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Spending a week in Honolulu with little money..what to do?

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Sherborn...
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Spending a week in Honolulu with little money..what to do?

Hello! This is my first message board so I'm not exactly sure how it works but I'll give it a go. My friend and I are flying to Honolulu at the end of January are are staying a week until we continue our journey to NZ. We both do not have much money to spend, but want to make sure we are making the most of our adventure to Hawaii! Any suggestions on where to go, what to do, or how to get around? I'd love just finding some cool hikes or walks and checking out some surfing at a beach. Are there any smaller communities near Honolulu with a 20s-30s crowd and some local pubs? Someone I know mentioned "North Beach," but I can't seem to find that. Any suggestions would be much appreciated! We are looking to couch surf and stay relatively close to the airport since we are short on funds, but any ideas on how to escape the "city life" a bit would be greatly appreciated!

Cheers,

Erin

Oahu, Hawaii
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1. Re: Spending a week in Honolulu with little money..what to do?

Aloha,

Welcome to the Hawaii Forums.

Your friend meant North SHORE, not North Beach.

Do you have a travel guidebook? Try Lonely Planet, Frommer's or Fodor's.

Check out the Top Questions above.

http://www.gohawaii.com/oahu

Aloha

Northern California...
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2. Re: Spending a week in Honolulu with little money..what to do?

Staying close to the airport is not fun/cheap/entertaining. I don't know how well the couch surfing will work on Oahu but on the safe side you should expect to spend at least $60/night for the cheapest room you can get for the week at some place like the Royal Grove hotel.

AFAIK - there is no "North Beach" but there is the North Shore of Oahu. Coming at the end of January puts you at the height of the winter surf and one of the times when the North Shore gets packed & expensive with all the big wave surfers and the people that watch them from the safety of the beach. It is a great time to visit but I don't think it will fit your budget.

My advise would be to get a bus pass and start checking Groupon & Living Social for activity "deals". On my last trip I was able to get a 48 hour surf board rental for $35. If you rent from the stands on the beach they can cost about $12/hour.

Elk Rapids, Michigan
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3. Re: Spending a week in Honolulu with little money..what to do?

Sitting on the beach - free

Arizona Memorial - free

Window shopping - free

People watching - free

Shuttle to Hilo Hattie main store and Mall store - free

Look for racks of pamplets offering twofers or discounts all over the place.

North shore is not close to the airport nor is there any cheap housing there that I know of.

Go to and ABC and get a pass for "the bus". Cheap and it will take you all over the island.

Loads of smaller communities but none that I would call cheap or 20 -30's exclusive.

Oahu, Hawaii
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4. Re: Spending a week in Honolulu with little money..what to do?

Aloha,

The 4 day pass for the city bus (The Bus) recently increased sharply in price (from $25 to $35). Thus, in many cases, it is more economical to simply buy the one-way fare, which allows a transfer if necessary.

Dallas
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5. Re: Spending a week in Honolulu with little money..what to do?

Erin - welcome to TA and to the Oahu forum. Lots of people here with good advice so feel free to ask questions.

First you should read the Top questions about Honolulu on the right side of this page. You will get lots of good information there. Then if you have questions, come back and start threads like you just did to get ideas, help, suggestions etc. on those.

You don't want to stay by the airport because there are not many hotels there, and not much to do. There are some fairly inexpensive hotels available in Waikiki that are easily walkable to all the shops, restaurants, beaches, etc.

As BrightonBill indicated, there is so much stuff to do there for free that you won't have a problem finding something to do. The most expense will be food and drinks which can get a little expensive depending on where you go.

The city bus system is great and you can't get anywhere on the island for $2.50 per trip. You can even get over to the north shore if you want for that, but it's a long ride and not really recommended.

Surfing is right on Waikiki Beach and easy to watch the surfers, catamarans, outrigger canoes, along with fabulous views of the beautiful blue water and Diamond Head...all for free !!

Pearl Harbor is a favorite and a good way to spend a day or at least part of one and easy to get to by bus. I would suggest booking that ahead on line at recreation.gov and they charge $1.50 per ticket to ride the Navy launch and get on the Arizona memorial. If you just want to go out there and look at all the other monuments there is no charge needed for Pearl Harbor. Other things like the USS Bowfin sub and the USS Missouri battleship do have a charge but not terribly expensive.

You can climb to the top of Diamond Head and you can get there by bus as well. Go to Chinatown, go see the palace, downtown, the missionary houses and lots of other stuff ....all for free ! It's really pretty amazing what you can do for little or no money in Honolulu.

Give us an idea of your accommodations budget and your hotel likes and dislikes and people here will help you with ideas. Just a word of caution, you will not get an ocean front hotel with a view for a cheap budget, but there are decent hotels a block or two off the beach that are pretty cheap.

So again, welcome to the wonderful world of Hawaii and Oahu. Hope you can pick up some ideas to help you make your trip something to remember. Lots of nice people on here to help you do some planning.

Aloha

Santa Monica, CA
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6. Re: Spending a week in Honolulu with little money..what to do?

Perhaps find a hostel in Waikiki? http://www.hostels.com/honolulu/usa Be sure to check reviews; I've never stayed, just passing on some ideas!

Lots and lots of hiking opportunities on Oahu and they are great hikes, too. Do a Google search and you will find plenty, often the website will indicate which bus to take from Honolulu, too.

Beaches on Oahu are terrific, visit as many as you can.

The North Shore is indeed beautiful, but rural, so at times can be tough to get around without a rental car. Waikiki, because it is so compact, will give you the ability to walk to restaurants (be sure to check the links under Top Questions, on the right side of this page, Cheap Eats and Amberloo and Food.

The Bus does have routes to get you to the North Shore and pretty much all the island.

http://www.thebus.org/route/routes.asp

You can have a great time without breaking the bank. We rarely pay for excursions any longer, preferring to discover the island on our own.

Seattle
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7. Re: Spending a week in Honolulu with little money..what to do?

I haven't heard much about couch surfing in Honolulu/Waikiki, but as mentioned above there are a number of hostels. Some very close to the beach.

You can use The Bus to get around. That's as cheap as it's going to get, unless you can find some ride shares or want to attempt hitch-hiking (not recommending that).

Agreeing with those above, lots of smaller towns, but not necessarily hip happening 20-somethings with pubs like you request.

Free is hanging out in the parks (Fort de Russy, Kapiolani, Ala Moana) and on the beach. Cheap food is at ABC Stores, plate lunch, fast food like Rainbow Drive In, bakeries (St Germanie), and grocery stores. It's easy to find free entertainment like hula shows and live Hawaiian music. Don't miss the various Farmer's Markets, different days and locations.

suze

NORTH CAROLINA
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8. Re: Spending a week in Honolulu with little money..what to do?

The best part of Hawaii for me is enjoying the beaches and they are all free.

The bus will get you almost anywhere and cheaply.

There is a current thread on here about hostels take a look.

Like I said in that thread look at the Royal Grove Hotel. You can get a basic category 3 room for $60 double occupancy it has two twin beds a small kitchen but no AC. It's in a great location only about a 2 minute walk to the beach.

Sherborn...
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9. Re: Spending a week in Honolulu with little money..what to do?

Wow everyone, thank you so much!! This is so helpful and I will look into everything mentioned. I appreciate your time!

Santa Monica, CA
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10. Re: Spending a week in Honolulu with little money..what to do?

Erin - welcome to the joy of TripAdvisor. You'll never travel any other way!