Find Inexpensive Accommodation
If you’re planning to stay somewhere for 30 days, hotels are not the most cost-effective solution. Instead, find yourself a hostel or Airbnb. Hostels in Honolulu charge about $250 per week for a single room with a community bathroom and shower. For comparison, the lowest-price hotels charge between $450 and $700 per week.
Even though hostels aren’t the most luxurious choice, they offer all the basic things you need in a room – a bed, chair and desk, wardrobe, drawers, mirror… The cleaning staff cleans the rooms every week plus removes the trash and changes towels every day.
The community bathrooms have showers, sinks, toilets, and sinks, which are also cleaned regularly.
If you can, stay at a hostel that is close to a shopping mall such as Ala Moana or Hawaii Kai Towne Center, you’ll have easy access to grocery stores, affordable food, and even wi-fi. In addition, you’ll be well-connected because most public transport stops there.
When you live in a small hostel room, downsizing your personal belongings can make your life a lot easier. Try to pack only the basics for your trip, making sure you don’t need to buy lots of things after you get there. One suitcase plus one carry-on bag should suffice. Most of your clothes should be summery and light but it’s always wise to bring a sweater and comfortable shoes. You should still have space to take your laptop and camera, as well as a few books if you wish.
Enjoy Free Things
The best parts of Hawaii – the beaches – are public and free for everyone to use. Hiking in the jungle and spending time in the park are also free. Make sure you take your phone and get some great photos of your adventures. There are also lots of social and cultural events that are free of charge and allow you to meet new people. See what you can find online or ask the locals when you arrive.
Find Inexpensive Food
Many hostels don’t have community kitchens but have community fridges and microwaves, which can help you stay within your budget. Microwaves are not allowed inside the room. When you’re living in Hawaii on a limited budget, fancy dining options are not usually an option. Instead, look for cheaper eating venues such as Shirokiya, Zippy’s, and Marukame Udon. Have noodles for only $5 or a combo meal for $6-$7. In addition, stock up on some non-perishables such as coffee, tea, bread, butter, nuts, cereal bars, and bananas.
When it comes to shopping for food, there are a couple of ways to stay within your budget.
Shop at farmers’ markets that sell locally grown, organic and affordable produce. However, this is not the case with all farmers’ markets, so make sure to keep an eye on the prices.
Another way to avoid breaking the bank is to shop sales and shop wholesale. Stores like Costco provide a larger range of products at a good price.
Note: Since shopping wholesale means shopping in a bulk, consider sharing the abundance. People in Hawaii love sharing veggies and fruits from their gardens. So, if you share your surplus food, they’ll do the same!
Living in Hawaii for a month (and having a great time) is not as cheap as many places around the world. However, it’s perfectly manageable if you do your research and spend wisely. If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that creative thinking can help us overcome our challenges so we can live our best life now.