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Is it still so expensive?

California
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Is it still so expensive?

I have been to most of the islands many times but last time was 10 years ago. I then found Mexico and found it to be fantastic and so reasonable compared to Hawaii Islands. Is it possible to get off the beaten track a bit and actually not spend a fortune in Hawaii? Will rent a car and would like to be able to do some meals in. Need a vacation badly but hate having to look at the price on a menu or spend $8-10 for a beer or glass of wine. We just want to relax, and snorkel. The other question is, is snorkel ok in February? I do know that this is a bit higher season, but I found a great air fare. Thanks

Healy, Alaska
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for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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1. Re: Is it still so expensive?

Mexico is really easy on the pocketbook, especially the food/dining costs. But I think you can be a budget traveler in Hawaii - you can find condo's under $75 a night (I did) and if you primarily eat via the grocery store and farmer's markets, you will be spending significantly less than most tourists. Dining out will be more costly, but not every place is super expensive. We went in late February last year and had some amazing snorkeling/diving - I loved our time on the Big Island! :)

Maui
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for Ka'anapali, Haleakala National Park, Maui
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2. Re: Is it still so expensive?

Aloha,

Not to sound mean, but do you realize you posted on the Big Island forum? Do you want to go the BI, or did you mean to post on the state of Hawaii forum?

Oahu will offer you the least expensive options, and there's plenty to see and do besides Waikiki.

Elk Rapids, Michigan
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for Lanai
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3. Re: Is it still so expensive?

I don't think it is actually fair to compare Hawaii to anywhere else but yes, you can do it on a budget if you want. You need to give up things like being on or near a beach probably, will be in a small rent a car and will know the dollar menu at McDonalds by heart (or the $5 foot long at Subway).

As was suggested, check condo rentals to get a bit more for your money that you will find at most resorts. Might not have a pool or tennis courts but they cost to maintain anyway so would just raise the cost of the condo.

Burr Ridge, Illinois
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4. Re: Is it still so expensive?

If you did mean to post to the BI forum there are areas on the BI that are darn reasonable. In the Hilo area you can find hotels that are budget priced for sure. Also, in Hilo I find the food, beverages and everything to be more economical.

There are some nice places to stay in Volcano Village as well that are nice and reasonably priced.

If you stay away from the high traffic resort areas you will find your dollar will go a lot further. When you are at a resort property it is like Disney World as you can hear the money being sucked out of your billfold.

You can do well on a small budget on BI. It all depends on what you are considering to make your vacation special.

Different places in Mexico also have different price tags. I enjoy going to Cabo San Lucas when I can and that place has prices that equate to prime prices in Hawaii. So, even in Mexico prices can go for economical to expensive.

oregon
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5. Re: Is it still so expensive?

I'd pay twice as much to go to Hawaii over Mexico! Been to Mazatlan and PV, and found not much to like. I know, I know, so many people absolutely LOVE Mexico. I am not one of them. I hated the constant harassment from vendors and timeshare salespeople. But, I really didn't find Mexico that much less expensive than Hawaii.

Island of Hawaii...
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6. Re: Is it still so expensive?

You can spend a fortune in both countries and you can spend very little in bot countries. The secret for the latter is to know where to go to do shopping and where to go to eat. No, that dinner on ocean front in a resort restaurant will not be cheap, but if you go to a local place in the back of the shopping center and get a plate dinner than it will cost you less than $10.00.

Healy, Alaska
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for Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
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7. Re: Is it still so expensive?

Amen to that typically tropical - that is so true! :)

Orange, CA
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8. Re: Is it still so expensive?

A glass of wine is still no less than $8-$10 but then again it doesn't have to be much more than that at many dining establishments.

Denver, Colorado
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9. Re: Is it still so expensive?

If you want the best in Hawaii plan on paying allot, especially if you just show up w/o adequate preplanning and shopping for deals.

Also, it depends on how you choose to spend your money. You can get a budget hotel on the Big Island for as low as $60/night and then eat at Subway. I just saved 30% on my rental car by doing a Hotwire prepay and my airfaire was pratically free by signing up for a miles credit card....so do your homework. Where there is a will there is a way.

Just remember Mexico's economy can't be compared to Hawaii, its a different kettle of fish :)

Honokaa, Hawaii
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10. Re: Is it still so expensive?

For about 15 years, I would take 4 or 5 trips a year to Baja California. Ensenada to San Felipe to Cabo and all points in between. My last trip was 2006 (I think). I have been banned from there by my wife, she says it's too dangerous and too expensive. I can argue about the danger aspect (choose your battles), but she is correct about the expense. It's not the bargain it used to be. Hawaii doesn't have to be super expensive, but guaranteed to be relatively safe.