Almost everyone who comes to Hawaii loves a Mai Tai or Blue Hawaii cocktail. What they don't love is the $6-10 charge that comes along with it. Want a glass of wine before dinner? It will cost you $5-$10 a glass at most hotel and resort bars.
Cocktail Prices Add Up Quickly
Using an average cocktail/glass of wine price of $7.50, if you and your significant other enjoy just two drinks per day each, that quickly totals $210 a week. That's a huge number.
Many hotels, resorts and local establishments have "happy hours" where drink costs (most commonly beer) are significantly lower than at other times. Even so, alcohol costs add up quickly wherever you go.
It's not just alcohol that's expensive in Hawaii. Bottled water, juice and soda can also make a serious dent in your vacation budget.
The End of the Mini-Bar?
I cringe when I see those prices in hotel mini-bars. Don't ever pay them.
Fortunately more and more of the hotels and resorts are going the route of providing a small empty refrigerator in the room. If the Ritz-Carlton, Kapalua can go this route, all resorts should follow suit.
ABC Stores, Whalers General Stores and More
So, what's the answer? Once again it's as easy as ABC as in ABC Stores, Whalers General Stores, supermarkets and other similar local stores. You'll find that liquor prices at these places are very reasonable, especially when compared to some of the higher taxed states on the mainland.
For $10 you can get yourself a bottle of wine that would cost you triple that in a restaurant.
Since you're in Hawaii be sure to try one of the nice Hawaiian wines. My personal favorites are both from Maui's Winery at 'Ulupalakua Ranch. Maui Splash! is a light and fruity wine made from pineapple and passion fruit. Maui Blanc is a soft, semi-dry wine made from the juice of Maui grown pineapples.
Water and Soda
ABC stores sell a large bottle of water for $.99 and I usually pick up one or two before I head out for a day exploring the islands. Soda costs are comparable to what you'll pay at a local 7-Eleven or WAWA on the mainland, about $1.59 for a 20 oz. bottle.
Saving money on alcohol and other liquid refreshments is very easy and the dollars you save can add up very quickly.
More Articles in this Series
Part 3 - Cheap Eats in Hawaii
Part 5 - Renting a Car in Hawaii
Part 8 - Free in Hawaii