Exploring the Big Island on a Budget!

Nothing beats the most affordable of the Hawaiian Islands. We recommend always renting a car – because you guessed it – Big Island is big! The Big Island’s 4,028 square miles represents almost 63% of the state’s total land mass. So the Big Island is bigger than all the other Hawaiian islands combined. The Big Island is even bigger than the states of Rhode Island and Delaware combined! We recommend checking out the app Turo, it can be a more afforable and convienant option than a traditional rental car company. The Big Island offers a more varied and chill vibe than any other island . It is home to the tallest (from the base at the ocean) volcano in the world, Mauna Kea. There is the country with it’s cattle and cowboys; coffee plantations and winerys; and five volcanos, three of them classified as active; green, black, and white beaches; waterfalls and flowers.


We have an entire article on which airport you should fly into. . . But once you’ve made that choice, we have a few airline recommendations. As Southwest has begun flying into Hile and Kona, prices are dropping from all mainland US locations, more than they have in years. Its a great time to visit Big Island, when airlines are competing to constantly have lower prices! Use frequent flyer miles or points if you have them, and if two are you are flying try booking a window and an aisle, its rare anyone will sit in between you, and if they do end up in the middle they will happily trade to get the window or isle. Great places to search for flights are skyscanner, cheaptickets, watchdog, kiwi, jet radar, and of course google flights !

Shop Wisely for Essential Gear

Avoid packing your car with a lot of stuff you don’t need. Not only will this make it difficult to find what you’re looking for, but it will add excess weight to your car and impact your gas mileage. Stick to the essentials and spend your money on quality necessities. Often we tell guests, grocery shopping at Costco, in Keaau at Keauu Natural Food, or a normal grocery store in Keauu or Hilo is cheaper than shopping at one of the smaller locations here in Volcano. At the very least, make sure you’re prepared with a first-aid kit and a large refillable water bottle. You can save a lot of money on your gear purchases by shopping online for necessities, like a refillable water bottle, reef safe sunscreen, and road trip snacks.

Pack Plenty of Food

Eating out for every meal, will quickly drain your Hawaii budget. While you may want to splurge a few times to check out local eats, if you eat out three times a day, you can easily spend over $75 to $100 per person. Having that kitchen makes your entire trip much, much more affordable. Instead, plan to eat out just a few times and pack all of your other meals along. For longer stays with us – be smart book a Deluxe Suite Each deluxe suite room includes a dining area, kitchenette, and fireplace. The kitchenettes are equipped with a small fridge, coffee maker, toaster, microwave, sink and countertop, electric skillet, and plates/bowls/cups/utensils. The money you save with a multinight discounts and skipping one meal out will more than cover the upgraded room and allow you to stay in deluxe accomedations longer while on a budget. Stock up on car snacks like trail mix and dry pantry staples like rice and pasta. If you’re bringing a cooler, pack it with protein-fueled snacks such as hummus and hard-boiled eggs to keep you energized on those long hikes, and drives in between attractions.

Find Free Attractions and Entertainment

The beauty of a Big Island trip is that you can go anywhere you want including 11 different climate zones of the 13 in the entire world!

Break free from the Kona side and overpriced tourist traps and explore Big Island, and Volcano on your own. Feel free to email our friendly staff for best tips on road trips and sights along the way that may be of the most interest to your party. Remember, traveling is are about the journey, so don’t skip something you’d like to see just to check in with us sooner – we will happily provide you keys for a late night check in, just let us know the day of arrival when you may show up. Take those scenic routes! Help out at that local beach cleanup! And absolutely go on that long hike! Hawaii is best when explored, so don’t be afraid to do just that! When you book with us, feel free about asking our staff about local events going on during your Hawaiian stay. With year around amazing weather, we have events constantly going on in Volcano!

A limited budget doesn’t have to limit your Hawaiian travel plans. In fact we constantly have people tell us they wish they spent their entire Hawaiian vacation on the most diverse and afforable island, Big Island. With some smart shopping and budget-friendly planning, you may even have a little money left over to put towards your next visit with us.