who is not pregnant.
Another option is to use the travel insurance of your credit card if you have this benefit. Just be aware of the value of the coverage and whether any treatment payment is via reimbursement, which means that you will need to have the money at the time of the scare.
I ALWAYS travel with good travel insurance but have destinations that they really are more needed than others. It’s obvious that it can go awry anywhere, but some situations require more care than others.
In Hawaii, you’ll want to snorkel, snorkel, watch the corals, jump on rocks, swim to hell and eat lots of seafood.
It can happen that you drown yourself, chop your foot on the corals, give your ankle an ill effect when you jump off the rock, catch live water or even food poisoning.
As they say, the insurance died of old, so you better have it.
The hotels and most of the commercial establishments have wi-fi, but the landscapes there are so beautiful that for sure you will want to make some Snaps or record a direct live from the beaches, right?
To do this without going bankrupt with your data package, you can hire EASYSIM 4U plans.
They have unlimited data plans for the United States and the service works super well and with very interesting prices.
For ten days of data and unlimited local calls, you pay $ 50, with super coverage across the United States.
There are several options available, hire yours here . By making the purchase through this link, I receive a small commission on the service and you do not pay anything extra for it.
Car Rental, Gas and Parking
If you want to get to know the whole island of Oahu, go stopping from beach to beach and marvel at every different landscape – which I strongly recommend you do – you have to rent a car.
It will be the easiest and most enjoyable way to travel around the island, knowing every corner you want and in your time. In the end, it’s the cheapest way too, since if you’re hiring excursions for every place you want to go, the joke will be expensive.
And driving on Oahu is not such a difficult task. The roads are great and there is no toll on the entire island.
Rent a car according to your need. If you want to do trails or go on very far offshore beaches, choose an SUV or a 4X4. But really, a compact also works for most places.
On our trip, we were really on a budget, trying to save as much money as we could. So we rented a cheap car, the cheapest from the store, which was a GM Spark (which is not even here, but it can be smaller than a Sonic, the equivalent here).
By the time we got the car, I felt in that scene from the movie Recently Married, when they try to travel in a tiny car. But what was startling in the beginning turned out to be the best choice for us.
Despite the difficulty of packing the suitcases of a trip from one month to two, the car was extremely economical and easy to park. And we went with him to all the places that he wanted, even to a beach that had dirt road in the entrance, where I thought we would be swallowed by the holes. Sparkly entered there and proved a great surprise on this trip. For this car, we paid at the time US $ 280 (R $ 885) for seven days, with damage and loss insurance and civil liability. And it looks like the car was automatic, had air conditioning, GPS, radio and eight airbags, much safer than much more expensive cars around here.
Today, to rent this same car, under the same conditions, would cost $ 330 for Hertz, which was the company I rented at the time (R $ 1042), but there are other companies that provide a great service and are much cheaper.
Gasoline on Hawaiian land is not among the cheapest in the United States, but it is infinitely cheaper than here. If you rent an economy car like the Spark, you can consider $ 30 ($ 95) to walk the seven days.
We walked more than bad news and even then, we got change when we gave $ 30 at the station. And even if that was in 2015, on my recent trip to California in October 2016, I confirmed that values still beat.
Now to park the chat is another. Prepare your heart, because parking in Honolulu is expensive.
In the hotel where I was staying, the parking fee was $ 30, that is, the same seven-day, almost 100-dollar gas price.
As it is impossible to stop in the street, especially in Waikiki, I recommend that you take a walk near your hotel and look for public parking. We chose to park in one that was about eight blocks from the hotel and cost about $ 25 a day. The walk to the hotel was nice and we took the time to stop by the shops.
I know that a $ 5 savings looks like bullshit, but sometimes seven days is $ 35, which will give you $ 110 more to spend on something more interesting.
One more item that is expensive, especially if you compare it with other American states.
The tip here is to choose a hotel well located, close to everything and give you enough to do on foot.
As I said in the topic above, it is virtually impossible to park on the street in Waikiki and if you have to pay a valet each night for dinner, your money will go away in a not very smart way.
Also, if you want to drink, you will not be able to drive, so you’d better leave the car parked – especially knowing that you can get in and out as often as you like from the parking lot within 24 hours.
The best area to stay, in my opinion, is right in the center of Waikiki. It has everything, is close to the beach, the restaurants, the boil and the convenience. Only it’s the most expensive, too.
