Sunday, October 21, 2012

Hawaii Budget

M & I have been planning a trip to Hawaii with the kids for almost a year, but had to put it on hold due to a vacation blackout with my team. On Friday, I accepted a new role (different team, different job, same company) & the vacation blackout is now a moot point. We're going to Hawaii!!!

Although we saved quite a bit for this vacation out of my bonus last month, we have a budget, & want to stick with it as much as possible.

Here's our current trip budget, for a six day trip to Maui, with four people (two adults, & two kids)

  • Flights - tickets from Seattle to Maui are generally pretty expensive, so we opted to drive to Bellingham (about two hours away) to take advantage of a huge sale that Alaska ran this summer. Total ticket price for all four - $1500
  • Hotel - this was our big splurge. We have two young kids, & have made the mistake of staying in one hotel room before - as soon as the kids are asleep at 8:00 pm, the lights go off. Nothing like sitting in the dark on your vacation while your kids snore in the background. ;-) We rented a two bedroom at this place in Ka'anapali, complete with a full kitchen & washing machine. Cooking the majority of our meals will obviously save money, & honestly, we enjoy eating at "home" for meals more than dining out with the boys. ;-) - $4500. Gulp.
  • Rental car - Our budget was $300, and we just booked a car with Avis for $260.
  • Food - I'm having a hard time predicting this one without knowing how much grocery prices will be on Maui, but here's what I've estimated so far. I've made a menu based on the food that will be easiest to prepare. We're also planning on bringing spices, etc from home to keep costs down. We are eating a few meals out, which is included. We have $800 budgeted, but I'm hoping to keep it closer to $750, based on the breakout below.
    • Lunch & snacks for the plane - $50x2 for each way
    • Dinner for all four of us, our first night - $100
    • Dinner for M + Me (our one adult only dinner) - $150 (we'll have wine ;-))
    • Lunch out while we're exploring Wailea - $100
    • Groceries - $300 (total guess)
  • Activities - Our goal is $500, total, but we're at close to $600. We may cut the Ocean Center out, so we don't overspend, if we're not under on other categories.
    • Kid's luau (while we do our adult dinner) :-) - $100
    • Snorkel cruise for four (includes lunch) - $350
    • Snorkel gear rental - $50
    • Maui Ocean Center tickets - $100
Total budget = $7600. This is definitely not a bargain trip, but we are prioritizing our spending to reflect the things we care the most about, & we can't wait! The kids are so, so very excited. :-)

How do you plan your vacations? Do you stick to a strict budget? Prefer to splurge or save in any one category?


  1. Sounds wonderful!! I think the hotel with a room for the kids is great & well worth the extra $$! I always like to over-budget rather than under budget! It is a vacation afterall!! ;)

  2. I have lived on Maui for 7 years and can tell you that food and gasoline are quite expensive here. If you have a Costco membership, that is the best place to fill up on gas and stock up on groceries. It is located 2 minutes from the airport so it's very convenient. You can stop in before you head to your hotel (which is 30-40 minutes away). And since you have young children, the Maui Ocean Center will be a fun stop. P.S. You chose a very nice hotel to stay. I have been there before and it's so nice to have the extra space and a kitchen. Hope you have a great vacation!