15 Tips to Honeymoon in Hawaii on a Budget

It’s no secret that a Hawaiian honeymoon is the ultimate bucket list experience for many married couples.

It’s also one of the most expensive places to honeymoon, with hotels often being exclusive and luxury everything is the norm. But it doesn’t have to be that way!

Don’t despair; with some forward-thinking, you can honeymoon in Hawaii on a budget without breaking the bank.

As with any vacation, planning in advance can make a world of difference when it comes to affording a trip to paradise after your wedding day.

Let’s get right into it – follow these 15 essential tips to have an amazing honeymoon getaway at a fraction of the cost:

Book Your Flight Early

Book your flights as soon as possible! Airfare can be one of the biggest expenses when traveling to Hawaii, and flights can skyrocket if you wait too long to book.

But by doing some research ahead of time, you can often find good deals on flights.

If possible, book your flight at least six months in advance and try using a flight comparison website like Skyscanner to find the best deal.

You can also check out budget airlines like Southwest or United to save money on airfare if you’re willing to travel with a bit of flexibility.

Hawaii turquoise waters
Turquoise waters in Hawaii

Set a Budget to Avoid Surprises

As you plan out your trip, make a list of things that you absolutely don’t want to skimp on. Then, look for ways to save money on the rest.

This goes for everything from booking your flights and accommodation to choosing which excursions to take while you’re there.

Keep in mind that if you see a great rate, you’ll want to book it before it disappears.

While it’s important to have a budget, it’s also important to remember that you don’t have to stick to it 100%.

Don’t let the stress of trying to stick to a budget cause you to miss out on the experience of a lifetime!

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Just Say No to Excursions

While a tour of a Hawaiian volcano can be an amazing experience, it can also be very expensive.

If you’re on a tight budget, try to avoid booking excursions. There are plenty of ways to explore the islands without spending a fortune.

Although some people may think that you can’t explore Hawaii on a budget, it’s actually quite easy to do so.

All you have to do is avoid the excursions and spend more time exploring the islands on foot.

Depending on the island, there are a number of activities that you can do for free or at a very low cost.

For example, hiking and visiting the beach are free or checking out a local farmer’s market, while helicopter tours and luaus will cost you a pretty penny.

Which Hawaiian Island Should You Visit?

Before you book your trip, take some time to research the different islands and figure out which one is the best fit for you.

Each island has its own unique vibe and attractions, so you’ll want to make sure you choose the right one for your honeymoon.

Check out our guide on picking which Hawaiian island to visit.

tip

Book Your Hotel Early

Just like with flights, you’ll want to book your hotel as soon as possible. Hotels are often sold out during high travel seasons (such as summer or holidays), so you’ll need to be quick in order to get the best deals.

The earlier you book your hotel, the more options you’ll have for a discounted price. If you wait too long, though, you may find yourself stuck with a higher price tag or limited options.

This is especially true if you’re staying on Oahu, where rates are at a premium.

Try staying in less touristy areas, but if you’re planning on staying at a hotel on Waikiki Beach, you’ll need to book even earlier, as rates can skyrocket during the high season.

Use websites like TripAdvisor to get the best deals on hotels.

Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa
Hyatt Regency Maui Resort and Spa

Go During Low Season

Hotel prices for Hawaii vary greatly depending on the time of year, but a good rule of thumb is to avoid booking your stay during the peak season, which are the summer months (June, July, and August).

The months of March to May, and September through October are considered the “shoulder season” in Hawaii, which means hotel rates will be lower.

This is the absolute best time to find deals, so try booking at least six months out from your wedding day during these times for the lowest rates possible.

The weather will still be beautiful, but you’ll have less competition for hotel rooms and other amenities.

Consider Staying in a Vacation Rental

Don’t forget about Airbnb! This platform offers plenty of affordable options that are often much cheaper than booking directly with a hotel chain.

These vacation rentals are perfect if you’re looking for something a little more private and you’ll often have more space to spread out, which can be nice after a busy day of sightseeing.

Just be sure to read the reviews carefully before booking, and make sure the rental is in a safe area.