If you are the same as me, who saves on travel but needs some comfort, I suggest that you search well and look for a hotel with a high rating on Booking and Trip Advisor. Be wary of barbados, because in Hawaii, as well as throughout the United States, you have a lot of haggis disguised as a hotel.
We stayed at the Shoreline Hotel Waikiki , a four star rated 8.4 on Booking, well located, clean, correct, comfortable but no luxuries.
We were quite pleased with the lodging and paid at the time $ 970 for seven nights, for two people, without breakfast.
That $ 3060 cost a lot in our pocket, but hosting in Waikiki is so expensive, it was the best value we found at the time.
Today, this same hotel, for the same dates, is costing $ 951, that is, the same price two years ago.
You will not believe me if I say that my favorite place in the world does not have such good food. Yes, it’s sad, but it’s true.
Except for Poke, the Hawaiian food does not excite and even on days we went to eat in typical food restaurants there, there was nothing that made us shine. United States without the personality of New Orleans or the diversity of New York, for example.
Very fast food, very poke, lots of international food and very … expensive!
But in defense of it, you have to remember that since Hawaii is an island and that there are not many varieties grown there, many of the basic foodstuffs that arrive there are imported from other American states and this raises the cost, right?
But let’s get some prices for you to have an idea of how much they will spend, more or less:
Hamburger + french fries + I chilled in a nice little hamburger in Hawaii Kai, but that does not have anything much: $ 15 per person ($ 48)
Poke for two at a simple fish market, such as the Tamashiro Market: $ 15
Breakfast at IHOP: US $ 10 per person (R $ 32)
Simple lunch at a traditional Hawaiian food restaurant: $ 20 per person ($ 65)
2 oniguiris + drink at the convenience store next to the hotel: $ 12 ($ 38)
Chicken dish + rice + salad for one person at the famous Mike’s Huli Chicken: $ 10.50 (R $ 34)
Shrimp shrimp dish + rice on the North Shore for one person: $ 14
The truth is that I do not even have many examples of restaurants on Oahu because as everything was expensive and uninteresting, I ended up staying in the Pokes, which were great, and bought food at the supermarket to eat at the hotel.
A great option not only in Hawaii but in the whole United States is to spend at Whole Foods and buy food there. They have a wonderful part of salads that you can pick up in a pot and eat anywhere.
The salads are great and are not expensive and I think this was our dinner for a couple of nights.
The good part of Hawaii is that many of the tours are free and in the middle of nature. It costs nothing to go on some beaches, for example.
Outside nature and the entire landscape, which is free, there are beaches that charge entrance, such as Hanauma, which is an environmental preservation area and, if it is your first time in Hawaii, you should go to a luau. You may think this type of tour is stolen, catches tourist, but I loved the luau that I went to and will go again to one every time I go to Hawaii.
Let’s go to the prices:
Entry to Hanauma Bay: $ 7.50 per person ($ 24)
Rent of duck foot: R $ 13 (R $ 41)
Luau: The one at Paradise Cove, which I went to and is considered one of the best, costs between $ 92 and $ 168.50 per person ($ 290 – 532), including transportation, food and the show. I went into an intermediate category, the Orchid Luau Package, and paid $ 124 ($ 391). Worth it.
Entry to Diamond Head: $ 5 per car or $ 1 per pedestrian
Visit Pearl Harbor: I did not take this tour but the entrance to the Arizona Memorial is free
Attention with immigration
When you are planning how much money you will take for your trip to Hawaii, leave a slack of fat money and throw the values of each thing up there, that is, take more money than planned.
And I say this for two reasons: first, because things there are really expensive and you will spend more than you would like.
Second – and most importantly: because immigration there really asks how much money you have and they pipeline it.
I’ve traveled to more than 20 countries and never had a problem with any immigration officer. Not even in Hawaii, where I was treated with a lot of education, but of all the places I’ve been to, I’ve asked for financial proof most of all in Honolulu.
The official, in addition to asking basic questions such as lodging, back, profession in Brazil and reason for the trip, asked more than once how much money we had to spend the seven days.
We took about $ 2300 for two people at the time, for a period of seven days, which is about $ 164 per person per day + a credit card with a good limit.
When we said this, she made a very ugly face and said we would have to hold it tight for the week.
She ended up releasing us, but before she gave a sermon about how expensive Hawaii was and how that money was not much for our trip.
That is, fill your wallet with dollars. If you do not use it, better yet, just save for the next trip.
Although Hawaii is such a faraway and expensive destination, do not let this discourage your plans to visit the island. Plan well, collect money and go, it is impossible not to fall in love with that land.