Budget Hawaii Vacation – How I Saved Over $1300 on Flights

This week I booked a 16 night Hawaii vacation, for my wife and I, to celebrate our one year wedding anniversary.  It’s our favorite place to travel, and it’s where we went on our honeymoon. I’d been waiting for reward space on flights to open up for the date range we had available, and finally they did! OH YEAH!!!



I found flights on Alaska Airlines that had reward space, so I jumped on the opportunity and booked them with British Airways miles (who is a partner airline of Alaska Airlines).  If you want to learn how I did this, here’s a post about it. This summer, we’re headed to The Big Island and then Maui for our two island Hawaii vacation. Eight days at each location. I’ve been to all of the Hawaiian islands (some multiple times), and Maui is my favorite.  The Big Island is my second favorite, so I’m excited for my wife, Allison, to explore it for her first time! She’ll surely be shocked on our drive from the airport, and possibly think we landed on Mars instead… (if you’ve been there, you know what I mean).



As soon as I knew the dates we would be traveling, I started looking for our accommodations.  I knew we wanted to at least spend most of our time in a condo with a kitchen. My go-to website for this type of booking is VRBO.com because they have a great variety of homes in Hawaii.  The reason for wanting to book a condo, is so that we can prepare a lot of our meals and snacks, which significantly cuts down on our eating expenses.


By preparing our breakfasts, snacks, lunches and some dinners, we won’t be paying inflated restaurant prices or tips for every single meal.  16 days multiplied by three meals for two people, is a lot of meals to be eating out. When we arrive in Hawaii, we make a Costco run to get enough food and drinks for our stay, which usually costs between $100-200 for a week.  After our trip, I’ll report back on how much money we spent on food.



Flights: $22.40 ( +50,000 miles which are free through a credit card introductory bonus! ) SAVED $1331.60 on these flights!!! Booyah! 


Condo: $2279.53 ( $954.71-Big Island  $1324.82-Maui ) We splurged!!! It comes out to $142.50 per night, which is cheaper than most decent hotels in Hawaii.


Car Rentals: To be determined – Haven’t booked yet because I’m hoping the prices go down.  I usually check Hotwire and Costco Travel. (current price ~$900)


Excursions: To be determined – Mostly, we will be spending time at the beach, snorkeling, hiking and exploring which only cost the price of whatever gas it takes to get to our destination.  One thing that we’ll definitely be doing is stand up paddle boarding (SUP).  I’ve found Kona Boys to be a good place to rent a board.  Hopefully, we’ll get lucky and see the pod of dolphins that frequents the Kona coastline!


Food: To be determined – Costco food, restaurant meals, and coffee won’t be too much higher than we’d spend regularly on food at home.


We saved a ton on our flights, so we could splurge a little bit on where we’re staying.  Really, if we weren’t splurging, we could have taken a shorter trip and used points to stay at hotels for free-ish.  $142 per night isn’t too bad, considering how high the taxes and fees were for renting. Over the next year or so we plan on traveling as much as possible, before

having children.  Because of this we’ll likely take some long trips during the summers when we have more time away from work. This is one of those trips and we can’t wait!


Saving money on trips like this, is possible for anyone who has the right travel tools and understanding of travel points and miles. If you’re interested in having a life full of travel, without paying a pocket full of money, I suggest following along with Travel Freedom.  An easy way to follow is by entering your email below to join our email journal. You’ll stay updated with news, tips and giveaway information. Mahalo. Talk to you soon. Aloha!

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