How I honeymooned in Hawaii for only $1500!
Celebrating a new marriage surrounded by friends and family is fun, eventful, but usually expensive in American culture. Everyone says that your wedding day is supposed to be the “best day of your life.” Personally, I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off dealing with being sent the wrong cake, PC problems for the DJ, and a clueless florist. It was wild and hectic and I couldn’t wait to board a plane and arrive on a beach in the middle of the ocean. But, like most modern day Americans, I had a strict budget for the whole fiasco. I didn’t want to miss out on an amazing honeymoon by spending way too much for a wedding. So, I figured out how to get everything I wanted for both my wedding day AND honeymoon. Instead of a win-lose situation, I choose to have a win-win situation.
Here’s how we spent 12 days on The Big Island in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii for only $1500.
$1500?! You are probably thinking that was the price per person…but no. You didn’t read wrong. We spent $1500 in total for TWO people. $1500 was the total for everything….flights, travel accommodations, food, adventure, etc. Crazy right? Here’s how we did it.
- We found someone who worked for Hawaiian airlines and loved us enough to give us 2 free, round-trip tickets to Hawaii. All we had to pay for was the taxes. In total, for airfare, we spent $600 for 2 people to fly to Hawaii. That’s way cheaper than the original pricing of $800 one way. By having 2 stand-by tickets gifted to us, we saved a total of $2,600.
- Just when we thought we lucked out on the airfare, things got even better. The same friend, who gifted us the airline tickets, had a friend named Mary, who lived on The Big Island and rented out her home as a vacation rental during peak seasons for $100 per night. We decided to travel to Hawaii during the off-season instead. We just simply asked Mary, if she could rent her home to use for $100 a week. We explained that we were on a strict budget and it would be a huge blessing to us. She had no one booked during that time, and out of the kindness of her heart, she simply agreed to that amount. (You never know what you can get if you don’t ask). So because we spent 12 days at her home, the total amount came out to a $170 prorated total. By simply asking for a HUGE discount, and traveling during the off-season, we managed to save $1,200.
- Our friend Joel, who works for Hawaiian airlines, was kind enough to let us borrow his extra car while we were there. So, not only did we save money not paying for a rental, but we also had our own transportation to drive all over the island. Car rentals in Hawaii typically go for about $50 a day. Borrowing a car from a friend, instead of renting a car saved us a total average of $600.
- Hawaii is full of majestic wonders. The good thing is, most of the things we wanted to see during our time here were free. We visited as many beaches, volcanoes, rainforests, waterfalls, coral reefs and caves as we could. The home we stayed at, let us use their snorkel gear, and beach toys. The only cost to see these wonders was the cost of gas it took to drive there. We spent about $100 on gas for the week.
- We spent about $300 on groceries for the 12 days we were there and $150 eating out at restaurants. Giving us a total of $450 spent on food. We could have saved more on this but we love to eat, and ordered whatever we liked at many amazing food joints. The fresh seafood was delicious too!
- We also bought some things, and did a little shopping. We spent about $180 on this. Maxing out our $1500 budget.
Our trip to Kailua-Kona, Hawaii was the trip of a lifetime. By networking and haggling, we were able to make our dream of Hawaii a reality. Even though we had a tight, small budget for our honeymoon, I really feel as if we were able to do everything that we wanted to. It didn’t feel like vacationing on a budget. We we’re able to enjoy some of nature’s most beautiful creations, eat amazing food, and get some romantic rest and relaxation on some of the most gorgeous beaches we’ve ever seen.
The main lesson that I learned from our Hawaii experience is not to be afraid to ask for things. People are willing to give, they just haven’t been asked yet. The people that helped make our honeymoon dream a reality didn’t lose anything by helping us. In fact, we gained great, life-long relationships while in Hawaii. We are planning to go back, very soon.