- Be careful in the water. You will save money on funeral expenses. This is not meant to be a wisecrack. More people drown in Hawaii each year than in any other state. The water beckons. Just be careful.
- Use a waterproof sun block with an SPF of at least 15 and wear a hat or sit under a tree, especially between 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. This will save you money on doctor's fees and medication for your sunburn. Read more tips on how to avoid a sunburn.
- Everywhere you go you will see roll-up sand mats for 99-cents. They are better than towels or blankets because the sand shakes off of them easily. If, however, you are going to go to more than one island, these mats will most likely not fit into your luggage. Spend a bit more ($2.49) and get the same mat that folds into a square. Then you can carry the mat from place to place. You can also take it home, rather than leaving it for the next person or throwing it away. The best place to find these is at an ABC Store.
- Only do activities that you can handle physically. This will save you money on cold packs, wraps and other first aid items. I am all for taking risks, but be careful even when walking. Watch where you are going or you may find yourself with a sprained ankle or worse. You will have to rent or buy crutches.
- Food is expensive in Hawaii - especially in grocery stores. If you have room to take some food you like, trail mix, energy bars or crackers, then do so. You will save a lot of money that way. For more information see John Fischer's features Cheap Eats in Hawaii and Saving Money on Liquor and Other Liquid Refreshments in Hawaii.
- Making the right choice on where to buy souvenirs can save you lots of money. You will hear that you should buy your souvenirs at Walmart and that you will save a lot of money doing so. That is only true up to a point. In my experience. Walmart is a great place for magnets and key chains. You will also find rather poor quality t-shirts that cost ten dollars for three. These will be hard to resist. If, however, you are going to Oahu, hold out for t-shirts on that island. At the International Marketplace in Waikiki you can buy up to seven good quality t-shirts for twenty dollars. You will also find some good jewelry buys on Oahu. If you know what you are looking at and aren't afraid to bargain, many of the jewelry vendors on Oahu will strike a good deal.
- While we're discussing souvenirs, be sure to check out Hilo Hattie, which has stores on every island. I am not suggesting that you buy everything at Hilo Hattie. Many of their clothes are very expensive, but some other items are less expensive than elsewhere in the islands. For example, you will save a dollar or more (from the Walmart price) on the macadamia nut brittle and several other types candies. You can buy calendars for the upcoming year for 99 cents at Hilo Hattie.
- Many stores, especially the vendor-type shops, will give you a discount if you offer cash.
I have given you some tips, but if you want to save as much money as possible do your own homework. One place where we stayed showed two different prices at various websites. Make sure you are getting the lowest rate. You will find that some Bed & Breakfasts and Inns have negotiable rates.
If you have the patience to keep going back to various websites to see if prices have changed, you can also save money. We have had very good luck finding accommodations using priceline.com.
We went to Hawaii for three weeks, when initially our budget was for two weeks. Using the tips I have shared with you, we ended up spending the same amount for the three weeks that we had planned to spend for two weeks. We had a fantastic time on a budget, and you can too.