The best of Hawaii on the cheap

hawaii trailblazer paradise
The best things in life are free—or they cost a boatload of money. A trip to Hawaii is a prime example. You can spend a zillion bucks reserving a destination resort, booking tours, and sampling Pacific cuisine. Or, you can get ahold of a Trailblazer guide before your trip and learn how save a lot.
Of course, the best example of frugality-meets-luxury is going to the beach. Kekaha Kai State Beach (above) is one of a hundred spots that don’t cost a dime.
maui waterfall
Hiking to waterfalls is also a priceless experience that is totally free. Trailblazer guides have details on all the hikes, many of which are also frequented by paying customers with tour guides.
doris duke
Many of the snorkeling destinations used by snorkeling tour companies are accessible from shore by individuals. Other prime snorkeling spots (like Cromwell’s Cove on Oahu, above) are known mostly to locals and readers of Trailblazer guides.
Waimea Canyon
There’s nothing wrong with paying admission to support the many tourist attractions and museums in the Islands. But travelers on a budget can also have fun visiting the places that don’t charge admission. There are many.
Booking a room is another opportunity to save money. For the best rates, book far in advance—or at the last minute. If you stay longer, you will be able to negotiate a better rate. Room rates are lower in the spring (if you avoid spring break for students) and fall. Another way to save money is team with friends or relatives and share a larger place—more bang for the buck per person.
You will save the most money by not eating in restaurants. You can still buy local foods and stock up on fruits and veggies at roadside stands and ‘sunshine markets.’ Trailblazer guides list them all. Hawaiians use beach parks to dine al fresco, and you can too.  Pack up a dinner to go and watch the sunset fade to starlight.
In addition to the guides for each island, visitors may also want to take a look at No Worries Hawaii, a vacation planning guide that is full of details for booking a trip, and tips to make the most out of your vacation. This book contains a ‘self-test’ that matches your desires and expectations with the reality of what’s available in Hawaii. All guides mentioned are sold on