Cost of Living

If there is one thing bad about Hawaii it’s that the cost of living is amongst the highest in the United States.  And if you think that’s bad then just consider that residents and Hawaiian natives don’t make more money than the rest of the country.  Yes, there is a price for living and visiting paradise but if you budget correctly and make the most of your money then you can make a little go a long way.

Food Costs

On average you’ll pay a just a little over $2 more for lunch while you’re on the Hawaiian Islands.  If you’re in a business district, say in Honolulu’s downtown area, then the average cost of lunchtime entrée’s is going to be around $13. That doesn’t include drinks.  Even the food in fast food restaurants tend to run a little bit higher.  For instance, the cost of a McDonald’s Big Mac value meal is currently running around $9.

You can eat a little cheaper if you’re buying food at grocery stores and food outlets, though. Still, it’s only marginally less expensive.  A gallon of milk is going to run you around $7 and a dozen eggs can push the $5 mark in some grocery stores on the Islands.

One of the best things to do is to attend local farmer’s markets for food. This ensures that you’re getting fresh food and supporting the local economy.  Also, because it is local food then you’re apt to pay less because there have been minimal storage and transportation costs associated with the goods from the mainland.

Gas and Transportation

Currently gas is down in price and that’s a good thing.  There are times when a gallon of gas on the Hawaiian Islands can cost you over $4.  Right now it is under $3.

Getting around Hawaii isn’t as expensive as you might think, though.  The great public bus system in Hawaii has monthly, unlimited rides to any stop for just $60 per month…that’s just $2 per day!  However, if you don’t plan on being on the Island that long then there are special visitor fares.  Also, any 1 ride on TheBus, in any direction is only $2.50.

Taxis do run pretty expensive.  For instance, a taxi ride from Honolulu Airport to Waikiki, which is less than 8 miles, and cost you up to $35!


The best and most affordable accommodations for adventure seekers, backpackers, and budget vacationers on any Hawaiian Island are most definitely the hostel system. You can find great hostel accommodations on any island for between $35 and $50 per night.  That’ is a far cry from the average cost of a hotel room on Maui, Oahu and Hawaii is between $130 and $210 per night.

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