shows us how to have a budget friendly trip to Hawaii

Your Guide to a Budget-Friendly Island Trip this Weekend shows us how to have a budget friendly trip to Hawaii

Photo by Cody McLain on Unsplash

Your Guide to a Budget-Friendly Island Trip this Weekend

Visitors and local Oahu residents can agree: There’s no better place to spend a weekend. The island’s pristine beaches, unique shopping experiences, exciting urban features and lush tropical weather make the perfect backdrop for fun which must be why it attracts more visitors than all the other islands combined.

Both families and young, single adventure lovers can find a great time here, for sure — but can you do it on a budget? We’ve come up with a flexible itinerary to help you arrange your weekend plans in Oahu without breaking the bank.

Take in History at Iolani Palace

While the mainland has its share of historic sites, there’s only one place you can visit the sole royal palace located inside the United States. Iolani Palace is an ornate mansion that combines regal architecture with distinct Hawaiian tradition. The official residence of Hawaiian monarchy, “Iolani” translates to “royal hawk” in the native tongue. Taking a tour of Iolani Palace is like taking a step into history. As the 10-room historic house is decorated today, it is a reflection of Hawaii’s last monarchs King Kalakaua and his sister Queen Liliuokalani. Considering how popular a destination ‘Iolani is, this would be a great activity to save for earlier in the day to beat late-to-make-it tourist crowds. To save money on interior tours, opt for the audio version that provides a musically enhanced lesson at a more frugal cost (only $14.75 per adult and $6 for each child).

Mountain Bike on the U.S.’s Best Trails

Oahu is home to some of the best mountain biking trails in the United States. Even if you are a novice on the trail, there is a fun and challenging option for your skill level. If you want to stay closer to Honolulu, try a more family friendly trail like the outer loop of Magic Island, which hugs the coastline for a solid three-quarters of a mile. A more urban adventure includes the Pearl Harbor Bike Path that begins at the Pearl Harbor Visitor Center and winds down for 10 miles before ending at Waipio Point Access Road.

Or, if you want a vista of some of Oahu’s most famous beaches, book it to the Ka Ala Pupukea (known to tourists as the North Shore Bike Path). Pack plenty of water for the long ride and perhaps a picnic for your trip for a lovely lunch right on the beach. Wherever you decide to go, make sure everyone has the right mountain bike for their height and skill level. Having an ill-fitting bike makes the entire journey less enjoyable. You can do research online ahead of time to find budget-friendly options that work for every member of your party.

Spend the Day Exploring The Gathering Place

Even lifelong Oahu residents miss out on everything the island has to offer. There’s no better way to get reacquainted with “The Gathering Place” than with an expertly lead tour. Ohana Circle Island Tour combines historic landmarks such as the Dole Pineapple Plantation and must-see natural destinations including Diamond Head, Halona Blowhole and Makapuu Pt. And like any good Hawaiian tour, there’s a pit stop in the deep blue with a 90-minute snorkeling excursion with Hawaiian Green Sea Turtles at a secret beach. Best of all, the entire Ohana Circle Island Tour excursion is wallet-friendly with adult day passes at only $80 and kids’ passes at $45.


As beautiful as Oahu is, it’s not exactly known for its budget-friendliness. However, you can have an amazing weekend without breaking the bank with the right plan. Landmarks including Iolani Palace aren’t expensive to tour and entrance fees go back to the preservation of Hawaiian history. Oahu is home to some of the best mountain biking trails in the world. Best of all, they are free to access after procuring your two-wheels. Finally, while an activity like the Ohana Circle Island Tour isn’t free, it’s an amazing value and a great way to get a fun-filled day in Oahu that is an experience you are unable to find anywhere else.


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