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Most Unusual Frugal Tips in Hawaii

July 3rd, 2013 at 10:16 am

We had a couple weeks island vacation without spending a fortune. Everyday we made cost saving choices; some of which are typical frugal living habits, some of which you would never think of!!

The Tried and True Tips
1. Free hotel nights or room upgrades. Our family of 4 needs a little more room than the standard hotel digs. Fortunately we squeeze every drop of upgrades out of my husband's Holiday Inn Priority Club status. He racks up points throughout the year (via business travel and regular purchases on a Priority Club credit card) and uses the points for free nights and bigger rooms on family trips. This time we got one free night out of 6 and an extra large room on the 18th floor with a HUGE view of Waikiki and Diamond Head ($$$) AT NO EXTRA CHARGE to the standard rate. The view? see here...

2. Eat in. Almost every trip we use Holiday Inn express which has a very very nice free breakfast. On the rare occasion that we don't, we try very hard to get free room upgrade with mini kitchen (microwave and refridge). That's what happened this trip. The typical day's meals? Dad wakes early and walks for fitness to a non-tourist grocery (sometimes this is 2 miles one way which is good!). There he picks up breakfast and lunch supplies such as: milk, dry cereal, breads, peanut butter, sliced cheese and fruits. Upon return, the teens might be awake and have breakfast. We pack lunch and go off for the day's travels.

3. Use Local Transportation. We resist car rentals especially in areas with major bus/train choices. This trip we did not have a car on Oahu for the first 4 days but still saw parades, went snorkeling and had plenty of beach going. The bus stop was right at our hotel doorstep (admittedly a lucky choice!) and we used it to go to Hanauma State Park where the snorkeling was highly recommended. The cost? about $2.50 ea.

The Unusual, Unheard of and Weird Tips
A. Ask the Beach Bums. Sometimes simply buying inexpensive beach equipment at the destination is the way to go instead of renting beach equipment, (e.g. boogie boards and umbrellas). We were about to buy a couple boogie boards but a local overheard our discussion and said, "Why don't you ask the homeless group over there to buy their stuff?" Hmmmm. We had seen several groups of folks who didn't look mentally unstable but more like they camped out at the area for awhile. We kind of liked the idea! Less STUFF in the world and perhaps help these folks out a little. My husband gave it a shot and guess what? They said, "Sure, no charge, just bring it back when you're done." WOW! We used a couple boogie boards for 2 days and brought them a couple pineapples as thanks.

B. Scavenge fruits and nuts. Well, certainly you've done this on the mainland. Backyard orange trees? Wild berries? The fruits in Hawaii are just more exotic and tropical. We found mangoes and macadamia, coconut and more off the main tourist areas.

Stay tuned for 'No Cost Hawaiian Activities Tips'

3 Responses to “Most Unusual Frugal Tips in Hawaii”

  1. Buendia Says:

    Love this! I've always wanted to go to Hawaii...
    We always eat in (usually get self-catered apts through airbnb or something like that) and depending on the location we try not to rent a car.

  2. scfr Says:

    What a great view! Thanks for sharing the tips. We always here how expensive groceries are in Hawaii ... Has that been your experience?

  3. pretty cheap jewelry Says:

    Oh yes!! Groceries were at least 1.5 times that which we were used to. No examples off the top of my head, but yes.

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