Also, many of them come with kitchens, so you can save money by eating in.

The only downside is that you’ll have to do your own cleaning; if you don’t mind playing house with your significant other and doing a few dishes during your stay, this may be the best way to go.

Check Out Resort Credit Offers

Many hotels offer resort credits, which can be used to save money on excursions, spa treatments, and more.

If you’re staying at a hotel that offers this perk, be sure to take advantage of it!

You can also look for hotels that offer honeymoon specials. While these specials don’t always include a free bonus, they often include perks that can save you money over the course of your stay.

Some hotels even offer free upgrades and special amenities designed to make your honeymoon extra special.

Dole whip on the Dole plantation in Oahu
Dole whip on the Dole plantation in Oahu

Eat Like a Local

One of the quickest ways to blow your budget on a Hawaiian honeymoon is by drinking too much alcohol and eating at expensive restaurants.

Instead, hit up the local farmer’s market or buy groceries and cook for yourself. Consider buying beer or wine from a local store instead of drinking at bars every night.

This will not only save you money, but it will also give you a chance to sample some of the delicious local cuisine.

Most grocery stores have samples of food that you can buy for less than $5 during certain times of day – these make great snacks!

Tip: Happy hour is a great chance to eat your way through a city without emptying the wallet – check out this guide to the best happy hour in Oahu or this happy hour guide for Maui.

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Stay in a Less Expensive Area

If you want to save money on your honeymoon, consider staying in a less expensive area of Hawaii. There are many beautiful areas on the islands that are less expensive than Waikiki or Maui.

For example, Kauai is a great option if you’re looking for a more secluded and romantic setting.

The North Shore of Oahu is also a good choice for couples who want to avoid the crowds and enjoy some of the best surfing in the world.

Take Advantage of Package Deals

Many travel companies offer package deals that include airfare, hotel accommodation, and sometimes even activities like snorkeling or golfing.

This can be a great way to save money and ensure that you have everything you need for your trip organized ahead of time.

However, be careful to read the fine print.

Some honeymoon packages include a lot of extras that you may not need or want (such as massages and romantic dinners).

Before you make a decision, make sure that you are getting exactly what you want out of your honeymoon package.

Car rental honolulu
Car rental honolulu

Skip the Car Rental

If you’re planning to stay on one of the more populated islands during your honeymoon in Hawaii, it might be worth considering skipping the car rental altogether.

Not only is driving on the islands often more stressful than it’s worth, but parking can also be quite expensive. Instead, try taking public transportation or renting a bike to get around.

For example, the bus system in Oahu is reliable and relatively affordable, and it’s a great way to see the island. Take advantage of that!

Avoid Tourist Traps

There are plenty of “tourist traps” in Hawaii – places that are designed to separate you from your money. You may want to avoid these places on your honeymoon.

For example, Waikiki is a great place for families, but it’s not the best choice if you’re looking for a romantic honeymoon.

The beaches are overcrowded and the shops are full of tacky tourist t-shirts and lei stands.

Instead, you might want to consider staying in a more peaceful part of Oahu (such as on the North Shore) or visiting one of the quieter islands, like Kauai.

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Ask About Military Discounts

If you or your spouse is in the military, be sure to ask about any discounts that may be available to you.

Many hotels and resorts offer discounts to active and retired members of the military, so it never hurts to ask.

Maui sea turtles
Maui sea turtles

Book Excursions in Advance

Is swimming with turtles on your bucket list and you just can’t say no? We feel you.

There’s just some things in life that you can’t pass up on – especially during a trip as special as your honeymoon.

There are so many fun things to do in the Aloha State – snorkeling, surfing, ziplining, hiking and more – but if you don’t book these activities in advance you may find yourself out of luck!

Many excursions sell out months ahead of time, so if you have a specific activity in mind make sure to book it as soon as possible to avoid any price hikes.

Pack Light

Packing light can also help you save money on your honeymoon. Airlines often charge extra for checked bags, so by packing light you can avoid those fees.

Try to pack only what you know you’ll need and think about packing versatile items that can be worn in multiple ways.